Charles Watkins

My approach to life and therapy has always been guided by the following: "Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world”

Lao Tzu

Charles Watkins

Clinical Psychologist M.Sc. · Licensed Psychotherapist · Founder

Born in 1985 in Osnabrück, Germany
Having graduated with a master’s degree (with distinction) in clinical psychology and completing his clinical training at the world-renowned University Medical Center of Princeton, Charles continued to use his passion to inspire positive change and advance the field of psychology in areas new to the psychological approach. Working in his private practice has been complemented by lecturing on various topics around the world. His devotion towards identifying places of need for dealing with stress and depression has led him to the maritime industry. Through the team’s profound research in the maritime industry, Charles has been able to create training videos and safety plans for the crew and on-shore personnel.

Charles has been researching the area of maritime stresses and psychological illnesses to develop preventive measures for the maritime industry. Charles is continuing to find helpful psychological solutions for real life problems on ships and on shore.

Languages: German, English

Other areas of his expertise include:

  • Systemic therapy
  • Emergency counselling
  • Mindfulness techniques
  • Crisis management
  • Self-compassion therapy

Helping to treat with the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Culture specific syndromes
  • Trauma
  • Disproportionate sadness
  • Disproportionate anger

Susann Rüsch

Licensed Psychotherapist · Founder

Born in 1966 in Bremerhaven, Germany
Having started out her career as a journalist, Susann quickly realised her real calling as a psychologist and after qualification set up her own practice in Hamburg in 2007 with a number of medical colleagues. As well as her private client work, Susann has focussed on the maritime sector, in particular dealing with the stresses and demands faced by crew/employees on board and ashore.

Susann has lectured on the above topics and has contributed to various publications and training videos, most recently „Mental Health Essentials for Masters“.

Languages: German, English

Her main areas of specialisation include the following:

  • Hypnotherapy
  • Business Coaching
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Sport and Mental Coaching
  • Trauma Therapy
  • Crisis Management

Helping to treat with the following symptoms:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety / Fears
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Concentration inability
  • Trauma / shock
  • Accident recuperation
  • Family relations
  • Cancer and terminal illness
  • Psychosomatic

The health of the body, soul and mind are inextricably linked. If the soul is struggling because of surrounding  circumstances, it affects the body. More than 50%  of all physical illness is caused by mental health issues. A seafarer who is worried about events at home and/or cannot sleep or concentrate as a consequence, will quickly become physically ill and will be unable to do his job effectively. He could also expose his colleagues to dangers because of his mental and physical ill-health.

Alexander Dimitrevich

Alexander Dimitrevich

COO of MHSS Eastern Europe

Alexander is a Clinical Psychologist, who did his master’s degree scientific work at Odessa National State University, and is also candidate for a PHD in Clinical Sociology. Since March 2016, he has been working for Sailors’ Society as Regional Crisis Response and Wellness Programme Co-ordinator. Alexander is trained and experienced in organising and providing support for trauma survivors, helping seafarers affected by piracy and their family members. He has a Maritime Lloyd’s Academy Diploma in Crew Management and is a March on Stress associate. Alexander is qualified in Trauma Risk Management (TRiM Practitioner/Manager) and previously worked as Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) Regional Director in Eastern Europe. Alexander is co-author and trainer of Three Layer Psychosocial support system for trauma survivors which has been utilized as a basic training model for non-psychologists in Ukraine.

Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English

Güven Kale

Clinical Psychologist M.Sc.

Güven is a Psychotherapist, certified Emotionally Focused Therapy practitioner for individuals and couples. She was born in Turkey, completed her BA in Middle East Technical University in the Psychology department. She continued her MSc degree in Clinical psychology for individuals, families, and organizations department at the University of Bergamo in Italy. Her work as an intern clinical psychologist started at Erenköy Mental and Neurological Hospital, then she went through with Anthropos Psychotherapy Center under the supervisor of Dr. Elda Arpaia. She practices with clients experiencing a wide range of challenges including anxiety, depression, trauma, self-esteem, relationship issues, adjustment to life stressors, and stress management.

