All registered counsellors and psychotherapists will have spent some time in 'the other chair' - as a minimum, our extensive training and personal development requires this.
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.
I am a Registered Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (MBACP) 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 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 credible, high-quality, personalised service.
2020 COVID-19 TIER 4 RESTRICTIONS – JANUARY 2021
Existing and prospective clients should click here for information about the provision of therapy during increased local restrictions to prevent the contamination of coronavirus in the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent area. The information contained should be read in-conjunction with the Be Aware / Prevent statement and guidelines published by us in August 2020 (see link, below).
2020 COVID-19 PANDEMIC – BE AWARE / PREVENT (AUGUST 2020)
Please click here for information about the reopening of Banish the Crows’ therapy space at St. James House, Longton from 8 July 2020. This statement supersedes earlier communications published below and was updated on 1 August 2020 and outlines COVID-Secure measures that have been introduced at Banish the Crows as a means of preventing contamination of coronavirus.
CLINICAL SUPERVISION AT BANISH THE CROWS
From 1 September 2020 the provision of Clinical Supervision for established counsellors and psychotherapists, those who are more recently qualified, and therapists in-training who are registered as student members of the BACP (or other registering bodies) is now available. All qualified and student therapists are required to access a minimum number of supervised hours per calendar month – BACP registered and accredited members should click here to find out more about these requirements. For more information, rates and availability please contact us using the ‘Get in Touch’ button on this page or by email: email@example.com.
PERSONAL THERAPY (COUNSELLING PSYCHOTHERAPY STUDENTS)
IF YOU ARE A STUDENT IN COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN ACCESSING PERSONAL THERAPY
Personal therapy helps therapists in-training (student counsellors and psychotherapists) to learn about themselves; to become more able to reflect honestly on themselves; be more empathic with others; able to understand their feelings, and make sense of how the theory they are learning relates to practice. It is also valuable through experiencing therapy from the client’s perspective and helps established and newly qualified therapists as well as students to cope with issues and emotions raised when offering therapy to others. Banish the Crows offers personal therapy to students needing to complete personal therapy as part of their course study requirements. If unsure, students should speak to their course leader to establish whether personal therapy is a mandated requirement of study.
For more information, rates and availability please contact us using the ‘Get in Touch’ button on this page or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 an integrative psychotherapist I describe my grounded therapy style as ‘humanistic-existential’. I am (also) strongly ‘relational’ in my work; a style that places great emphasis on the relationship between client and therapist and is invested in the need for therapeutic intimacy and ‘engaging real’ between the two people (therapist as well as client). My belief is that this way of ‘being-with’ will ultimately produce the most effective and enduring outcome for the client. Existential therapy 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 thinking incorporated into my style, which 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.
My experience with Jem was amazing. I have been able to grow as a person. Mentally I am in a completely different mindset in how I view things in life. Going to a therapist is not a negative thing and if and when I need to go back I’ll view it positively.
My time with Jeremy has supported me through some very difficult times. I have found our sessions have helped me work through many difficult experiences that have been impacting on my mental health for many years. I feel I have grown as a person and am able to understand myself and my responses to experiences more clearly. I would recommend Jeremy at Banish the Crows for anyone who needs to be seen and heard by an authentic and empathic guide.
I can not recommend Jem more highly. I have felt held by him throughout my process. His wisdom and insight have enabled me open up to explore and express the shadow parts of myself I hoped I would be able to and more importantly, share. Jem provided a safe, supportive place like no other. I achieved everything I wanted to, and much much more.
I initially contacted Jeremy on recommendation from a colleague who was also going through a divorce. I found Jeremy to be a great listener who spoke to me on my level of understanding so I could navigate my way to the next chapter of my life. One chapter that could have be more unpleasant was navigated through with ease due to Jeremy's support and guidance. He was a supportive therapist and I felt comfortable and ultimately came out of the other end with a positive outlook for my future.
