Category Archives: Blog

Office Manager Required


We need you!
An exciting new job opportunity has arisen to work with us as an Office Manager at Focus Counselling starting in the New Year. We need someone to join us for 16 hours a week over 4 days (inc. Friday). This is an exciting time for Focus and this is an opportunity to join our dynamic team whilst we work towards a fabulous new project to help the Bath community.
We need someone with a keen knowledge and interest in social media, computer skills, great phone manner and of course excellent people skills. This is a very varied role – flexibility is key!
If you are interested please send CV’s to – we will be starting interviews at the beginning of February for an April start.

Thank you for your time Jan Robertson, Chief Executive Officer

The New Year

A very Happy New Year to all of you who are reading this Blog. Sadly for many people the start of 2016 will not be happy. Christmas may have been stressful or lonely. We may have suffered a bereavement or break up of relationship and the mental health issue that was gripping someone has not been resolved by the start of a New Year.
Just remember that there is help out there. I know that navigating the NHS or Internet to find the right help when all is not well often feels overwhelming. I can however reassure that we are here and ready to help. It is not a failure to feel that some therapy might be necessary to resolve an issue. Many of our clients come because it is helpful to talk to someone out of the family and their friendship circle. Others are referred to us and this often has been after they have been passed from pillar to post. However if you find your way to our doors, we are here to accept you un-conditionally.
I am so proud of my staff and team here and all the life giving Person-Centred Therapy they deliver. Our admin team are always there at the end of the phone to answer any questions and help you with anything.

Let 2016 be a good and transforming year and remember we are here.

Wednesday Thought…

I am sitting waiting for my next young person (17) to enter my counselling room at a school in Bath. I never cease to be amazed that if given the space to be themselves, without judgement or agenda they can come alive in the counselling room. I think all too often these days we make assumptions that are jus not true about this generation’s teens. They are beautiful people, often struggling with their families, friends or themselves. Often they are a product of dysfunction that they are battling to understand and overcome.

Anger, is an emotional response to unhappiness, frustration and feeling isolated.

Fear, comes from so many places and can cripple. Abuse is not acceptable.

Control, is a coping mechanism, to deal with trauma, or poor attachment.

Withdrawal, is a response to being unheard, unseen or unable to create any happiness.

Shame, is often present without justification.

Anxiety, From deep within when overwhelming feelings are not heard, acknowledged or given credence.

We owe it to our young people to help them face their issues and work through them. They are incredible people who deserve our best.

Jan’s blog , 13th October 2015

Jan_RobertsonRecently the papers have been writing a great deal about the rise of Self Harm in Private schools. Self Harm can take many different forms. Cutting and Eating Disorders,Drug and Alcohol abuse being the most common. People often ask me why I feel this is happening. I think there are several reasons for this and I think we neglect them at our peril. In many schools the pressure to achieve is huge. The parents put pressure on their offspring too, but this can often be quite subtle and unsaid. The young people feel they must achieve as their parents are paying for them to be at the school. Unfortunately parents often make it clear that they are sacrificing so much for them to go to the school,forgetting that it was their choice to send them there in the first place.
Peer pressure is also an enormous problem in schools. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc play a significant part in the pressure that the vulnerable young people feel. Comments about appearance, friends and social life on social media can sometimes feel like bullying. Sexual images sent on social media can make some young people feel uncomfortable about their bodies and their sexuality. Some feel pressurised into taking part in things that they do not want to or they feel under too much pressure to say “no”.
Self Harm is a way to control what does not feel in control.It is a form of addictive nature that is sparked by the trauma they are experiencing. Young people will describe the release of cutting as the only way to carry on. The anorexic limits his or her eating to feel that they have control of something
The importance of having a counsellor (I prefer the word Therapist) in these schools is vital today. It is a safe place removed from school life and parents. Of course safeguarding must be in place but the young persons therapist is theirs. Often they are unable to speak to their families but the therapist can help the young person to understand what is happening to them. They can also help open communication up with the parents which often has broken down.
The key thing is the intervention must be before the self harm takes a grip. As the condition is complex the earlier the works starts the better. Cutting can be very easy to hide but an Eating disorder less so. We need to be able to pick up warning signs for these young people. Withdrawal, change in mood, not coping at school, skipping meals, covering of the arms or legs, are some of the clues but knowing your young person is the key to noticing change. If we are communicating with them (even if they do not want us to) we will notice change however subtle.
The development of the therapeutic relationship takes time as trust needs to grow and often the young people have lost trust in themselves and those around them. By offering the core conditions of Person centred therapy the relationship will grow and the young people will begin to be able to open up their world to their therapist. Their world is unique to them and as they face their truth,fears, worries and their addictive nature, then the healing can come.

Jan’s blog.

Welcome to my blog. As CEO of Focus for 16 years I have seen the transforming of hundreds of lives through Person Centred Therapy. The Core conditions of Unconditional Positive Regard, Empathy,Genuiness, and no judgement are the key to a fully functioning relationship. As the relationship grows, the client feels able to trust the Counsellor. This leads to openness and honesty in the counselling sessions.
This may sound simplistic but it is not. Relationships are the most complex alliance we enter into in our lives. If they work they bring richness,security and joy. The client risks a great deal by entering into this alliance but they also have the hope that things can change for them. I have the deepest respect for all those who come through our doors. It is vital that from the moment they enter our offices they know that we are there for them, attending to their needs and not judging them in anyway. The process of counselling I believe begins from the first moment we meet our clients in the intake meeting. many are scared, tearful , and uneasy. our job is to make them feel valued and heard from the their first experience of Focus Counselling.
29th September 2015