About me

Welcome to my profile…

I currently have some availability in my practice in South Bristol

I have worked with a wide range of people over the years in the course of my vocation as a childbirth doula, in psychotherapeutic counselling and workshops for drug, alcohol and gambling addiction services, and in my own private counselling practice. The nature of my work and life experiences have drawn me to creating space for people to sit with themselves and help them bear witness to sometimes very deep emotional (or physical) pain.

My approach to counselling

The most important aspect of this work is that it feels like a collaboration between you and me and that you can feel comfortable and safe within the counselling relationship.

The work is client-centred in that it focuses on what you would like to bring to your sessions to talk about. Within this basic framework, I may draw on different modalities of counselling work that I feel would be helpful for you.

For example, some clients wish to come to counselling to be witnessed, with a minimum of reflection from me in the form of words, so that they can disentangle their thoughts and feelings and understand their emotional responses through listening to themselves give voice to them.

I may invite/encourage you to keep a journal or offer suggestions of books that you might find useful and interesting to read in between sessions. This is helpful as it adds depth and breadth to the work we are doing in sessions, and in this way you can have support with this ongoing inner process.

I believe that it is very important to learn how to be present for ourselves in the moment. This is useful not only in sessions, but is an essential skill to draw on in our lives, and so I encourage an awareness of mindfulness and how this can be cultivated.

At the start of our work together, I would seek to take a history of the important aspects of your life story, and the people in it, and why you are choosing to come for counselling at this point in time. This is important so that I can get a sense of who you are, where life has taken you on your journey so far, and so that I can have a map with which we can work together.

All of our work together is subject to review, and I would encourage a review of the counselling process every several sessions to evaluate how it is working for you, and whether you feel satisfied that you are getting out of it what you came for.

Training, qualifications & experience

Some of the experiences and qualifications which inform my approach to counselling-

B.A. Hons Zoology.

Childbirth Doula/ Menstrual health educator / Prenatal yoga instructor - with The Holistic Birth Trust Foundation and Relaxed Birth And Parenting.

Shamanic Practitioner Trainings with The Warrior in The Heart Foundation and Brigit Healing Centre

Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (cpcab accredited) and registered with BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

Advanced Diploma in working therapeutically with Eating Disorders and Nutritional Interventions with National Centre for Eating Disorders

I started my professional life in academia, as a zoologist, following a life long fascination and sense of deep connection with Nature.

Realising that there was no practical future for me here, but still using my knowledge and interest in biology I trained and worked as a childbirth doula, and menstrual health practitioner and as a shamanic practitioner. During this time I started to train as a psychotherapeutic counsellor too, and followed this journey to qualifying and working as a counsellor and also assisting and teaching on counsellor trainings.

More recently, my mental health based trainings have included workshops with n-science looking at early relational trauma and how this plays out in or lives, and a Diploma in Working with Eating Disorders, and Nutritional Interventions for Eating Disorders.

Member organisations

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.

Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.

All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Spiritual emergency/emergence, Miscarriage and stillbirth , Post-natal Depression, Caesarean childbirth, Plant spirit work integration, Shamanic experiences

Therapies offered

  • Cognitive and behavioural therapies
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Other therapies
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Psychosynthesis
  • Transpersonal psychology

Fees

£50.00 per session
Free initial telephone session

Concessions offered for

  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

Fees are £50 for an hour session.

Availability

Contact office hours 9-5 on Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday

Also some evening appointment times available.

Early bird appointment times available by negotiation.

Further information

What is counselling?

Sometimes in life we may experience things that are deeply life changing, and yet it is difficult for us to contain these experiences.

These events might include major life changes such as bereavement, and this can be of any human life, including the life of a baby lost through miscarriage or abortion, or the life of a much loved animal companion.
They may be losses or changes of other kinds, such as loss of a job or an important relationship, or way of living.
In these instances, counselling can provide a space to grieve and give witness to your feelings and the fullness of flow of your emotional experience of loss and change.

It is so important, particularly at times of emotional stress, to feel that somebody ‘gets’ us, that we make sense to another person, that somebody sees and understands us.

Humans are social beings- it is an impulse from our earliest days and weeks, to seek connection with another, to want and need to be understood, so that we can have our needs met, and later on in life, so that we can meet the needs of others too.

If we are lucky, we may have friends and family that can support us through these events- but sometimes it doesn’t feel appropriate to share our deepest feelings with friends and family.

Perhaps this is because they too are involved, because we do not feel wholly understood by them, or because we would not choose to share the depth of our thoughts and feelings and inner emotional experiences with them.

We may fear being judged, or that sharing certain things would be damaging to, or change the dynamic of our relationships, or would be overwhelming for that loved one or friend to hear. So it can feel safer to share these with a professional who is in a neutral position and is trained to work with depth and breadth of emotional experience and expression.

Some benefits of counselling

I see counselling as a process, a journey into your self.

The more we can understand and know who we truly are in relationship to ourselves, the better we can develop trust in and compassion for ourselves. We find out who we are in relationship by relating to others.

The counselling relationship gives you a reflective space in which you can listen to your own thoughts and witness your feelings and emotions expressed in your own words, gestures and tears, and receive reflections from another person holding a non-judgemental and compassionate mirror for you.

Out of this process of talking and listening and reflection, we can find out on a deeper level, what it is that makes us feel the way we do about life.

We can find out what makes us feel happy, sad, angry, upset, anxious or depressed. Often we have learned to suppress the expression of these so called ‘negative’ feelings and emotions, perhaps out of a tendency to want to fit in, not to be shamed or be a burden for someone else or even to ourselves.

This may have happened at a young age so that we do not remember having made these choices that can stay with us long into adult life.
But feelings and emotions are important signals about what is really happening for us below the surface. They give us important information about our responses to events in our lives; and how our thoughts and feelings are the motivating forces behind our behaviours.

Having the space to unpack and unravel the causes of these feelings, emotions and the stories behind them, can help us to see more clearly what patterns of thoughts and actions are helpful to us, that we want to cultivate in our lives going forward, and which don’t serve us and that we can work to change and let go of.

So often, we are obliged to look outwards, at what we need to do in order to make our lives work from a practical, physical, financial (and so on) level. Counselling gives us the opportunity to look inwards, to devote time to ourselves.

We may have been conditioned to think that this is in some way selfish, or that only people with debilitating mental health issues should, or need to come for counselling.

But if we had a constant, nagging physical pain or issue, we would likely see if we can resolve it ourselves, and then if not, consult a professional medical or healthcare practitioner. In fact, it need be no different for our mental health, and arguably just as important for our overall well being and happiness. As we are complex wholistic beings - understanding and addressing mental stress and lack of happiness are part of our whole health.

In counselling, my intention is to act as your best advocate for your journey to meet yourself more closely through the work- but the steps are yours to take. As such I would seek to walk alongside you at your pace and witness with you the places in your inner emotional landscape that it feels helpful for you to visit or re-visit by talking about and remembering them.

During the counselling process, many clients find that they learn to become their own counsellor, through modelling and adapting the way we work together in sessions and can learn how to ask themselves the questions that are most helpful for them.

Clients can become their own best advocate and friend as they come to recognise and silence their inner critic as they learn how to view themselves with compassion and understanding rather than harsh judgement. In this way, a counselling that happens over a period of weeks or months can have benefits that will last a lifetime.

Bristol
Somerset
BS3

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Adults
Older adults

Key details

Steps up to front door of house, sorry no wheelchair access.

Jax Allen

Jax Allen