Counselling & Psychotherapy
Counselling & psychotherapy
My work is a psychological and somatic approach to revealing, meeting and integrating developmental & relational traumas and challenges, old hurts, cultural, family, religious, educational conditioning that are still impacting you and getting in the way of you living your life with peace and ease.
You are probably reaching out because you have an awareness that something is in your way or not right. Or you find yourself stuck in old patterns and stories. Or maybe you're finding yourself at a crossroads or a threshold in your life and you need help. Maybe you sense inner conflict, or you are experiencing negative or overwhelming feelings or emotions. Perhaps there is no identifiable key issue, but a general sense of dis-ease.
If you decide to work with me, I won’t relate to you as a problem to be solved or something to be healed or fixed - I don’t have an agenda for you or for your life and I do not pathologise the symptoms or experiences you may be having. I believe that wellbeing and ease are a natural state and that each of us has the innate capacity to live a full, happy and meaningful life.
Wellbeing and ease emerges naturally when we are grounded and clear and when we find ourselves flowing with the ups and downs of everyday life. I believe that experiencing life with a felt sense of safety and a healthy range of emotional resilience are the foundations for feeling grounded and clear and flowing with life's inevitable challenges. It is these internal cornerstones that we move towards in the work, and this is how I invite you to measure the effectiveness of what we do together.
I will be with you human-to-human as we inquire into the old patterns that no longer serve you, the myths and lies you’ve grown to believe about yourself. Together, we’ll untangle, track and unpack the self-limiting patterns of your past, freeing you from your history and bringing you into the here-and-now. So instead of running from the pain, the hurts and the difficulty you've held in your mind and your body, we'll turn towards them, we’ll scoop them into our arms and give them the big reassuring hug they've been longing for.
Through reaching out to parts of ourselves that need our help, we develop breathing space and an intimate, grounded kind of inner attunement, within which we can be much more present and connected with our experience. Through reaching out to parts of ourselves that need our help we also discover places that have always been strong, places that were never broken. When we are present and connected with our experience, our relationships flow and we have a greater capacity to look after ourselves and to connect authentically with the important people in our lives.
I work with many different issues, both in-person and online via Zoom. I offer long-term depth psychotherapy and counselling. I also offer intensive, short-term work. I endeavour to create an accepting, safe, shame-free and supportive space to work with all of areas of life. The duration of time we work together is led by you and will be determined by your needs and your goals.
"When we reclaim our lost souls and wounded children, befriend them, and allow ourselves to trust deeply felt compassionate impulses to reach out to them and build bonds of secure attachment, they feel safe and welcome at long last. And we feel whole"
Dr. Janina Fisher, Healing the fragmented selves of trauma survivors
My approach to therapy
For some, therapy is about off-loading or simply talking to someone independent, who is skilled in listening. For some people this is enough. I will support you in a 'therapeutic process’, working with what is outside of you (the relational) and exploring what's going on inside for you (the personal). Working together is about exploring and healing the issues that you have come to work through. It is also about building your capacities for relational ease, emotional resilience, radical self-acceptance, authenticity and joyful living.
I help people through psychotherapy, mindful awareness and where appropriate, the integration of neuroscience. I use a range of psychotherapy approaches while holding compassion, openness, and healthy curiosity. I offer a non-judgemental and shame-free space which is non-pathologising.
Describing my approach to psychotherapy draws words to me like experiential, neurobiologically informed, mindfulness based, trauma informed, embracing systems theory, parts work. These can be empty buzz words, so I'd like to explain what these terms mean to me...
We engage in a therapeutic process and process work. The sessions, as appropriate, include going to the body, the feelings and the emotions, or embodying or meeting a part of self in some way so that the sessions are an experience, rather than just a chat. Something happens that would not occur when talking with a friend, writing in a journal, or thinking about things by yourself. I'll help you inquire deeply into your felt experience and let it gradually reveal itself and unfold, step by step.
We track the process of present experiencing, following it closely and seeing where it leads. And we unpack the beliefs, identities, and feelings that are subconscious or implicit in what you’re experiencing. When we bring awareness to our experience in this way, it’s like unraveling a tangled ball of yarn: different knots are gradually revealed and untangled one by one. As a result, we find that we’re able to be present in places where we’ve previously been absent or disconnected from our experience.
Drawn from depth psychology, IFS and shadow work theory, I believe that the symptoms you experience, no matter how challenging, are communications from aspects of your personality (parts or selves) that are actively seeking healing.
A mindfulness approach and the attribution of each and every symptom to discreet and individual parts-of-self creates a breathing space, reduces shame, allows you to be curious about your patterns and experience, become less afraid, and begins to naturally generate self-compassion.
Shadow work, IFS theory and Ego State (or parts) work help me understand and see people better than any other model.
Parts work isn’t new, and psychotherapists have been doing some form of ‘parts work’ for some time . Shadow work, Jungian archetypal theory and IFS theory provides us with a 'road map' and a new way of working with people’s parts in the world of psychotherapy. Another way of thinking about 'parts of ourselves' might be ‘aspects’ of ourselves.
