UK Counselling Services

Testimonials

Personal thoughts and stories from my clients

 

I’m 33yrs old I’ve been with my other half for 13 years, we have two beautiful children but we were not on the same side!! A war everyday for 7 years about money, the children’s upbringing, undermining each other and we had completely lost respect for each other. Then we found Johnathan….

So, long story short, now we ‘almost’ treat each other like we did wen we first met! Johnathan helped us see our differences and helped us understand each other again, it’s not a huge battle anymore and life is so much easier!! More importantly for me at 21 had a mental breakdown which I sought help for but got deeper and deeper into self destructive patterns and never saw a way out. I never would imagine anyone could help me but Johnathan new exactly how I felt and what I was feeling and knew exactly how to help me! I lived for so long feeling high then really low and then battling myself day in and day out but not anymore. It’s a miracle to me to just feel ‘normal’ I’m soooo great full for all Johnathan’s help and support and our family life has massively improved!!! Thank u soooo much Johnathan xx

I first came to see Johnathan because I was stuck in an endless loop of misery, anger and betrayal. Some would say I had no right to feel any of these things. After all, I was the one who had left my wife of 6 years, and not the other way around. Some would say that I am the bad guy. That I am the homewrecker, the one who should be saying sorry, not the one who is feeling betrayed. But, those people don’t know the full story.

I married my wife shortly after my 19th birthday. She was 21 at the time, and pregnant. I was raised that you do the “right thing” in these situations, and that is why I proposed.  The truth of it was that I was on the verge of breaking up with her. I wasn’t happy then, and I certainly didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with this person who I’d only been dating for 6 months or so but hey ho, I had made my bed and now it was time to lie in it. I did everything I knew how to do to make life work for us. I worked hard at my job and followed through with promotion after promotion. We bought a house, and within two years had another child on the way.

Again, truth be told, I was not particularly happy during this time and as far as I could tell, neither was she. She didn’t like that I worked long hours, but also wanted a big holiday every year. My wife didn’t work at any point throughout our marriage because we both agreed that our children were better raised by one of their parents than by a series of child minders. Still, I did all I could to put food on the table and ensure that we were financially safe and sound. On the weekends, I did all of the typical male jobs around the house like mowing the lawn etc. but felt like an exile inside the house. No matter what I did, she just didn’t seem to like me. A couple of years ago I suggested going to counselling, thinking that maybe we could find a way to make things better. “You go” she said. “You’re the one who’s crazy, not me!”. Things seemed to go from bad to worse, and I found myself seriously considering suicide. Nothing I did made her happy, and she seemed to find pleasure in ridiculing me both indoors, as well as in front of others.

Then it happened. My now 5 year old asked me “Daddy, do you have special blood too?” I asked her what she meant and she told me “Mummy and her friend were talking about my special blood, they said it was Abbey negative”. It never once occurred to me to consider what blood type my daughter was. I just never once entered my mind. Abbey negative? ABBEY NEGATIVE?!?!?! She meant AB Negative. I know that I have type O blood, and that I could not possibly be the father of this 5 year old girl!!! My world shattered before me. And just who was this “friend” that mummy had been talking to?

After a couple of days, I took a swab sample from each of my two children and sent off for a paternity test. The results shocked me even further. Neither of these two darling children were my biological offspring. My wife had gotten pregnant when I was 19 and told me it was mine. I believed her. A couple of years later, apparently she’d gone off and had relations with another man yet again, and gotten herself pregnant once more. During the course of the ensuing divorce I discovered that both children belonged to the same man. This was an older gentleman who my wife had been seeing on the side ever since I’d known her.

Working through all of this has been difficult, but Johnathan has been brilliant all the way through. He has helped me find the place in my heart where I can still love these two children in the way I always have, whilst keeping a safe distance from my very toxic ex. The divorce has been tough, and at times quite ugly. I’ve not wanted to raise a stink publicly because I know how that will affect my two children. I’ve worked with Johnathan throughout this process and he has provided me with the safe place and stability I’ve needed to be able to rant and rave when necessary, and yet still maintain some semblance of sanity between sessions.

