21 Conversations

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21 Conversations I offer online Psychotherapy and Counselling to parents who have a child with Downs Syndrome

A great read in The Guardian today!
27/11/2021

A great read in The Guardian today!

From Line of Duty to Mare of Easttown, a new generation of performers are breaking through. Meet the actors, models and presenters leading a revolution in representation

14/11/2021

If you’d like to follow the progress of the Down Syndrome Bill, here is the page.

Our aim: raise issues affecting people with DS, their families & carers; promote equality & respect at all stages of life; campaign for equal access & support in all areas of life; highlight the innate worth or people with DS & the contribution they make.

17/06/2021

“A Down Syndrome Act. Now why didn't we think of that before?”A video featuring some of our trustees from www.ndspg.org explaining why an Act is needed and w...

Have you been watching Line of Duty? Tommy Jessop is just killing it! 💪
06/04/2021

Have you been watching Line of Duty? Tommy Jessop is just killing it! 💪

Here's what you need to know...

Wouldn’t change a thing! ♥️
16/03/2021

Wouldn’t change a thing! ♥️

50 Siblings | We Are Family How will this affect my other children? That is the question many new or expectant parents of a child with Down syndrome ask themselves on receiving their child’s diagno…

Such fantastic news! I am so delighted this case will finally be heard. Well done to Heidi Crowter and Liz Crowter.
19/10/2020

Such fantastic news! I am so delighted this case will finally be heard. Well done to Heidi Crowter and Liz Crowter.

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Woman with Down’s syndrome landmark case against UK Govt over discriminatory abortion law to be heard by High Court The High Court has granted permission to hear a landmark case against the UK Government over the current discriminatory abortion...

'I want to represent everyone with a disability & show myself off to the world'⁣⁣Ellie Goldstein ⁣⁣Ellie is featured on ...
03/10/2020

'I want to represent everyone with a disability & show myself off to the world'⁣

Ellie Goldstein ⁣

Ellie is featured on the cover of GLAMOUR’s September digital Fashion issue⁣

I am so inspired by Ellie 😊

Please do sign the change.org petition demanding that this offensive t-shirt is banned from sale.
15/09/2020

Please do sign the change.org petition demanding that this offensive t-shirt is banned from sale.

on the 22nd august i wrote a blog post here, exploring the feelings generated in parents by the t-shirt pictured above, which extols the world at large to “make downs syndrome extinct”. a change.org petition has now been raised, in hopes of banning the sale of this t-shirt, and others like it, o...

I wrote about this hideous t-shirt on my blog on the 22nd August. There is now a change.org petition to try to get the t...
14/09/2020

I wrote about this hideous t-shirt on my blog on the 22nd August. There is now a change.org petition to try to get the t-shirt banned, on the basis that it is inciting hate-speech.
Please sign! Let’s stop this.

I’ve written a new blog post talking about my purpose in setting up 21 Conversations, my mission statement!Do please fee...
07/09/2020

I’ve written a new blog post talking about my purpose in setting up 21 Conversations, my mission statement!

Do please feel free to comment on the post, and let me know if there are any particular issues you would like me to address.

Also, I hope you feel free to share this, if you feel there is someone it might help.

The 21 Conversations blog addresses the feelings that can arise from parenting a child with Down's Syndrome, with the aim of untangling painful feelings and bringing clarity and relief.

I’ve finished my website for 21 Conversions, Im happy to say. Please have a look at it, and let me know whether there is...
26/08/2020

I’ve finished my website for 21 Conversions, Im happy to say. Please have a look at it, and let me know whether there is anything else you feel you would like to be in there - any questions I haven’t addressed and so on. I’d like it to be as transparent and user friendly as possible, so I’m always happy to have your feedback .. 👍 and 👎
Thank you!

21 Conversationscompassionate counselling for parents who have a child with Downs syndrome Contact me £60/session book now for a free 15 minute exploratory chat to see how I can help you My Storylike you, i have a child who has downs syndrome. it’s quite a journey, isn’t it? a journey with ups...

So, I have faced my fear and written my first blog post!I'd like to say I hope you enjoy reading it, but the subject I a...
22/08/2020

So, I have faced my fear and written my first blog post!
I'd like to say I hope you enjoy reading it, but the subject I am writing about is *not* an enjoyable one.
I write about the powerful feelings that arise when confronted with the hate some people feel towards our children; how difficult it can be to experience those painful feelings; and what it does to us when we don't. It is a powerfully difficult subject to think about.

https://www.21conversations.co.uk/blog

Gucci posted this lovely image of model Ellie Goldstein on Instagram in June, to promote their new Gucci Mascara L’Obscu...
11/08/2020

Gucci posted this lovely image of model Ellie Goldstein on Instagram in June, to promote their new Gucci Mascara L’Obscur. So far it has received 860,000 likes. Gucci says that it is their “biggest liked post EVER”.
How does it make you feel to see an image like this? I felt a little teary I must confess.

