Thank you for taking the time to visit my website.
Choosing a Counsellor or Psychotherapist to work with, I recognise, is a huge decision. Everybody is unique and individual, as are their experiences.
I hope this brief introduction enables you to gain a greater sense of the person, the journey, and the driving forces, which brought me to become a therapist and why a mindfulness Based integrative Approach is well placed, to help you with the difficulties you might be experiencing in a modern, complex, world.
During a demanding career in Finance, spanning more than 30 years, I watched as people around me struggled with the complexity of day-to-day life. I witnessed the effects that Common and complex mental health problems were having on those around me. I saw its impact led to anxiety and depression, but also addiction, suicidal ideation, and suicide, whilst also seeing and feeling the impact this was having on their friends and families. With this, also came an awareness of my own limitations to be able to help them. I realised, that to be in the best place to help, meant fully understanding the wide range of problems people face in life, mindful of Difference and diversity and social context.
I needed to also be fully engaged in understanding my own journey, major life events and processes that I had adopted. To not fully understand who I was, at a deeper level, I realised would limit my ability to be completely with another person, in times of difficulty.
Nobody is completely unaffected by the complexity of life and as I strove for greater understanding and authenticity myself, I also became, at times, unable to move forward. I was introduced to "mindfulness" as a practice and way of being, about 15 years ago, to help me work through a particularly challenging stage in my life. What I was not expecting was the powerful, positive impact a mindful stance would have on day-to-day life. It gave me the ability to reflect on my own journey with greater clarity, using not only the narrative of events, but also the ability to work with visceral feelings experienced in the moment, which helped deepen my awareness of experiences, helping me to develop a greater sense of context. Working with a mindfulness approach, steadily cultivated a greater ability to exist in the moment, be able to place attention where I wanted it to go, create better distance to thoughts and feelings and with this, a greater capacity to work with difficult situations, by incorporating greater acceptance and non-judgement.
Through this new way of being and capacity, I felt a pull to retrain to be a psychotherapist and so began a new phase of my journey, one that I felt was more authentic to my values and life goals.
I wanted to be in a better position to help others alleviate their pain and suffering, help them to move forward with their own values and goals, find their authentic self or simply help them achieve more inner peace, where they were able to start to breathe again. Achieving a greater internal cohesion and balance, I felt would enable them, like me, to overcome the difficulties that modern life throws at us.
As a Psychotherapist, being able to work alongside and help people face and work with their own difficult situations, has been both humbling and rewarding and reinforced that it is the connection to people, creating a sense of safety and support and helping them to overcome their difficulties and achieve, no matter what their life events, their own individual life targets and goals, that is my driving force.
Whilst my initial training was in Psychodynamics and Person centred, I wanted to continue to work with the concept of mindfulness, that I had found so effective when working with my own difficult life events, to create a mindfulness-based approach, which would work more effectively with all Client presentations. Extending my training and Qualifying as a Psychotherapist with MBET ( Mindfulness based Experiential Therapy) at Diploma Level 6, finally enabled me to connect my personal Mindfulness journey, with a professional Mindfulness based approach. The expert in the room is you, and my role is to be there with you, helping create a safe and secure space, so we can work together, in the moment of the session, enabling us together, to notice emotions and feelings held in the body, in thoughts and the processes that are unique to you, so you can begin to work towards your therapy targets and goals.
To date I have worked with both Young People 16+ and Adults and in a variety of settings from Further education Colleges to Residential Homes, as well as in private practice. I have worked with presentations ranging from Anxiety and depression to Gender Dysphoria, Trauma and PTSD.
I have to date completed courses and training that include:
QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING
MBET (Mindfulness-Based Experiential Therapy) Diploma level 6
MBET (Mindfulness-Based Experiential Therapy) Fast track Foundation Course in Studies and Skills
Counselling Qualifications: NCFE cache level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills CPCAB level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies
MBET 5 Week Mindfulness Training Course
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Early Childhood Trauma (ACEs)(online)
Understanding Trauma and Trauma informed practice.
Currently and as part of my ongoing professional development and focus on Trauma work, I am in the process of completing a Certificated Course in Complex Trauma to become a certified complex trauma treatment professional-level 2 (CCTP-11).
I am a Registered Member of the BACP, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you have.