A combination of psychological approaches is used as a tool based on each individual client’s needs and way of being such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Gotmann Relationship Therapy, and Self-compassion Therapy. The approach she emphasizes is not placed on the individual alone, but instead explores behavior patterns and human experience of individuals and, their relationship and interaction with their environment in larger systems. Client-centered, evidence-based, sex-positive, LGBTQ-positive approach is taken throughout sessions.

She maintains online confidential individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, and counseling.

Languages: Turkish, English

Güven Kale
Jannik Grothues

Jannik Grothues

Clinical Psychologist M.Sc. · Managing Consultant

In 2021, Jannik Grothues completed his master's degree in psychology ("cum laude") at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, specializing in clinical and health psychology. In addition, he has two years of experience working in an acute psychiatric ward, where he was confronted with a wide range of psychiatric disorders and various challenging situations. Currently, Jannik is also training to become a psychological psychotherapist and has particular experience in dealing with stressful life events, borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety disorders. Years of living abroad have awakened his interest in encountering various people and cultures. He especially enjoys traveling with his self-built campervan.

Languages: German, English, Dutch

Veronika Cernakova

Head of Marketing and Communications

Born in 1998 in Latvia, Veronika moved to the UK after finishing High School. Having graduated with a Politics and International Relations degree from Goldsmiths, University of London, she gained a better understanding of the world's processes and issues. Growing up, there was and still is social stigma attached to the subject of mental health. However, having worked and volunteered in different sectors during her time at university, Veronika was able to fully recognise the significance of psychological wellbeing in personal and professional life. In recent years, Veronika has been actively advocating for an open conversation around mental health. She believes that through collective efforts we will be able to change the narrative and normalise the subject. This is why she is dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the importance of mental wellbeing in the modern society.

Languages: Russian, Latvian, English

Veronika Cernakova

Our Consultants

Aina Nur Azmi

Languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, German, Japanese

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Aina has been practicing as a Clinical Psychologist since 2011 in both government and private sectors. She obtained her Psychology degree from University of East London, United Kingdom and Master of Clinical Psychology from HELP University, Malaysia. She provides therapy sessions for children, adolescents and adults. Aina is able to converse and conduct therapy sessions in Malay, English, German and Japanese. Aina has experienced on the topics of building self-confidence (among children and adults), self-care, anger management, and body image. Currently, she meets clients on the topics of school refusal, family problems, self-confidence issues, grief. She focuses on promoting good mental health through talk therapy and creating awareness through talks and education. Aina is able to communicate and establish good rapport with clients across all ages, culture and religious backgrounds.

Alexander Dimitrevich

Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English

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Alexander is a Clinical Psychologist, who did his master’s degree scientific work at Odessa National State University, and is also candidate for a PHD in Clinical Sociology.
Since March 2016, he has been working for Sailors’ Society as Regional Crisis Response and Wellness Programme Co-ordinator. Alexander is trained and experienced in organising and providing support for trauma survivors, helping seafarers affected by piracy and their family members. He has a Maritime Lloyd’s Academy Diploma in Crew Management and is a March on Stress associate. Alexander is qualified in Trauma Risk Management (TRiM Practitioner/Manager) and previously worked as Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) Regional Director in Eastern Europe.
Alexander is co-author and trainer of Three Layer Psychosocial support system for trauma survivors which has been utilized as a basic training model for non-psychologists in Ukraine.

Ariadna Mayoral

Languages: Spanish, English

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Although I was born in Madrid, Spain's capital city in the middle of the country, my entire working life has been connected with the sea and with ships. My innate talent for exploration and for getting involved in multicultural environments led me to develop my entire professional career in the maritime sector (6 years as an officer on board ships and 9 years in shipping companies on land). Life at sea was, undoubtedly, an adventure and a life-changing experience that meant a before and after for me. Since then, my passion has become my profession, and I devote my life to accompanying other seafarers in finding their balance on board and getting the most out of everything that shipboard life can offer.

