Jacqui is Orri’s Online Clinical Manager and oversees every single online client and staff member to ensure the smooth running of our online service. Having worked in eating disorder treatment for 15 years, she brings with her a wealth of experience and passion in helping clients recover. Below, she tells us more about her role and how she works to create a safe, virtual community that fosters hope and compassion.
How long have you been a clinician for and what were you doing before Orri?
I qualified as an HCPC Registered Psychologist in 2006 and have specialised in the treatment of eating disorders for over 15 years. My interest in eating disorders began early in my career when I provided individual therapy and facilitated eating disorder recovery groups in a large multi-disciplinary team in a Specialist Eating Disorders Service. Since this time, I have also worked as a senior clinical manager in a variety of settings leading the delivery of mental health and trauma services.
What does an Online Clinical Manager do?
I lead and support a multi-disciplinary team to deliver an intensive day treatment programme of therapy groups, dietetics, individual psychotherapy, meals support processing groups, somatic therapy and occupational therapy. What is important to me is all clients on the programme feel seen, heard, understood and feel they belong here.My philosophy is ‘BE KIND for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about’.
How do you manage Orri’s online treatment programme?
I ensure everything runs smoothly by having good systems in place and meet twice a day with the team where we discuss how clients are progressing. At Orri, the team know about each client online and understand their challenges and why they want to recover. All clients have a regular 6 -week treatment review with their case manager. I oversee the management of client’s treatment pathways and all documentation.
I have Community meetings with clients’ on regular basis to hear about their experience of the programme and use this to shape and refine the programme to meet their recovery needs.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy/discipline that you practise?
I am well -trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy, EMDR, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Systemic therapies. I specialise in schema therapy for eating disorders which is designed to address the factors that make it hard to change such as longstanding repeating patterns in relationships and difficulties with naming and responding to emotions.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am passionate about making intensive day treatment accessible for all and continually look at ways to deliver treatment in a flexible way.
I enjoy seeing clients benefiting from a safe group space by sharing challenges, how they are feeling and receiving peer to peer support and guidance from the facilitator to support their recovery. The magic can happen in group.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
I find it a challenge that people do not know they have a problem or think they are not deserving of treatment and suffer with this issue. We know eating disorders thrive in isolation and the COVID restrictions played a key role in many individuals’ eating disorders. I want everyone who has found their life has become all about thoughts about weight and body shape, who is struggling with their relationship with food and relationship with their body to reach out for help as soon as they notice a problem.
We are here to help you to make a full recovery and to decide how you want the rest of your life to be.
“We are here to help you to make a full recovery and to decide how you want the rest of your life to be.”
What do you wish people knew about therapy/psychology?
Therapy is about understanding yourself and it through this self awareness you can start to respond and not react to events. I feels Portia Nelson captures the process in her poem:
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters,
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am hopeless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in… it’s a habit… but, my eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
What do you feel is most unique about Orri?
What makes Orri unique is everything we do is with kindness and you see this in how staff treat each other and this creates a supportive culture. When team members feel supported they can give their best to clients. We listen to clients and empower clients to ask for what they need as this is their recovery.
Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?
I love to move through running, pilates, spin classes , contemporary dance and weight lifting. I have a 20 year relationship with yoga and I am training to be an embodied yoga teacher. I balance this well with relaxing time by travelling, reading and spending time with family and friends.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Before every session, I take a moment to remember my humanity. There is no experience that this person has that I cannot share, no fear that I cannot understand, no suffering that I cannot care about, because I too am human. No matter how deep the persons wound, they do not need to be ashamed in front of me. I too am vulnerable. And because of this, I am enough. Whatever their story, they no longer need to be alone with it. This is what will allow the healing to begin.”
“Let go the people who are not prepared to love you. This is the hardest thing you will have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing. Stop having hard conversations with people who don’t want change. Stop showing up for people who have no interest in your presence. I know your instinct is to do everything to earn the appreciation of those around you, but it’s a boost that steals your time, energy, mental and physical health.
When you begin to fight for a life with joy, interest and commitment, not everyone will be ready to follow you in this place. This doesn’t mean you need to change what you are, it means you should let go of the people who aren’t ready to accompany you. If you are excluded, insulted, forgotten or ignored by the people you give your time to, you don’t do yourself a favour by continuing to offer your energy and your life. The truth is that you are not for everyone and not everyone is for you. That’s what makes it so special when you meet people who reciprocate love. You will know how precious you are.
The more time you spend trying to make yourself loved by someone who is unable to, the more time you waste depriving yourself of the possibility of this connection to someone else.
There are billions of people on this planet and many of them will meet with you at your level of interest and commitment.”
Do you have a mental health hero?
We have a ‘Recovery in Action’ programme in which clients who have recovered come back to Orri to share their recovery journey with clients on the programme. They are all my mental health heroes as they share how through small sustainable changes they were able to fully recover.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
I would say be brave, be patient, trust the process and actively participate in treatment to bring about the changes you want to make. You will have the Orri team alongside supporting you all the way.