The modern world is wonderful, in many ways – but it is also powerfully and tragically geared to causing a high background level of anxiety and widespread low-level depression. The forces of psychological distress in our world are much wealthier and more active than the needed cures. We are all unique, with many factors playing a hand in this uniqueness, including, our backgrounds, race, gender, sexuality, culture, beliefs, values, relationships, education, and significantly, social context. With this richness of diversity also comes the uniqueness of our experiences. From feeling stuck and unable to move forward in pursuit of goals or feeling overwhelmed with emotions, feelings, or sensations, which render us at times almost unable to breath. Taking the first step to seek help, can be very daunting and yet the fact that you are reading this, shows that in many ways, you have already taken that so important and brave first step.
When training in Psychodynamics, CBT and Person-Centred therapy, whilst I understood the concept of their therapeutic roles, I thought and importantly sensed that there was something missing in relation to actually working and being with clients in session. This took me on a search to look at what other approaches were available to clients outside of what I had already been exposed to. After reflecting on my own personal journey, I made the decision to extend my training and studies with MBET ( Mindfulness based experiential Therapy) pioneered by Hari Murday. Adding a mindfulness base to an integrative approach, allowed me to combine my own growing self-awareness of life events, recontextualised, through the development of a mindful way of being, with further professional training that encouraged the accessing of techniques and interventions from several other evidenced based approaches. Unlike previously during my training, with this approach, I felt better positioned to work in the moment of the session, with what was coming up and with greater awareness of the uniqueness' of the client in front of me. This I believed would enable me to work to greater effect with whatever presenting problem or symptoms the client had, whether that be anxiety, hypervigilance, depression, ,dissociation (or disconnecting), addiction, trauma or combinations of all.
The Approach is based on evidence from neurobiology and underpinned with a mindfulness base and stance of myself as therapist. This creates an effective balance between Ancient Wisdoms, such as mindfulness and innovative developments in neuroscience.
Interpersonal neurobiology, works by encouraging a better understanding of the relationship between body and mind. The Approach expands on traditional therapy by bringing together a mindful awareness and experiential strategies. This helps clients explore difficult situations, process emotions, and see things from a different perspective, encouraging a restructuring of the ways of looking at what is being experienced, to gain a greater understanding of the complexity of our human experience. The approach is integrative, client centred and technically eclectic. This enables me to incorporate techniques and interventions from different approaches, and includes MBET (Mindfulness Based Experiential Therapy), IFS ( Internal Family Systems), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and Sensorimotor and Somatic Therapy interventions. All these interventions are more effective when combined with a mindfulness stance and helps promote a greater psychological flexibility and enables sessions to be tailored to your specific difficulties.
The approach and in the role of therapist, a mindfulness stance is key. It cultivates in sessions, components of curiosity, acceptance, non-judgement, and psychological flexibility and enhances the therapeutic process and relationship. Mindfulness can be defined as the awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience. In other words, mindfulness is about being aware of what we are thinking, feeling, doing, and experiencing, right now. Being mindful in the present moment is not easy – particularly when our emotional reactions threaten to overwhelm us. Adopting mindful attitudes such as non-judgement, loving kindness, and non-attachment can help us to manage difficult thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness based therapies have been shown to decrease emotional reactivity, increase flexibility in thinking, and improve stress tolerance.
MBET ( Mindfulness Based Experiential Therapy) sits at the heart of the approach and at MBETs core is the embodiment of process, which differentiates it from others. It enabled me, when in session to experience a sense of being completely engaged with individual clients, at any given moment in time, and this to me is central to being a competent therapist. MBET also facilitates an experiential understanding of the “self” which I have come to recognise as the major tool in therapy and indeed all aspects of living. In therapy this enables us to look at and work with the concept of “self” , a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, and considered as the object of introspection ( the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes) and reflexive action ( the gaining of knowledge through experience)
MBET works with a phenomenological approach, which helps focus attention on an individual's subjective experience and perception of an event, rather than just looking at a diagnosis. Bringing in experiential elements encourages the increased awareness of the existence of emotional distress, as expressed in the body, utilised by moment-to-moment tracking. This Working in the moment of the session enables both the therapist and client, to notice the emotions and feelings in the body ,as well as in thoughts and then identify the processes that are unique to the client.