Heart of the Matter is a focus group that explores mental health and spirituality. Do you feel you need to share some of your experiences? This group is open to anyone who may, or may not, live with mental health issues, or support someone who does. Regardless of any faith, or none, this group is open to all, because everyone has mental health and we all have spirituality. We meet on a Thursday 10am-11.30am at St Cuthbert’s Church, Ormesby.
The contact details are:
Both Debbie and Jen have a passionate interest and some understanding in how we connect our mental health with our spirituality. The function of the focus group is to understand more about ourselves in a supportive environment and this group is not designed to contradict any other treatments or talking therapies.
Debbie is a professionally trained counsellor. Her model is person centred with psychodynamic insights. She trained at Leeds Metropolitan University and United Churches Healing Ministry qualifying with an Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Debbie is a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.
For some years Debbie worked in primary schools as a Mentor making links between staff, families and children also between school and the wider community. This work brought about a variety of issues and her desire to create positive change led her to train in formal counselling.
For 10 years’ Debbie has enjoyed her role as a counsellor working with individuals and couples providing a safe and non-judgemental environment enabling people to explore in confidence the issues which are causing them distress.
The types of concerns Debbie works with are many including depression, anxiety, loss, family issues, abuse, issues around self-esteem; self-harming, PTSD, personal development, bereavement and self-defeating behaviours.
Debbie believes passionately, that being present in the moment is integral to her therapeutic approach. She has great admiration for the individuals, couples or families who make the decision to seek counselling. It takes great courage and Debbie feels it’s a great honour to be invited into the life of one who is hurting.
Jen is the Vicar of St Cuthbert’s Church in Ormesby and has been here for over 4.5 years. Jen brings 18 years of experience as a Church of England ordained minister. Originally, Jen was a scientist and worked in medical physics, cardiovascular then occupational lung disease research. She has studied at Leeds University, University of Oxford, Liverpool University and now Teesside University. Jen has worked in psychological research, especially the psychology of religion and she is member of the British Psychological Society. During her academic career, Jen has authored at least 20 publications and hopes to continue to publish more research.
During her 18 years as an ordained minister, Jen has been employed in a variety of contexts, and twice in her career she has been a mental health chaplain. She has always worked in the interface between mental health and spirituality and has had the privilege in working alongside those who have both lived with, and struggled with, mental health issues. Similarly, to Debbie, Jen has worked with those who live with depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, self-harming, addictions and also with those who have personality disorders, dementia, psychotic episodes, schizophrenia and paranoia.