We offer free counselling for women living in Islington, with some spaces for women from North London Boroughs of Hackney, Haringey and Camden.

Please read the following and then use our online referral form below. 

Main Referrals

Women attending our services must be:

  • over 18
  • in receipt of benefits-level income (except for Accept referrals, see below)
  • not currently attending another psychotherapy or counselling service

We prioritise inclusion and diversity across all our services and we welcome women:

  • with historical experience of domestic or sexual abuse, childhood sexual abuse or harmful practices
  • from minoritised communities who have experiences of racism, discrimination or social exclusion
  • from refugee backgrounds with experience of trafficking or other human rights abuses
  • from migrant backgrounds where English is not your first language
  • who are LGBTQ+

Accept Referrals

We also offer 12 weeks of counselling for any women who are registered with an Islington GP and who fit under these criteria:

  • survivors of childhood sexual abuse or domestic violence
  • refugees or asylum-seekers
  • coping with bereavement

To make a referral for this programme, please visit the Accept website and request The Maya Centre on the Accept referral form.

Irish Women’s Service Referrals

Women wishing to access the Irish Women’s Service must meet the criteria for main referrals and also have been born within the 32 counties of Ireland (inclusive of Northern Ireland) or have a minimum of one Irish grandparent.

Please read here for full details.

Referral Criteria

Whilst we assess on a case-by-case basis, it may be that The Maya Centre is not the right place for you at this time.

In order to avoid long waiting times and disappointment, please consider the following when making a referral.

We may decide to turn down or postpone a referral where a woman:

  • has a current complex mental health diagnosis, substance abuse issue or severe eating disorder
  • is seeking counselling in order to support a court case or is court-mandated for therapy
  • is currently living with a perpetrator of domestic or sexual abuse
  • has not fully completed the referral form


An assessment is not a guarantee of counselling, but we will always work with you to find the right service, whether at the Maya Centre or another organisation.

What to expect in your counselling session

Counselling sessions last for 50 minutes and you can choose whether to attend in person or online/ via telephone.

Sessions are offered free of charge, so we ask you to come on time,  commit to every session and try to attend even if you are not sure. We have a small waiting area where you can relax before your session, enjoying our light, plant-filled space.

It is normal to feel a bit nervous about counselling if you have never tried it before. At the start of your session, your counsellor will greet you, make you feel comfortable, and may ask you some questions about what has brought you here and how you are feeling today.  She cannot help you with practical issues such as housing or immigration, but she can help you find advice services alongside your counselling. She will listen to you in confidence, will not judge you or tell you what to do.  She will trust that with time and support, you know what you need to feel better.

Please note that our Centre is on the second floor and we do not have a lift.  If you need an accessible space, please let us know on your referral form.

We look forward to welcoming you at The Maya Centre.

We have a quota of referrals we can accept every month, and once met, the referral line will be closed to allow adequate time and attention to processing them.