Meet the Therapist: Jacqueline Palmer
What attracted you to become a therapist?
People always looked to me for insight compassion and support, and it’s great to do it as part of my work. I have also been inspired by some great therapists.
Where did you train?
I trained at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Maida Vale, London. I have trained in the States with Pia Mellody in Arizona on co-dependence and trauma therapy, with David Schnarch for couples workshops in London and Colorado, at Re-vision, London, for couples training, and continue to do workshops that enhance my practice. I am currently doing online workshops with Esther Perel and Terry Real.
I came to this work after practising photography, writing and film studies at the BFI.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I have a humanistic and transpersonal approach, engaging with a common search for meaning and purpose in life, and with relationships as fundamental to our wellbeing. I use different tools to help my clients explore their inner worlds, their history, their experience, in order to make way for new understanding and positive change.
How does psychotherapy help with co-dependence in relationship?
By identifying difficulties in relationship we free ourselves from unhelpful patterns, exploring behaviours that are no longer useful in order to experience our lives with autonomy. Change begins with us.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see individuals and couples in all stages of life, often in creative fields, but whatever their circumstance they struggle to find their voice and exert their needs within relationship. I see people looking for big changes, while others need support in a difficult transition.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I am privileged to help my clients navigate periods of difficulty and painful experience to new healthier ways of being, of relating to self and others. It is an intimate journey to share.
What is less pleasant?
I think the road to change can feel frustrating at times. It’s more painful though when we remain in ways of being that make us unhappy.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been a member from the outset and find a wealth of information and community both for clients and therapists. I love contributing film reviews and reading articles from practitioners all over the country.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I may suggest a book, and often an app, as I believe in encouraging change outside the session, helping my clients move from knowing and doing to a new way of being. A book can also offer a comforting reality check when we realise we are not alone.
What do you do for your own mental health?
A daily swim in the Hampstead ponds is a great practice. The combination of nature, wildlife and cold water are just right. I do yoga, I escape into my own creative practice, as well as nurturing friendships and family life.
You are a therapist in NW3, London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area?
Since I see clients from all over London, I don’t identify a community from the area, though a common theme is clients struggling to express themselves in relationships and work.
What’s your consultation room like?
It’s a little surprise, located in a charming cottage in Hampstead village on the corner of Heath Street, yet close to the tube station.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That everyone needs therapy in difficult periods in their lives, that the benefits are huge, so the sooner you dive in the better.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
Everything. That I need to take responsibility for my relationships, and that life or time won’t give my life meaning, I have to find it inside me.