M. Antonieta Olguin Cigarroa, UKCP Accred Psychotherapist. Trauma Trained.
Welwyn Garden City
I am a UKCP accredited Integrative Psychotherapist. I also have specialist training and experience in trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Being integrative means that I acknowledge and value the uniqueness of each person as no one single approach can suit every person. Hence, in my work I will combine different techniques and theoretical approaches according to the client’s unique needs. In my approach the client is involved in decisions about the process of therapy.
We can all find ourselves sometimes worried and confused about situations, issues or relationships that can lead us to feeling overwhelmed, suffering from anxiety and depression, lacking motivation or not knowing what to do. Sometimes in our lives we may have also lived traumatic experiences that may have left us feeling shaken, even years after the event, finding it difficult to move on. It is not always easy to talk to close ones about certain things and taking that first step can be quite difficult. I offer a confidential and non-judgmental space where you can talk about and explore things that are important to you within a helping relationship.
What is therapy?
Therapy is a helping relationship where the client is encouraged to explore their issues, increase their awareness and understanding of their own processes, therefore empowering them to make the appropriate choices and decisions in life. Therapy offers a confidential, neutral space to work through hard feelings, increase insights, enable behavioural, emotional and psychological change and growth, helping us to find new ways to manage things.
Therapy length can vary from short term for specific issues such as in a relationship or difficulties at work, etc. to long term therapy where more deeply-rooted issues that may include past traumas, developmental issues, etc. may need a longer period of work. Furthermore, as the work progresses the depth of the exploration can bring about new themes that clients were not aware of before.
My work with trauma and sensorimotor therapy
Trauma is pervasive and the same traumatic event might affect each person differently, as an event is experienced as traumatic according to the person who experienced it. Some of us might not even be aware that what we have experienced was a traumatic experience and we take it as a normal part of living or part of growing up, unaware that perhaps we have adapted to a dangerous environment or a life threatening situation or an overwhelming experience and we live our lives now according to that experience, having been left with symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, emotional dysregulation, emotional overwhelm, angry outbursts, high levels of anxiety, wanting to isolate, fear and hypervigilance, feeling numb or disconnected etc. We all deserve to be heard and validated in our own experiences, but after traumatic events we often move on quickly to join life again, without allowing ourselves or being allowed by others time to process these experiences, to grieve, feel angry about what happened to us or others, unable to talk to others because they want us to simply ‘move on’.
Personal experiences have made me become deeply interested in trauma and keep motivating me to continue developing my knowledge and engaging in further training. I have now completed trauma training with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute which imparts professional training in somatic psychology. Traditional talk therapy is an important part of resolving traumatic experiences, but “…lacks techniques that work directly with the physiological elements, despite the fact that trauma profoundly affects the body and many symptoms of traumatized individuals are somatically based. Altered relationships among cognitive, emotional, and sensorimotor (body) levels of information processing are also found to be implicated in trauma symptoms…” (Ogden and Minton, 2000). Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a holistic talk therapy which is based on somatic work where traumatic memories held in the body are processed, integrated, and transformed into resources and strengths. For those familiar with Gestalt Therapy, Sensorimotor expands and builds on Gestalt's careful body exploration and the use of experiments (Joyce and Sills, 2014) encouraging, among other things, self-discovery, which opens up new possibilities. It also integrates current findings from neuroscience and mindfulness, encouraging the client’s collaboration to process any traumatic memory held in the body. It also works with developmental trauma, e.g. lack of attunement.
- Sensorimotor psychotherapy:
Reference: Odgen, P & Minton, K. (2000). Traumatology, Volume VI, Issue 3, Article 3; October.
- Humanistic and integrative psychotherapy:
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a fully qualified counsellor and psychotherapist and member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). I am also registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I adhere to their code of ethics and practice.
- Certificate in trauma training (Level 1) in Affect Dysregulation, Survival Defenses, and Traumatic Memory of the SPI (Sensorimotor Therapy Institute) Training Program in Affect Regulating, Attachment, and Trauma. I am now also registered with SPI https://www.sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org/referral/prUK.html
- Advanced diploma in integrative psychotherapy
- PGdip in Psychotherapy & Counselling (Masters of Arts, Level 7)
- Foundation certificate in psychotherapy & counselling
- MEd (Cantab)
- BA (Honours)
As part of my training in counselling and psychotherapy I completed studies in systemic and psychosexual therapy; gestalt and focusing approaches; critical psychopathology; CBT; Jungian and transpersonal approaches. Psychodynamic, existentialist and humanistic theories, and therapeutic approaches.
In addition to my private practice, I work on a voluntary basis for Mind in Mid Herts (mental health charity) and for MRC (charity)(in both Spanish and English) who offers help to migrants, many of whom have suffered traumatic experiences as a result of war, separation and loss.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Borderline personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Hearing voices
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
Other areas of counselling I deal with
It is not possible to mention all the possible difficulties, so it is always better to have a first consultation to explore in what way I could help you according to your needs.
My current fee is £50 for each 50 minute session. This is reviewed annually. Rates may be negotiable (£40-45) depending on personal circumstances or if you are a counselling student.
I also work in Spanish.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
7 am to 8 pm Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 4 pm to 8 Wednesday
Types of client