I now have a relationship with my these two little girls that I will always consider myself “daddy” to, even if I’m not “biological father” to them. I am able to have a sensible relationship with their mother despite my anger and bitterness towards her. Johnathan has helped me to compartmenatlise my feelings in a healthy way in the best interests of me, and these two little girls.

I can recommend him fully.

 

Brian P (Bishops Stortford)

Heartfelt thanks…Thankful former clients

From an email I received this afternoon…..

________________________________________

“Hi Jonathan,

I hope I find you well.

Revisiting your website for contact details to pass to a friend who is currently in need of some professional assistance has prompted this email.

You may not remember my husband and I (although I do remember you appeared to have had an extraordinary memory at the time).  We saw you about 7 years ago following my husbands discovery of my sexual and emotional relationship with a colleague.

This was an incredibly difficult and hurtful time for both of us but I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for your kind, calm and logical guidance.  Some 7 years later,  we are still very much together, have regained our love and respect for each other, and look forward to the rest of our lives as a couple. Our relationship is now far deeper than we could have ever imagined and we have both remarked many times over the years that without your help we would not have made it past the first 6 months.

I just wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks.

Kind Regards”

_________________________________________

 

I receive many emails such as this, but for some reason never post them to the site. This particular email touched me for some reason however, so I thought I’d share it.

Johnathan Pease

Thankful former clients

Life in general now has a clearer horizon. Life was becoming a blur and my relationship was in tatters. My nearest and dearest tried as best they could, but no-one could help, or so I thought… On the outside my bravado and confidence was a front for someone spiraling out of control (I just wouldn’t accept it at the time). I initially went to see Jonathan with my Girlfriend and I subsequently carried on seeing him for about 6 months on my own. Our personal sessions were very open and relaxed, I talked, he listened, he asked questions and I talked some more, about my life (past and present), my loves, past glories and defeats, resentments and proud moments, admittedly at times I felt my words were the ramblings of a mad man, but he helped file them all into place, reflected and some laid to rest. His life experience and truly open and honest sessions put me at ease and allowed me to be honest with myself (with both tears and laughter). I have ‘grown up’ and released a lot of the baggage from life and thanks to this man I can walk into any room with my head up high. The changes I have made are personal, all I can say is I have made these changes for me; however my nearest and dearest (some of whom were cynical about Counseling, Dad) have noticed the difference. As for my relationship, we are walking hand in hand…

If you are reading this review help is not very far away. Good luck

Finding Jonathan was literally like discovering a beacon in a wide, dark ocean. I was lost as to how I really felt about my long term relationship and my head was turned elsewhere. I didn’t know which way was up and what true love really meant anymore, but Jonathan helped to get my girlfriend and I back on track. I really don’t know where I would be now, without having talked with him. He listened intently to my confused ramblings about how I felt and he deciphered and fed these mixed up emotions back to me as nuggets of digestible information. That’s the best way I can describe how his counselling helped me. He helped me see common sense. Not everything that I heard at first was easy to listen to, but getting to the truth can sometimes sting a bit, and it was the truth that I was seeking. For me, this wasn’t about a comfy hug and a pat on the back, (although he was always extremely respectful and courteous) I wasn’t paying for that. I could get that from my Mum. I needed someone who would help me to rediscover the reality of my situation, rather than get lost in the fairytale I was believing. He brought me gently back down to earth, which was exactly where I wanted to be, I just didn’t know how to get there by myself. My relationship was broken and he helped to fix it. Simple as that. His wise words still ring in my ears, months after my last session, and his intelligence in understanding and communicating to me what I was really going through, was a huge benefit. I can’t recommend his services enough, to anyone that may be finding themselves in a rut!

All relationships have their highs and lows; but sometimes the lows can become the norm. Doing nothing, for the sake of a perceived ‘peaceful’ atmosphere in the home, can seem like the best option, even when it expands into years and years. Resentment builds up, attitudes harden. Doing something, however small, … is a scary prospect! If you choose the route of counselling, the last thing you need is the extra worry of what your counsellor will be like. With Johnathan, you get a personable, friendly guy who is easy to talk to. He won’t be sitting silently in a corner with a frown on his face, taking copious notes and ticking boxes. Tell him whatever you like, you won’t shock him. He has all the qualifications and the life experience, but he also cares about what happens to people and is passionate about his work. If, like me, you reach a stage in your relationship where you feel you are at a fork in the road and have to decide whether to ‘stay or go’, try taking another path altogether. You got together for a reason, and John can help you remember it. Regards.

