Meet the Therapist: Jessica Davies
What attracted you to become a therapist?
In my late twenties, I spent two years in Brazil living on a farm with children who came from the streets. As well as great courage and kindness, I encountered the deadening effects of poverty and injustice on the human soul. From there, I came to London and worked in the area of social justice with the Christian tradition as my framework. More recently, as a spiritual director, I have explored with others what it means to live an authentic life beyond the bounds of doctrine and this led me to explore more of the interior life and to train as a therapist.
Where did you train?
I trained as an integrative transpersonal counsellor at Re-Vision because of their emphasis on a soulful perspective and belief that counselling and psychotherapy are vital for transformation in troubled times.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with a wide range of people some of whom are exploring what spirituality means for them. I have particular experience and training in working with bereavement and loss, including childhood bereavement and how it may shape our lives. Other issues I work with include anger, anxiety, depression, trauma and feeling stuck.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I love that I am always learning in this work and I get to witness how very courageous human beings can be.
What is less pleasant?
I’m not crazy about sitting in a room all day and often wonder about taking therapy outside - in good weather!
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I have been with welldoing.org for about four months. Although it is a website, I have been impressed by how accessible the people behind it are and I like their commitment to helping people to find good therapy.
Have you used the booking and payment system? And how do you find that?
I have not used it yet but have just signed up and look forward to seeing how it will work.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I have suggested books by John O’Donohue (Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World), Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief) and Richard Rohr (Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life) as well as poetry by Hafez and Mary Oliver among others.
What you do for your own mental health?
Weekly sessions with my own therapist, good friends, getting out into nature and long walks keep me grounded. I’d like to say running, but it's pretty erratic.
What’s your consultation room like?
I work from a bright room with a big window at Ongea near Old Street and from a cosy practice at The Rapport in Pimlico which opens onto a quiet garden. Both places have been specifically set up for counselling and psychotherapy and are warm and friendly environments.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That nobody can tell you how to live your life, but therapy, at its best, is a safe, non-judgemental and often creative place to allow your life to be seen and to unfold in new ways.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
Therapy has helped me to recognise and not be frightened of my disowned anger and the intolerable shame that kept me hidden. There have been different moments along the way when I felt that my therapist has somehow held onto hope for me until I was ready to hold it for myself and that has made all the difference.