The Model

The Model

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

It’s a very simple formula-life, but we complicate and confuse ourselves very competently and frequently.

All of us need and require the same things in varying amounts. We will all have our own preferences, habitual patterns and  coping mechanisms when faced with adversity but we are all effected by similar external factors in.

Chryseis is different from other support, transformation and psychological services because we  recognize that for many people a casual, informal interaction can be the best learning environment to help improve lives; making changes for the better.

We know and understand the varying and various schools of thought in relation to human psychology but know that one model does not fit all at all times. We have the skills to vary the provision depending on client needs. We are up to date in the understanding of the neuro/bio/physio/chemical make up of the mind and how it effects us. We have an in depth knowledge of the holistic view that must, of course, include sociological, philospophical, evolutionary and spiritual influences upon our lives.

We can therefore provide nutritional nurturing and knowledge to help each client ‘Know Thyself and Thy will know the Universe’ (The Delphic Oracle; if wished for) or we will simply show you or create the map so you can find the way out of your troubles creating more resilience, more gratitude for what we already have, happiness and provide you with more tools to manage.

Only you are in control of you but we have techniques and skills we will share to re-empower you!

New life and beautiful growth watched over by strong big cat.

New life and beautiful growth.

Even our 'shadows' can dance!

Even our ‘shadows’ can dance!

The beauty after the storm.

The beauty after the storm.

Client Story; Jasmine

Jasmine was referred to me when her life had turned to seeming chaos. She was from another London borough on the other side of town and was pretty much a ‘lost soul’ displaced and in great need of support and care.
She was in hiding as she was escaping from an arranged marriage. She was and is a highly intelligent and very competent and able young lady who had been top in so many classes and had run the debating team and had really loved and benefitted from her education.
Her family wanted her to marry someone she didn’t and the culture clash that resulted from her first generation immigrant parents and her own Western upbringing was a hurdle they couldn’t cross.
Her mother had physically assaulted her and we knew the family would be searching for her and the consequences were possibly terrifying. The law at the time and still in so many cases now was not competent in dealing with such matters so we had to use whatever resources we could.

we all have dark times but they have their own beauty.

we all have dark times but they have their own beauty.

Jasmine was given housing in a Women’s Refuge-but had never lived without her family and was really not used to sharing a room-especially with another abused female. She started to go off the rails even further with her new found freedoms and whereas she had been culturally bound to dress ‘appropriately’-she was now getting it wrong and putting herself at risk. She had interests in personas from online gaming and enjoyed meetings in relation to these but would wear the fancy dress to n fro-very often revealing far more than what is deemed even socially acceptable in the West. We had discussions and did some work around Sex and Relationships and looked at ways of ‘dressing up’ more healthily.
As with all relationships I learnt an awful lot from Jasmine. The Asian culture do not always buy in to the idea of sharing and reflecting and Jasmine explained very eloquently that she didn’t want or need to talk about those things that had gone wrong for her. We mainly explored how to move forward using her numerous and varied skills and abilities. I believed she needed to continue on her academic pathway even though it has been severely disrupted and we got her through, just, her ‘A’ levels.
Jasmine and I were officially meant to stop working at a certain age but having built a strong bond I did not allow that to be broken. She had so few people she could trust and turn to in her life that we continue a relationship to this day.
She did not get in to the University Course that we went to the Open Day together but she has now completed a degree and is a rounded and emotionally whole young lady in employment with various hobbies and past times.

How we can work together

This is primarily up to you! Client led as it were. I personally prefer face to face work where we can interact at as natural a level as possible; hearing and seeing all those posssibly unconscious behaviours that may be missed over the phone. But I am happy to work over the phone and may consider Skype. Words on a screen never say it all and we may not need it all said-you may have picked up on this point when reading The Model, so if preferable, even if just at first, we can e-mail.

We will formulate a contract that can be revised but which will give us some bounderies and limits on what we want to achieve together and Chryseis will charge at the mutually agreed rate-we work with a sliding scale of costs and this would be expected within a month of any work done. The intial assessment of each other is of course FREE.

Who’s Chris?

Christine McLaren - Founder of ChryseisChristine – Founder and principle practitioner.

Chris has wide and deep knowledge of what it is to be human both currently and across our evolutiony past and thus recognises the interaction and differences between genetic/instinctual behaviours and cultural/social man made behaviours. This has led her to explore all areas from the individual’s neurobiochemistry and general biology, family relations and status, community/village practices and societies politics as well as international issues.

