about

us

Helping others to overcome psychological distress is personal for us because the therapist we match you with will have had experience of living with and recovery from very similar issues that you, or your child are suffering from: anxiety, body image issues, school phobia, severe shyness and more. We believe it's important to find someone who understands from their own lived experience, as well as from an academic perspective and someone who is warm, empathic and committed to do what it takes to help.

On occasion, we may suggest other skilled therapists to work with our clients, (including a hypnotherapist, a nutritionist, and a occupational therapist) because we believe that a holistic approach means looking at the big picture and may require help from people with other skills.

Our therapists have had extensive training, to honors degree or Masters level and we keep our approach fresh and up to date by taking part in regular continuing professional development.

Our work with clients is based on a Psycho-spiritual, Integrative and Humanistic framework.  We have been fortunate to experience our own extensive therapy, often with committed and highly skilled therapists and we have had some excellent training.

 

We hope to see therapy spreading its wings from the outdated models which seem to so often prescribe fifty-minute sessions and sometimes punish the client for not being well enough to attend. We believe that this process should be more compassionate. At the same time, we are firmly committed about client safety and  our  therapists are DBS checked and have regular supervision.

Jennie Penkul

before I trained as a counsellor I was in denial about my earlier psychological difficulties which included extreme shyness as a child, low self esteem, school phobia, a history of skin picking, which is a behaviour associated with anxiety. I also had a complicated history with how to manage difficult emotions, particularly with repressed anger.

 

Before I married, I trained as a chef and a florist As a young mother I experienced as period of post-natal depression.

 

When my children started school I dabbled with some adult education courses such as cake decorating, silk painting and a maths GCSE (having failed miserably the first time round with an ungraded mark!). Then after attending a short counselling course run by a local church, I finally got an opportunity to got back into education properly and I was so fortunate that my local college (part of Anglia Ruskin University) was running wonderful counselling training which was based on the work of Ken Wilber; this transpersonal training was life changing.

I qualified in the late 1990's with a first class honours degree in counselling and since then I have worked in private practice, but that was only the beginning of what I had to learn, my life, took a number of turns which led to me learning more about what it is to suffer psychologically.

I worked for a while as a community mental health advocate and later as supervisor to that team. This gave me an insight into the inherent difficulties faced by people who experience psychological disturbance. 

Over the past few years I have continued to work with people who have shared their own complex stories with me, my way of working has changed considerably.

 

I've learnt that due to limited resources the very individuals who work in the health and education services are often themselves up against an impossible task because there aren't always the resources available, so the system often fails us. I've learnt that sometimes people with the best of intentions, get things wrong and that includes me. I believe that honesty, transparency and a willingness to be present and hear the other person's experience is vital in clear communications.

I'd say that other life experiences that have influenced me and my work are the loss of my parents, my mother to dementia and my father who died at the magnificent age of 97. These two lovely people taught me a great deal about the immense power of patience and love. My training and a dear friend introduced me to meditation and mindfulness practices and as a result I've had some further life enhancing development.

Along the way I have been taught  more by the amazing clients who I have had the privileged of working with. Their experiences and capacity to survive in the most extraordinarily challenging of circumstances fill me with admiration.

Supporting others (both parents and individuals) to overcome difficulties  is my aim and I believe that a warm, empathic and human approach is the best I can offer to my clients.

jennie@penkul.com      07703623334