‘We hold in the places we weren’t held.’ – Ruella Frank
The starting point
Sometimes we are not entirely sure why we need Therapy or where it might take us, the not knowing can be both a daunting and powerful starting point, however, if you do know the why, quite often the path of self enquiry meets that sense of clarity with many twists and turns along the way. I offer a gentle space for you to explore, connect, heal and breathe. Being alongside you through your process and supporting you through those twists and turns.
How I work
My psychotherapeutic approach is humanistic, body-focused and process-oriented.
I acknowledge that our experience of being human is an interactive one, known through body (felt-sense),mind (thoughts) and emotion (relationship).
Acknowledging the stories and language of your body can offer another dimension to our therapeutic work together and creates a space to explore the difficulties in your life that do not seem to move or change simply by talking about them.
Our sessions together will depend upon where the process takes us and could include dialogue, body awareness, breath-work, authentic movement, formative Psychology (shaping and re-shaping somatic emotional responses), body mapping and meditation, ecotherapy (strengthening your relationship with nature), voice/sound exploration, creative writing, gesture and posture, body dialogue, somatic storytelling and body-gestalt techniques.
The healing challenge of change
Many of us meet the challenge of wanting and needing change in our lives, while not knowing how to move away from the safety of what feels familiar. To want to be free while also wanting to protect ourselves, these mixed messages can become confusing. I have found that working with and moving through inner conflicts rather than against them can be deeply nourishing work, allowing us to come home to ourselves and find peace.
Inner conflicts and inner conversations are alive within all of us and can present themselves in both conscious and unconscious ways.
Some examples might be experienced through body; posture, shape, tension, breath, excessive or deficient connection to certain body parts/areas.
Through mind and thought; an internal argument, indecisiveness, uncertainty, the I should vs the I need/want.
And through emotion/relationship; anger, sadness, fear and anxiety, prolonged depression, attachment, detachment, indifference, co-dependency, pulling closer and pushing away.
The wisdom of the Body
Attention can often be drawn towards the thinking mind, with a focus of ‘thinking our way’ through a life event or experience. I acknowledge and honour that the thinking mind can be an incredible part of who we are, it is much needed and valued, I also believe that it is ‘a part’ of who we are not all. Listening to the wisdom of the body can allow us to access information and stories that we have carried throughout our life, it can give the thinking mind a much needed rest and also allow you to trust in the magic that can be found by moving through and with your body process. Who we are is as much our movements, body, postures and breath as our thoughts, in fact somatically we hold more memory than what is consciously available to us cognitively, so working with the body can help access our earlier experiences, giving us the opportunity to become aware of holding patterns and any edges we might meet.
Modern Neuroscience confirms the importance of coming back to body, with research acknowledging the unconscious responses we have to the world around us and how this is shaped both somatically and emotionally. Stephen Porges Polyvagal Theory explains the evolution of our nervous system and the physiological responses we have to stress situations, your body responds to something once in order to keep you safe, the body as your protector and home will then remember this and over time the shaping of our experiences can become a reflex. Working with the body can give voice and awareness to what usually happens unconsciously and create space for you to express, move and feel your way through.
- Ruby Jo Walker’s Polyvagal chart: http://www.rubyjowalker.com/PVchart7HD.jpg
- Stanley Keleman’s website: http://www.centerpress.com
- Somatic Experiencing approach: https://www.seauk.org.uk/search
- Peter Levine talking about how trauma energy gets stored in the body: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByalBx85iC8
Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy: https://somaticstudies.com/developmental-somatic-psychotherapy/
- Stephen Porges website: https://www.stephenporges.com/
- Eugene T. Gendlin’s Focusing: http://www.focusing.org.uk/an-introduction-to-focusing