Hi Johnathan, I have been meaning to send you a message to thank you for the work you did with us, which has lead to us having a better understanding of the dynamic of our relationship and more importantly, enabled us to enjoy and cement our relationship. I can say with all sincerity that I’m now a cheerleader for therapy and think everyone ought to partake from time to time. Our lives now have the strength and shape they were lacking. Regards.

Many people have preconceptions about counselling and what it entails – me included ! At the age of 28 I had never had any form of counselling, and always assumed it was basically another name for a place where people went when they couldn’t cope anymore…you lay on a chaise longue … while someone sits on the opposite side of the room with a clipboard listening to everything you have to say about your past and your childhood. However, thankfully my actual experience was very very different to that, it has taught me so very much about myself and the time I spent visiting Johnathan is something I will always cherish. Counselling is something which I truly feel everybody should have the chance to experience at some point in their life. When I first contacted Johnathan I felt as if my whole world was crumbling around me, my relationship was breaking down and a friendship which I held so very dear was also falling away from me. I couldn’t stop crying and I felt that as much as I could talk to friends and family – it wasn’t helping me to overcome this overwhelming feeling of not being able to cope and self-sooth. A very close friend of mine who had been for counselling a few years previous had suggested it might be worth me making an appointment to see if it would help. At the time I took the phone number and just put it in my handbag, thanking her profusely but not really ever expecting to make the call. But then one morning I just felt so low, I took the big step and made the call. I made an appointment for the following week, and as the time grew closer I became more and more nervous about what to expect. How do I talk to this stranger about my most private thoughts and feelings? Would this person really be able to help me? Would it be very formal and clinical? However from the moment I walked into the room and met Johnathan I felt instantly at ease. He has such a caring, calm and relaxed manner about him, as time went by I’d often kick off my shoes and curl my feet up on the sofa as I chatted to him. He became a very dear friend and confident to me. My experience of counselling was better than I could ever have imagined. To have someone as professional and intuitive as Johnathan listening to every worry, every upset, every little thing I had on my mind, and not judging me or telling me how I should or shouldn’t be feeling was so liberating. He listened to me, and then helped me to understand why I may be feeling that way, and then we talked through how I could learn that its not always good to open up and put my total trust into everybody around me, how I need to learn to love myself and take time out just for me. I started keeping a daily journal on a recommendation from Johnathan, and at the time I didn’t think it would help very much, but as time went on I found it so enlightening. When I read back through some of the early entries I wrote now, it really does make me realise how far I’ve come, and how much of an emotional roller-coaster Johnathan guided me through. I spent over a year visiting Johnathan, and I have recommended him to so many of my friends and family. I really do think there is such a mystique about counselling and what it entails, and yet really and truly counselling is something that is so unique. Everyone’s needs and experiences will be different depending on their individual situations. More than anything counselling has helped me to understand who I am, where I want to go, and who I want to be – and I am such a stronger more positive person thanks to the time and understanding Johnathan gave to me.

