Jan Ryan,

Counsellor

MBACP
BPS
BSc(Hons)

So why go to counselling?

“I hate my job, I hate my life”

With my background in further education, I have plenty of firsthand insights into how the experience of education and re-training can revive old difficulties that hold us back and influence self-worth. Counselling provides time and space in which to untangle and understand our contradictions.

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Death

“Families, who needs them”

“I have no motivation. When I try, I give up”

“I have a lot of stress and it is making me physically ill”

“Past trauma is still with me”

“I cannot get on with people”

“I feel so unhappy and I don’t know why”

Bereavement, considering ending a partnership, difficult relationships with siblings, new to parenting... what is it within you that places you where you are now? How can we change what is within you? When we change ourselves, others cannot help but change how they relate to us.

Smoking, weight loss, fear, avoiding what we want... ... change somewhere deep inside you might be needed. I have seen many clients effect such a change within, and then go on to take charge of their lives in the direction they want. By the way, I don’t believe in miracle cures!

There is increasing evidence that a mindful awareness of body, soul and being, can make a huge difference to this sort of issue. Having studied neurobiology, I have a great respect for the mind-body link and also for the medical profession. I am very happy to work with clients in this situation, and strongly believe that counselling needs to work in conjunction with, not in place of, medical treatment.

We are often discouraged from expressing words and feelings about death whether it’s bereavement, coming to terms with our own end of life or profound feelings of wanting to commit suicide. These are areas in which I have supported many clients to clarify and express their feelings and thoughts and to find a positive acceptance and their own way forward.

Counselling provides time, privacy and support in exploring traumatic memories and their legacy. For me, the idea is to empower clients to take charge of their own history rather than feeling as if the past overshadows the present.

I have many years experience of teaching health and social care units in further education, many of which emphasise interpersonal skills and communication. These are best taught in context but counselling is an essential reflexive tool. The more honest about ourselves we can be the more we can learn!

Persistent feelings of generalized grief, boredom, depression, self-loathing... there are many roundabout ways in which we try to tell ourselves something we don’t really want to know about. As a psychodynamic counsellor, I firmly believe in fully recognizing such feelings and finding ways to constructively answer them.