Dr Peter Jakob

Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Systemic Family Therapist
Director PartnershipProjects

Peter Jakob

With a background in social work, Peter has worked as Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist in both CAMHS and Adult Mental Health for over 30 years. He specialises in children and families involved with child protective services. Peter has in-depth knowledge of treating trauma as the after-effect of childhood sexual abuse and other forms of sexual violence, physical abuse, neglect and domestic violence, as well as extensive experience in providing therapy for parents’ mental health problems. He has introduced Non Violent Resistance to the UK, and has adapted the approach for heavily traumatised, multi- stressed families. His work with looked-after children has inspired him to develop a child focus in NVR. Peter is a prolific national and international presenter.

More about Peter…

Rachel Alymer

Specialist Parenting Practitioner
Associate Director PartnershipProjects

Rachael Alymer
Rachael has worked with families and young people as a behaviour support specialist for twenty years, mainly with local government and most recently with a non-statutory service.

She has carried out innovative work with NVR in parent groups, and single family intervention with parents in their home environment. Rachael has pioneered the integration of NVR and 12-step principles in her work with parents recovering from addiction, and has supported PartnershipProjects by providing training and supervision on the NVR Certificate Course.

Shila Desai

Highly Specialist Family & Systemic Psychotherapist

Shila Desai

Shila is a qualified social worker, systemic therapist and supervisor with twenty years’ experience of working in the field of mental health, CAMHS, inpatient settings and with Children in the Care System. Shila has practiced NVR over the last 4 years, and she is developing NVR interventions within CAMHS Services in the Midlands.

Ben Shannahan

Highly Specialist Systemic Psychotherapist

Ben ShannahanBen is a systemic & family psychotherapist who has worked therapeutically with children and young people, individual adults, couples, parents and families in various contexts over the past 13 years. He is an Associate of Partnership Projects, offering training and psychological interventions for overcoming the effects of trauma, aggression (including a specialism in child-parent violence) and anxiety in families and individuals. He has years of experience working with the NHS in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) where he currently works as a Highly Specialist Systemic Psychotherapist consulting with young people and their families with a broad range of emotional and mental health difficulties. Ben has an interest in the use of the Internet, film and technology in engaging children and young people in therapy. He is also a passionate musician and has used music as a medium to connect with young people and their families.

Michele Dadswell

Social Worker & Systemic Practitioner

Michele DadswellMichele is a social worker and systemic practitioner. She has many years’ experience working with children and families in different settings in Germany as well as in London. She is experienced in working in the field of child protection and in supporting parents and carers of adolescents who are experiencing family breakdown. She delivers NVR to individual parents and in parenting groups.

Michele has worked closely with colleagues from Oxleas CAMHS in delivering NVR to parents and in training professionals in using the NVR principles.

Dr Derrie Clark

Educational Psychologist

Derrie ClarkDerrie is a chartered educational and child psychologist working with schools within her local authority and also with families in private practice.  

She has been providing NVR support and training for ten years, specialising in the use of NVR with school refusers.


Nicola Maund

Systemic Psychotherapist

Nicola MaundNicky is a qualified Mental Health Nurse, Family and Systemic Psychotherapist and Supervisor with over 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS and mental health services, both in community and inpatient settings, and has worked extensively in the fields of addiction and CAMHS. Nicky has practiced NVR over the last couple of years, and is particularly interested in developing NVR interventions within residential and CAMHS inpatient settings.

Jill Lubienski

Social worker and Systemic Psychotherapist

Jill LubienskiJill is an experienced social worker and Systemic Psychotherapist who is registered with both the Care Council for Wales and the UKCP. Alongside her training in NVR, Jill is also trained in both the Solihull Parenting approach and Incredible Years and has an interest in attachment, adoption and promoting mental health and wellbeing in children and parents. As well as her work with Partnership Projects, Jill currently manages a parenting project for a large children’s charity in the South Wales valleys.She has many years experience of working with children and families, having worked in Cardiff and the South Wales valleys areas for Local Authorities, the NHS and both small and large voluntary agencies. Jill is a very experienced group work facilitator and currently co-facilitates NVR groups for parents living in the Caerphilly area as well as undertaking some individual family support for parents using NVR.

