Philosophy of care
I work according to Jungian principles, in other words, I place the individual or “the true self” at the heart of all that I do.
I see every patient as a unique individual, and I work with them to help them to achieve optimum health by coming to know themselves better.
My intervention usually starts with an hour-long initial assessment, during which I take a detailed history or “life story” and I examine the patient for important mental health symptoms and signs. I make a diagnosis or diagnoses, which I explain thoroughly.
The reason that diagnosis is important is that evidence-based treatments in psychiatry relate to standardised diagnoses. So, for example, if a patient has a moderate depressive illness, a combination of an anti-depressant drug and CBT are likely to be beneficial. A patient who has a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder is likely to benefit from a mood stabilising drug, and so on.
I develop a treatment plan in close collaboration with the patient and their GP. I will often offer medication, however I do work with people who choose not to take any medication. In my experience, the initial stages of recovery from a mental disorder can be very challenging.
I will provide an analogy. An individual who first comes to me will frequently be in a confusing, dark and hostile mental space with no discernible escape route. I help them to see what they have not previously seen; that there is a tall ladder near to them which is the best way out, and when they look upwards, they see bright daylight. The only problem is that try as they might, they cannot grasp the sides of the ladder, nor can they get a foothold on the first few rungs. To climb to the top of that ladder seems to be an impossible task.
Medication often allows an individual to achieve that firm foothold; it is literally the “first step”.
Then, the real work that is long-term recovery can begin. The patient must climb the ladder rung by rung at their own pace.
There are a number of therapies available as the individual climbs the ladder, which both treat their condition and allow them to achieve a greater understanding of themselves and their life situation. I help patients to make sense of the landscape when they reach the top of the ladder and I support them to take extra care not to trip and fall down into the hole again.
I am devoted to my work as a Psychiatrist and I find it thoroughly rewarding when I witness a patient recovering from a long-term mental health disorder and going on to lead a full and satisfying life. I encourage patients to reach their full potential and to complete their education or enter employment wherever possible.
About Janet Meehan
I am a 50-year old female Consultant Psychiatrist. I run a private Psychiatry Practice and along with my colleagues, I specialise in the assessment and treatment of patients with mental disorder and the writing of reports to assist the Courts in family and legal proceedings. I often see patients/ clients at a private clinic in Liverpool, but I work flexibly, and I often travel to see patients/ clients at other venues or at home. I also offer consultations for assessment and treatment via Skype.
I did my medical degree at the University of Manchester and I graduated in 1993. I then completed general medical and general surgical posts as a Junior House Officer, and I entered training in psychiatry in 1994. I became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1998.
I have a special interest in the assessment and management of all forms of depression and looking after the suicidal patient. This is backed up by a solid research career as between 2000 and 2002 I worked alongside Professor Louis Appleby as Clinical Research Fellow with the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness. I co-authored a major research report as well as a number of related publications about suicide and homicide in medical journals. I undertook a UK-wide lecture tour to disseminate the findings of the Confidential Inquiry and to work with NHS Trusts on preventing suicide. I obtained a Masters in Psychiatry in 2002 by completing research into the Assessment of Suicide Risk and was awarded the Kessel Prize for research.
During my training, I worked at many hospitals throughout the Northwest and in 2003, I gained my first post as a Consultant Psychiatrist with Merseycare NHS Trust in Liverpool. I worked as an NHS Consultant for 12 years, mostly as a Community Psychiatrist. I worked in areas with high levels of deprivation and my work included treating individuals who were homeless, patients from many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds and asylum seekers. I was also an Educational Supervisor involved in the training of junior psychiatrists and GPs.
In 2015, I left the NHS and decided to set up my own private Psychiatry Practice. I wanted more autonomy and the opportunity to help my patients to recover over a longer period of time.
There are a number of Consultant colleagues, Psychologists and Behavioural Therapists with whom I work in partnership.
This means that a wide range of patients can be catered for including children, adolescents, working-age adults, women who are pregnant or post-delivery, people with an addiction and people with a learning disability. All assessments and interventions are delivered on an outpatient basis. My practice offers a wide range of treatments to cater for individual needs including medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy, EMDR, training in meditation techniques and strengths and careers coaching.
I have continued to pursue my interest in teaching and training by offering a mentoring and personal development service to other Consultant Psychiatrists who wish to explore a career in the private sector and/or build a portfolio in medico-legal practice. I help Consultants to set up and market their business, I help them to source private work and medico-legal instructions, I offer supervision and constructive feedback on their medico-legal reports and I mentor and support them with Court skills.
I am also passionate about improving working environments for people in general but especially employees with mental illness and I do this work through my related business, The Meehan Way.
When I’m not working, I love to spend time with my family especially my partner and 10-year-old stepdaughter. I am also fortunate enough to have many good friends. I enjoy socialising, music, keep fit, nature, walking and foreign travel. After a 30-year gap, I have recently returned to cycling. They say that one never forgets how to ride a bike. Unfortunately, I proved to be the exception to that rule and had several accidents before I got the hang of it again!
I hope that you find my website interesting and informative and if you decide to get in touch, I’d be pleased to answer any questions that you may have.