Atul Kumar Mehra

Languages: English, Hindi, Spanish, Punjabi, Urdu

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Atul Kumar Mehra is an author, international speaker and registered psychotherapist in Ontario, Canada. He participated in panel discussions with Dr. John Gray, spoken at an international event headlined by Dr. Deepak Chopra and a guest speaker on hundreds of TV & Radio shows.

He published his International Best-Selling book on Amazon, "The Unseen Wisdom of the Unborn," and the second one is under editing "The Need for Disease." He is currently working on two others, "Addiction is Survival and not Guilt" and "My Unconscious Self," to share his experience and wisdom from more than 20 years of working with the unconscious mind. Since childhood, he was intrigued by the mind's power, which led him to start meditating at the age of four years with guidance from his father.

Benjamin Low C.Y.

Languages: English, Mandarin-English combinations

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Having studied psychology in Australia, Ben is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland, and James Cook University. His professional training is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council. In addition to receiving his honours degree in psychology, he furthered his knowledge of Clinical psychology completing his masters in Singapore. Having lived in three multicultural cities, Ben works well with individuals of different backgrounds and his biggest passion is to help people live more fulfilling lives, both on individual and corporate levels. Ben has run educational programmes for employees, doctors, and university students. He has also been commended for his service to various portfolios under the Singapore Psychological Society and received multiple awards for his research in the field.

His main areas of specialisation include the following:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Behavioural Activation, Schema Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT).

Carmen Leiser

Languages: English, German

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Carmen graduated with a master’s degree (with distinction) in Psychology and a certificate in Organizational Development after having studied at the University of Konstanz, Germany and Humboldt State University, USA. She is a published author in the International Journal of Training and Development and spent years contributing to academic research, in different therapeutic settings, at The Gottman Institute and at a management-consulting firm before joining Lufthansa Airlines as a manager. Carmen is a Design Thinking Coach and has a strong interest in workplace culture, organizational psychology and leadership development. She is a people person though and through and eager to help people make the most of life.

Jonathan Martin

Languages: English

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Jonathan is a psychotherapist, CBT practitioner, life coach, and mediator who specialises in trauma and bereavement. His Bachelor’s degree in 1980 introduced him to the study of Psychology (University of Northampton). This was followed by a Master’s degree in 2007 (University of Wales). Trained at the Emergency Planning College Easingwold Jonathan is experienced at deploying within 30 minutes notice to respond to death, bereavement, and kin forming duties.
Jonathan has worked with seafarers for twenty years, both in the Royal and Merchant Navy, boarding a thousand or so ships to assist the crews of container, cruise, bulk, tanker, cargo ships and Ro-Ro’s. Jonathan was awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board for his service to the welfare of seafarers.
Apart from his work in the maritime sector Jonathan has piloted new initiatives to improve wellbeing among patients attending GP surgeries, and amongst those living with mental health challenges seeking to return to the workplace.

Karen Gail C. Ibanez

Languages: English, Filipino

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Karen started her career in the mental health service in 2007 as an assistant psychologist focusing more on assessment and diagnosis. She is a licensed psychologist and psychometrician and is currently affiliated with a local government university in the Philippines as an Assistant Professor. She is also an academic officer since 2012 at Careerline Courses Ltd., an online education provider in Australia.

Lucy Courtney-Brisbane

Languages: English

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Born in Birmingham, Great Britain, Lucy is a HCPC registered Forensic Psychologist with a deep interest in organisational and systemic wellbeing and functioning and in therapeutic work supporting those with complex needs. Over the last twenty years, Lucy has worked in a range of settings including prisons, secure mental health services, community substance misuse services and criminal justice systems. Her work has deepened her commitment to supporting the development and growth of policies and systems that enable healthy functioning and performance in workplaces and organisations where high stress, challenge and trauma are inherent parts of day to day work life.
Outside of work, Lucy has a keen interest in writing and in music.

Mayture Yap

Languages: English, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin)

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Mayture is a practicing Clinical Psychologist whose focus is on providing psychological interventions that involves assessment, psychotherapy and trainings related to mental health issues. Her therapeutic services are delivered through an array of humanistic and cognitive behavioral techniques with the aim of facilitating individual’s cognitive, emotional and psychosocial development.