Trained in Psychology and Counselling with a close affiliation to Psychoanalysis she recognises the body as the unconscious mind and the interplay, of this, with the psyche as crucial to self awareness and thus physical, mental and emotional health. She supported this with studies in Anthrolpogy and Sociology.

Christine has taught for over 20 years across all stages of development and has studied various forms of education. Read full profile

Client Story: Amy

Amy’s Story

I met Amy when she was released from a young person’s psychiatric ward at the local authority offices.  I had a brief case history verbally from the social and drug’s workers about her having been found overdosed in her mother’s flat.

Amy had been adopted by her Uncle when her psychiatrically ill mother had not been able to manage the parenting of her two children (Amy and I later visited Brian, her brother in an intensive adult psychiatric unit to keep the relationship and bond as a comfort however distressing).

Amy had been a good student at a strict Catholic School and had adhered to healthy and supporting boundaries within the adoptive home until the age of 14-15 when her difficulties had started to surface. Amy literally went off the rails eventually becoming a Class A using prostitute, housed and kept doped by a manipulative ‘pimp’. Read the full story

Charlie’s Commendation

We all need to regress and be looked after sometimes.

We all need to regress and be looked after sometimes.

Christine worked with Charlie for over a year and he wrote about their time together.

Charlie described the time they were together as “brilliant”. Charlie stressed that he found their relationship very supportive and said Chris gave him “a hell of lot.”  She listened to him when his friend died and was extremely understanding around the “strained” relationship he had with his mother.  Chris offered Charlie a wealth of insight and he described her as a “very nurturing woman who is great at listening.”  He spoke of the very good times they shared and discussed how as people with similar minds and interests they enjoyed talking, and he said that Chris has “an incredible brain.”  Chris was always open and honest with him.

Charlie said that if he had ever gone off the rails as a younger man there is nobody else he would want to be with.  Charlie said that Chris is a very warm person who cares so much about people’s welfare.  Although Chris is always very careful not to breach confidentiality with Charlie in terms of her professional work with young people, she has discussed Larry, the young man who is serving a prison sentence for murder.  Charlie said “without Chris I doubt Larry would be doing what is doing now, (as a result of Chris’s encouragement he has taken classes in prison and is now starting to teach other inmates) and would not be the man he is becoming now.” Larry’s Story to be read elsewhere.

Nelly’s Commendation

Sometimes all we need is more fun.

Sometimes all we need is more fun.

Christine has worked with Nelly and her family for several years….Nelly described Chris as “smart, fun, bubbly, understanding, a person who does not miss anything, a very good listener, reliable and loyal.”  Nelly said that Chris is able to take criticism  and challenges. Nelly said she will whinge to Chris because she knows that Chris is a good listener.

Nelly said that Chris is an exceptionally intelligent woman who has a high volume of knowledge which she has put into practice as a parent and in her professional life.

Nelly has seen Chris enable her son John, 23 to look at something from a completely different perspective without realising that he is doing so, and that Chris undoubtedly uses this skill with other people she works with.  Nelly said Chris is a very down to earth person who does not like to give up on anything, and she is exceptionally encouraging of people.  She said “You don’t see Chris as an age, she’s a person, and people of any age can relate to her, but she can also be authoritative.”   Nelly said that Chris will listen and will not judge, and she will be able to encourage people to look at the good in their lives and to build on these.  Nelly understands that so many of the people that Chris currently works with cannot envisage a future for them selves or see a way out of their predicaments.  Chris is creative and full of ideas and just as she does in her current role, she will endeavour to help them see things from a different perspective.

Nelly said that she has seen the way Chris interacts with people, for example her own children and her grandson Kevin, and feels that she is very skilled at building up bonds and trusting relationships.  Additionally Chris has extremely high energy levels and is very sporty and fit.  She loves recreational activities and has plenty of experience of engaging youth in this type of setting.

there’s nothing that she hasn’t seen.”


Area Youth Work Lead, London – Reference

A work collegues perspective…..Christine has a very natural way with young people and she is able to relate and talk with them effortlessly. Over the years of working with Christine I have found her to be trusted easily by young people and they seem to open up to her very quickly.

She has studied for many years around the social and psychological development of people / young people and has extensive knowledge about how young people develop and cope in difficult situations in their lives.

She is a mother herself and has first hand experience dealing with day to day issues that young people face and play out in their home lives.

Positive fun activitoes can take our minds away from pain for a while.

Positive fun activitoes can take our minds away from pain for a while.

Christine has worked with hard to reach targeted young people for many years and seems to always produce positive results from the work she does with them. She has a very calming nature and seems to always work professionally and productively when faced with stressful and difficult situations. We worked with a very difficult group of young people a number of years ago and she always seems to bring the best out in these young people.

