Dr Jean Penman

Qualifications: 

Professional Doctorate ‘Engaging with persistent ‘medically unexplained’ physical symptoms in healthcare’, Institute of Health Research, University of Bedfordshire.

MSc Psychodynamics of Human Development, Birkbeck, University of London.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy(BACP) Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist

Member of Professional Associations:

Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) Senior Accredited

Member of the British Society of Sexual Medicine

Services:

Personal therapy, one to one or couple therapy to work through any of the following specialist areas and more:

  • Family, work and intimate relationship challenges 
  • mental health 
  • past trauma (PTSD) 
  • sexual difficulties (loss of desire, pain issues, lack of satisfaction etc.)
  • coping with acute or chronic physical conditions
  • hard to manage medical conditions not responding as medically expected 
  • post-surgery physical and emotional changes
  • coping with cancer treatments to live life well now and in the future 
  • spiritual dilemmas
  • finding meaning in life…

and working appropriately, if within my skills set, with other difficulties arising during therapy

Clinical Supervision:

Provision of professional clinical supervision, support and challenge, to maintain ethical practice and avoid professional burnout

Provision of supervision for your role as clinical or therapy supervisor 

Workshops:

  • Sexual dysfunction, sexuality and gender –building an increased awareness and confidence to address the initial stages of need 
  • ‘Medically unexplained symptoms’ ie. physical symptoms not getting better after routine and specialist medical care and what can be done to help

“My early training from the green age of 18 at Bart’s Hospital, London was as an adult nurse. Somehow, perhaps because of my own early life experience of a temporarily sick little brother, I couldn’t consider people as ‘the appendicitis case in bed 12’.  I became increasingly interested in how some people recovered more quickly than others with less pain and agitation and that others had hidden concerns that to our shame, we never found out about. From these early days working in acute specialist care, pain relief and symptom control to care of the dying and their family and working alongside GPs providing healthcare to young families and the older person in the community, I never lost the sense that if we have no knowledge of context nor of what matters personally, the best ‘evidence based’ interventions will not necessarily lead to recovery or improved wellbeing. 

After some time, I got onto many years of experiential training for working alongside the unspoken distress of an emotional or physical disruption to intimacy. This could often follow a rushed or insensitive experience of intimate physical examinations, medical investigations and treatment, traumatic childbirth, unwanted sexual attention and near death experiences… to name but a few underlying causes.

Addressing/talking through sexual dysfunction with people allowed me to witness recovery from years of sex not working well enough, to other body problems that also, often surprisingly, started to improve. This practice based evidence got me into researching the connections between body, mind and emotion. There are such important links to appreciate as we attempt to enhance physical and emotional wellbeing in a more focused way to everyone’s satisfaction!  

There are occasions when I need to write down what I feel or see in a moment (not usually work related) without my own critical judgement on it. This feels freeing and good. I might also try it with paint some-time soon!”


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