Ming Yin

Languages: English, Chinese, Japanese

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Ming graduated in Applied Psychology. Her expertise lies in understanding the pathology and psychological treatment of depression as well as bipolar disorders, which she has been studying in patients for 11 years. Additionally she completed the Psychological First Aid Training from Johns Hopkins University, as well as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) training from the Associations for Psychological Therapies (ATP).

Munavvar Karimli

Languages: Azerbaijani, Turkish, Russian, English

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Born in 1995 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Munavvar graduated from the Middlesex University London with the degree in Counselling Psychology (BSc Honours). She also graduated with the degree in Business Psychology (MSc Honours) from the Heriot-Watt University. She also obtained certificates from the Professional Therapeutic league of Russia. At the same time, she took part in different psychological conferences, workshops and trainings that focused on Business Psychology, Coaching, Counselling skills, Neuro Linguistic Programming, General Psychotherapy and EMDR Psychotherapy. She has since worked as a counselling psychologist and conducted Psychotherapeutic sessions with adults to improve their psychological well-being. Her main area of interest is to provide psychological first aid in a cross-cultural setting to individuals who need mental health support. She is constantly learning and practicing new psychological methods to maximize the positive effect of emergency psychological counselling on seafarers.

Selina Stanfield

Languages: English

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Born in Beverly, UK to a father that worked as a naval surveyor for Lloyds Register of Shipping, my early memories are of visiting the bridges, engine rooms and launches of impressive ships. It was no real surprise that in 2000 I set off on a 62m private motor yacht going to Southern Chile from Europe. I then worked in the yachting industry as a chef for the next 18 years. Working on a variety of sized yachts, sail, and motor, usually with a world-wide itinerary. I have worked with many crews as a chef supporting and nurturing them with my food. Since 2018 I’ve been shore based offering practical and emotional support to Yacht Chefs. I’ve spent the last year learning to be an Integral Coach so that I have a robust method that helps bring about change and gives people tools to support them mentally for the rest of their lives.

Shar Gupta

Languages: English, Hindi

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Having spent over a decade studying, living and working in multiple multicultural cities overseas in Europe and North America, Shar’s journey to develop her own sense of self has played a significant role in her desire to help adolescents and adults navigate their unique issues around cultural identity, adjustment, assimilation, and multicultural families and relationships.
Shar earned a dual Masters in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University and her primary clinical experience has been treating a range of conditions including but not limited to anxiety disorders, depression, Autism, ADHD, body image, relationship concerns and multicultural issues.
For her impactful work, she earned the title Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of New York after several years of inpatient and outpatient work with children, adolescents and adults from diverse backgrounds.
Shar is also passionate about social justice, and believes that the therapeutic process is a unique, powerful, collaborative and professional relationship that has the potential to help foster awareness, change, and growth. She is hoping that her practices will have a positive impact on those in maritime industry who need help.

Soh Teng Kuann

Languages: English, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin), Bahasa Malaysia

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Soh Teng Kuann has a Master of Social Science (Counselling Psychology) and a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology).

Expertise/ Strength
•Helping people to work through difficulties in their life and making changes that they wanted.

•Facilitating interaction between individuals in group to foster group dynamic, cohesiveness and growth.
•Working through difficult issues with relevant and achievable steps by attending to emotions and thoughts.
•Administer and interpret psychological assessments tools for personal growth & career development.


Wong Ee Lynn

Languages: English, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin), Bahasa Malaysia

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Ee Lynn is a Clinical Psychologist who is always enthusiastic and vested in working with children, especially those with developmental disorders. She is trained in conducting psychotherapy, psychometric testing/ assessments, behavioral interventions and training. Besides that, she has been part of a research team consisting of mental health professionals, working with refugee teachers in providing training and classroom consultation. Furthermore, Ee Lynn is also one of the authors of “Happy Teacher, Happy Teaching; Happy Student, Happy Learning: A Refugee Teacher Handbook”.

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