The goal of trauma therapy is not about remembering events or simply finding the words to provide narrative to the impacting experiences. It is about a repair of the injuries suffered and the repair of the ever-present physiological legacy of the traumatic events and how this legacy continues to intrude into the mind and the body (whether remembered explicitly as a narrative or implicitly as feelings states and reactions).
It is the work of Onno Van der Hart, Bessel Van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Janina Fisher & Stephen Porges that informs my understanding of modern trauma theory.
A neurobiologically informed approach draws on the continually advancing research in neuroscience. Presenting issues are seen through the additional lenses of disregulation of autonomic arousal systems, implicit memories, structural dissociation, mid-brain animal defence reactions, and inhibition of prefrontal cortex activity.
Psycho-education and the use of schemas to support your understanding as part of the therapeutic process provides a framework for us to explore what is happening for you and supports you to make sense of your symptoms, reduce shame and provide a breathing space.
Based in systems theory
Taken from shadow work theory and IFS theory, working with you and with your parts rather than against them respects the whole of your system. Therapies that do not respect the whole system can often fail or result in relapse. In this way and over time you become your ongoing Heart Centred Leader of your own parts as you are invited into authentic relationship with them. This is what promotes healing and long lasting change.
Learning to see our 'Selves' - working with Parts
Because trauma is often such a complex and overwhelming field, we benefit from a map or a language to understand, process and heal - Shadow work therapy, Internal Family Systems theory and Ego State therapy give us this map and language.
It is based on the idea everyone is made up of different ‘parts’/'aspects' - just think of the times you’ve been in two minds about something, had an internal battle with yourself, or maybe felt and thought many different things at once. Just like individuals, all parts can have their own emotions, behaviours, beliefs and experiences. we all have ‘Parts’ of us, that help us function.
I will support you to identify and explore these basic building blocks of your personality, your parts of self. We can work with these parts of you indirectly and directly. I'll support you to speak for and to speak from these parts of you so that you can develop an intimate and authentic relationship with yourself.
Underneath reactive or destructive patterns and behaviours is often a vulnerability that is being protected. Often these destructive patterns or behaviours have a protective intention and were adopted early in life for very good reason. Without conscious work in later life, these patterns continue to play out even when the original threat to the individual no longer exists. It is these old reactive patterns that become problems for us, making life challenging, complicated and difficult.
I often find that once we are able to identify, build relationship and work with these vulnerable, often younger parts of ourselves, the problematic, unconscious, proactive or reactive management patterns are no longer necessary and they rapidly reduce their hold.
For me, this is the core component of inner transformation, for when you have met and attended to yourself in this way, an ease emerges as self-acceptance and inner compassion naturally arises. From this place you will see exactly what you are needing to step into a full, joyful, life full of agency and energy.
Please find further information about the multiplicity of the psyche here.
"Discovering your unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift - your true self - is the most you can do to love and serve the world. And it is all the world needs."
- Bill Plotkin -
What do you want to focus on?
Sessions can be free-flowing and tailored to your specific concerns and level of integration. You are the guiding force, so the conversation and the work goes as deep as you are comfortable with. I provide an accepting and compassionate holding that is highly supportive as well as, when needed, challenging: The challenge coming with a kindness to gently encourage your deeper unfolding.
Do you want to build your self-esteem and your ability to be authentic?
Building greater inner confidence to carry into your relationships and your life.
Identify, clarify and work with your personal needs and desires.
Forming and holding good boundaries.
Integrating healthy anger for authentic assertiveness.
Stepping in to more clarity and presence in your everyday life.
Accessing your innate well of inner power, allowing you to confidently pursue and achieve what is important for you and your life.
Are you suffering from overwhelm or burnout? Do issues with your ability to build healthy relationship stop you from taking steps forward?
Exploring and healing patterns of overwhelm, hopelessness or incapacitating vulnerability.
Opening into greater intimacy in your life through exploring barriers to intimacy and how this leads to patterns of avoidance.
Accessing the spontaneous, playful and creative parts of you through working with your Inner Child.
Increasing equanimity and inner peace through working with and bringing healing to your addictions, compulsions or obsessive behaviours, thoughts or feelings.
Processing stuck emotions to facilitate a lived experience of flow in your life. Accessing and having grief held and witnessed.
Do you struggle with a harsh inner-critic, fear or anxiety and it's holding you back?
Exploring the roots of stress, confusion and overwhelm.
Building inner and outer trust through working with the inner-critic and outer-critic, judgement and toxic shame.
Working with and healing traumatic patterns.
Accessing equilibrium and self-regulation through working with states of physical activation (excessive sympathetic nervous system arousal), anxiety, fight or flight patterns.
Do you want to break through those barriers to progress and forward movement in your life?
Accessing meaning and purpose in your life.
Harnessing greater wells of energy through identifying and resolving the unconscious drivers behind unhelpful thought patterns, dynamics, beliefs and behaviours.
Accessing and making space for your innate your inner leader.
- Internalise authentic support and constant guidance, building resilience to carry you forward.