Meeting with me
It can feel a little daunting meeting a stranger for the first time to talk about difficult things. We worry about whether the other person will understand, and whether we'll be able to explain well enough.
We also worry about what the other person will think, if they'll think our problems or worries are significant enough, or silly.
Well, I absolutely assure you that there are no insignificant problems or issues, and that nothing that's robbing us of our peace of mind or emotional or psychological well-being is silly. There is no hierarchy here. Anything that is taking away your sense of ease and causing you stress, worry, emotional turbulence or mental pain is appropriate for therapy. And nothing is more important than for you to find relief and ease.
I have over 30 year's experience of working with individuals, couples, families, children & young people and groups. I have also been a lecturer and Postgraduate Counselling Diploma Course Director, and have taught, and supervised therapists in training, as well as practitioners in organisations and private practice during that time. I therefore bring a great deal of experience to our work together.
It feels important for us to have an initial session before committing to working with each other. That way, you get to meet me and have a chance to see how working with me feels; equally, I have the opportunity to assess properly what the issues it would be most helpful to address are, and to offer you some insights and thoughts about how we might best go about that.
If that sounds good to you, and you'd like to make an initial appointment, you can drop me a text or voicemail ( remember to leave your name ), email me or fill in the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Work together online
Sometimes, for whatever reason, face-to-face meetings are not what we're looking for. This is increasingly so since the recent covid pandemic, during which so many of us began working in a different way. Many of us found working online more convenient, and became far more comfortable interacting in this way.
While, therefore, face to face psychotherapy and counselling has perhaps in the past been the most recognised form of treatment, there are an increasing number of factors that may mean receiving counselling in another way could be a more appropriate option for you.
Working via Zoom, or WhatsApp, is now more common in my own practice than working face to face. It means that clients can still have sessions from their workspace, or when travelling, and not have to worry about traffic or childcare. It also makes it possible for a partner or family member who happens to be away or living elsewhere to take part in a joint session where that would otherwise be impossible. Since I also work with clients across the world, it also makes negotiating time zones much easier.
Online and telephone support
Online, email and telephone counselling, therefore, all offer individuals the same level of support and confidentiality as that of meeting face to face. However, it also offers a solution to some of the difficulties associated with receiving treatment in a traditional therapeutic setting.
These can include:
Counselling slots can become full. This is especially true for appointments that are in high demand, such as those in the evening and late at night. Online and telephone counsellors however may be able to offer a higher level of flexibility - therefore reducing the waiting time for treatment and making it more accessible.
These services mean that you are able to receive support from the comfort of your own home, or wherever it is that you are. This can be a hugely beneficial aspect for the following individuals in particular:
Housebound and/or disabled individuals.
Carers who are unable to take a break from their responsibilities even for a short time.
Parents who can't afford childcare.
Employees who travel frequently or are too busy to commit to regular face to face appointments.
People living in remote areas who are far from a therapist's office.
Clients with hearing impairment - instant chat and email counselling mean that an interpreter will not be required.
People in other parts of the world who would like to access a particular service
Students or clients who may have begun face-to-face therapy, but who then move elsewhere for a period of time but do not wish to take a break from therapy.
Sometimes, we feel uncomfortable turning up in person at a therapy practice. We worry about who might see us, or about bumping into people we know. Online therapy solves this problem. We communicate in privacy and from the comfort of our own home.
Sometimes, online counselling can be a first step to meeting face to face. Perhaps we find it difficult to leave the house due to anxiety, but we desperately want some help. Online counselling is a good beginning, and we can be helped gradually to build up sufficient confidence to speak on the phone, have a video session if we feel able to. Even, eventually, to make it out of the door and meet face-to-face.
Online chat for greater flexilibity
For some people, especially those who are particularly busy, or whose schedules are unpredictable, and for whom it is therefore far more difficult to make a regular time to meet, online chat can be an option worth considering.
Chat is normally by messenger or WhatsApp, but email can also work well. You can pay ahead for a set amount of time, and use that time to chat all in one sitting at a time convenient to us both - which can often be outside normal working hours - or you can take that time over several days, chatting and receiving a reply at times you find yourself free. A log is kept of the time used, and we'll keep you aware of how much there is left.
No matter what the problem, no matter what your circumstances, no matter where you are in the world, there will be a way for us to connect.
You can send a message on the contact form, and we can talk together about the different options you can choose from, and ways that we can together create the space to heal that you need.
It's helpful to bear in mind that we can often offer chat sessions or chat time outside of normal working hours, and so it's always worth sending a message on the contact form, telling us a little about what's troubling you, what you feel you need, and when you could be available.
We'll always get back to you, and everything you say is totally confidential and encrypted and won't be shared with anyone else.
Why not just go ahead and do it, and take that first step to getting yourself space to talk, or space to heal!
Making an appointment
Making an initial appointment is easy.
To leave a voicemail or send a text message asking me to contact you, or to explain a little of what is troubling you, please contact us on 07757 706426.