I have spent many years learning from her wisdom and professional manner.

Christine works well with everyone and is always keen to work with other partners to support and resolve issues for people. As her previous role was working as a targeted worker she had to work with many different agencies to get the complex support needed for the young people on her caseload. She is extremely responsible, trustworthy and I have never known for her to be off sick or late for any session.

We help people with a wide range of problems

We help people with a wide range of problems

Lake image with rising sun.

Life can always be enhanced.

Depression, substance misuse, self harm, family feuds, anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), weight issues, control issues, life planning, step taking, discovering how to do things you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t know how to start.

The list seems endless therefore here are a few examples of the briefer interventions we have made. (The more extensive pieces of work are listed under Stories with names-changed).

There is not a person on the planet who hasn’t experienced problems or encountered difficulties that they were unsure how to deal with. We are tested by them, we often need them as they can help us to grow, evolve and progress. Whilst in the midst of them they can feel awful but they do stregnthen us to cope with further unavoidable troubles in the future.

If our behaviour, a mind set, emotions, negative coping machanisms or social behaviours have become TOO MUCH or are CAUSING MORE DIFFICULTIES then it has to be reviewed. The disequilibrium needs to be settled.

We’ve helped a young man learn how to manage his rage and violent outbursts that had caused him involvletment with less than ‘understanding’ services. Through breath work and Central Nervous System self control. We revitalized his interest in horses and he made friends with a member of this other speices as we reflected on it’s and all sentient beings ‘flight and fight’ reactions. He learnt to ride and felt more able to manage himself in stressful situations. He now RESPONDS rather than REACTING and he has not lashed out or fought since.

saucepans cooking ingredients on a stove.

Learning life skills.

We’ve helped a a young woman learn to manage living alone. Her family relationships were seemingly irreparable but she had been used to lving with many others. We made sure she had activities with other students after college and looked at meeting her neighbours. We created budgets and essential housework lists and did some great creative cooking together. She had been over weight and struggled with the idea of ‘ballooning’ so we incorporated an exercise routine in to her weekly timetable-the cleaning and housework being an aspect of this! She still has low weight and has adapted her lifestyle to suit changes that have occured and now lives happily alone.

We’ve helped many young people with their drug and alcohol consumption rates. We have literally taught the facts and reflected on harm and accpeted that for many these behaviours are a ‘rite of passage’ in to adulthood and explained to those with the higher obvious potential for addictive behaviours and those with apparent psychological difficulties how the various substances may effect them in differnt ways.

We are all scared of something and wish to hide from it.

We are all scared of something and wish to hide from it.

We’ve helped many young women who self harm or who claim they want to commit suicide. There are many techniques to alleviate the craving to self harm. We know that it tends to be an easier sensation than the emotional trauma the person is experiencing but at first we have to reduce the risk of serious harm and scarring if possible. No young person who has declared they want to die has actually gone through with it and hopefully this is not only that they envisioned another ‘way out’ but they saw that it was an extreme reaction to ‘not wanting to be where you are now’ and learning that the only guaranteed thing in life is change-that things will change.

We’ve helped an older woman with a fear of being at sea and boats but who also had a craving to travel by boat. I travelled with her and explained what was happening with her physical reactions-teaching her mind/breath control. The main lesson was that we were distracting her and she had ‘survived’ much of the journey with no problem. She laughed a lot-a super reliease of tension for any of us and was proud of herself. She and intend to work on how this fear extended from a bullying father but for now she can travel by boat.

We’ve helped groups of young people with brief grief counselling. A friend of theirs had died and we were working with them to not only find comforts and positives in their own lives and things to be grateful for but we also tried to suggest a time limit on the excessive mourning. Many young people in particular can get fixated on experiences as extreme as a loss of a freiend and find it difficult to move on. We spoke about this and spoke of the necessary ritual and ceremonies they may practice but also on how to combat repetitive thoughts on the person they lost and to remember and celebrate what they did have with her.

Help getting on the right path for you.

Help getting on the right path for you.

We’ve helped women cope with having had enforced abortions.

We’ve helped people cope with seriously dibilitating family health problems.

We’ve helped an older woman with panic attacks and migraines as a reaction to caring for a relative with dementia. She was reminded of her own knowledge of Yoga and breathing through sharing conversation and exploration and after a brief intervention she felt more able to manage and cope with her life circumstances. She felt she was more able to ask for help and that she did deserve to have a break.

We’ve helped numerous people with drug and alcohol issues as well as SMOKING CESSATION.

