Meet the Therapist: Jennie Hogan
What attracted you to become a therapist?
Being a therapist is an enormous privilege. People approach me in many different kinds of need to be listened to deeply and sensitively. Being trusted to do this feels very special. Responding creatively to people who are thinking about their lives brings out the best in me.
Where did you train?
I trained at WPF in London and achieved a post-graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. It is a four-year long training including both clinical and academic work. I am currently completing a Masters Degree in this subject.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
Psychodynamic therapy is rooted in building a relationship between the patient and the therapist. The work involves thinking about current issues that are causing problems and linking them to experiences from the past.
How does psychodynamic therapy help with symptoms of depression and anxiety?
It is through building a close emotional relationship that enables us to begin to put words to feelings. Often feelings may have been hidden and lost because they have been too painful to think about before coming to therapy. Thinking and talking about feelings with a therapist over time creates change.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I see adults of all ages individually. People come with a wide range of difficulties. Normally there is not one simple concern; emotional life is far more complex than we would like to think. In therapy our work is to make connections together.
What do you like about being a therapist?
The life of a therapist is unique. It is not a job; it’s a way of life. To see patients trust me, grow and come to gradually understand themselves is immensely rewarding.
What is less pleasant?
It is difficult to see people who, after having plucked up a lot of courage to see me, stop coming because it is too painful. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is not a quick fix; it is a deep journey of discovery.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
welldoing.org is new to me. I appreciate the way the website tries to tailor a therapist to suit each person who is seeking help. Finding a therapist can be daunting and confusing and welldoing.org takes some of the confusion away. The site is stylish too and this makes the process less frightening.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Sometimes providing suggestions can feel overwhelming. I am wary of offering ‘advice’ and resist most self-help books as they can often over-simplify complex problems. Sometimes patients recommend books to me.
What you do for your own mental health?
Everyone seems to feel over-burdened by demands. Finding space to read good books, listen to music and get plenty of sleep is extremely important.
You are a therapist in Bloomsbury, Central London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
Bloomsbury is a wonderful part of London. It is well connected, historic, and diverse. We are surrounded by museums, art galleries, book shops and students. Soho and the West end are close by too. People who come for therapy come from all walks of life and some work in the local area.
What’s your consultation room like?
A calm, quiet and comfortable consultation room is key. My room is spacious and cosy, on the top floor of a Georgian house. My room is tucked away overlooking a garden just opposite the British Museum.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Curiosity is at the heart of psychodynamic psychotherapy; being in therapy can be a creative adventure.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
Therapy is a slow process but gradually truth unfolds. It is a process which reveals how complicated and mysterious we all are.