John Jolliffe Counselling and Psychotherapy

Home. JJ2021a

MA, PG Dip,
PG Cert.

  RETIRED 2014


only doing research from here on…
And will be putting in short articles for people to read on the other pages on this website – the titles of which you can see displayed at the top of this homepage.

just to confirm…

John Jolliffe attachment and trauma therapist
is now RETIRED from all clinical work.

And so, as from my retirement in 2014, I will no longer be providing face-to-face sessions, telephone sessions, supervision or consultations.

I am now only concerned with new acadmenic research ideas, in related fields, for the purposes of producing or co-producing written material.


I consider it is most relevant to say, that I had come upon this work from out of my own issues ~ and from having travelled a very long and winding path ....

A behind The Homepage view - with a selectively written short summary of 'my story' will be added to these pages in the Spring of 2024


And so, the first encounter in the 'professional field as-it-were' was with


My original situation – after making the decision whilst living in Holland for a while – was to go into the field of psychotherapy professionally. Not long after arriving in London – I found my way to undertaking courses with the 'ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MOVEMENT' ..... under the auspices of R. D. LAING & associates. R. D. Laing though did not accept the title anti-psychiatry – even though he profoundly challenged the then orthodox approaches. In the 1960s and 70s onwards - he offered alternative understandings and perspectives on a range of issues, along with the provision of alternative communties, with the first - now famous - experimental community at Kingsley Hall, East London - and then further onto a range of more sophisticated, but relatively smaller community houses. I continued in this field for seven years – in what would be seen by many (as I have already stated), as part of the 'ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MOVEMENT'.

*I then later took up with those promoting the application of Attachment Theory to deep level understandings within psychotherapy – and which were seen as replacing in importance many aspects of the traditional insights previously held.

R.D. Laing was born in Glasgow – and very many years later a film was made called 'Mad to be Normal', portraying in dramatic fashion his very early pioneering work with the five-year experimental community at Kingsley Hall, East London. The star who played his part 'David Tennant' is also from Scotland – and it was considered by many who knew R. D. Laing – to have been a remarkably authentic and brilliant portrayal.

Currently researching ... AUTHENTICITY

One of my many themes in authenticity is the relationship between breakdowns of various sorts – symptoms of various sorts – and Authenticity – or use your email address book

Currently writing a book on my sense of what therapy and self-development is all about. Also engaging with people in regard to their experience – from professional provision, work situations & as recipients of therapy.

MY CENTRAL FOCUS IN MY CLINICAL WORK – WAS ALWAYS DRAWN FROM AND INFORMED BY ATTACHMENT THEORY – EVEN THOUGH I HAD BEEN INVOLVED WITH AND HAD ATTENDED MANY DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT – including that of the RD Laing Movement (as I refer to it), along with many other schools of thought – but my work as a clinical practitioner with individuals took place after these experiences – under the auspices of the understandings developed by Attachment Theory.

Before and also alongside all the various therapy trainings – I trained in Hatha Yoga with what might have been at that time viewed as part of the RD Laing movement, and continue to practice it, I trained in meditation practices with various organisations – including spending time at a Tibetan Retreat in Scotland – and continue to develop these meditation practices – which can help very greatly with PTSD, I also trained in Tai Chi for 5 years – and continue with this practice. From a very young age – 17 – at the same time that I came across the work of RD Laing, I was fascinated with the philosophy of Taoism – and practised aspects of it from thereon – and have found it to be most useful throughout the long and winding path of subsequent years.

Writing a novel based in WWII – regarding Attachment and Loss, and the value of horses in regards to recovery from trauma.

Also on
– Also see Linkedin

Coming soon The Dorset Coast - very early introductory version has now arrived ....where psychological insights towards endeaver, courage, meaning, attachment & loss are related as historical accounts of 'times past'.

I also write articles on groups, stories on authentic community, and fictional comedy about relationships and life situations.

