helen mackay therapist reading

Helen Mackay

Helen Mackay MSc CPsychol
Chartered Counselling Psychologist for Adults & Couples

Face to Face:  Not currently accepting new clients
Online:  Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday daytime

Cost:  £80 per self-funded session. Fees for funding via insurance companies vary according to their policies.

Insurances Accepted:  AXA PPP, Vitality Health, BCWA, WPA, Healix, Cigna, Aviva


BSc (Hons) Psychology
MSc Counselling Psychology
Post-MSc Diploma in the Practice of Counselling Psychology
Chartered Psychologist and Associate fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
Registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)


I have more than 20 years’ experience in various therapy settings within the NHS (Primary care and CMHT) and Higher Education. I have also had a private practice in Reading for more than 10 years. Prior to training as a psychologist I worked in industry and the legal profession.

I can help with a wide range of problems and issues for both individuals and couples, including:

Relationship problems
Issues around self-esteem and confidence
Grief and loss
Managing other life-transitions eg ageing, divorce, pregnancy/infertility
Work-related issues eg redundancy, stress, career planning, motivation
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Anger management

What do I offer?

I offer both short and longer term therapy to individuals (adults 18+) and couples who can be self-funding or making use of a health insurance policy. Some people approach directly, some are referred by other health professionals or their employer.

The first step is to meet to explore together the issues you are facing and the changes you would like to achieve. It’s not unusual for this to evolve as we progress, or for you to be unsure and find it difficult to articulate at first. From this initial assessment session, we meet regularly for sessions of 50 minutes. How many sessions we require is difficult to specify at the beginning as different people move at different paces, but we will review regularly. Often an insurance company will authorise a limited number of sessions and we will plan accordingly.

During these therapy sessions, we will aim to collaborate in making sense of your experience and gaining a better understanding of the reasons for your current difficulties. With that acknowledgement and insight – often very powerful in itself – comes the impetus for making the changes you want to achieve.

I will respond to enquiries & contact as soon as possible within office hours, but please note that I do not provide a crisis response service or out of office hours service. If you have an urgent concern, feel at risk or are in crisis, please contact your GP, emergency services or the Samaritans. There will be delays in responding in cases of illness or planned annual leave.

Approach and orientation

My approach to therapy is integrative and individual to each person, but based on the principles of Systemic therapy. This broadly means considering people not just as individuals but in relation to one another (the ‘systems’ which we are all part of in relationships, families, workplaces, friendship groups and so on), and understanding how being part of those systems has powerful effects on the way we think and feel. This therapeutic approach also values very highly the relationship between the therapist and client (in itself a system) as a resource in the collaboration.

(I am registered with and recognised as a Chartered Psychologist by all major health insurance companies.)

Request A Booking

Helen Mackay is not accepting new clients for the foreseeable future. To be connected to an available therapist please use the Appointment Enquiry form or phone 01189 070420 for assistance.