Jan Hawkins & The FDP | Person-Centred psychotherapist, supervisor and freelance trainer
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Jan Hawkins is a highly experienced and accredited freelance psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer.

Jan and her company, The Foundation for the Developing Person, offer a number of services to individuals, couples and organisations:

Therapeutic Coaching for Couples

Intensive Transformational Couple Therapeutic Coaching – a two day course of coaching in effective communication, connection, encounter, intimacy and healing accumulated wounds.

  • Is your marriage or partnership strained?
  • Are you trying to heal your relationship after an affair?
  • Are you managing the effects of addiction in your relationship and looking to change?
  • Do you want to create a relationship that is safe, passionate, and long lasting?
  • Is separation or divorce looming?
  • Do you want to improve your relationship and re-connect with your partner?
  • Are you interested in learning skills that will help you create more effective communication in your relationships, not only with your spouse or partner, but also with your children?

When your most intimate relationship is feeling strained, it is painful and stressful. Couples can find themselves behaving in ways they could never have predicted in those early loving times. Any children in the relationship can be affected and this can add to the stress all round. Whether you are married, engaged, beginning a new relationship, in a committed partnership, or wanting to repair communication in any relationship, this intensive course can help:

  • Develop new ways of resolving conflicts together
  • Re-establish effective communication with your partner
  • Increase passion and intimacy
  • Recreate and enhance the friendship you share with each other
  • Develop your confidence in your abilities to communicate more effectively and connect on a deeper level in all your relationships.

Consultancy in the Workplace

Teams in conflict;  teams wishing to address stress management to aid healthy team productivity;  teams who have been traumatised by specific events;  teams who want in house training on specific topics, are all met with bespoke prepared facilitation to meet the needs of the particular group. Jan has offered critical incident debriefing to organisations, and supervised for London Ambulance Service  supporting their peer Support Teams. She has given training to teams in residential care, developing their understanding and skills in meeting the needs of people with learning disabilities, autism, the epilepsies, and ‘challenging behaviours’.

Consultancy for Film Companies

Consults with Film companies to support those making films and those who are the subjects of films. Has worked on documentaries as well as docu drama and drama films. Areas of particular experience: childhood trauma/abuse; vicarious trauma (especially important in those making films involving traumatic material); end of life and bereavement; learning disabilities; The Autistic Spectrum. See publications below. Works face to face, on Skype and on phone, as well as travelling when necessary.

About Jan

Jan Hawkins is a Person-Centred therapist, supervisor, group facilitator and trainer.  Informed by trainings in psychodynamic, CBT, SFT, and other therapeutic traditions, prior to arriving home in the Person-Centred Approach, she is passionately committed to providing relationships in which clients, supervisees and groups are able to change and grow in self directed, yet accompanied, ways.

Jan ran groups for Survivors of childhood abuse during the early nineties, controversially offering groups with women and men together,  and for those who had experienced any type of abuse.  Many students and supervisees reported their difficulties in locating good, practical and developmental training for practitioners focussing on the issues raised by a history of childhood abuse.  In response to this expressed need in 1994 Jan created, and co-facilitated, a Diploma course in Counselling Survivors of Childhood Abuse, the first initiative of its kind in Europe. Since then, through FDP, Jan has continued to run post counselling training courses and study days with a conviction that experiential learning is imperative for the continued development and deepening of the core attitudinal qualities of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard, which are crucial to Person-Centred and other relationship focussed therapies.  She has been particularly keen to encourage therapists to extend their practice to people with learning disabilities, many of whom suffer silently from their legacies of childhood abuse.

A background in lecturing in psychology and special needs, and her experiences over 30+ years since working with her first client in therapy, Jan feels blessed to have worked in a variety of settings.  With a core of therapy and supervision, she also consults with filmmakers, and supports palliative care teams in their work.  Jan feels she does one thing, but does it in a variety of ways!