Nicola, Bishops Stortford

My husband walked out one Saturday morning – literally – no row, no explanation, nothing! I wasn’t aware he had left me for nearly 12 hours and then the panic set in. What was I going to do, how was I going to cope on my own. I had been married … for 20 years. I battled with the one question I had no answer for – Why did he leave? I couldn’t talk to my friends about this so after about 6 months I decided to seek outside help. I met Johnathan early in November. I wasn’t sure I was going to go back after the first session… but I did. I knew Christmas was going to be a struggle – how would I deal with waking up on Christmas day on my own. We talked about everything, there were no hiding places, sometimes I thought he could see straight into my thoughts – he knew what I was going to say before I did. But he never pushed me, never made me talk about something until I was ready. When you are struggling to find the right words to express yourself, he has this uncanny knack of summing up what you want to say. I learnt so much about myself through counselling. This is going to sound like a real cliché but I found the whole experience cleansing – I could talk about anything, say anything and he never judged me, but at the same time he helped me find some answers to the burning question of WHY? I still don’t know the real answer, but I have stopped beating myself up about it. It’s just not important anymore. I discovered who I really was – another cliché – but the only way I can describe it. At work I was a confident outgoing business woman who knew her own mind. At home I played this role – the wife- and I didn’t realise I was doing it. Counselling helped me work out which was the real one and I am a much more content person now. Without counselling I would have struggled to come to terms with what had happened and would only have seen it as a negative. Johnathan helped bring some perspective to the situation and made me appreciate my life and all the positive things that were happening to me. It gave me a renewed confidence in myself, even my friends said they could see a change in me. I am now in a new relationship – it is much healthier – no more treading on egg shells. I spent 20 years trying to fulfil someone else’s expectations, now I am who I am.

Laraine, Hertfordshire

I had had several years of difficult emotional problems, losing both parents (one of which left me with terrible feelings of guilt), relationship problems and personal disappointments – basically my life just had not turned out how I had expected and I was very unhappy about this. I had always been … a moody, quite depressive person but the final decision to seek help came when I heard about someone who had committed suicide and I felt I understood why. I expected they could see no other way out and when I realised I understood this, I knew it was time to seek help. I found it very easy to open up to Johnathan and really did not feel any barriers from the start. I always felt that he was there for me and was completely involved with my life. I was amazed how he remembered everything that I told him (names, places, everything) which is so reassuring because you know how important you are to him. All I remember about the first couple of months was just of lot of me crying. I remember feeling after a couple of months that nothing was really happening and I wasn’t really feeling any better, but then I started to notice changes. My deep dark moods were still happening but were lasting for less time. The biggest change however was the way my relationships with friends and family were changing. I started to view differently people that had been around for most of my life and found it very difficult to get on with them. I was disagreeing with these people (in fact, standing up to them) and I felt that I did not want to be so involved with them. This culminated in a break with my closest friend of 30 years. At the time I was devastated by this and I remember the week I visited Johnathan after this break saying that this was the final straw and my life was collapsing around me. Johnathan reassured me that this is common when in counselling as you re-evaluate your life and relationships. When we looked at this and all my other relationships it was so clear; that I had always been in manipulative relationships and I was always putting other people’s needs before my own. I felt torn if I wanted to do something for myself and I would almost always do what the other person wanted instead. I now remember feeling a little scared of these people – at least scared of upsetting them at the expense of upsetting myself. I now feel really free not to be involved in some of these relationships. Others have also changed and are now much more mutual and work much better for me. I had spent virtually all of my adult life feeling that the world was against me. Every event, even slightly negative that happened I would take personally and feel that these things only happened to me. I would dwell on them and this would make my depression last and last. Johnathan has taught me that life is fluid, events good and bad will happen to me but they will only last for the moment. Whether this is for days or years, but there will be an end and therefore a change. This has been wonderful for me as if I do feel down I really do now believe that it will not last. It’s the same with people, they will also come into and leave my life and I have started to learn how to deal with this too. I have just re-entered a relationship with a man who I have loved for over 20 years but which was a very difficult relationship. We were constantly breaking up and going back together. I still don’t know what will happen in the future but I now feel that it is a much more equal relationship. I’m not scared of him anymore. He was never violent to me but I was always scared to voice my needs in the relationship and would not let him know my opinions etc… because I felt that these were not important or even a little “stupid”. Since I now feel more confident and believe that my opinions and needs are valid, we seem to be getting on really well – and if it does go wrong I will be able to cope. My fears of breaking up before made me very needy and desperate which badly affected the relationship. I now believe that if I can feel this happy and confident only a year after my absolute depths of despair, I can deal with anything. I am now watching someone else going through a similar experience at the moment, feeling as I was before I entered counselling. I can hear her expressing the same feelings. Always moaning about life, seeing bad in everything people say or do to her. I feel so differently about these things now – I have a more positive view on life. I feel that I don’t need people in my life – of course I want people around, but I feel that I have myself and I need just me at times. I have a contentment that I honestly have never felt before, at least not in my adult life. Of course this feeling may not last, but I think I will be able to deal with it if it changes – or, if not, I’ll see Johnathan again!! I really feel that my year of counselling has changed my life for the good – it is difficult to say exactly how, but I know it works.

