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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, LJ Jenner offers a rare glimpse into what happens behind the closed doors of a therapy session with the story of Maggie, a newly qualified therapist, and her relationship with three particular clients.
The Wrong Story
L J Jenner’s novel, The Wrong Story is an important book for our time, given the current mental health crisis our world is facing. Jenner’s fifteen years of experience as a psychotherapist, and her understanding of the realities of the therapist-client relationship, are reflected in her nuanced hero Maggie, and a believable storyline zeroing in on the possibly hurtful self-accounts that both Maggie and her clients find it hard to split away from.
Maggie is a newly qualified therapist, self-doubting, and desperately attempting to pretend that a terrible tragedy in her past never happened. Her carefully constructed defenses are put to the test when a client arrives for therapy who is strikingly similar to her younger self. When you add a second client who may have a violent past, and a third one who is getting ready to go to court to confront his childhood abuser, the conditions are set for Maggie’s emotional barriers to be completely torn down.
L J Jenner handles her subjects with sympathy and conveys an important read that will hit home for those confronting similar struggles, as well as any reader interested in human psychology.
L J Jenner
After earning a degree in mathematics, L. J. Jenner joined Unilever as part of a fast track graduate program. From there, she went on to manage factories for a number of years, including the Robinsons soft drink factory. After she got married, Jenner became a full-time mom once they had children.
After her son recovered from his near-death experience at the age of 4, she had to keep talking about the traumatic event, but everyone else seemed to move on more quickly than she could. Determined to be the listener for others that she needed herself, she decided to retrain in psychotherapy and set up her own business and, in time, qualified as a BACP certify psychotherapist. She saw clients privately, as well as having a contract with Gloucestershire County Council, where she worked with people from the fire service, social services, and the teaching profession, among other fields.
Following 15 years as a psychotherapist, she was exhausted of hearing accounts of leaders causing tremendous pressure, stress and sickness. As a result, she began working with business leaders to enhance performance, engagement, and well-being by combining her previous leadership experience with her psychotherapy training. She now instructs leaders on the psychology and neuroscience of performance and motivation. They work on everything under the sun, from leaderships styles, to organisation frameworks. Although she is now 80% retired, Jenner actually continues in this work and has an ongoing contract with a large multinational organisation.
Jenner found that the trouble with therapy was only being able to help one person at a time. She hopes to benefit a greater number of people by working with leaders and in writing this book. She hopes that the book can help as many people as possible shed their negative narratives and reflect on the origins of the stories they tell themselves.
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