Thought of the Week

I may, I might, I must 

If you will tell me why the fen
appears impassable, I then
will tell you why I think that I
can get across it if I try.

Marianne Moore (1887-1972)

Study Days Program Summer term 2022  – on ZOOM!

Due to the continued high numbers of infections with the  COVID Pandemic, all study days in the Summer term will continue on Zoom.  Please know that anyone whose finances are affected by the virus, is welcomed to join the day either on a trainee rate of £25 or free, assuming there is already a viable group.

So please do let me know if any of the following study days, certificated for 6 hours of CPD, appeals to you, and if you need the free or trainee places.

Each day will consist of some input on the topic, experiential processing, and space to discuss practice issues relating to the theme.  Each workshop will be from 10.00am till 4.00pm with a longer than usual lunch break to allow for Zoom rest and will cost £65. If you would like to attend, please send the attached slip with your booking fee.  Jan Hawkins, a Person-Centred therapist, supervisor and trainer, facilitates each day, having a passion for experiential, ongoing learning opportunities for practitioners.  Jan has been teaching for over forty years and a therapist for over 35 years.

Selective Empathy

Friday, 13th May 2022

How is it that sometimes we feel heard and deeply accompanied, whilst at others we feel that our communication skills have collapsed, or that the listener has just changed the subject? Whilst we may expect, tolerate and understand this in our everyday relationships, how would we feel if our therapist seemed to be doing the very same thing? Person-centred practitioners aim to provide the core attitudinal qualities of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. How do we spot our own selective empathy? This day will allow participants to explore the possible blind spots or unresolved issues that cause selective empathy. It will include discussion of the self-directed nature of the person-centred process, and how unrecognized selective empathy may subtly be directing the client away from discussing issues we are uncomfortable with.


Touch in Therapy

Saturday, 21st May 2022

The issue of touch within therapy relationships relies on the personal integrity of the therapist, unless the tradition of therapy they practice prohibits it altogether. This day will provide space for focus on each participant’s relative comfort and/or discomfort with touch within therapeutic relationships. We will consider what might constitute ‘safe’ touch between therapist and client, as well as the potential healing aspects of touch. Whilst not seeking to advocate touch as an aspect of all therapeutic relationships, where touch does feel appropriate, natural and potentially healing, to rule it out may serve to undermine the relationship rather than enhance it. This day will explore questions and encourage each participant to reflect and consider where touch fits into their own practice.


Dissociation – Creative Survival

Sunday, 12th June 2022

Where there is chronic abuse in childhood many learn to survive by dissociating from the experience.  This may involve leaving the body, numbing out, splitting off, depersonalising and/or derealising.  Living with continual threat, children can only survive by adapting in any way they can in the hope of avoiding more harm. Though this does not prevent harm, the child can be somewhat (though temporarily) protected by not knowing, not seeing, not hearing, not tasting, not feeling, not remembering. In adult life, a time can come when the individual recognises differences between the way they live and see life, and the way others do. The survival strategy can become entrenched and prevent processing and healing. The dissociative experience can be pathologised when not understood for what it is. This day will offer the opportunity to reflect on dissociative experiencing as creative survival, encouraging practitioners to understand dissociation and empowering them to accompany more confidently their clients who live this experience, and are working to heal and recover.


Chronic Sorrow

 Saturday 25th June 2022

Time bound grief models focus on a temporal sequence of shock, protest, despair, reorganisation, leading ultimately to acceptance.   This can lead to the idea that acceptance is required for healthy resolution, and if acceptance does not occur, a neurotic state exists.  Many parents of children/adults with learning and/or physical disabilities are judged on whether or not they have ‘accepted’ the reality of their child’s disabilities.  There are differences for parents and siblings, as well as the individuals themselves.  The person is still there, and times of ‘acceptance’ may come and then go again.  And each time the grief may feel as raw as it did first time round.  This day will focus mainly on the impact of chronic sorrow as it relates to those who have loved ones with learning and/or physical disabilities, and those individuals themselves. We will also explore how chronic sorrow can affect any of us, depending on the kind of loss we have experienced, through chronic illness, divorce, loss of a child and much more.


