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Sessional Staff




Crispin Gordon

I had the pleasure of joining the complementary medical team back in the summer of 2012. Prior to that, I had helped those with HIV+ for the Terence Higgins Trust at the Lighthouse in Notting Hill, and for the NHS at the Gateway Clinic in Clapham.


Acupuncture can be very beneficial for those with HIV+.  It helps alleviate both emotional and physical symptoms such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, peripheral neuropathy, low energy and digestive complaints.


I find treating at River House to be an extremely rewarding experience. The community atmosphere here is very strong and as a result, I derive immense satisfaction from being part of the team. You can see more about how I work here:



Nicola Galbraith - HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nicola Galbraith
HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist

I'm Nicola and I am a clinical nurse specialist (HIV CNS) who provides specialist HIV information, support, advice and care for HIV positive people and their families and those affected by HIV/AIDS.


I am based at River House on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 12pm-4pm. Appointments should be booked in advance via River House staff to ensure you are seen, however walk in slots may also be available on the day. River House staff may ask for a brief reason for referral to ensure you are seeing the right person to help you; however if the matter is confidential and if you would rather not discuss with anyone other than the CNS, then this is fine.


I can help by providing support and advice on a range of issues such as antiretroviral advice and adherence support, management of side effects, advocacy and other general support. I understand and can assist with support relating to community services (GP, Dentist, social services, mental health services, housing support etc.). I also run workshops at River House and I am always keen to have ideas for topics from service users.











Mike Harding

Michael Harding

Hi! I grew up in Yorkshire and Lancashire before training in Medicine at Sheffield University.


Obtaining a medical degree enabled me to travel extensively, including living and working in New Zealand for a few years and later working as the Ship’s Physician for Carnival Cruise Lines in Miami. Subsequently I lived and worked in Sheffield as a General Practitioner and Medico-Legal Expert. After two very difficult spinal operations, I was unable to continue in medical practice.


I now volunteer at River House whenever I am able, and my main role is to assist in fund-raising. I’ve also been looking into cost-saving measures to ensure the money we have is used as efficiently as possible.


Like everyone at River House, I’m happy to hear any ideas you may have, or even if you just want a friendly ear, please feel free to tap me on the shoulder!



Sebastian Gutierrez - NLP Practitioner

Sebastian Gutierrez
NLP Practitioner

My name is Sebastian. Originally from Colombia, I transferred to London with Microsoft Corporation, where I have developed my professional career over the past 5 years. I have a strong business background in analytics and business intelligence evangelization. In London I further specialized studying a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a postgraduate degree in Web Analytics.


I became increasingly interested in knowing how the mind works and how transformation could manifest for us and I learned that it is easier for the unconscious to understand the language of visualization than that of rationality. Immensely interested in this subject, I trained to become a Licensed Practitioner of NLP and then a year later a Master Practitioner.  


I have offered NLP sessions at River House since May 2011, helping clients to achieve their full potential. I work with people to strengthen confidence, self-worth,  healthy relationships, trust in themselves and to focus their thoughts positively.



Roy Sunley - Healer

Roy Sunley

My name is Roy and I have been fortunate to be associated with River House for a couple of years now. I enjoy working with the team and, of course, with the many clients of the irreplaceable and caring River House. I am a natural healer, and have been all my life but I have also undertaken training to develop my skills. I am a Quantum Touch certified practitioner. I am also a Reiki Master and it is this healing modality that I use at River House. We have had many positive outcomes such as improved sleep patterns, reduced sickness time after chemotherapy, reduced pain and anxiety and increased mobility. Reiki is a modality that gives continuous healing and so is very beneficial in long term illnesses, as are experienced by River House clients. I run my private healing practice from a lovely 1740’s farm house in The Chalfonts, just west of London but I always enjoy the energy and love created by the team here at River House. You can read more about my practice here:



Phil Pearl – Life Coach

Phil Pearl
Life Coach

Hi I'm Phil, I specialise in coaching for mental toughness; facing the changes and challenges of life with resilience and confidence. I believe that coaching is about getting the most out of life; facing problems with courage and living life with passion. I provide coaching for businesses, organisations and the voluntary sector. I have private practices in Harley Street and Kensington. My approach to coaching draws on Existential Coaching and Cognitive Behaviour Coaching.I am the Founder of The UK CBT Group and on the faculties of The Institute of Clinical Hypnosis and the Institute of CBT Coaching. I have been volunteer hypnotherapist with The Terrence Higgins Trust since 2007 and was at Oasis North London from 2006 - 2007. The River House has an excellent reputation and I was delighted to join the team as a life coach in 2012.



