Interview with Rina Malin, of the HELP Counselling Centre

Our Curator this week is Rina Malin, a renowned Psychotherapist and Counsellor.  Rina has teamed up with one of DEBUT’s artists Veronica Rowlands for the Dream Ball Art Auction in aid of Dream Research Institute and HELP Counselling Centre, which we will be held tonight, 7th March 2014, 7.00-10.00pm at the RR Gallery in St Peter’s Church.

For further information about the event, please see and contact Rina Malin at to find out how to get some of the last tickets left!

Dream Ball

We prepared two different features with Rina and Veronica to explore further how art and imagery can be used as a gateway to the unconscious.

Read below Rina Malin’s Q&A and learn more about her favourite Debut Artworks. 

1. How did you get involved with Dream Ball Art Auction in the first place?

Mary Zeimer, HELP Director, approached me to take the lead on the art. She knew me from HELP and CCPE and felt keen to have a local resident involved in the project.

2. What’s the objective of the event?

HELP has an annual fundraising event to celebrate the service’s charitable registraFon and to bring together local residents, supporters, and volunteers for a great evening. HELP has a satellite at St. Peter’s and the church contains the RR Gallery, with their generous support it has become the natural home for this event. They like to use the plaKorm to raise the charity’s profile in the borough so that others can learn about HELP, use it, refer people to it, and support it. Because HELP uses an Integrative approach to counselling with an emphasis on therapeutic dreamwork, this year, the charity has combined forces with the Dream Research Institute, London, to put together the event.

3. What does the charity do and how does it support its beneficiaries?

We are a local charity quietly doing a great deal of good work supporting the local community by providing affordable, accessible counselling. 60% of our referrals come from local GPs who recognise us as an essential supplemental service to the NHS. We are unique in that we offer support across a spectrum of issues. We are about enabling people to turn crises and challenges into opportunities. But the clients say it best: “It provided me with a safe place to grieve, express my feelings and find my voice. I feel it saved my life, giving me hope, strength and inner resources.”

It has truly been my lifeline. I feel I have done so much healing and reined in all of my anxieties. I’ve noticed huge changes in my self-confidence. I feel like I can do so much more with my life. I actually have a life I enjoy now rather than a self-destructive existence. My counsellor really helped me understand myself and how to deal with life, move forward. This is a new me.

4. How long have you been involved with the charity?

Since 2004.

5. How does art fit into it all?

Our therapeutic work focuses a lot on imagery as a gateway to the unconscious. Working with the clients personal imagery has proven to be a highly effective medium for healing. Incorporating an art sale and a display of pieces generated by our work feels an appropriate and congruent way in which for us to raise the funds and awareness necessary to carry on our work. The RR Gallery at St. Peter’s Church is situated in the mezzanine of this very beautiful church. The art is hung in between the gorgeous stained glass windows, beautifully lit, it is an ideal space to showcase the art.

6. How much money are you hoping to raise on the night?

A little bit goes a long way at HELP. We had a donor who gave us a £50,000 grant in 2011 and we still have nearly half as we have re-invested it wisely in the service. Would anyone out there care to match that grant ? £50,000 will cover 2 years rent and enable the service to build a nest egg. The event is generating a lot of buzz…

7. As our guest curator, could you possibly tell us which 10 artworks by 10 Debut artists you would love to add to your personal art collection

‘Hope To Dream’ and ‘The Innocence’, by Ella Prakash

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‘The Revenge Of Sir Thomas Quincy’ by Alexandre Piacsek


‘Enveloped’ by Stephen Charlton


‘The Lady With The Purple Hair’, ‘Baby Blue’ by Helena Hotzl


‘Red’, ‘Dance’ by Agnieszka Koczot

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‘Once In A Dream’, ‘Sleeping Doll’ by Veronica Rowlands

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8. In our conversation, you mentioned that your community centre charges its clients for counselling as opposed to offering it for free. We share the same view that when one pays for services, s/he expects more, gets engaged more, develops and learns more which is the reason artists pay £400+ a month to develop professionally at Debut. Did you find the same in your practice?

Absolutely, for all the reasons you stated. We base our fees on a sliding scale, roughly speaking £1 for each £1000 income per annum. Counselling is as effective as the commitment to the process. In our culture the currency of measure for commitment is time and money so that is the model we work with.

9. Last but not least, how did you come across Debut artist Veronica Rowlands and why did you choose her work for the art auction?

In Michael & Rona Steinberg’s beautiful home cum mad pop up art gallery. I was enchanted by her red haired girl. Imagine my delight when she so enthusiastically came on board.

Read also Veronica Rowland’s interview. Click here!




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