Hi, I'm Jo
MBACP UKCP Reg MSc
BACP Registered Member
UKCP Registered Psychotherapist
Welcome to Joanna Willow Psychotherapy
You may feel lost, alone, overwhelmed or misunderstood, so I understand what a big step it can be to look for someone to talk to confidentially about what you're struggling with. To find the right person to feel safe enough with to say out loud those things that are swirling around in your head. You need to talk and be heard. To work through distressing thoughts, feelings and processes, and for someone to listen and accept you without judgement. The therapeutic relationship is what can be so healing.
I work in a way informed by how the mind and body responds to trauma, threat, anxiety and stress. How you feel about yourself and living post-trauma can affect your psychological well-being, how you behave and how you relate to others. It can be lonely and distressing not feeling valued, heard and acknowledged. Rather than being free to be yourself and live more fully, you feel restricted, conflicted and on edge, wanting change and relief.
I commit to actively and attentively listening to you while we work together to understand you from your unique, lived perspective. I can help you with processing, acknowledging and accepting difficult and traumatic life experiences that affect you, to live more in the 'now' or look to the future. Through counselling you may uncover new learning about yourself and gain clarity around what you feel stuck with so that something can shift.
In Person-Centred & Experiential Therapy I can help you build your sense of worth, and inner strength and resources to be better able to manage how you feel, think and behave. I can support you in making the small steps that go on to make a meaningful impact in your life and towards any desired goals. This may aid you to have healthier relationships with yourself and others in your life, be more confident and to live closer to how you would like life to be.
While therapy is not a magic fix, it can be life-changing. An opportunity to have an honest conversation like no other.
Time and space for you to freely explore what's making life difficult in a warm, supportive, and private therapeutic environment.
My Training & Experience
I am a qualified psychotherapist, having been awarded an MSc in Person-Centred & Experiential Psychotherapy (distinction) in 2022 by the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute, validated by University of Staffordshire, after completing a rigorous 4 year training programme. I have been in private practice since 2021 and volunteered/worked at counselling charities in Leicester as a counsellor between 2019-2022.
I am a UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) Full Clinical Registered Psychotherapist and on the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) register as a Registered Member.
I abide by BACP, UKCP and SPTI ethical guidelines, and I hold professional indemnity insurance. I engage in regular continuing professional development and clinical supervision.
Who I Work With
I have been described as calming, creative, passionate and non-judgemental. I am fascinated by the workings of the mind, how the brain is a 'social organ', how therapy works, and the effects of trauma and difficult experiences on our ongoing psychological experience and our relationships with others.
I have lived in Leicester since 2005. I am a cis woman (she/her). In my spare time I enjoy music, games, good food, walks, and strength training. I love connecting with people and learning.
I work with adults of all ages (18+) and genders, though especially with issues that affect young adults (under 40), and those who are neurodivergent, e.g. ADHD, autism (known or suspected).
I have significant experience working with men and with those who have survived sexual and emotional abuse/ neglect in childhood, or had difficult life, attachment and family experiences. I work with issues that relate to trauma, dissociation, insecure attachment, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, low self-esteem and self-confidence, and difficulties socially (including social anxiety), in relationships and with family.
I offer a non-judgemental and anti-discriminatory space, and I am LGBTQ+ friendly, poly-friendly and to those who practice ethically non-monogamous (ENM) relationship structures.
How Can I Help?
In Person-Centred & Experiential Therapy you set the agenda. I will be my authentic self with you - a therapist and a real person - drawing on my qualities and life experience to be able to sit with you in your 'stuff'. My style is exploratory and conversational, as I work honestly and collaboratively to create a therapeutic process unique to you. As a counsellor I describe how I work as relational and dialogical, which means that the therapeutic relationship and talking is at the heart of the therapy. I will prize, validate and understand you from your perspective, respecting your autonomy and drive to grow and change.
'Experiential' relates to the whole experience of being alive and human, within ourselves in our mind and body, and in our social contexts. In therapy it means I pay close attention to how you are in the 'here and now' of the therapy space, to my process of being with you in what you are exploring, and how I hear and feel it in me to make sense of you. As a therapist I have a richly visual and verbal mind, which I use to respond intuitively and spontaneously based on what arises as we talk, to conceptualise the uniqueness of your experience and processes within you.
Your therapy is your own private, honest and confidential space to explore your difficulties in your life that may also link to past relationships and experiences.
Trauma can continue to impact you daily in trusting people and believing that you matter, and be the root of many mental health difficulties. You might swing from feeling like you're either too much or not enough, or you set a boundary and then all of a sudden it's gone: neglecting and not communicating your needs while pleasing others.
I can help you take hold of your life again after difficult times or begin recovery from trauma/PTSD/c-PTSD which can include shame, flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety, dissociation and depression. It can impact socially and in relationships, and on identity, self-worth, emotional regulation and managing your thoughts and self-beliefs.
In processing and unpicking the difficult processes you experience now you may gain new awareness and fresh perspectives to help you to make changes to your life, and improve your mental health and relationships.
The Therapy Space
I work with adults on an individual basis on week days. I work from my private, comfortable therapy room in Leicester city centre that is spacious, light and airy. It is a space where you can attend counselling that is discreet and confidential, close to the train station, bus and cycle routes and car parking. It is located on the 1st floor, accessible by stairs only. There are toilet and hand-washing facilities.
Face to face, online or phone?
I offer flexibility to accommodate your preference so that as well as face to face in my therapy room I am competent and experienced in delivering online therapy via Zoom and telephone counselling.
With a relationship that feels safe and trusting being at the heart of your therapy it is important to decide if I might be the right therapist for you, so when you make contact below to discuss booking your initial session we can take it from there and see how we 'fit'.
The initial session is to get a feel for the space and how we relate, and give you a taste of how I work. We can start to build a picture of what you are seeking from therapy, whether I can meet those needs and if we might establish a trusting working relationship.
If we decide to work together then we will book in further regular sessions that can be weekly or fortnightly. This can be discussed to suit your preference, schedule or finances, along with how frequency of sessions may affect the work.
The length of time attending therapy depends on many factors, with it being either open-ended, or you may have a plan to work to a particular time frame or number of sessions.
Each 50 minute session is £55
(including the initial session)
We will regularly reflect on the process of your therapy so that we ensure you are getting what you need and we will work towards an ending when the time is right.