Jem helped me to gain insight into who I was and what I had become and then helped me to build the confidence to use the tools we made together. My first positive experience with a therapist.
This was my first experience with psychotherapy. I had undergone some counselling in the past but before this was unaware with the difference. And it couldn’t have been more different. When I was looking for a psychotherapist, I began asking around my friends and Banish the Crows (Jeremy) came up a few times and my friends couldn’t have sung his praises enough. This was enough for me. I booked a session. I didn’t know what was involved or how it would work or even if it would be a good fit for me. From enquiring and then booking, the whole experience was relaxing and gave me nothing but confidence. The pre-session literature was clear and easy to understand. From the first session it was clear that Jeremy was a perfect fit. We just clicked. This was crucial for me in order to open up and ultimately gain from the whole experience and grow and gain. I felt supported, understood and listened to. I appreciated every moment of it as it gave me lots to reflect and build on. As a result, after each session I would go away and work on what we had covered. I also felt connected at all times with Jeremy, even when not in the room or session. Jeremy is a beautiful human and this is clear. I felt so at ease with him and therefore it came through in my sessions. I would not hesitate to recommend Jez and Banish the Crows to anyone and have already been telling all my friends. My activity finished a few months ago when I realised that I had come to the end of my journey and made huge progress. I have the skills and a deeper understanding of myself and I have the tools I need to continue. However, I know the door is always open and I wouldn’t hesitate to book another session, further down the line. To this day I feel supported and that's more then anyone could ever ask for. Thank you, Ben x
I have had numerous therapists within my lifetime. My therapy with Jeremy though has been the best I have ever received. I immediately felt comfortable and understood. If I ever need therapy again in the future, I will definitely be using Banish the Crows.
Jem enabled me to have far greater insight about myself, those close to me and difficult situations. He increased my confidence and helped me feel better about myself, as a person. For this I am truly grateful.
I'm grateful for the part that Jem played in helping me to be better equipped to resolve the issues that I needed to address in my life and relationships. We worked together for just over a year and gradually met less as my situation improved. I felt listened to and the relationship that developed meant that it felt like we worked together and I felt like a partner in therapy rather than a client.
Lynne provided me with excellent support, understanding and strategies to improve my life. We could talk freely about my issues and feelings and devise strategies to combat the negative behaviours.
I felt Lynne was very warm, approachable and understanding. She was able to help me understand how things that have happened in my childhood have affected the way I think, feel, act and behave now. In doing so I have greater self awareness and more confidence, courage and am more inclined to challenge things I would normally just accept. Lynne was none judgmental, empathetic and I felt comfortable and able to confide in her. I will definitely approach Lynne in the future should I need to.
My time with Banish the Crows was really valuable. For the first time I was able to discuss difficult issues, some of which were quite buried, and then learn to understand them and the effect they were having on me. I highly recommend.
I had a brilliant experience with Banish The Crows and felt comfortable to talk about anything with my therapist. She was warm, engaging, non judgmental. I felt she really listened to me and referenced and reflected on things I had said which helped me develop and resolve my issues. I would highly recommend and will definitely use again in the future if I need to.
Life can be pretty tough at times, it can throw you some rotten curveballs and break you into bits. After the death of my beloved mum and various other things that were thrown into the mix too, my life got turned upside down and inside out. I could not make sense of anything. We are not born with certain coping techniques and trying to go it alone sometimes doesn’t do us good in the long run, we need help and support. There is nothing wrong in that. Booking into see Jeremy was the first steps I took to attempt to get my life back on track. Working with Jeremy, I felt no judgment, I knew I was in a safe environment and his sole purpose was to help me survive and that was such a comfort knowing he was in my corner and no matter what I always felt supported. I’ve managed to accept what has happened (even though I don’t like it) - I have accepted it. I was in a very dark place for quite sometime and through my sessions with Jeremy, over time, I have been able to grow in confidence and start to enjoy my life again. I am still me but, a different version now. I’m now someone who wants to actually get up and get dressed and 'show up'. I want to look forward not backward and I want to be present. Jeremy helped me achieve that. Thank you Jeremy for helping me to bring colour back into my life - I will be forever grateful.