Beverly, Coggeshal

I have recently concluded an 18-month stint of counselling with Johnathan Pease, and although it is not a simple matter to express the results, I will try. The process is entirely led by what you want to talk about, even if, as Johnathan happily allows and acknowledges, that involves going over … and over the same ground. Certainly that was the case with me, although I’m sure everyone is different. It took almost eight months for me to start talking just about myself, rather than about, or on behalf of, other loved ones. I’ve just realised that makes it sound as if I am a loved one of myself. Learning to ‘love yourself’ is an advertised product of counselling I have always found faintly repellent – as if the whole thing is merely an exercise in excusing oneself for all one’s failings. But in the course of the past 18 months, although I am not in, and frankly hope never to be in the position of ‘loving myself’, I feel I have been allowed the space and intelligent attention which has allowed me to sift through things again and again to the point where I have started to feel more sure of who I was – and, so far so good, far freer to pursue those things without a constant drag of doubt and negativity (although I remain gifted in this department). I would liken the process to shaking the branch of a tree, thoroughly, often, to the point where all the dead leaves and rubbish have dropped down, and what you are left with is the healthy green stuff. I never felt pressured to move in any particular direction. At one point, I acknowledged an area which I described to Johnathan, and pictured as, a dark swirling mass. It was always down to my right, as if it was a physical presence, and I knew what it felt like to be swirling inside this, to feel the dismantling despair that starts to ruin everything, like a malign virus. But I also apprehended what was almost a physical antithesis to this, and I always imagined this high to my left (this probably sounds quite unhinged, but believe me it makes sense to me), and this was somehow the positive side of myself, the brighter, happier possibility of myself. We had a discussion about a bad weekend I had where, for the first time since I had been in my early twenties – I’m now 46 – I felt in danger of slipping into the swirling black place. It was a bad weekend, seriously shaky. My own way forward was to write a poem about my situation, fears, whatever. It was no great thing, but it took some doing and I was proud of myself for making something out of the situation rather than succumbing. Oddly, that act helped me in a profound way which I still don’t understand. Johnathan was as good as he could be about the whole thing, and, crucially, acknowledged my conviction that I did not want to go diving into the black stuff and rummaging around, but that I wanted to find a way in which I could manage it, a way which I could have confidence in. Perhaps some in his position might have found it hard to give up such a discussion, which no doubt would have produced much interesting material. It was not that I had avoided discussing serious issues – marital ups and downs, death of my mother, problems with children – but I felt strongly at the time that I didn’t need to dive in. I didn’t ignore the dark – I acknowledged it, but I want to carry on with life being able to deal with it. Time for a bit of courage and resolution, time to go up to the left… Johnathan understood entirely my position. I ended our sessions because, as I said to him, I felt, for a number of reasons, that I had got to the point where my lift was just moving up to a level I wanted to step out to, and I felt confident about doing so. Often when we spoke I recalled an odd little incident from my childhood when I had made my grandpa a bookmark for Christmas. After taking off the wrapping paper, he proceeded to solemnly strip the little pictures and decorations I had sellotaped onto the bookmark until he held a strip of cardboard in his hand. Funny at the time for the adults – typical Grandpa! – and yet, for some odd reason, the image stuck with me. In our discussions, I identified myself with the cardboard – uncertain if all I was, and all I professed to want, was mere decoration over blankness. I am fairly sure now that I am a bit more than a strip of cardboard – although no long lost Rembrandt or Da Vinci has been uncovered. I simply feel surer about the things I value in my life – my wife, my children, wider family, writing, running, playing guitar, cooking meals (not very well) and drinking beer from cool green bottles. Banal? It could be. I don’t care. If you have read to this point, you may recall in the distant past that I said I would reproduce the poem I wrote on my bad weekend, while I was travelling back on the train from Sheffield. (Nothing against Sheffield…) Bookmark Puzzled, my grandfather removed the gaudy cellophane and crayoned messages of goodwill until the heart of my gift a strip of pale cardboard lay revealed. It’s dark now but there’s still a pale strip of light at the horizon. Now it’s dark and there isn’t. ——– Here is one other poem, written after some discussion about my mother’s death. Diagnosis You were standing in your workshop when you told me, gouging at the head upon the wheel. I smelt the cold; the clay and afterwards, face laid upon the kitchen table, smelt it still; it wouldn’t go away.
Best wishes to whoever you are.

