Counselling Team

Our team of four fully-qualified counsellors are accredited members of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.

  • Maryam Best, Counsellor
  • Karen Jackson, Counsellor - based at Penryn Campus
  • Jeni Scargill, Counsellor - based at Falmouth Campus

We're all fully-qualified Counsellors and accredited members of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. And we're all pretty easy-going and fine people to talk to, even if we do say so ourselves!


Maryam Best, Counsellor

Maryam Best accreditation logos

I am a fully qualified counsellor/psychotherapist and supervisor with over 20 years' experience of counselling, working in higher education settings since 2007. I hold a Masters degree and a postgraduate diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy, specialising in relationships. My work is informed by Systemic and Psychodynamic theoretical models.

The Systemic model helps me keep in mind that:

  • Everyone deserves respect
  • There's a context to everything
  • There are many ways of looking at the same issue
  • Meanings are important
  • We are not islands and do affect each other
  • Making sense of our relationships and roles (past and present) can contribute hugely to our well-being

The Psychodynamic model helps me keep in mind that:

  • Trust is crucial for counselling to be helpful and it's my job to facilitate the right trusting conditions
  • Childhood experiences are powerful and affect us in ways we don't always understand or even notice
  • Our capacity for surviving difficult or even intolerable situations is so great that at times it can interfere with our capacity to relax and enjoy life
  • With therapeutic support we can become aware, reflective, respectful of ourselves and more in charge of our lives

Karen Jackson, Counsellor

Karen Jackson accreditation logos

I am a fully-qualified and experienced person-centred counsellor and psychotherapist and I work in an integrative way drawing on a wide range of approaches in counselling. I am particularly interested in how the body influences our psychological well-being, being a keen practitioner of yoga and how we use our creativity and imagination.

I have been with the University since 2001 working at both campuses.

I have a BSc(Hons) in Psychology, a Person-Centred Diploma in Counselling and Therapy, a Certificate in Counselling Supervision and I am an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (MBACP-accredited).

My previous counselling experience has included coordinating the counselling service for Cornwall Women's Refuge Trust and I have also worked as a counselling supervisor for Cornwall County Council Youth Service.

At the moment I am a group supervisor for trainee counsellors on the Cornwall College Diploma in Counselling and co-facilitate the Professional Development part of the Diploma. I also have a private supervision practice working with trainee counsellors who work for Sure Start, Cornwall Women's Refuge Trust and in local schools.

For me, counselling offers a place where we can be free to be our true selves without being judged and key to this is the relationship between the client and the counsellor.


Jeni Scargill, Counsellor

Jeni Scargill accreditation logos

I am a fully-qualified counsellor with over ten years' experience of working integratively. I use various approaches that are appropriate to the individual which often include art in its various formats. I believe a relationship based on mutual trust, respect and honesty is vital to the therapeutic process and in enabling the client to achieve their full potential both personally and professionally. My professional interest is in relating to the individual holistically and I have undertaken various professional development courses including Art Therapy and Colour Therapy.

I have a BA(Hons) in Counselling (Integrative), Higher National Diploma in Psychospiritual Counselling, Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling and a Certificate in Counselling for Learning and Development. I am a member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (MBACP-accredited). I relocated from Dorset where I was a staff counsellor at an NHS Foundation Trust hospital and also at a Foyer – a supported housing project – for young people aged 16–24 who are unable to live at home. Previously I was a student counsellor at the Arts Institute Bournemouth.

I believe that not only is counselling a therapeutic space for personal exploration and growth, it can also be a creative space to facilitate professional potential.