Keith Jarrett
Creative Writing

Keith Jarrett lives in London. He writes performance poetry and short fiction, teaches Spoken Word in secondary schools and has also taught Spanish. Keith is a former London and UK poetry slam champion and was a semi-finalist in the World Cup Slam in 2010. He also won the Museum of London's Write Queer Award for short fiction in 2010 and has short stories published in Boys and Girls, Attitude and online. Keith is now working on his first novel, a tale written partly in verse. He regularly posts on his blog,www.zoneonetosix.blogspot.comand can be found on Facebook and Twitter.



Anna Hope
Creative Writing

Anna Hope is a writer, actress and presentation coach living in East London. She was educated at Oxford University, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and Birkbeck College, where she took the MA in Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared in Mechanic's Institute Vol 5, Tales of the Decongested Vol 2, and Monika magazine. Sean Brien reviewed her short story A Gap of Sky, in the Times Literary Supplement, calling it a modernist comic epic in miniature, and noting, one warms to the author's wit and ambition. In 2012 she was one of three writers commissioned to contribute to Ice and Fire Theatre’s The Art of Dying.

A professional actress for the last eleven years, she has played leading roles in theatre T.V. and film, including Dr. Who series 2 and 3 as the recurring character Novice Hame, Coronation St, Waking the Dead, and Crime and Punishment.

As a coach she works for academics, corporates and third sector workers, helping them to hone their presentation skills.


Bernadette - Cognitive Hypnotherapist

Bernadette Simmons
Cognitive Hypnotherapist & Life Coach

I am so pleased to become a member of the River House team.  As a fully qualified cognitive hypnotherapist and life coach, I feel very privileged to be working with our clients. 


My approach is to draw from a range of different therapeutic techniques and apply those best suited to each client’s specific needs.  I tailor my approach to my client’s unique view of the world, helping them towards the solution that they have identified. I am used to addressing a variety of issues, including anger management, phobias, depression, anxiety, stress, weight loss and smoking cessation.


As appropriate, I use the gentle and natural process of hypnotherapy to guide my clients into and out of a trance.  Some people fear the concept of a trance, but in fact we often access this state on our own.  Being in a trance simply means our attention is narrow and focused on one thing, such as watching TV, reading, cycling, listening to music, or cooking,  


A therapeutic trance aims to communicate with our unconscious mind that constantly runs in the background, managing our behaviour, feelings and actions.  That mind has learned through experience to react in the same way to certain stimuli; this can result in bad habits and negative behaviour.  Communicating with the unconscious mind allows us to reframe these old patterns, updating and replacing them with new patterns for positive and permanent change. The aim is to teach us to think purposefully: if we think negative thoughts, we feel and act negatively; if we think positive thoughts, we have positive outcomes, feel happy and improve our self-esteem.


For over twenty years, I developed and implemented international marketing communications programmes for HIV therapies and other initiatives, working in many different countries and communities.  I am very happy to be connected once more with the HIV community and in particular to be given this opportunity to offer my support to the nurturing atmosphere of River House.


Flaminia - Reiki Therapist

Flaminia Fiano
Reiki Therapist

My name is Flaminia and I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide Reiki treatments here at River House.  Originally from Italy, I moved to London in 2012 and I feel equally at home here too.


I started to focus professionally on developing my natural healing ability back in 2007. Today I am a Reiki Master and I also practice other different healing disciplines. I work with people and I also do healing work with animals, particularly with horses and small animals.


Throughout the years I have had personal experience of the benefits of healing and I am always happy to pass those same benefits on. I am also currently training in Germany and Italy with Bert Hellinger, the founder of the systemic science calledFamily constellations, which studies relationships and their dynamics and implications in all areas of life.


My interest in the healing and counselling disciplines has always run parallel to my passion and dedication to the arts. I have been involved professionally in the field of dramatic arts since 2001. Putting together what I learnt at Drama School and at the University of Education, I work as an actress and acting tutor. I also teach educational theatre and expressive reading to children and children aged 3- 18 and to primary school teachers.


I see a profound connection between healing therapies, arts and childhood and I genuinely enjoy being involved with all of them thanks to my work.


I am looking forward to working at River House and to learning more about HIV.