Also media investor in film production
See link to film trailer below


From very early on I completely rejected the idea of owning a television - and focused on very carefully researched selective reading - and of having as much experience as possible through participation in groups and various organisational activities. I did not take holidays except one to Hungary in 1994 - I didn't spend money and I didn't have a car. Thus I accumulated some money – entered into some very difficult but ultimately over time productive business arrangements – and because I believed in this challenge to the orthodoxy of the times, that took place in the 1960's (before I was involved) & along with an interest with being one of 'the outsiders' – and also due to an invitation – I invested money – in the film ‘Mad To Be Normal’ (as a senior investor). The final production wasn’t quite like I thought it would be – they took a different line to maybe what I might have thought – but apparently it is still considered a real achievement in its own right as a production and for its amazing accuracy on many aspects – even if not especially focusing how I might have seen it – in my opinion – as regards some fundamental matters of relevance that was the purpose of those times (some of which even at that time proved in fact to be very effective) . We all of course have somewhat different perspectives on these matters. I think this project that is portrayed in this film – that lasted for 5 years – will be a real revelation to anyone that views it – apart from the interest in itself that it has an array of well-known famous actors. David Tennant had particularly wanted to portray the part of RD Laing. This film also reflected RD Laing's presentation of his developing ideas as seen in 'The Divided Self' – eventually published around the time of the end of this experiment – which gave a convincing argument for the relevance of existential real-life causes for such mental illnesses, which highlighted an opposition to the then current emphasis at the time on genetic and biochemical causes. It is the only thing – of this particular nature – that I have invested in to this degree. It was a relatively high risk investment because of its unusual theme, and also it clearly had a documentary aspect to this extremely controversial work – and I certainly did not invest in it for any intention of making a profit (as I had always been working for charities in the latter half of my life). My connection – was that when I arrived back in London – after having spent a considerable amount of time in Holland – I got involved with the movement that sprang from RD Laing, and his radical ideas – originally as a student studying his ideas on therapeutic communities that were existentially & phenomenologically inspired. About 8 years further on – I attended groups held by RD Laing – some years later having been found that I kept notes on these matters – I was invited to contribute an article – which I did. This was a two-page description of an event to which I gave the title ‘The Last Tuesday Group’ – which was the last of the groups given by RD Laing that were held on Tuesday evenings. I thought this story – being non-academic – portrayed best some aspects of the atmosphere in those times, in my opinion. This story was included in a book called ‘RD Laing – Creative Destroyer’ – first published in 1997. For me – the whole experience of being involved in various ways with what I called 'The Movement' – was an absolutely amazing and fascinating learning curve and experience – even exhilarating at times – which I shall hold in my memory for ever. Many commentators – gave bad press on these developments – without comparing in particular – the very significant downsides of the standard alternative that existed in that period. From out of those pioneering times – came many more sophisticated developments that were in fact considered seriously effective with their therapeutic provision. And thus this – and other courageous groundbreaking work in some other areas – led to the much improved later developments.

And as indicated above – around the end of this pioneering experiment – RD Laing produced a groundbreaking book – called:
The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness. (1969)
originally rejected by publishers up and down the UK – but later accepted as having made a major pioneering contribution to the field.


I undertook studies of various sorts in this area for nearly 2 ½ years and later worked in and co-founded what some might refer to as later versions of therapeutic communities.

Writer-director Robert Mullan produced ‘Mad to be Normal' in the first quarter of 2016 in Cologne and on location in London.

Starring David Tennant as RD Laing.
(also – Elizabeth Moss, Michael Gambon etc.)

see red link below for FILM TRAILER

*Mad To Be Normal – trailer*

see red link below – very brief interview with myself and some others with Warrior Film Promotions – at the initial showing in The Hospital Club, Soho, London.

*Interview – Myself and other investors *

If you play these videos – both of them – you will find that they lead onto more and more videos of discussion on the film and the topic – some including David Tennant with his interesting personal stories et cetera…

For a portrayal of some of Laing's work – and approach – try this on YouTube – ‘ Did You Used to be R D Laing? ‘ and selecting The MarsdenTherapy version – which runs for 1:37:57 hours (Copyrighted 1989).

Later further directions in these understandings,
and the search for answers.

These communities of R.D. Laing – in the original Kingsley Hall – took place before my time in London – but I had read about them in my teenage years. And by the 1980s there had been later developments in these communities – great improvements made. I arrived on the scene about this time.

In the 1980s – I looked into various understandings – and in 1989 I developed a keen interest in regard to the understandings of Attachment Theory (along with other major developments – too many to mention here). But although I was involved in many different approaches – Attachment Theory with its idea of the provision of A Secure Base – and new understandings – about the causes of emotional and psychological problems – drew my attention. It also provided new understandings for the provision of alternative communities – and a place in which to heal and develop.*These developments – from the early alternative communities to the later understandings – I intend to explain in another book that I’m currently writing at the moment.

*The linking ideas here of course are – spiritual emergence, homeostasis – and my own position of 'authentic orientation' – which I have written about before in essays at university – some many years back now of course – and have still yet to publish.*


Attachment Theory in my view – though not explained very well anywhere else as far as I can see in regards to its further implications – and is often unfortunately misunderstood as I see it – works in harmony and synergistically with further developments along the path of authenticity – what they call ‘autonomous’. It harmonises perfectly – with the ideas of existentialism – and developmental/growth ideas such as those of humanistic psychology – e.g. Carl Rogers, Maslow, and also Positive Psychology et cetera.

In terms of analytical therapy – the attachment approach as I see it and had developed it in my own work – adopts the position of being fully supportive along with taking very great care in helping one identify and process past traumas. It also focuses on building up one's secure sense of self – which is often needed before one has the capacity to process past traumas – sometimes this process could even circumvent revisiting some of the trauma of the past – which one might then just choose to leave behind. And I have my own versions of how one might deal with the concept of transference – and in a way – I think in the time that I developed it in my own work in the early nineteen nineties – this was radically different – and still is today – to the conventional approach. To some extent – in my opinion – this will also differ – and even be in contrast to certain versions of existential orientated analytical therapy – whilst the existential issues themselves are fully appreciated. Although curiously – and it needs to be understood in each individual's context – some of the ideas of RD Laing – do make sense for this area – when taking certain underlying connective meanings into account – even along this radically different path – in to how one goes about achieving a secure sense of self.


