Jean-Claude is a psychotherapist, author, a London Times featured columnist and the founder of The Place Retreats, Bali. He runs the London Practice in Notting Hill together with Anna Walton, Doctor of Counselling Psychology, and The Place Retreats in Bali, with a philosophy that overall health can’t be separated from mental health. While we may obsess about taking care of our bodies by exercising and eating healthily, it is the negative mind that can overwhelm our thoughts and our lives.

Before finding his vocation in psychotherapy, Jean-Claude worked in the City and on Wall Street and continues to be the Executive Manager of a philanthropic foundation.

‘The private therapy sessions with Jean-Claude were where the real self-work took place. I had five during my stay and achieved more in terms of emotional healing in those few hours alone than I’d had in two years of counselling’

I have been to all kinds of retreats over the years – yoga and meditation, fitness, detox, juice, even one that involved standing in a freezing chamber daily to boost blood flow. But while all these experiences benefited my physical and mental health in various ways, the effects were always temporary. No supposedly life-enhancing getaway had ever affected me deeply enough to cause profound, long-lasting change. The Place in Bali promised to be different. Rather than offering guests a temporary escape from the stresses and strains of their lives, it claimed to bring about ‘a fundamental and deep transformation.’

I arrived on the doorstep of the retreat, situated along a narrow side street in the affluent beach resort of Seminyak, on a warm May evening, looking wiped out and feeling exhausted. Yes, it had been a long journey – over 20 hours in total door to door – but my tiredness wasn’t due to the onset of jetlag. I was worn out by the demands of my busy life. Juggling caring for a two-year-old with full-time work, endless domestic chores, a chronic illness and the constant barrage of negative self-talk that seemed to plague me, had left me feeling burned out, both in body and mind. My eight-day stay at The Place had come at just the right time…

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A therapist, former head of commodities trading, saved my life…
The serendipity of being introduced to Jean-Claude, four and a half years ago. He saved my life.

Even though I had a very stable upbringing, a successful, well-paid career and a rewarding role as managing director of a London-based global investment bank; I was in a serious predicament with respect to my personal life five years ago….and soon after, with my career.

Once I started to meet with JC weekly, what appeared to be a challenging dynamic, turned into the steepest learning curve of my life, and the start of a great and fulfilling new chapter of my life. Three years later, I find him to be the most understanding, intelligent, pragmatic, knowledgeable and supportive therapist imaginable.

JC has an ability to no only think outside the box, but more importantly, to see around corners. His insightful questions provided me with the key answers to navigate, what appeared at the time, to be treacherous waters and develop life long coping and learning skills.

The sessions were not easy…JC is direct, a straight-shooter, and only by confronting my personal issues head-on, was I able to manage them. I often use these skills today, and on occasion, when a chat with JC is the panacea, he speaks with me from Bali. I feel much more inner peace today, thanks to the guidance and mentoring JC has provided.

I believe that for anyone working finance/business, regardless of their personal circumstances, they would greatly benefit from seeing JC. His background as a head of commodities trading, investment banker, entrepreneur and philanthropist, followed by studying and training for six years to become an accomplished therapist, before starting his practice in London is not only unique, it is a gift for those who have the chance to have sessions with JC.

Finance is a high pressure environment, which extends not only to the work environment, but also to family and personal life. In hindsight, I was making some bad choices, and had I not met JC, I believe that I would have ended up making some grave mistakes, without having the tools to survive and keep it all together. JC’s ability to make me feel comfortable to articulate the issues, coupled with helping me find coping mechanisms and solutions, meant the difference between failure and success, misery and happiness, instability and stability.

JC introduced me to a wonderful yoga teacher in London, and although I am just a beginner, I have already felt the great benefits from Kundalini yoga. It is my dream to spend 2-3 months at The Place. I am certain that I will do this within the next year, which I feel will be the next chapter in my development and growth.

In the meantime, I have never been happier and at more peace with myself, and much of this I owe to JC.

Nothing has been more rewarding than confronting adversity, overcoming it, while growing and learning at the same time, with JC as my mentor and guide.

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Kundalini Yoga is called the Yoga of Awareness. This class may include warm-ups, breathing techniques (pranayama), an exercise set (kriya), deep relaxation, chanting, and meditation. This practice helps to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity, and purify the blood.

Experience yourself deeply, and notice a transformation towards physical strength, heightened awareness, mental clarity, and happiness.

Travel restrictions permitting, Alma Romanello is teaching every day from Monday to Saturday from 8:15 am – 10:00 am. Privates sessions are also available.