I cannot speak highly enough of Lynne Harmon at Banish the Crows and how she has helped and supported me these past 8-9 months. I have sought therapy in the past to deal with unprocessed, traumatic/upsetting past events. However, I often found it difficult to find a therapist who I could connect with on a human level and someone I felt had a genuine interest in me and helping me achieve understanding, acceptance and contentment. Lynne navigated me through the, at times, difficult landscape with unconditional acceptance, warmth and positive regard. She has helped me achieve so much and I feel that her support has opened up new levels to my understanding of myself and unlocked my potential to learn, love and embrace myself as a person who is good enough as I am and to enjoy being me. I would recommend Banish the Crows to anybody who is not only in need of immediate emotional support, but also to those who wish to learn more about themselves and release their full potential with compassionate and unconditional support and acceptance. Thank you so much Lynne and Banish the Crows.
Initially I started therapy with my husband. Marriage counselling was truly one of the hardest things I've ever done but with Jem's help and support to us both we are stronger than ever. Me and my husband are back to being best friends, soul mates and united. Following on from couples therapy I started one to one sessions with Jem. I had lots of unresolved issues from my childhood/teens. Everything in my head was scrambled, as if the wires were all in the wrong place, not to mention coming to terms with an invisible physical disability. Two and a half years later I'm amazed to say I feel whole, I accept myself for me and I'm happy! Without Jem's time, patience and empathy I couldn't have reached this state of mind and clarity. I was given space to explore, question myself and most of all I felt safe to do so. What was also surprising was I had a feeling of reassurance outside the counselling room which helped me to cope. It's been a long journey for me but I cannot express enough how precious this time has been and that it has been life changing. Thank you Jem.
Lynne walked alongside me, a companion to my journey. She was witness to my testimony. She never judged me, she appeared to want to know me and understand me. And that enabled me to understand me and to begin to know myself.
My experience with Jem has offered me the time, contemplation and re-connection with myself - my true self. Jem was very welcoming and easy to talk to about my life experiences, something that I would usually find difficult. This professional guidance and understanding I feel has allowed me to start becoming the person I always was. It's been a wonderful process and something I wish to continue with myself. Jem has also invited me back any time I may need support.
I approached Banish the Crows following the diagnosis of a serious health issue. I have always been a reflective and self-aware person but the news of my health condition threw me in to confusion and I had lost trust in my own ability to see the world clearly and was experiencing a range of emotions from shock to anger and denial. After my sessions with Lynne at Banish the Crows I feel that mentally I am now in a far better place to face the future. In spite of the ongoing physical issues I can say that emotionally I am feeling very positive The sessions allowed me to regain the trust I used to have in my thoughts and actions. I came to understand how my current feelings were strongly linked to issues I had faced as a child and that trauma doesn't necessarily arrive in your life with sirens and flashing lights. The weekly sessions with Banish the Crows were not easy and for the process to work I had to put my trust in the therapist and allow them to guide me through the journey. This was made far easier by the conversations we had and that my therapist was human and shared j just enough of themselves to help me open up about and discuss my own feelings. The sessions moved forward in an organic way with no pressure to find answers and came to an end when I felt very much like I had reached a natural conclusion to the pathway and felt settled and mentally resilient. I would not hesitate to contact Banish the Crows again in the future if I felt that I needed that additional perspective on my life to bring clarity.
I experienced a very positive outcome from working with Lynne and could not recommend her highly enough.