Michael Ralph, Hertfordshire

When I first went with my husband to seek counselling, we were in a very bad state. Yet I now feel that we are one of the lucky ones, and that because of our counselling have been able to sort through many things that we are happily working through – while … at the same time re-discovering ourselves and our lives together. What does counselling actually do? I would think most people perceive it as a kind of confessional. A place to admit some of your darkest fears and worries. Perhaps feel absolved in some way and then walk away. Or perhaps a time when you can be totally selfish and think only of yourself for that short time – confident in the knowledge that someone is listening and understanding you. For me personally, the experience has been a mixed bag. I have found (very much to my surprise), that I found it difficult to talk about myself except in relation to those around me, and yet I had always wanted to! I found that when speaking with Johnathan, I was repeating many things I had already thought through, and yet when I did so it fixed things in my mind in some different way so that I was able to distinguish between mild annoyances and real worries in a way I couldn’t so well on my own. I found it frustrating looking for an answer on my own and not finding one, and yet exhilarating when, after talking about something I did not necessarily know was bugging me so much, feeling refreshed upon leaving his premises. It has been pointed out to me more than once that the cost of regular sessions can be very hard to carry. Yet for me, how can anyone doubt its value if it helps you rediscover 25 years of a loving partnership and at the same time teach you more about the values and hopes you once had, yet somewhere along the way lost sight of. In my mind, counselling no longer has the stigma attached to it that it once had. People need it for a variety of reasons – as varied as the people themselves. There is definitely a sense of complete freedom to be able to speak to someone who is totally separated from your life, an outsider as it were, that you invite in to share with, and who then helps to lead you through the maze.

Mrs. D.L. – Hertfordshire

When Malcolm my husband finally admitted that he’d been having a long standing affair with one of my good friends, I was devastated. But because of the manner in which he told me, and because we had had a previously wonderful marriage – I had no intention of summarily chucking him … out and we spent a good few weeks talking, including a long planned holiday where we seemed to do nothing but walk and talk – and even make love. However, it became obvious that Malcolm was absolutely eaten up with remorse, with guilt and all manner of feelings that he had buried for many years – including the fact that not only had his family disowned him – far too complicated to explain – but that he had lost two little boys through cot death and that his first marriage had broken up through that and other factors. He definitely needed to talk to somebody, and because Johnathan’s office was literally at the top of our road, he chose Johnathan. Right from the moment he walked back home after the first session, it was clearly apparent he had chosen the right person – there was a new spring in his step and his whole demeanour had changed. Malcolm saw Johnathan for several months and gradually became able to deal with his feelings and returned back to the wonderful husband I knew and loved. I too had issues, and decided that I too needed to speak to Johnathan – I found it very difficult to put images of Malcolm and his “mistress” out of my mind and these would intrude quite regularly. Johnathan assured me that because he had been speaking to Malcolm, and was now talking to me, the two wouldn’t merge – and they didn’t. But, there were several instances where, without breaking any confidences, Johnathan was able to console me simply because of his knowledge of what Malcolm had told him. Johnathan has an unique way of looking at things – a way of putting your problems into perspective and of somehow providing magic counselling and he gave me a mantra “Malcolm wants what he has” – which to me has become a talisman. We can recommend Johnathan whole heartedly – and far from being “ashamed” of seeking counselling – we are proud that we had enough sense to get help from a professional and not let pride, anger and guilt spoil our long lasting marriage.

J & M Hertfordshire