Call me today on 07786 234109

How I Work

My Therapeutic Approach

“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body”. Bessel A van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

My aim is to integrate a coherent combination of cognitive, emotional and somatic, trauma-focused approaches within a supportive therapeutic relationship to help facilitate new meaning, new possibilities and new choices to enable you to live a more fulfilling, meaningful and liberated life.

My initial training in counselling was as a humanistic-integrative therapist, and I have undertaken further training in existential therapy, somatic psychotherapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Somatic Experiencing (SE), Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Hakomi Therapy. In addition I have specialist training in trauma-focused therapy and I am a qualified EMDR therapist. I have a Diploma in Trauma Therapy and a Certificate in Somatic Trauma Therapy and I am qualified in the Flash technique (a recognised EMDR related therapy).

I have been a practising Buddhist for over 40 years and I integrate aspects of Buddhist-informed therapy into my work which draws you into a different kind of experience – a way of being in which you are more present and aware of what is happening in the present moment rather than being addicted to and driven by your memories, thoughts and attachments or worrying about the future. As these melt away you will begin to connect with and embody a more authentic, alive and peaceful self. How I do this is explained in some of my posts on the ‘My Thoughts’ page. I take a secular approach to Buddhism, for me it is a way of living and a spiritual path, it is not a religion. I do not preach, I do not attempt to convert anyone and I see clients of any religion or faith and those who have no religious beliefs. I mention Buddhism because as a therapist my main healing tool is myself and the therapeutic relationship. Buddhism is part of who I am so you need to know what you’re getting!

I work as a trauma-focused, integrative therapist and I will use the way of working that is right for you at any specific time. I integrate a variety of mainstream psychotherapy and contemplative practices within an overarching trauma-informed framework. Over the years my practice has become grounded in EMDR, IFS, SE and Hakomi Therapy. I take the view that there is no single approach that can help each client in all situations. people need to been seen as a whole and approaches to therapy need to be adapted to their individual needs and situation. At times, you might need someone to listen and just let you tell your story. At other times, you might need someone to be more directive and give you practical skills to help you to navigate life and work with your emotions and thoughts. At another point, you might need someone to challenge your own view of life and help you find a better way of being and living in the world.

"Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, everything is possible." - Mandy Hale

What is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy helps people overcome psychological trauma. A traumatic event is defined as one in which you perceive a threat to your life, bodily integrity, or sanity. The other component of the definition is your reaction to the event or situation.  Trauma occurs when your ability to handle the event is comprised. Trauma symptoms do not reflect weakness or a moral deficit, but rather brain changes that can be altered with therapy. Trauma-focused therapy changes the question from ‘What is wrong with you?’ to ‘What happened to you?’

Trauma therapy is not one specific type of treatment, a variety of therapies can be used alone or in conjunction with one another to help you deal with the trauma and move on with your life. I use ‘bottom-up’, ‘top-down’ and ‘horizontal’ approaches to facilitate change. Trauma work requires body-brain integration.

Bottom-up approaches work through the body to change the brain, especially the lower, sub-cortical areas outside of conscious awareness. Examples include mindful breathing exercises, body scan, progressive muscle relaxation and some meditations.

Top-down strategies target the higher cortical or ‘thinking’ areas using cognitive reappraisal, some meditations and talking therapy.

Horizontal approaches emphasise stimulating both right and left parts of the brain (inter-hemispheric processing). I use EMDR to facilitate this.

Trauma-focused therapy realises that many survivors struggle with existential concerns such as demoralisation, loss of meaning, alienation and insufficient self-acceptance and happiness. This means that therapy is not about techniques per se it is very much about the therapeutic relationship, talking and ‘being with’ another. The process of therapy is a collaborative journey into the unknown.