Staying in with Jane Haynes, author of In the Consulting Zoom: A Psychotherapist’s Journal of Lockdown

It gives me enormous pleasure to welcome Jane Haynes to Linda’s Book Bag today. My thanks to publicist Grace Pilkington at Quartet Books for putting us in touch with one another. With life having been led vicariously, often via Zoom, for almost a year and my usually cheerful public persona sometimes belying my actual mood, I’m fascinated to see what Jane has to tell me about her latest book.

Staying in with Jane Haynes

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

In the Consulting Zoom: A Psychotherapist’s Journal of Lockdown I have chosen it because of its ongoing relevance to our collective COVID lives and because it is unusual. It records the daily life of a psychotherapist who, used to being sequestered in her Marylebone consulting rooms, suddenly found herself working from the chaos of a multigenerational home.

That must have been quite demanding!

Also, everyone has become more dependent on technology whether that is Zoom/Face Time/Skype and in the case of therapy it has changed everything. One example of this is that while the therapist opens and closes the sessions they have no idea at all where the patient/person will receive them. In the past I didn’t know anything about people’s lives except what they wanted to tell me. Since Zoom and Lockdown I have conducted therapy in people’s bedrooms, kitchens, even bathrooms and beds. I have seen what they have on their walls and sometimes what their children and dogs look like. Finally, looking back I have no idea at all how, at the end of a busy day conducting five therapy zooms, looking after children, cleaning the house, dealing with the recycling (for which you need a PhD get it right in Camden) I ever found the time to write a daily diary entry.

Crikey, neither do I! In the Consulting Zoom: A Psychotherapist’s Journal of Lockdown sounds fascinating though. What can we expect from an evening in with this book?

You will not only hear my voice, but with their permission given, you will hear excerpts of my ‘patient’s’ (I don’t like to use that word except for simplicity) lives and their fears and anxieties. You will also find an interview with my eight-year-old granddaughter talking about what COVID meant to her. You will hear about how I woke up one day in late March to find that a neighbour across the road had died of COVID and how their house was being guarded by police in full hazmat and PPE. Also you’ll read my rage with Dominic Cummings for his arrogance and how I nicknamed him Rumpelstiltskin.

I have kept my Covid related views fairly quiet Jane, but the Dominic Cummings fiasco absolutely enraged me too and I hold him responsible for many, many deaths.

Apart from various voices and your own rage, what else have you brought along and why have you brought it?

I have brought my dog Dido and my cat Zen who have helped to keep me sane throughout Lockdown and who both tell their own stories in the journal.

I think many people have needed their pets more than ever Jane.

I’m also bringing a pack of cards. I have never been someone who played games and I only recently bought a pack of cards, but learning to play bridge on line on BBQ has been another accomplishment that would not have happened without COVID as I am useless at maths.

Me too. Took me three goes to get a C in maths at O’Level although I think having 8 different teachers in a year didn’t help!

Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat about In the Consulting Zoom: A Psychotherapist’s Journal of Lockdown Jane. I think it sounds a really interesting read. 

In the Consulting Zoom: A Psychotherapist’s Journal of Lockdown

As suicide rates rocket during Lockdown all royalties from this edition are being donated to CALM: The Charity Against Living Miserably.

‘If the origin of the word ‘patient’ was linked in Greek to the word: ‘suffering’ we are all patients now, regardless of whether or not we have the virus’

After suffering from a bout of writer’s block, Jane re-read Defoe’s A Journal of a Plague Year and was inspired to write her own journal of a Covid-19 lockdown. Starting at the beginning of March, as Jane experiences symptoms, this diary captures the fear and uncertainty of Spring 2020. Unable to get tested, Jane vividly conjures the national frustration and tightness in the chest the early days of the pandemic induced. As lockdown continues, we follow Jane through previously uncharted territory; the life of a full-time psychotherapist.

In the Consulting Zoom will take you on a trip into one of psychotherapy’s most original minds. It will make you, laugh, smile and scowl at all the governmental mistakes. Interesting, informative, philosophical, political, honest and heart-warming, we watch Jane unravel the mysteries of Zoom, online bridge and innovative ways of getting food delivered, while emotionally navigating her way through the terror of the virus.

In the Consulting Zoom is available for purchase here.

About Jane Haynes

Jane Haynes is a writer and relational psychotherapist who lives and practises in London, and more recently on Zoom. Jane co-founded the Blue Door Practice in Marylebone.

In 2008 her book Who is it that can tell me who I am? (Little, Brown) was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize for literary autobiography. If I Chance to Talk a Little Wild (Quartet Books) was published to critical acclaim in 2018. As the UK is clouded by Covid-19, Jane has written articles on how to survive lockdown for Vogue and given tips on how to cope with our new reality on Times Radio and BBC London. In the Consulting Zoom is her latest work.

For more information, follow Jane on Twitter @janehaynespsych or visit her website. You’ll also find her on Instagram.

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