Jem, how do I truly begin to quantify what you've done for me? For over 12 years I've been encouraged to try and seek counselling / therapy, having met with various providers in differing styles and settings and never got past a second meeting...yet with you, from that very first meeting I knew that I would return! Even after my first session I began to feel better, more reflective about myself and my circumstances. For so long I thought there was something wrong with me, always feeling like an outsider in all situations (friends, family, work) and after speaking with you I understand now that in fact there's nothing wrong with me - I'm just someone that has experienced a degree of sadness and unfortunate circumstance in life. In light of this I now possess the tools, knowledge and understanding to accept everything that's happened, and move on with my life. I now have a visceral, solid understanding that in our transient, extremely human lives it's OK to sometimes feel anxious and depressed (and in fact how natural that is) yet now rather than hiding away and shrouding my feelings I now have a permanent outlet and someone I can rely on 110% if I ever felt I needed the support again. For anyone considering therapy all's I can say is go for it! I think we all have things we can learn about ourselves and if you want someone to help you with this, Jem is a kind, open, tender, considerate, gentle soul that you can confide in and trust in total confidence. Finishing my therapy I now feel so much more balanced and content in myself. I've found myself genuinely smiling and laughing so much more - and meaning it. I feel I have newfound sense of control, excitement and zest for life and although I'm uncertain of what the future will bring, that's now what makes the journey all the more exciting for me. Don't ever stop being your quintessential self. With all of my heart, thank you! Laura.
Lynne helped us understand our issues more clearly and always had the answers we needed to progress with our relationship and move on to a healthier place together.
The therapy gave me some useful strategies to help me through a very difficult time in my life and helped me to understand more clearly why I felt so low. My therapist, Lynne, was person-centred and non- judgmental, I felt we developed a good rapport. This has enabled me to move on with my life and be kinder to myself and those I love and value.
I arrived at Banish the Crows not knowing whether the way I felt about the issues I had was even appropriate for counselling. There was an instant trust with Jeremy and I felt safe and listened to. I was skillfully guided through several sessions where my situation was explored and I was able to access resources within myself that allowed me to come to terms with events and move forward. There’s some old and cheesy lines in a song ‘I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.’ I have now.
The decision to seek therapy with Jem is one of the best I have ever made. Approaching retirement, I had become unsettled and upset and I didn't know what to do with my negative feelings. I was able to have conversations with Jem that I could not have had with anyone else. It took a while for me to be comfortable putting myself in the centre but as the weeks progressed I relaxed and understood and I grew in confidence. I rediscovered part of me that had been lost and I know now that I am okay.
I would highly recommend Jeremy to anyone who may be wondering if therapy is the best route for them. My therapy journey has been invaluable and I have always felt 'safe, valued and respected' with Jeremy, in the therapeutic relationship. I continue to benefit from the therapy on a daily basis.
My husband and I attended couples counselling, which has certainly helped us move on with our relationship. We cannot speak highly enough of Jem. He was totally approachable, understanding, empathic and shared appropriate life experiences with us to help our progression. Without his support I think it is highly unlikely that my husband and I would still be together after 30 years of marriage. I would recommend Jem to anyone, from any walk of life, who thinks that they may benefit from therapy and would say to them give it a try! Thank you Jem - for everything.
At 60, I had reached a point in my life where, due to outside influences - bereavement, children grown up, fallout with one of my children, I couldn’t see what my purpose in life was anymore. Jem, with skill, guidance and kindness helped me to realise that everyone’s problems/issues are not all my fault. I now have my sense of worth back, along with a quality of life. It has taken me 6 months and a dozen or so sessions to get there. Jem - I am very glad to have met you.
Jem offers a warm, comforting and supportive relationship that gives me the space to talk freely without fearing judgement. His reflections and contributions have helped me to see old problems from new perspectives and helped me to make some necessary and long overdue changes in my life.
From the off, I found Jem to be a delight. I looked forward to my sessions and was always excited about the next one. As we 'picked apart' me and my issues, things became clearer and it was easier for me to handle my life situations. I’ve grown since my therapy ended - I had to finish early due to financial reasons, but the therapy with Jem has helped me immensley and I’m still looking forward to my future and my 're-birthing'. You’ve been a delight Jem, thank you for your genuine empathy and quirky sense of humour - you always look fantastic and smell fantastic too!
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 - working with Jeremy 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.