When you think of your child as an adult, what is your dream for them?I’ll start. My dream for Matthew is that one day h...
08/05/2020

When you think of your child as an adult, what is your dream for them?
I’ll start. My dream for Matthew is that one day he will be able to work helping the Groundsman at his beloved Fulham Football Club. That feels like an achievable goal (excuse the pun!).
When he was a baby I couldn’t imagine what his future might look like. It was very frightening to have literally *no idea* what I could hope for for him.

I'd like to share this post from Farah Lyner. It’s a truism, of course, that each child with Downs Syndrome will develop...
07/05/2020

I'd like to share this post from Farah Lyner. It’s a truism, of course, that each child with Downs Syndrome will develop on a timeline quite unique to them. And often out of step with almost everyone else! I was particularly struck by Farah’s metaphor: "It’s as if we’re running for a bus and I want so much to let her walk, to let her be independent and get there in her own time. But I also know if I don’t scoop her up and carry her, we will miss the bus."
Does that strike a chord with you?
I guess every parent of every child will recognise that frustration ... but what if it goes on for years instead of months. What do you do with the feelings?

Farah Lyner explains why time is both precious and complicated when raising a child with Down syndrome who develops at their own pace.

My name is Jo Mercer, and I’m a qualified Psychotherapist and Counsellor. My therapy practice, 21 Conversations, was con...
06/05/2020

My name is Jo Mercer, and I’m a qualified Psychotherapist and Counsellor. My therapy practice, 21 Conversations, was conceived in order to support parents who – like me - have a child with Downs Syndrome.

My son Matthew is now almost 18. It wouldn’t be right to say that I’ve “been there, done that”; but it is true to say that my experiences along the way, coupled with my professional training, mean that I’m able to offer something quite unique.

The name “21 Conversations” came about through a series of conversations with other parents like you and me. It acknowledges that counselling is, at best, a particular kind of conversation that leads to understanding and relief. Clarity and calm. Everyone has their own unique conversation, about their own particular circumstances, but what we have in common is that trisomy on the 21st chromosome.

It is true that you can love you child without always loving the life that goes with it. If you need some help, do contact me.

21 Conversations is a counselling service: I help parents who have a child with Downs Syndrome stop feeling overwhelmed ...
04/05/2020

21 Conversations is a counselling service: I help parents who have a child with Downs Syndrome stop feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, to build a fuller life without guilt.

Today marks the beginning of “Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week” (4th - 10th May 2020).What is meant by Maternal Men...
04/05/2020

Today marks the beginning of “Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week” (4th - 10th May 2020).

What is meant by Maternal Mental Health? It is estimated that around 1 in 5 women develop mental health difficulties during pregnancy or in the first year after the birth. These difficulties might lead to you feeling depressed, detached and listless. It might mean suffering post-natal depression; having difficulties making an attachment bond with your baby. Or, it might mean becoming unbearably anxious about the wellbeing of your baby, perhaps to the extent that you begin to obsess over small details and feel compelled to adhere to strict routines to the detriment of your own wellbeing.

The arrival of a baby has been compared to a small bomb going off in the middle of your familiar life. Everything changes. What if, in addition to the ordinary challenge of adjusting to the arrival of a new human being, you are also struggling with an unexpected diagnosis of Downs Syndrome?

An unexpected diagnosis requires a huge internal adjustment for both parents. Every one of us responds in our own unique way. But, however we take the news, it is likely that there will be some very difficult emotions around. What do you do with them?

We like to think that the wider family, our friends and community will help us process these painful feelings. I think it needs to be acknowledged, though, that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it is our partner or our family who is struggling to accept this new, changed, reality.

This year the theme of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is “supporting mums during difficult times”, which of course couldn’t be more appropriate right now, as we try to parent in the midst of a global pandemic. Ordinary access to friends and family is very limited in lock-down. It is quite likely that feelings of "having to cope with this on your own" are heightened and intense.

It is crucially important, especially during this period of frightening uncertainty, that new mothers are able to find the support and care that both they and their families need.

Awareness campaigns like this can make such a difference by starting a conversation. Do have a look at https://www.facebook.com/PerinatalMHPartnershipUK/?__tn__=HHH-R
who offer to signpost mums to sources of support.

I would also recommend looking to Downs Syndrome peer support groups for contact and reassurance, and sometimes a place to vent. Everyone there has experienced something of what you are going through. There is likely to be a group in your local area. The Future of Downs http://www.futureofdowns.com/ has a facebook group.

Finally, if this doesn’t feel enough, do consider contacting a therapist or counsellor to help you work through your difficult feelings along side you. I offer a 30 minute free consultation to see whether counselling would be of help to you. If you’d like to contact me, here's a button to contact me on Messenger.

01/05/2020

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