Maureen - Art Therapist





























































Maureen Hedges
Art Therapist, trainee

I am Maureen and I feel very fortunate to be part of the community at River House. It is only a few months since September 2014 when I became involved but immediately I felt part of the team. I find everyone is warmly welcoming and very supportive. I am here on Thursdays when I am able to offer a group and individual Art Therapy sessions.


I am in my third and final year of professional training for Art Psychotherapy at the University of Hertfordshire. I am also a Chartered Psychologist with over 30 years experience counselling and coaching people in work settings. As part of this work I became interested in using visual methods to help people explore and clarify issues that were sometimes too complex or difficult to express in words. Four years ago I enrolled on a Foundation course in Art Therapy and here I am today almost fully qualified! This is my third placement.


Before coming here, I worked in a clinic and hospital with children and adults who were experiencing difficulties with health, relationships, and life in general. I have seen how art therapy can help improve and enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being. In my experience, making art and talking about the process can be very therapeutic, helping to work through difficult emotions and build more positive ways forward. Generally I do not teach, interpret or direct –  I aim to provide a space where individuals can come to do whatever it is they feel they want and need to do that day, in a caring atmosphere of respect and attentiveness.


I am inspired by all the people I have met, and the work that goes on at River House. I look forward to meeting more of you and to working with some of you over the coming months.



Maurizio Lodato
Complementary Therapist

I started working at River House in 2005. I currently work there one day a week providing Holistic and Deep tissue massage for people affected by HIV. In addition to this I also facilitate Meditation and Healing Workshops for the service users of the House.


I have almost a decade’s worth of experience of working with people affected by HIV having started my career providing massage for the Complementary Health Trust (CHT), an organisation that provided training and support for therapists who worked with people affected by HIV and other auto-immune related conditions. I later worked at Charing Cross Hospital and Victoria Clinic where I gained further knowledge and experience of working with HIV.


I am a fully qualified Aromatherapist, Indian Head Massage and Acupressure Chair Massage practitioner, Energy Healer and Reiki Master. Deep Tissue massage and Reiki are the treatments most requested by the people I work with at River House. Some of the benefits reported by my clients are - a deep feeling of relaxation, tension relief, pain reduction and improved sleep. In addition to the physical benefits clients also say that massage helps them to cope better with feelings of anxiety and even symptoms of mild depression.


The feedback I get from the individuals I work with at River House regarding the service I provide is very positive and constructive. My experience over the years of working with people affected by HIV has been very challenging but at the same time very rewarding. It has allowed me to grow as a practitioner and also as a human being. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to contribute in a positive way to the lives of the many wonderful people that attend River House.


You can learn more about Maurizio's work here:


Andrea Muller

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Hammersmith and Fulham CAB outreach project at River House is an independent service providing free, confidential, impartial advice, information and advocacy for River House Service users. The project has been running since 1994.  


The current adviser, Andrea Muller, has been in post since 2005, providing advice, information and case work on a wide range of welfare benefits and tax credits issues.  Benefits covered included disability benefits, benefits for carers, Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income Support, Tax Credits and Social Fund. Please feel free to make an appointment if you need help with completing benefit forms, challenging decisions, preparing appeals to tribunals, or if you want to know what benefits you could be entitled to, or how the changes to the benefits system will affect you. 


Katya Langmuir
Complementary Therapist

I'm Katya and I am one of the complementary therapy team here at River House. I've been here so long I feel I could be part of the furniture, having joined the team back in 2001. During the intervening years I've developed my specialism in immunity care by working in the HIV+ unit at Ealing hospital and for the Living Well programme and I've been fortunate enough to explore and express all sorts of holistic modes and methods with our brilliant service users here at River House. This has included meditation and relaxation classes (both day and evening), yoga and movement therapy, chanting, weekend spiritual retreats, pamper days specifically for women, massage training workshops, peer group support sessions, and all manner of nutritional therapy, bodywork and healing on a one-to-one basis.


These days I continue to enjoy my weekly clinic where I create bespoke treatments for our clients blending together holistic and medical aromatherapy, therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, holistic pulsing massage, stretch-work, creative visualisation and reiki. With such a holistic smorgasbord at our disposal, I feel every service user can be adequately and appropriately cared for, however seemingly 'complicated' the medical or personal history he or she comes with. I'm a great believer that, together, we can find a pathway through - whatever that means for each individual.


When I'm not at River House, I lead something of a double life as a university lecturer in Indian religious studies with a PhD in twentieth century Hindu. You can find out more about me, my classes and treatment sessions at my website