Articles by Sue Cowan-Jenssen

Being an Adult Child of Divorce

Being an Adult Child of Divorce

There has been a great deal written about divorce and its impact on the children.  The common assumption has been that if the children are older it is less damaging. From my clinical experience of working with clients of divorced parents,  I would argue that the damage is different but not necessarily less painful. Very little is written about the impact of divorce of older couples on their adult children and given the rise of divorces of couples in their 50’s and 60’s this is an important omission. Divorces are not all the same. Women are now more...
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Trolling: What Does it Say About Us?

Trolling: What Does it Say About Us?

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” - Plato A client of mine introduced me to the above quote and I thought about Brenda Leyland, the  63 year old woman who had been publicly confronted on television by Sky News reporter Martin Brunt for repeatedly tweeting false accusations about Gerry and Kate McCann, implicating them in the death of their daughter, Madeleine. Three days later she committed suicide, alone in an hotel room. Compassion or just simple kindness was missing both from Sky News reporting when they ‘outed’ her on live TV...
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Why Do Young British Men Become Jihadis?

Why Do Young British Men Become Jihadis?

The reasons why any young person leaves their home, family and friends to go and fight in a foreign country will always be complex to unravel.  It does seem incomprehensible that someone who has been raised and educated in the UK with no history of violence would be willing to get involved in acts of unspeakable brutality and yet we are told that hundreds have made that choice. There are clearly powerful global forces in play and we need the input from political theory, theology, history, social science and of course psychology to make some sense of it.  Yet, as a...
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Why is There So Much Anxiety?

Why is There So Much Anxiety?

Given that we enjoy longer and healthier lives, why are so many of us suffering from anxiety? We do live in an increasingly competitive society. We are bombarded with images of ‘success’. Are we thin enough, handsome enough, rich enough, and clever enough?  We readily use words like ‘success’ and ‘failure’, yet what do these terms really mean? It doesn’t occur to us that these ordinary concerns might be a symbolic reflection of our anxiety about mortality. In my work as a therapist I have come to understand that, often, underlying our deepest anxieties are...
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Enduring Heartache

Enduring Heartache

"If you are the one who is dumped, then you feel like your life is over"  Sitting in our session, I listened to my young client whose partner had recently left her. She was sobbing and could barely speak.  ‘I feel like a useless piece of rubbish.  He’s having a new life and I’m left behind.  It would be easier if he was dead!’. Her words hung in the air and later I found myself thinking about them.  I understood what she was trying to convey.  If her partner had died, she would be in deep grief but she wouldn’t have experienced his death as a personal rejection....
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