All these ideas – are also entirely relevant to people who consider themselves relatively normal and in balance – but who want to undergo further development– these ideas and practices provide the fundamental tools for further development – and can be harmonised easily with Buddhist ideas and the like. Attachment Theory is not just about dealing with emotional and psychological issues – it is also about normal development – and higher development. It is a living theory – constantly being revisited, revised and developed – by adherents all around the world – who share their expertise and knowledge.


Then of course – there are the further developments that can be referred to as Modern Attachment Theory – undergoing a major expansion in insights and understandings – closely tracing the dimensions of affect regulation, interactive regulation, development in treatment – along with utilising the latest neurobiological research...

In the early 1980s still finding my way in London - I undertook while working - years of voluntary (unpaid) additional work in various charities, communities and organisations - which as well as what it was in itself - fortuitously turned out to be valuable experience for my later paid work.

In the early 90s – I used to run discussion groups in London – for five years – and we had quarterly festive gatherings – around the solstices – and the Winter Solstice/Christmas gathering in December. These involved live players of music – of different kinds – ending in a meditation – and then switching to a buffet and other treats – converting into a discotheque through to the early hours of the morning. These were held in a variety of spacious accommodating venues – many provided free for us.

Later in Bournemouth – I facilitated a discussion group on Facebook, which included contributors from around the world.

In my teenage years – I formed a rock group/band playing rock and pop music – resident band in Bournemouth Town Centre – including for the annual dance of the Bournemouth Echo.

I’ve noticed many benefits in development from such music – and changes of awareness and inner states – in particular with classical music – and in fact from any form of music really – it being a different form of communication from that of ordinary spoken language – some might say in some cases – being more pure and direct. Whilst of course listening is beneficial – and also profound – some may gain in different aspects from actually performing the music – perhaps even more so in writing one’s own music – creating one’s own song. Similar with creating one's own art, dance and the writing of poetry. Much later my interests moved into other therapeutic forms – covering hatha yoga, some of the various forms of meditation, zen mindfulness, tai chi, development in groups of various sorts, the world of therapies that included early developmental processes (specialising in attachment) and general forms of counselling and psychotherapy – with a focus on working with trauma.

*see Qualifications for articles, lectures, talks, radio chats

MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling
(accredited ~ City University London)
Registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
(registered UKCP up until 2014 – now retired).

I used to be an 'Organiser Member of the
Association of Therapeutic Communities'

Contemporary Relational Analyst – (4 year postgrad diploma)
I had four excellent supervisors during my time as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist – as well as being extremely fortunate for a number of years to also have had Prof Brett Kahr agree to be a consultant to aspects of this work.

Co-founder and later coordinator for a long stay residential Therapeutic Community – 1986-2010.

This was registered as a charity – received finance from the Housing Corporation, Social Services (via such as community mental health team referrals), and charitable organisations and businesses. This was closed in 2010 – considered to be part of needed governmental cuts – after the financial crisis.

*for a detailed explanation of my approach to brief therapy, counselling, psychotherapy and in-depth therapy ~ see


Bournemouth Therapy & website (regarding associated therapists) – is now closed and off-line.

Aternatively click WebHealer

Some of the problems that were covered in my client work (before I retired)

I am experienced in helping clients who have difficulties with self assertion, self esteem, knowing who you are, relationships, anxiety states, and such states that might include obsessive compulsive behaviours (OCD), panic attacks, agoraphobia and phobias. I have worked with addictions (drug, alcohol etc.), loss and depression, stress and trauma (overwhelming experiences that go beyond the realm of stress). I have also worked with borderline personality disorder and dissociative states ~ though in some instances this usually requires a more structured approach to the therapeutic provision.

As well as this, I am concerned with the various and very important issues of not knowing where one's path is in life and so on ~ which can often have a bearing in relation to some of the symptoms already described.



(link to this ~ top left of page)



I was a recognized provider with international insurance companies.

I used to provide supervision for therapists-in-training in placements within the NHS etc ~ covering various parts of the country.

I used to provide supervision and consultations offered for psychotherapists

I used to provide supervision and consultations provided on Attachment Theory


currently developing further applications of Attachment Theory and its human face for psychotherapy

agoraphobic, phobic, obsessional and panic states

clinical work and theoretical perspectives

clinical work and theoretical perpsectives

I am interested in new ideas and proposals for Therapeutic Communities, or any other therapeutic provisions having charitable status



Boscombe East therapy room:

John Jolliffe
'Orchards Gate'


The Counselling and Psychotherapy practice is near Christchurch and Bournemouth, and within reach of Poole in Dorset, as well as Ringwood and New Milton in Hampshire


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