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My name is Lai Shum

I am am a qualified Integrative Relational Counsellor and Psychotherapist and a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists).  My lifelong interest and curiosity for nature, life, psychology and the science of the mind has led me to work in mental health and psychotherapy. Being a British Asian woman, I have five decade's experience of living in between two cultures and the challenges that come with, such as striving to make sense of each and needing to feel I belong in both. My lived experience includes lifelong personal challenges, racial trauma, cultural difference, in addition to living with the basic human need for love and acceptance whilst like many, handling traits like perfectionism, self criticism, shame, anxiety in response to fear, pain, rejection and loss.  Whether life is hard or easy, I do believe that there is always something to learn from all our experiences if we look deep enough.  My view is, the harder the experience, the bigger the learning but facing it alone needn't be the only way.  Human beings have brains built for connection and it is connection that can help us through the difficult and allow us to find meaning and growth. 


For this reason, I set up Minds Be to offer a counselling, psychotherapy and therapeutic coaching service to adults and adolescents. When we (counsellor and client) let our minds be together in a professional and optimal counselling relationship, you (the client) may benefit from the opportunities of connection, discovery, learning, healing and growth.  With our unique, warm, open minded and compassionate approach, Minds Be offers support for clients to work through and potentially overcome struggles relating to difference, intersectionality, anxiety, depression, loss, acute stress, abuse, relationship issues, low self esteem and much more.

Whether you want to start with just one session, book a block of sessions or start long term therapy, contact me today for current availability and to discuss your requirements.

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    Our Philosophy

    At Minds Be, we understand that human beings are social beings.  We are wired for connection and our mind and nervous system responds to the emotional environment around us.  When life brings various difficult issues or our relationships are challenging, we may find our own responses and emotions to our environment hard to cope with alone. Consistently bottling up our feelings and keeping intense emotions inwards can over a long period of time, lead to suffering various problems such as sadness, loneliness, low mood, depression and anxiety.  We believe that reaching for support is a sign of courage rather than weakness and accessing professional support can be really important and effective for taking care of your mental health and overall wellbeing.  At Minds Be we offer professional support with a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor who can provide you with an emotional environment that is holding, accepting, compassionate and non-judgemental.  Being in such a holding relationship may help you to feel supported and attuned to and accepted and therefore more able to work through your concerns and overcome your obstacles.


    We value being mindful and having a compassionate mind.  We also believe in the benefits of facilitating mindful awareness, self compassion, insight and resilience to help a person withstand change and many of life's challenges. By working collaboratively our minds being together, you may gain new insight and perspectives, discover more about yourself and find a way forward that is right for you.  With opportunity to explore the relationships you have with others and the relationship you have with yourself, you may find yourself on a journey of personal growth and healing.​


    With experience in psychotherapeutic counselling, therapeutic coaching, mentoring, working with adults and young adults from diverse cultures in the NHS and in different university settings and in the community, Minds Be has much to offer in terms of experience and expertise. To find out how we can be of help to you, just get in touch. A free short telephone consultation can be arranged. Online session can be scheduled, and face to face sessions can be booked at one of our therapy rooms in Surbiton or Epsom.  For more details on locations click here.

    Viktor E. Frankl

    "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our responses lies our growth and our freedom."

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