Alternatively, you can use fill out the contact form.
What to expect in your first session
I really do understand how nerve-wracking it can feel to talk with a total stranger for the first time, especially when we are feeling vulnerable or upset, and know we need help.
We worry about how to explain what's going on for us, and whether our therapist is going to understand.
We might worry that they will think we're making a fuss about nothing, or 'being silly.'
What if we get tearful, or feel overwhelmed or find it hard to get our words out?
It feels really important to say that all of these feelings and concerns are completely normal, and that everyone who comes along to see a therapist feels exactly this way.
It might also be helpful to say that I, too, have sat in your chair, many years ago now, with my own therapist, full of those same worries and anxieties. So I have a pretty good idea how you'll be feeling, and will very quickly help you to feel comfortable and put you at ease.
I won't categorise you or diagnose you with a tick box list. Quite the opposite: I'll see you as uniquely you, needing a correspondingly unique set of solutions, which suit your personality, circumstances and environment.
I'll help you talk about what's brought you, and help you to explore how things have got to where they are now, help you start to make some sense of what's going on, and towards the end I'll discuss with you what the best way forward seems to be.
This is an entirely equal process, I'll give you lots of input, and encourage you to reflect on what I'm saying and what you also think feels right.
Often, people feel able to decide straight away whether or not they'd like to come into therapy for a while, and we then negotiate together how long we'll work together for, and how.
Sometimes, however, people feel they'd like to go away and think about it, or to discuss it with their family. That is perfectly acceptable, and no pressure will be put on you in any way. All you have committed to is an initial session to meet and see if this is for you.
I will do our best to make that process as comfortable and useful as possible.
How much do sessions cost?
A 50 minute session costs £72.
Online chat is charged pro rata.
For reiki and other holistic therapies, please get in touch so that I can give you a fee for the specific treatment, and length of treatment, you would like.
"I contacted Janny because I was dreading going home for the holidays. I'm at Uni and at the time I was coming to the end of my first year. Things at home had been volatile for a long while, and after the freedom of Uni I was becoming more and more anxious about what going home for the summer vacation was going to be like. Both the Christmas and Easter breaks had gone badly, with arguments and tears, my Dad losing it and my Mum placating and trying to smooth things over, and my brothers and sisters bickering and winding each other up in an environment where everyone found it hard to get along somehow.
I was also increasingly aware that I had learned to be nervous around conflict, found it hard to let my guard down and let people see who I was in case they mocked or attacked me, amd that my family's way of being was getting in the way of my making really good, honest friendships or forming relationships where I could ease to trust the other person with my feelings. I didn't say what I really thought or what I was feelings, and that had actually lost me some friendships during the year, as other people got to know each other really well and I sort of got left behind. I also didn't know how to react to things I was unhappy about without snapping or making a sarcastic comment. All the habits my family had got into, I guess. I didn't know any other way. So I wanted some help with that.
What was great was that we had three sessions face to face leading up to the end of term, amd then we moved to weekly Skype sessions throughout the vacation period. Jannu gradually helped me to look at why my family worked the way it did, and I found increasingly that I could think about the dynamics in a different way. Instead of seeing 'bickering' I began to see the way no one really listened to each other properly. And because I was there in the middle of it all, I could bring situations or incidents that had happened and unravel them with Janny in our Skype sessions and come up there and then with other strategies or new things to try.
It wasn't just that, though. We talked surprisingly deeply about me and who I was and what I'd known, amd how those experiences had taught me to react to things and to see the world. I got pretty upset once or twice as I remembered occasions I had completely forgotten, and it was such a relief to talk them out and shed some different light on them. I hadn't expected that a Skype session could be so powerful, but with my headphones in, it was every bit as powerful and comfortable as being actually in the room with Janny.
I'm doing a degree in Business and Marketing, and I would say that Janny's USP is that she calms you by going straight to the heart of the matter, in a way that makes you feel so completely understood and heard that you feel instantly at peace, because you don't have to fight to make her get it. I realise as I say this that her ability to get it, to put complex feelings in ways that instantly communicated just how fully she had grasped all the different elements of what I'd been trying to explain, was in such contrast to the battles in my own family, where we were constantly misunderstanding each other, and becoming frustrated because of that.
One great spin off from this was that I learned how to listen and to communicate in a better way, and I started to use those better techniques within my family while I was at home. What was brilliant to see was how, when I used them, people suddenly relaxed and climbed down and actually tried to have a proper conversation. It feels really emotional when I think of that, like there's some hope that I never thought I'd feel that I can get along with my family in a new way, and that they will respond. It's like my whole family has been touched by therapy, even though it was only me and Janny doing the talking.
I still see Janny now I'm back at Uni, because I realise I'm excited to keep growing and learning and building on all this. It's been an amazing summer, and I'm so looking forward to daring to be me more and more as I go into my second year! I know it's going to be such a different year!"