At Banish the Crows the person will always be recognised as the sole focus and the most important element in the therapeutic process.
My commitment and passion for ‘good mental health for all’ is longstanding. Establishing Banish the Crows in 2017 is a personal highlight after a lengthy and credible career working in various organisations. My aspiration in creating Banish the Crows is to work directly for the person sitting in front of me, rather than through an organisation and their many protocols, policies, and procedures. I believe that by offering my help and skills in this way that there will be less hurdles and barriers to achieving what you, the client want and need – contrasted with what an organisation want and need as part of the therapy equation.
A Registered Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and through this registration a therapist accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), I work one-on-one with clients using a personal, relationally-based, or existential approach. I will also work with ‘couples’ or jointly with individuals, for example two family members. Whilst I have ambition to develop Banish the Crows and the resources that it could offer, I instinctively want it to remain small and intimate, focused on achieving a high-quality, personalised service, rather than growing a large scale business that moves away from its core aims and loses its soul.
Taking the step to ask for help, to make sense of things – to book to see a counsellor or psychotherapist, is a somewhat ‘big deal’.
As a integrative psychotherapist I describe my grounded therapy style as existential. Existential theory operates from the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to that individual’s confrontation with the givens of their existence and their so-called ‘being-in-the-world’. In this sense, I believe that:
The way in which I think and work means that there are strong elements of a particular type of existential therapy incorporated into my style – this is called logotherapy and is concerned with finding and making meaning in our lives where we feel there is none; where meaning may have been lost, or life’s meaning is obscured by things that have happened to us. This regardless of age or stage of life.
Making the decision to access therapy was easy - taking that leap and making the appointment was a hurdle that I knew I needed to overcome. Typing the email to enquire about an appointment felt like a relief but then the anxiety set in. By the time I arrived at the car park for my initial appointment I couldn't breathe but as soon as I came face to face with Jem and sat in the cozy chair I was relieved and knew that I was in the right place and with the right counsellor. Initially, all I could do was cry, I felt completely broken and lost. The sense of not knowing who I am or where I belong was immense. The first session went really quick but inside I felt a glimmer of hope - I felt that maybe I could survive my problem and I just needed time to "empty my head"; time to think about all the missing pieces of the jigsaw ("my life"), and how to make some sense of "what's going on". Believe me, I truly have started to heal but it's been a challenge. I have made some decisions in my life that deep down I knew I needed to make - I just needed to know that if I was going to face them then someone would be there to 'catch me'. I am still in therapy and continue to feel that although progress has been made I still need to discover "me" but I am well on the road to recovery. It's been quite a journey but do you know what...I survived and I am resilient!
I cannot recommend Jeremy highly enough. When I first started counselling I was off sick from work and my GP had prescribed medication and suggested talking therapy as I was feeling distressed and overwhelmed by difficult events in my life. I was very nervous before my first session, but Jeremy managed the sessions so well that I was soon able to develop a trusting, supportive relationship with him. The therapy provided me with a confidential safe place where I was listened to and encouraged to talk about how I was feeling without feeling insignificant or judged. As the therapy continued I felt able to return to work, and Jeremy talked through how I would manage when the therapy came to an end leaving me feeling more able to deal with difficult situations. Thanks to the support from Jeremy, my self-esteem and confidence have improved allowing me to make changes to address my issues and look positively to the future. I would give a star rating of five (excellent) for the services offered at Banish the Crows.
I was experiencing some difficulties in my family relationships following a recent, close bereavement. I had never thought of counselling psychotherapy before but I was at a very low ebb. Banish the Crows was recommended to me by a friend who thought that Jeremy and I would be a good fit and through our work together he encouraged me to be less critical and more accepting of myself. I felt entirely comfortable to open-up and be honest during the process as I did not feel that Jeremy was judging me in any way. I particularly liked when he checked in on me between appointments. Those short interactions would make me smile during the most difficult of days. I am still not entirely sure what psychotherapy is but I do know that I am very pleased that I took the plunge and gave it a go. My difficulties remain but I feel in a better position to deal with them.
My experience has been very positive - it has given me the confidence to realise that my behaviour is normal. Life is difficult for most people and whilst I have had a lot of bad things happen I have survived and and become a better person with the help of Jeremy to guide me. Thank you.
Being strong and trying harder had always worked for me in the past and I'd done okay in life. However, that no longer worked when I was thrown into a long drawn out redeployment situation - I could no longer be strong, and trying harder led me to burnout. At the first meeting with Jeremy I wondered why I'd thought that therapy would be a good idea ? I didn't need this - other people needed this not me! Talking about the past wouldn't be helpful - I just needed to regain control and get on with it. However, Jeremy convinced me that we would work well together - he was warm, genuine and non-judgmental. So I talked, swore, cried, and laughed as well and I felt like I was being heard, believed and 'held' by him. We considered how the situation that I found myself in was a period of what he called acute thrown-ness, and how my past experiences were influencing the here and now. By believing in me, Jeremy helped me to believe in myself and that counselling wasn't just for other people. I would recommend him to anyone experiencing a period of thrown-ness in their lives, especially those who do not think they need support.
I have received treatment from Jeremy for a depression, he was always kind, considerate and trustworthy. Above all, I felt that he had a depth of understanding, in a non-judgmental way. It was a pleasure to meet him. I would recommend him to anybody that needs a safe haven to speak about and release the demons.
The environment Jeremy created helped me to openly become the most ‘me’ version of me and that changed my life in a way that nothing else had (or has). Jeremy did so much more than listen - he heard then supported me to work with my difficulties. Doing this by creating a ‘safe space’ for me, free of any sort of judgment, where I felt comfortable and therefore able to talk about past and current issues; some of which I had never felt able to talk about before. My childhood experiences were at the centre of everything before I met him and all anyone else; other therapists, talked about with me, and whilst this was important I felt so stuck and unable to move forward. Of course, those childhood experiences shaped me, who I am, but they also stopped me from being who I could be. We were able to explore these issues and see them in different and often more positive ways, helping me to move forward with my life now. Ultimately, Jeremy gave me hope - that things could be different for me, that they could change and that I too, could evolve myself.
I referred myself for counselling in 2016 following my husband being diagnosed with lung cancer; Stage 3, so this meant that he was palliative. It was a huge shock for us both - my husband couldn't handle it and became very angry. We had a difficult relationship to start with, so with this thrown into the mix i just couldn't cope. This is when Jeremy came into my life. As soon as I met him I felt I'd known him all my life. He was so polite and professional. I was able to just pour everything out. He even helped me to look at my childhood and was able to offer to me some reasons as to why things were the way they were. I was able to find myself, it was like everything had become clear - I'd found ME and at the age of 61 it was no easy task. Unfortunately my husband passed away shortly after I'd finished therapy, and thanks to Jeremy, I'm a much stronger and positive person. I could not have got through it without him. I would highly recommend Jeremy. He is a very supportive and welcoming person. I still can't believe how he helped me to sort my life out.