We’ve helped numerous people with academic and interlectual troubles.

We’ve helped numerous people with family, friend and workplace misunderstandings and conflicts.

We’ve helped negotiate with institutions to get clients the education they need.

There will be nothing you present with that we haven’t come across before exactly or similarly.

There are many more examples of other more complex and multiple issues that we have helped people with-we will do our best to try to help you and if we are not right for you we know all of the referral routes-let’s talk……………

What would you like help with?

Get in touch

Why are we different?

Why are we different?

Waves rushing over rocky ground

Waves we cannot stop are breaking over a rocky shore.

We all experiences darker, shadier times and they can be remarkably healthy and productive even when they feel just awful because they make us explore, think, question and search-when these times get out of hand, as social creatures, we need the help of something or someone else.

We as people and as an organization are different because we accept that you know best about you. We do not have a hierachal perspective believing that you are a client and us the so called expert-we recognize that the interaction between people has a healing and changing influence on both parties. There is no power play or dominance of opinion it’s simply that we have had time to learn this stuff whilst you have been learning other things.

Neurons firing creating brain and mind experiences.

Neurons firing creating brain and mind experiences.

There exists a series of respected, understood and valued theoretical psychological practices. These have been well researched, tested and evaluated over the years. They have divided and subdivided but the primary ones are; PsychoAnalysis, Behaviourism, Cogntive Psychology, Spiritual Healing and, also the variations and varities of those; the eclectic and integrated models.


Exercise-a great form of mental, physical and emotional health.

Exercise-a great form of mental, physical and emotional health.



There are numerous and varied body or physiological therapies that include such exercises as cardiovascular exercise and yoga. They attempt to help the whole person using the body as a tool to help the person. The concepts include helping to reduce stress levels on the Central Nervous System calming the ‘flight and flight’ reaction of the amygdala and increasing the use of ‘rest and digest’ responses to aid well-being.




We can find the 'light' from many sources.

We can find the ‘light’ from many sources.

Many people use spiritual practices to help them on their journeys. These can be recognised religious practices such as prayer or the growing use and recogntion of meditation and mindfullness.

They all have their uses and abilities and we have the same listening skills, non-judgementalism, unconditional positive regard and high levels of qualifications, experience, understanding and knowledge. Topped up with loving and caring.

We at Chryseis do not ‘buy into’ one way of practising and fully recognize not only the psychi/soma interplay (with knowledge of the new science of epigentics; but also the numerous collective factors that influence our feelings, thoughts and experiences internally and externally over time. Thus what is needed is changeable and we are Flexible.

We at Chryseis accept that any one person at any one time needs a variety and sometimes complex combination of helping modes and we have those skills to work with you. To repeat Not all models suit all people all the time.

When assessed by research positive outcomes are evidenced at the same rate dependent on the school of thought behind the practice and thus that the ‘treatment’, the ‘cure’, the ‘help’ is actually from the relationship which is hopefully; trusting, empathic, non-judgemental and safe.


Renewal starting.

We accept that we need to hear you but also do buy in to the teachings of the ‘Human Givens’  who recognise the harm that can be done repeating and reviewing and focusing on past difficulties and who like us believe that often replacing harmful negative practices with Positive Activities  is the most useful and productive way forward.  Once your stories have been told we can leave them as real and understood but we don’t need to reflect and review and explore and search and dig as so many therpaies do. We can leave them unpacked and repacked and move on.   ( .

Some practices have defined homework, defined times and time lines that can of course be useful bounderies but they can also create restrictions. SO often the most eloquently poignant piece of sharing comes out from deep inside just as the person looking for help is leaving! We at Chryseis will try our utmost to continue with you and try to help there and then-not book you in for a week ahead!

And bring forth fruit.

And bring forth fruit.

We all have differing neuro/bio/physio/chemistry and thus need differing things at different times.

Thus we offer a positive health and well being experience dependent on the ‘others’ wishes and needs.

It can simply be someone is lonely so we find you places to meet people-we don’t need to explore the family history of the ‘whys’ always. If demonstrated behaviours have caused isolation we will reflect, explore and perhaps re-jig to improve acceptance from others. If parental/familial damage is being ‘played out’ then we may have to go deeper-the unconscious mind (the body) may be scared of interpersonal interactions thus unpicking this may be needed.

Chryseis can hold your hand both literally and metaphorically along the journey, supporting you in movement forwardwith the ‘new internalized learnt support systems’ and we will endeavour to not let you go until you are ready.   

Chryseis will try it’s best to help improve your esteem, your general well being and thus your Happiness levels.