The Counsellor@ The Challenge of Excellence

Susan Kaye is a trained and qualified counsellor with more than 30 years in practice working with individuals, couples and families as well as with clients in the corporate sector and more recently youth counselling. She has worked with clients in the US, Japan, Brazil, Italy, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, UAE and China as well as on home ground in England.

Her expertise covers: personal and professional development; relationships and couples counselling; conflict management; long term family issues; low self-confidence and low self-esteem; sibling rivalry; change of life circumstances; loss; parenting teenagers; career change, and more.

In 1988 Susan took her expertise to the corporate sector when she founded The Challenge of Excellence where she has successfully practised in both a counselling, group/team coaching and mentoring capacity with president level executive teams and leaders of multi-national organisations. Her professional work in this area has involved: senior leadership and teamship advancement; values and strategic visioning for organisations and individuals; conflict management, feedback skills and coaching skills development; president level ‘retirement’ coaching / counselling with partners/spouses Preparing for a New Season; multi-cultural/strategic visioning for global organisations; entrepreneurship development.

Family Business Counselling and Advising   In 1995 Susan’s interests and work took her naturally into the field of family business counselling and consulting. She has worked internationally with multiple generations of families from founder level /2nd generation up to 6th generation large global family businesses, with founding sibling partnerships to cousin consortiums. Depending on their size, these highly private complex entities involve a range of multi-faceted and intricate relationships which are family, financially and professionally oriented and these can often cause conflicting loyalties based on perceived different objectives.

Susan enjoys and is experienced in helping these complex systems and the individuals within them ‘iron’ out and clarify their roles, identify personal dreams and objectives and then develop extended trust between them or heal broken trust. For larger family businesses, this work also involves intra-group (within the shareholder, family and or management team) and inter-group identification of purpose, values and visions with the endeavour to finally identify shared values and a shared vision (for the family and often differently for the business); at this time individuals and sub-groups can be ready for coaching on the harder issues of clear strategic direction and objectives setting which, although often identified with the help of external professionals, is somehow not being achieved. This is usually because family issues are getting in the way on both a conscious and subconscious level.

Family businesses are usually founded on ‘labours of love’ and this is indeed one way in which Susan would describe her own work over the years.

Mediation   Susan has been employing mediation skills for more than 30 years through her work with clients in conflict management and dispute resolution . More recently she formalised her passion for nurturing peaceful win/win solutions to disputes and is now a trained and qualified Civil & Commercial and Family Mediator. For more information please visit

Approaches & Methodologies   Over these years of experience and in working with thousands of different clients from all walks of life, backgrounds and cultures and in multiple settings, Susan has developed expertise in a range of specialised approaches to help her clients move forward and achieve desired change for a broad range of personal and professional issues and challenges. Susan’s philosophy is that different people respond best to different approaches at different times during a therapeutic or professional development process as well as during their different life stages. To this end Susan uses an integrative approach to counselling and all of her coaching and mentoring work.

Youth Entrepreneurship Education   During Susan’s professional career her clients would often say to her, ‘I wish I knew all this when I was young’. In 2007 Susan turned her attention to young people and using her experience in designing ‘experiential learning’ activities for the corporate world, designed and co-founded Tsu’Chu Biz, a 4-day course for 13-19 year olds that uses ‘play’ and the game of football to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and their personal development. With the belief that young people should learn about teamwork, and leadership and a sound work ethic while still in school, she wanted the course to give them the opportunity to experience the life education experience of entrepreneurship at an early age. For her this includes decision making; effective communication; negotiation and networking skills; maintaining a positive attitude, how to get up after a ‘failure’ and learn from it; how to give and receive feedback; how to manage money; master emotions; conduct research; work under pressure. Believing that you can ‘work at what you love’ is her underlying principle. Towards this end Susan has spent eight years in a voluntary capacity delivering this course for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds in more than 50 state schools, colleges and universities and to more than 1500 youngsters in the UK and internationally. This has been some of Susan’s most inspirational work to date and she continues to lobby Government to consider the course’s inclusion in the curriculum.

Susan’s most valuable and important goal is to grow a mutually trusting and respectful relationship with her clients so that she can do all she can to offer a learning process that stretches, supports and grows her client/s towards their desired goals.

Susan has two married daughters and five grandchildren.

Qualifications & Memberships   Susan is a Registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy*. She is a trained and qualified personal, couples’ and group counsellor holding a Diploma in Group Counselling through Relate in conjunction with the Institute of Group Analysis. Susan is a trained and qualified Civil & Commercial Mediator through the London School of Mediation and trained and qualified Family Mediator through the ADR Group (Alternative Dispute Resolution). She is a member of the Family Mediation Council and Family Mediation Association and is also trained and qualified in Child Inclusive Mediation. Susan is an accredited Family Business Adviser and Fellow of the Family Firm Institute (USA), an international organisation for professionals from the fields of law, finance, business management and the behavioural sciences that promotes the ethos of a multi-disciplinary approach to family business advising and consultancy. In 1993 Susan was asked to be part of FFI’s Task Force who worked on FFI’s original ‘Body of Knowledge’ book that defines and lays out best practice for professionals consulting in the field and for the benefit of families and their family businesses. Her areas of expertise lie in succession planning, conflict management, the identification of a family business’s strategic vision and values and the relationships between the members of the ‘three circles’ of family business; family members, family members in management and shareholders, including non-family members.

*British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is one of the first organisations to have its voluntary register assessed and accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, accountable to Parliament, the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (the Authority). Accreditation means that the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (formerly known as UKRCP) meets the Authority’s high standards in governance, standard-setting, education and training, management, complaints and information.


Face to face sessions take place at The Counsellor’s practice in Hampstead, North London. The Counsellor is also available to offer some sessions by Skype or phone or in some circumstances at a client’s private office if required and appropriate. Retreats take place at a mutually agreed venue after discussion.

Fees For information about fees, please contact us.