Meet our Staff Team

The Chief Executive Officer of New Life Counselling oversees the operations of the organisation and is responsible for the strategic planning of the organisation.  She is supported by a team of Senior Managers who have responsibility for Clinical Services, Support Services and Development.

6 Team Leaders assist in leading in the delivery of our Child & Family, Adult and Youth counselling services.





Norma Patterson, CEO

Norma Joined New Life Counselling in September 2017 having worked for 3 years in the Higher Education sector and 10 years in the Community and Voluntary sector as a Senior Manager and CEO. Prior to this she worked for 10 years in the field of community relations. Norma has a level 5 Diploma in Management she also has significant experience in fundraising, strategic and operational planning as well as staff and resource management. Norma is an accredited counsellor with BACP and a Play Therapist and Creative Supervisor trained by PTUK.  She also has a psychology degree from QUB.  She has worked in the field of Adult and Child Therapy for over 20 years.





Andrew Sutherland, Head of Clinical Services

Andrew joined New Life Counselling in July 2017. He is a registered Counselling Psychologist with HCPC (UK) and has been a Registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia since 2004.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) degree from the University of Wollongong, Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychological Practice. He worked as a Psychologist in the private sector in Sydney, firstly in organisational psychology and later in occupational rehabilitation, assisting injured and traumatised people return to employment. In 2007, Andrew relocated to N. Ireland and has worked in the Statutory, Community & Voluntary sectors since that time, leading multidisciplinary teams and developing health-based programmes. Andrew has co-ordinated modules on the Trauma Studies degree at QUB and has delivered trauma training internationally, including Bosnia & Herzegovina. Andrew recently completed the American Express Leadership Academy in London.




Sarah Grant-Jones

 Sarah Grant-Jones, Adult Team Leader

Sarah trained as a Learning Disability Nurse at Cardiff University Hospital of Wales qualifying in 1991. She specialised in challenging behaviour and dual diagnosis (mental health) and is trained to work with children, young people and adults. She worked for 15 years in nursing/ nurse management within the NHS and Social Services in institutional and community settings. She completed a Certificate in Counselling in 2002 whilst managing an NHS residential/ respite unit (challenging behavior). She then worked as a SSAFA nurse for two years with military families overseas. Since moving to Northern Ireland in 2005 she has completed an Advanced Diploma in Counselling, Certificate in Cognitive Therapy Methods and Certificate in Clinical Supervision Level 6. She has 12 yrs of experience as a Counsellor and Clinical Supervisor within the Community and Voluntary sector. She joined New life in 2008 and has worked as a Youth and Schools Counsellor, Assistant Team Leader (Adult Project)  and  Assistant Team Leader then Acting Team Leader  (Self-Harm Intervention Programme/ Postvention Service) before recently becoming the Adult Project Team Leader.




Alison Templeton, OKAY Team Leader

Alison holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Geography, PGCE, Diploma in Counselling and a Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Work with Children, OCN Certificate in Clinical Supervision and ILM Diploma in Leadership and Management.  Alison has 10+ years experience as a Supervised Counsellor working with children and young people, previously employed by NSPCC and Barnardos. She is accredited with BACP. Alison started in New Life Counselling in January 2011, initially as Assistant Team Leader for ICSS East team. She moved to the post of OKAY Team Leader in July 2012.






Wendy Stewart, Family Team Leader

Wendy joined New Life Counselling in 2009 as a trauma counsellor, working with adults and families.  Previously Wendy worked for 17 years as a group facilitator and counsellor in a substance misuse treatment unit.   Since completing her degree in Psychology (QUB) in 1993, Wendy gained for her Diploma in Counselling (1997) and BACP accreditation in 2012.   Gaining her Diploma in Social Work (2001) she went on to acquire her Post Qualifying Award in 2005.  In 2008, Wendy gained her Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Social Studies, Intermediate Systemic Practice (with Distinction).   In 2012 Wendy completed her Diploma in Leadership and Management Level 5.





Bernie McAteer, Support Services Coordinator

Bernie has been with New Life Counselling since September 2010 initially in the role or Finance Administrator moving to Support Services Coordinator in 2011.  She has 20 years experience working in the area of finance and administration within the voluntary sector.  Bernie studied with the Open University and gained a Level 5 Certificate in Social Science, Understanding Social Change in 2001,  The Professional Certificate in Accounting in 2011 and The Certificate in Professional Communication Skills for Business Studies in 2014.