Willem Beckers

Systemic Psychotherapist

Willem BeckersWillem is a systemic psychotherapist and a staff member of Interactie-Academie, an institute for systemic training and psychotherapy in Belgium. He specialises in intensive interventions with the social networks of children, parents and families, to support them in their distress and in the difficult challenges they face, such as aggression, anxiety or isolation. His therapeutic work combines his systemic background with NVR principles/methodology and careful use of elements from narrative therapy. As an associate of PartnershipProjects, he provides training on the NVR Certificate Course.

Amy Smith

Mental Health Nurse & Systemic Practitioner

Amy SmithAmy is a registered Mental Health Nurse specialising in the care and treatment of children, young people and families. Amy has worked in both inpatient and community settings caring for children and young people with complex moderate to severe emotional health difficulties. She has a strong interest in Systemic and Family Therapy work, and is currently undertaking further training in this area. Amy has been working with NVR since 2014 and is particularly interested in the use of NVR within both community and residential settings, as well as in the delivery of group work.

Dr Diana Alvis Palma

Consultant Family and Systemic Therapist

Diana Alvis PalmaDiana is a Consultant Family and Systemic Therapist, Trainer and Supervisor with 20 years of national and international experience in the mental health field.

Diana has held senior positions in CAMHS and,  in collaboration with other colleagues, has led on the successful development and implementation of NVR within Birmingham. Diana has great experience using NVR with individual families and with groups at the most severe and complex end of the clinical spectrum as well as with parents and children with history of trauma or abuse.

Diana  is passionate about working in contexts of cultural diversity and about bringing spirituality and mindfulness into her therapeutic work.

Cathy Coombs

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Cathy Coombs

Cathy is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience in children’s and adolescent’s mental health in the NHS. Cathy has practiced NVR over the last three years working with families as part of Birmingham CAMHS and also co-leading the NVR Parent groups. Cathy also has a wide range of clinical experience working with families with children with a diagnosis of autism.

Julie Oates

Specialist Family and Systemic Psychotherapist

Julie OatesJulie has been working with children and families for 30 plus years, as a paediatric nurse, school nurse, parent, mental health worker and psychotherapist. Contexts include London hospitals, schools in Newcastle upon Tyne, and youth offending services and CAMHS in Dorset. Working with parents and developing understandings of attachment have been consistent threads. She believes that it is in our relationships that we discover what it means to be human; in loving and being loved that we grow. She sees non-violent resistance calling us into new ways of loving, and so is embracing being part of the PartnershipProjects community.

Georgie Leake

MA, MEd and BSc in Psychology

Georgie LeakeGeorgie is a qualified teacher and a foster carer with an MA, MEd and BSc in Psychology.  She has over 10 years experience working with children and adults with SEND and providing specialist behavioural support, particularly to carers of children with ASD. Georgie is an Associate of PartnershipProjects working with NVR to provide therapeutic support to young people and their families and integration of NVR into educational settings.

Rosalind McCormick

Rosalind McCormack

With over 20 years in education and the public sector with a focus on development, I am an experienced and natural communicator. I enjoy most holding coaching conversations in seemingly impossible workplace situations to overcome any impasse by establishing clarity and flexibility.

In my view, the NLAA makes a significant contribution to  making our aspirations of excellent leadership a reality.

Gabrielle Stirling


Gabrielle Stirling

Gabrielle has over 25 years’ experience in business administration and management. She has supported many companies to grow and be successful, from small start-ups to large corporations. Gabrielle prefers working with smaller companies where she can be truly ‘hands-on’ and make a real difference.