Ilse is a woman in her fifties and married to Andrew. On paper their life seems happy and successful yet Ilse feels empty inside and is struggling with her loss of youth brought about by the menopause. Her insecurities lead her to embark on a disturbing six week journey during which she is confronted with some challenging truths. Can Ilse make sense of what she has discovered about the past, and will what she has learned help her to change the future?
"Ultimately, I want women reading my book to understand that it's perfectly okay and natural to struggle with the menopause," explains the author. "The psychological and physiological changes they're facing are not only perfectly normal, but almost designed to bring them "down" for a while, and there's no need for them to put on a brave face. Nobody thinks any less of them, believes their youth has drained away and there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of."
Continuing, "But this book isn't just for women. There's a wider message for humanity, as well. We must learn to ride the waves of change in life and renegotiate who we are and what we expect of ourselves, rather than change how we look or how we act. It applies to relationships, too. Look at the millions who project what they want onto their partner, leave through discontentment, find the "perfect" new partner only to find their old self dragged into this new relationship. Therefore, we need to work on ourselves as people, celebrate who we are and work through life with those we love. When we do, nothing is impossible."
Reviews have been glowing. For example, Tony writes, "Missing Ellie was recommended to me by a female friend. Initially, I was wary but quickly became engrossed in the story which was both well written and intriguing. Although the central theme, the female menopause, was obviously not directly applicable to me, the way it is approached by the author, from a psychological rather than purely physical point of view, means it has a much wider relevance - in fact is applicable to anyone negotiating a challenging life stage and depression. In the second half of the book, I particularly liked the way in which the therapeutic process was explained making it very accessible to anyone who is considering it. The journey, on which the central character of the book embarks obviously reverberates throughout the network of her close relationships. In particular I thought that the effect that it has on her marriage is explored with sensitivity and insight from both female and male perspective."
Dr Jane Graham is a psychotherapist who now specialises in working with trauma. She achieved a 1st class honours degree in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Central Lancashire and also achieved two Lancashire Priory awards for best case study and for best dissertation around that time. Jane has continued in post graduate education throughout her clinical career and has undertaken research and presented papers at international professional and academic conferences. She was awarded a PhD in Psychosocial Studies in 2010 and her thesis examined the biopsychosociospiritual aspects of drug use viewed through a psychodynamic lens. She practises in several high intensity therapies and has in recent years written articles for scientific peer-reviewed journals as well as articles for magazines about the therapy process.
Despite working in a variety of clinical arenas, the focus of Jane's interest has always been the importance of understanding of what it is to be human. She views her work as a psychotherapist as a gift and feels privileged to walk alongside someone who is struggling and help them make sense of things to enrich their life journey.
Author: Dr Jane Graham