Sexual Feelings in the Counselling/Therapy Relationship

Friday, 8th July 2022

It is rare for counselling and psychotherapy courses to include time for exploring sexual feelings in relating to clients, or which clients express towards their counsellors/therapists.  For some practitioners this can lead to a sense that there is something wrong if sexual feelings emerge in themselves in their work, or in clients who have sexual feelings towards them. In such close relationships, it seems natural that there will sometimes be attractions, and sometimes these will be of a sexual nature.  What we do about that, and how we process those feelings will be the focus of our work during this study day.


What happens to our clients in the event of our sudden death or illness?

 Saturday, 23rd July 2022

A crucial, yet underexplored aspect of our work as practitioners, is how we consider our clients’ potential reactions to our unexpected death or illness. This study day will allow participants to explore their feelings, attitudes and beliefs about the impact on their clients, in the event of their own sudden illness or death.  There will be space to plan for such eventualities, as well as to look at the practical implications for ensuring that the best interests of clients are attended to, should the practitioner be suddenly forced to stop their practice due to illness, or death.  The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) already mandate the requirement for a clinical Will, while BACP’s Ethical Framework (up to 2020) suggests practitioners ‘consider a plan’. It is likely BACP will make a clinical Will mandatory at some time soon. This day will support participants in thinking about, and getting started on such important plans.



Collateral Damage: Casualties of Alcohol Misuse: An Anthology

Paperback – 17 Jan. 2020

This anthology contains chapters written by individuals who have been affected by loving/caring about someone close, whose use of alcohol has impacted on the relationship. There is so much literature focusing on the experience of alcohol addiction or dependency in the medical and professional helper material, but scant attention given to those who live with and/or are affected by the person whose drinking is causing harm. Those who have given their time to this project have done so using their own voices. This gives the collection a variety of styles which provides the reader with a wide set of experiences. The editor is eager to encourage writing as a therapeutic option when processing painful experiences, especially where the individuals are unable – due to their loved one’s alcohol misuse – to have the open dialogue which might help them. Sadly in all the cases presented herein, the contributors are left to manage the effects of another person’s departure into a different world, a person they have loved and cared for. For those who love someone who misuses alcohol, this book will offer company. The contributors have shared experiences they have previously found impossible to talk about. Readers may find themselves in these stories, and as a result, feel less lonely.

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Listening to their Voices: The Person-Centred Approach to Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Paperback – 17 Dec. 2017

This book includes verbatim interview contributions from individuals who have ASD, their parents, siblings, and some professionals. It is written by a therapist who works with all those groups, so that other chapters include examples of the lives and experiences of those with ASD. The purpose of the book is to introduce the how to of Person-Centred Planning, by introducing the Person-Centred Approach to anybody supporting people with ASD. Readers would include support workers, social workers, counsellors/therapists, medical practitioners, volunteers, and any other practitioners aiming to support people with ASD to reach their best potential in life.

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Voices of the Voiceless: Person-Centred Approaches for People with Learning Difficulties

Paperback – 1 Jan. 2002

“Voices of the Voiceless” is an inspiring, passionate and comprehensive exploration that offers hope and encouragement to counsellors and practitioners working with people living with learning difficulties. Although the effects of learning difficulties and the effects of society’s treatment of people with learning difficulties are lifelong and often severe, counselling and healing are possible. The author argues that even those people who have the most severe learning disabilities can benefit from counselling, and not simply from behaviour management or medication to manage and control them. Jan Hawkins integrates 15 years’ experience of counselling and her 25 years’ experience as a mother of a person with learning difficulties. The book contains many moving accounts of the healing process and detailed examples of interdisciplinary working and the power the Person-Centred Approach offers for those who are metaphorically and often literally voiceless.

