My career decisions have been informed by an interest in the human condition; how people live and find meaning in their lives. My first attempt at understanding more about this was by reading books and poetry. This led to an academic training and a career as an English lecturer and mentor and a growing interest in Psychology. I became increasingly interested in the idea of helping others to create change and find more meaning in their lives which eventually resulted in me retraining as a therapist.
I have been in private practice since 2003. I decided to train in several approaches; Coaching, Psychotherapy, Body-oriented Psychotherapy and approaches that included an understanding of neurophysiology and attachment; Cranio Sacral Therapy, Somatic Experiencing ®, Mentalization Based Therapy, Mindfulness, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠ , Deep Listening. For me it made sense to gather a set of therapy tools that would enable me to address the body and the mind. Especially since psychological complaints and specifically posttraumatic stress are often experienced as distress in the body, such as a knot in the stomach, or a tight chest, a heavy head, a racing heart or else a sense of numbness or lack of sensation in the body all together.
Good therapy is all about being able to listen and closely respond to what is what is being said. Body-oriented psychotherapy methods build on what psychotherapy has taught us about listening by not only attending to verbal communication but also non-verbal expressions and body language. Body language is a very direct expression of how people feel inside. Being able to attend to this helps therapists to follow the internal state of the client as well as the level of stress that they are under. I find this an essential skill in therapy because it helps me to closely monitor the effect of my input on the client and attune my interventions to their level of resiliency and needs.
More about Body-oriented psychotherapy
Body oriented Psychotherapy; Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠ and Somatic Experiencing® fall under this category, is traditional talking therapy combined with a way of dialoguing with the client that helps them become more aware of their bodies and learn to track their bodily sensations. Sometimes, I use simple exercises carried out while sitting in the chair; such as awareness to breathing, posture, muscle tone and grounding. This helps clients to get more in touch with feelings and physical sensations and also to release patterns of tension or holding in the body or else come out of states of collapse and dissociation. Psycho-education, information on symptoms and the nervous system, is also an aspect of the therapy. Helping clients to understand more about the nature and origin of their symptoms helps them to be less identified with them and gain a sense of control and agency.
I have a special interest in helping those who went through emotional neglect or problems resulting from traumatic experiences in childhood; insecure attachment, emotional neglect, sexual/physical abuse and incest.