Hi and a very warm welcome to my website. I’m Dr Julie Hannan, a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist firmly planted in my own midlife experience, navigating my way through just like you.
Hi and a very warm welcome to my website. I’m Dr Julie Hannan, a Psychologist and Psychotherapist firmly planted in my own midlife experience, navigating my way through just like you.
I have been working as a private practitioner for quite a few years now, it is a second career for me.
I started out in a prestigious girls’ school in Birmingham which only concentrated and appreciated academia and never encouraged self-expression or embraced other talents. School was fine but difficult, I worked hard and never received the results I hoped for. I think most of the time I was quite overwhelmed by the pressure.
At 18 I had no idea what to do. I fell into the banking industry, stayed for a couple of years, became bored and drifted into Insurance. I had 6 successful years in the West Midlands and the Channel Islands working my way up to Offshore Sales Director and Board member of a multi-national financial organisation based in Jersey.
Being in Sales really sparked my interest in people, why some were more successful than others and I was curious about one particular question which has always been at the root of my interest in Psychology; ‘Why do people do the things they do?’
At 26, I was finally brave enough to follow my interest in psychology and put aside nagging doubts that I wasn’t clever enough, the legacy of many pupils from all-girls’ schools in the 80s.
Over the next few years I married, had two children, finished my degree, set up my own business, became a single parent and set my sights on a Doctorate. I had to fight off the internal voices that told me to ‘stay in my lane, people like you don’t become Doctors’.
I started to become who I longed to be and began to cast off the scripts, rules and introjects which had limited my personal growth.
I had never seen myself as a counsellor, didn’t think I was the counselling type – but I loved it.
I gained experience in the NHS by working voluntarily and saw private clients and started a mental health clinic taking on 8 psychologists and psychotherapists to help with all the referrals I was receiving – dutifully following the societal expectation that businesses ‘should’ expand and grow.
Money, however, had never been a motivator for me. The clinic was a success, but I was really unhappy, and my introverted self, preferred to work alone, so I stepped back and became a sole practitioner again.
It’s been hard to keep my eyes on the prize of becoming a psychologist, juggling it alongside trying to be an emotionally available parent and writing a book.
And now at midlife, I still ask the question ‘Why do people do the things they do?’ Midlife is a perfect storm where true desires can battle with life scripts and societal expectations and strip you of vitality, happiness and authenticity, fuelling the flames of frustration and anger.
So many people have yet to refine choices they made or were made for them at an earlier stage in their life which no longer serve them and make them unhappy.
Midlife is tricky and many people wonder how on earth they got here. My own experience has shown me happiness doesn’t happen by chance it has to be worked for.
So here I am trying to transform psychological theories of midlife into more palatable, understandable and practical bite-size chunks and debunk unhelpful, stereotypical myths about midlife, to help you answer how you got here and ultimately guide you to a much happier place.
So, come along for the ride!