Updated: Apr 20, 2020
My name is Jason, and I would like to share a little about myself in the hope that it will ease any unrest you may have about who I am, or what my intentions are.
I was born in 1976 in Livingstone Hospital in Dartford, just outside of South East London.
The eldest of 4 and mainly raised by my Mum, Nan and Aunts after our Dad left, when we were young.
Coming from a council estate, and a low income single parent family, I know first hand how tough life can be. My mum, bless her heart, raised us the best she could, given her situation, and as a family unit we were strong, however, like many, we did go without, hand-me-downs and beans on toast was a way of life for a while, I often remember my nan had to sew up my school trousers more than once, because we just didn't have the money for new ones.
I also know first hand what it's like to be raised in an abusive family, the impact that all that negativity has on a young persons mind and self esteem is very damaging, plus the resentment between siblings over their differing treatment, it could be so easy to become those that tormented you.
Don't get me wrong, we've all had that drunken friday night brawl in the town, that we've instantly regretted the next day, I am no saint and I make no excuses, but I am at peace with myself over my younger self's actions, for they were a way of acting out from my own abusive situation.
You see we do things because we are triggered by something else, and we reason with ourselves that its acceptable because our personal circumstance allows it,
But truth is...It doesn't!
My school life was OK, I was an average student and a bit of a character in school, I had an awful lot of potential, however my home life definitely impacted on my overall achievments, I did find solace however, in Martial Arts, Specifically Ju-Jitsu and Wing Chun and also with my music, when I played my base guitar, (I admit I am abit of a metal fan)
I went on to do an apprentiship in Electrics at college which I dropped out from after a year, and then ended up working with my then, girlfriends' Dad, as a welder and fabricator.
I really enjoyed this job, and honestly, I learnt so many skills from it that I have been able to use throughout my life. I realised later on in life that this had been a really important milestone during my late teens, I was accepted as a man!
You see, with very few male role models around when I was growing up, I always felt the need to prove myself to other men, by being smart, or strong, or good at everything I did, I always put in twice the effort of the guy standing next to me because I wanted that acceptance from my male counterparts, and as I grew up and entered the world of man, I came into my own, I strived for something better, something more!
And so I listened,
And I made sure that I knew how to do that job inside and out, and the same with every job thereafter.
I took the same approch with my Martial Arts, gaining my black belts from a young age, but let me be clear, back then was a different time, there wern't seperate classes for kids and adults, Nope! you had to train with the men, and they don't go easy, but then I never liked anything to be easy, where was the challenge in that!?
I lived and breathed Martial Arts and therefore wanted to put my skills to good use and so I opened my 1st Martial Arts gym in the 90's in dartford, I taught self defence workshops and led seminars, and eventually grew to have a nice little gym, alongside that I also moved into the frontline security sector, and worked my way up to managing a small security team.
After meeting my now wife, in 2004, who also shared a love of sports, particularly Boxing, we then joined forces to open a new type of gym together, and ventered into the world of Mixed Martial Arts, we taught each other our own styles then developed further by learning new ones such as Muay Thai, so that we could offer everything to anyone who wanted to learn.
Our gyms grew and so did our circle of people, which then gave me another skill, that I was yet to discover, The wife would often say, "you talk too much!" and she was right, I'd love to talk to people, I'd get to know them and things about them and their families, and I genuinley felt connected to these people, our gym members became like family, We fought together, in the gym, out on shows, we ate together, had functions, exchanged christmas presents, even cried together.
My kids grew up with these people, and they accepted and loved them as part of the team, but unbeknown to me it was this point in my life where I was developing the skills that would change my entire direction.
After 10 years, my wife and I decided to retire from the gym game, There was a lot of competition and let me tell you, there is no money in the gym game!
In fact during those 10 years we tackled the stress of being a young family, with no savings, because lets face it, every penny went on house rent, bills, gym rent, student costs, insurance, kids, and if we found ourselves with a little extra cash one month, low and behold the car would break, or the washing machine would break, I'm giggling because I can now but at the time, I felt like a failure, an imposter, and that my family desereved more even though I had nothing left to give.
So at the age of 34 I hit rock bottom.
Depression kicked in big time, and for many days I didn't get out of bed. I made excuses to not go to work or functions, I just couldn't; I was truly at my lowest point and I didn't really know what depression was, so I didn't go the Dr for help, I didn't go to anyone for help, I festered, until one day I woke up and said "Nah! This isn't how I go out! I've been through too much to quit now."
I decided I needed to start looking at how I could get better, I had all these negative thought's rattling around in me and I needed rid of them. But how?
So I took to the internet for some answers and came across counselling and Talking therapies.
Oh no, I didn't go and have any sessions at that point, In true Jay style, I decided that it wasn't enough to talk to someone, No, I needed to know how it all worked (remember earlier when I said I had to know the ins and outs, well that applied to everything, including this!)
At 35 I took myself back to school, A College for adults, and I enrolled in Counselling studies, I had no idea what was instore for me, but I had drive and passion and I wanted this change in my life, a new direction, I wanted to make something of myself and for my family.
And so the next 4 years I spent re-living my life, my memories.
I cried, laughed, cried some more and eventually I understood, through the learning, through the sharing, through all the hard work, I learnt who I was, I learnt to forgive myself, and to heal myself from within.
All those nights chatting to people at the gym, and getting to know people gave me the foundation to be able to connect with others on a deeper level, and once I had healed my own inner demons I was then able to merge all the skills I had gained over my life and utilise them in order to achieve my ultimate goal...
To help Others.
So you see, that is why there is no topic I won't discuss, because I'm not a hypocrite!
I've probably aleady done it or tried it or witnessed it!
I have lived a life ,
and a colourful one at that, and I feel this is what gives me the an edge.
I'm not here to preach or offer advice or solutions, I'm just here to listen to your story, no matter what the contents of it is.
Take Care Folks,
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