If you’ve come here, you are probably thinking about embarking on some talking therapy. You may feel anxious or nervous about taking the first step and getting in touch with a therapist, and this is understandable.
In my experience, therapy can be challenging at times, but it can also transform lives in positive ways. An important part of the process is selecting a therapist who feels like the right ‘fit’ for you. Sadly, many trans people I see have had negative experiences of counselling or psychotherapy in the past. Working with a trans therapist can provide a sense of safety and connection which allows you to address what’s troubling you.
I trained as an Integrative Counsellor at the Minster Centre in London. Being integrative means that I draw on several different therapeutic approaches. These may include ways to help us to make sense of your current patterns of relating to others and yourself in terms of past experiences; It may involve ways to understand how painful memories can be locked away in your body. I also bring an appreciation of the socio-political context in which we live, and the impact of structural oppression, particularly on people with minoritised experience. I endeavour to be aware of, and challenge, the ways in which these structures can be replicated in the therapy room. I have an intentionally trans-affirmative and LGBTQ-affirmative approach, which I believe can benefit all clients, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. My aim is to tailor the approach to the specific needs and presenting issues of each client. At the centre of my counselling practice is the belief that the relationship between client and therapist can be a catalyst for lasting change.
I have worked in mental health services since the late 1990s.
I have spent much of this time as a Mental Health Social Worker in NHS and local authority services and have held supervisory and managerial positions. I have also worked as a Mental Health Advisor in a university wellbeing service. As a Social Worker, it has been my role to provide an alternative perspective to the medical model – one which strives not to pathologise distress. As a therapist, I believe that the defences we develop during our lives are ways of coping with adversity. These coping mechanisms can be creative and helpful, even beautiful, but sometimes, they can outlive their usefulness.
During my training as a therapist, I have worked in Spectra’s Counselling Service (part of their Trans Empowerment Programme).
Dan Jones (He/ Him), Integrative Counsellor (MBACP)
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