I would describe myself as a generalist with special expertise in working with students and the bereaved, and an interest in the small world of the individual (family dynamics etc), as well as the psychological impact of global affairs.

So, first of all, this is a bit of a contradiction in terms, but I am a generalist with special interests. By 'generalist' I mean that I am interested in all the facets of life. I have worked in a general counselling service with people from many different backgrounds. I like looking at the complexity of life and gradually making out the larger puzzle. I'm curious about the highly individual in each person's experience, as well as experiences which we share as human beings.

Having said that, I have also worked in more specialist counselling services and therefore have aquired special expertise in working with two particular client groups :

  • undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • people who have suffered the loss of a loved one

Counselling is about looking inward, but we are always influenced by what goes on around us. I have an interest in systems theory and am interested in the impact on the individual of what goes on in the wider system.  A lot of the feelings about ecological disasters and political unrest, for instance, are a natural response to what is happening in the world. They may be difficult, but these reactions don't need 'treatment' one might say. However, similar to when we suffer a bereavement, which is also a natural part of life, we may suffer an unusually strong reaction, or simply struggle to make sense of what has happened or is happening. And depending on our life story so far, we may be particularly alert to, or affected by these issues.

I find myself increasingly reflecting on psychological responses to climate change, and I see a rising need to acknowledge and address difficult feelings and personal dilemmas arising out of that emergency. So a special interest of mine is in how we can resolve personal dilemmas, build resilience as individuals as well as in communities, learn to live with the loss of the world as we know it, and prepare for a livable future.

copyright @ 2018 jeannette bayliss all rights reserved