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THE   TEAM

Samantha Parker

Founder

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As a former artist manager, Sam has a 20+ year background

working directly with artists and creatives in the music

industry and as such has experienced first-hand the stresses

of a talent-driven environment.  

​In 2016, she co-founded Music Support - a charity for UK

music industry peoplesuffering from alcoholism, addiction

and emotional mental health problems and with the MMF,

co-wrote the first mental health guide for artist managers. 

​In 2018, she set up Parker Consulting and, inspired by Martha Kinn’s (Years & Years/MNEK) vision, created the award winning mental health &wellbeing service for YMU Music artists, managers and staff - the first of its kind.

​As a wellbeing consultant and speaker,  she has worked with  Universal, Believe, BIMM, ACM, Young, The National Theatre, BBC Introducing and the MMF on their Accelerator Programme, delivering psycho-educational workshops specifically addressing the complexities of the artist/manager relationship.

More recently she has co-authored the new MMF Manager’s Guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing (2021), and is now conducting a ground-breaking research project investigating the artist/manager relationship.

Always open about her own mental health journey and recovery over the last 5 years, Sam has been publicly involved in the ongoing industry conversation and has made frequent media and panel appearances.

​Sam is a registered One Spirit Interfaith coach and counsellor, having trained at Regent’s University London and the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation and is currently completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership Coaching with  Psychosynthesis Coaching and is a member of the  EMCC (European Coaching and Mentoring Council). She has a private practice in Great Portland Street, London, where she practices Transpersonal Counselling and Leadership Coaching, is fully insured and undergoes regular supervision.

Chula Goonwardene MBACP

Clinical Consultant

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I am a BACP registered therapist who spent his former years as a musician, starting as a classically trained pianist and violinist, becoming a self-taught guitarist and drummer, and then enjoyed a professional career in music during his 20’s.

I joined what evolved into North Westminster Drug & Alcohol Service, in the voluntary sector of the Substance Misuse field, in 2005; becoming a qualified Motivational Interviewing Practitioner and Advanced Group Facilitator, in addition to gaining an NVQ4 in Health & Social Care Management.

I have worked with over 500 clients in community-based treatment as a Drug & Alcohol Practitioner, before moving into Treatment Management, Training and Consultancy in 2010 and then qualifying as a Counsellor & Psychotherapist in 2014.

Alongside my private practice in Harley Street, consulting for Music Support, BLFCT and the Centre for Social Justice, writing for Intervene and lecturing at LSBU, I am currently the Operations Manager & Senior Counsellor at Steps2Recovery, and still finds time to play the drums regularly.

I come from a Buddhist family and use this philosophy to enhance both my personal and professional life.

 

Having worked in the music industry since the early 90’s and in the recovery field for the last 10 years, Matt provides unique service for those in the music industrystruggling with addiction and/or problematic substance use. 

 

Matt brings a combination of formal qualifications, over 30 years of professional experience, his own life experience, his natural empathy and discretion to bring a unique perspective and abilities to challenging situations. 

 

Matt provides facilitation, support, advocacy and mentoring to individuals and teams affected by addiction or mental health issues. He will work directly with the individual and as a core member of a team around the individual, to create and maintain a safe environment. He will ensure that the most appropriate support structure is in place around the individual and team, including clinical support and treatment where needed. 

 

For over 6 years, Matt has worked in this capacity with numerous artists suffering from addiction and/or mental health issues. His unique skillset is a combination of his previous 25 years in the music industry in major record labels, management, touring, and artist support, his lived personal experience of addiction and recovery in the music industry, and his knowledge, understanding and experience within the professional and para-professional addiction and mental health treatment community. 

 

Matt will help the individual express their needs, thoughts, feelings and position, and to communicate on their behalf if they do not feel able, or are unable, to do so themselves. Sometimes this will involve negotiating or mediating; facilitating and holding a dialogue between all affected parties. 

 

Matt will liaise with the management, security, tour management and production teams to create a community of support and best practice. 

 

Through understanding. communication and action designed to bring about change, Matt will help the individuals and teams to develop resilience and their own procedures so they can go back to operating independently as quickly as possible. 

He has significant experience with a diverse range of artists in many different situations from international stadium tours to grass roots venues tours and festivals, and organisations from small small to global companies. He has provided live-in services and consulted at a distance.

 

Matt is able to provide fast support and solutions in crisis situations, arrange for emergency treatment and build effective and sustainable support structures. 

Matt Thomas - Addiction Recovery Specialist

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