Following the death of her son in Syria in 2015, Nicola Benyahia founded the counselling organisation Families For Life. She is a fully qualified, registered BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) Counsellor with specific experience in mental health, brain injury and most recently working and counselling young people aged 14 to 25 years old.
Families For Life aims to support families through the psychological and counter radicalisation process. She hopes, through her organisation, to support and empower families to combat the shame of radicalisation and provide them with a platform for their voices to be heard. As a mother personally affected by the impact of violent radicalisation process in her own family, she decided to give her own experiences a voice and stepped forward for other families facing similar problems.
Through her own personal quest to better understand the radicalisation process, she attended specialist de-radicalisation family counselling training in Netherlands with Daniel Koehler (German Institute of Radicalisation and de-radicalisation Studies), researcher and pioneer in the field of counter-terrorism. She has since built international links with a community of individuals, families and agencies who are all collaboratively working to combat and counter radicalisation. In order to raise greater awareness on the subject, she has since provided talks on the subject at conferences and on the radio and TV in the UK, France, Netherlands, Brussels and most recently Jordan.
Although Families for Life primarily focuses on providing support to families and individuals affected by radicalisation, it also offers a range of other supportive services with specialism in the following areas:
-Bereavement & Loss
-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Based in the UK, Families For Life offers support in a number of ways:
- Face to face counselling therapy: Sometimes a quiet space with someone who really understands the issue is just what we need to get us through. With Families for Life individuals can receive one-to-one, couple or group therapy sessions with an experienced, highly-trained counsellor.
- Telephone counselling: Counselling by phone is similar to traditional face –to –face counselling. It provides a private window in which you can talk one-to-one with a therapist about issues affecting your life.
- Skype counselling sessions: If you think you would benefit from seeing a counsellor, but know that you would struggle to fit a series of face-to-face sessions into your busy schedule, online counselling via Skype might be the best choice for you.
- Home visit counselling: Our home visit service is there for the elderly, those who may be unable to attend our office due to physical or medical disability, child care issues, and anyone preferring the comfort of their own home.
- Outreach work: raising awareness among parents, friends and professionals of the personal impact of radicalisation on a family through tailored-made workshops, training, presentations to schools, colleges, children’s services and community/faith organisations.