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Other Publications

“The Vulnerability of the Therapist” Article in Person-Centred Quarterly Published by The Person-Centred Association (tPCA) Winter p5-15 – 2022

“Person-Centred or Self Centred?” in Person-Centred Practice the Journal of the British Association for the Person-Centred Approach. Vol. 1 No.1 – 1993

“Survivors of Childhood Abuse – The Person-Centred Approach:A Special Contribution” in Person-Centred Practice the Journal of the British Association for the Person-Centred Approach. Vol. 4. No.1 – 1996

“Men – Women: People” in Self & Society. A Journal of
Humanistic Psychology. Vol. 24. No.1 – 1996

“Partners With disAbility” – (co-editor and contributor) A Kith & Kids Publication. 1996

“A Choice Model for Anger Expression: Encouraging Responsibility” in Changes – the International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy. Vol. 15 No. 3 pp211-219 – 1997

“Survivors of Childhood Abuse – The Person-Centred Approach: A Special Contribution” in Person-Centred Practice. The Journal of the British Association for the Person-Centred Approach. Vol. 4. No.1 – 1996.

Reprinted in The BAPCA Reader, Ed. Merry, T. PCCS Books – 2000

Paradoxical Safety: ‘Barriers to the actualizing tendency, and beyond’ Person-Centred Practice, Journal of the British Association for the Person-Centred Approach Vol 10 No.1. (pages 21-26 Spring) – 2002

“Voices of the Voiceless: Person-Centred Approaches and
People with Learning Difficulties” PCCS Books – 2002

“I Can Do It Softly” chapter in ‘Idiosyncratic Person-Centred Therapy: From the Personal to the Universal Edited by Suzanne Keys. PCCS Books – 2003

“Living in Pain: Mental Health and the Legacy of Childhood Abuse” in Person-Centred Psychopathology: A Positive Psychology of Mental Health Eds Joseph, S. & Worsley, R. PCCS Books – 2005

“Making Connections: experiences of training support workers” In Adlerian Society (UK) and the Institute for Individual Psychology Year Book. – 2007

“Recovering from childhood sexual abuse: Dissociative processing.” In Person-Centred Practice: Case Studies in Positive Psycholog Eds. Worsley, R. & Joseph, S. PCCS Books – 2007

“Paradoxical Safety and the Billy Goats Gruff” In The Adlerian Society (UK) and the Institute for Individual Psychology Year Book: A Collection of Topica Essays 2010. Published by Anthony Rowe Ltd Great Britain – 2010

“Walking the talk – potent therapy is a risky business” in Leonardi, J. in ‘The Human Being Fully Alive: Writings in Celebration of Brian Thorne’ (p 23-43) PCCS Books – 2010

“Person-Centred therapy with adult Survivors of childhood sexual abuse” in Person-Centred Practice at the Difficult Edge. Eds, Pearce, P. and Sommerbeck, L PCCS Books – 2014

“Person–Centred Therapy with People with Learning Disabilities: Happy People Wear Hats” in Person-Centred Practice at the Difficult Edge. Eds, Pearce, P. and Sommerbeck, L. PCCS Books – 2014

“Living in Pain: Mental Health and the Legacy of Childhood Abuse” in The Handbook of Person-Centred Therapy and Mental Health: Theory, Research And Practice. Ed. Joseph, S. PCCS Books. (2nd Ed of Person-Centre Psychopathology: A Positive Psychology of Mental Health. Eds Joseph, S. & Worsley, R. PCCS Books, 2005) – 2017

“Listening to their Voices: The Person-Centred Approach to Autistic Spectrum Disorder” Foundation for the Developing Person
Publication – 2017

“Collateral Damage: Casualties of Alcohol Misuse – An Anthology” Editor and Contributor. Foundation for the Developing Person Publication – 2020