St Leonards On Sea
I'm an Integrative Psychotherapist, a Psychosynthesis Counsellor and Artist. I am licensed to practice S.E. Somatic Experiencing, which works with our responses to stress and trauma.
It is generally understood that the experience of overwhelm caused by too much stress and sometimes by un-recognised and un-resolved trauma - lie at the root of the majority of problems causing people to seek professional help.
So I use SE in both counselling and psychotherapy as I greatly value its effectiveness. Its compassionate and patient approach fits well with my own. It is rooted in and continues to develop from neuro-scientific understanding of our nervous systems and of those systems constantly working to protect and balance us. S.E. uses this understanding to help us to recognise and change our responses to both stressful or traumatic experiences in the present and those we can carry from the past. I find it a sensitively responsive way of learning to listen and use the good information and sense that our bodies are always holding for us. What you need to bring to work with me is a willingness to take time to listen and to respond to these in yourself. I will do my best to help you to do so.
Too much stress and anxiety can easily limit our access to the resources we all have in varying amounts. Those resources we often dismiss or let others dismiss for us. For example, the ordinary abilities to think, feel, intuit, sense and imagine. Humour, everyday practical abilities and occasionally extraordinary talents that we use to create and navigate our lives and way in the world.
I particularly value our creative capacities as being very important in helping us deal with anxiety, stress and trauma. They can help us to find and respond to the difficulties arising from the experience of overwhelm that may be severely limiting our ability to function in life. BUT I AM NOT VERY CONCERNED WITH YOUR HAVING ARTISTIC CAPABILITIES HERE - though those may well be an important issue you wish to bring and work with. I will give them all my attention if that is so. I am primarily concerned with your coming to be able to access and use the inborn, powerful and and real creativity we all have and use to manage and create our lives on a daily basis.
My concern is to help you re-discover those inner resources and how you wish to utilise them. Also those in your outer world you may have overlooked or simply not be aware of. We may reflect of how you can use them to resolve and move through the life difficulties you face and bring to me.
Anxiety and stress can easily limit our access to our resources with self-shaming and fears of other's judgements compounding the problem.
It is fairly common knowledge that even apparently minor trauma or stresses can activate positively protective 'and necessary flight, 'fight' or 'flight' or 'freeze' responses from our nervous systems. But unlike wild animals who have the same protective nervous system responses. Our highly developed brains often keep us caught in one or all of these responses long after any difficult situation or danger is over. Our bodies may continue to stay on alert and mobilise so much energy that exhaustion often accompanies our continuing panic and anxiety.
We are not helped by our Western culture which tends to overvalue the rational, the technological and constantly requires evidence of our material success and achievement. For good reasons most of us value all that technology allows us to access. But technology can set a pace which can leave us struggling to deal with too much, too fast and too soon. Our subtly balanced and sensitive animal bodies usually bear up but can easily become dys-regulated and out of balance. Our health, humanity and even our sanity can feel under threat. A quality of 'Soul' and a deeper sense of life's gifts and our purpose in it may become lost to us. So I have my SE, my Psychosynthesis and Art trainings and my Psychotherapeutic understanding of early developmental trauma to bring to our work. These so as to help you identify what needs to be resourced in you so as to help bring some healing resolution into your life as it is now.
How will I work with you ?
We will talk together and I'll encourage you to bring and value your insights about your difficulties and offer mine too. I will help you find and recognise your particular attributes, qualities and abilities, as resources you can access and use to solve them. I may also ask you to look at some old patterns, habits and attitudes that probably served and protected you well in the past but may now be impeding or even sabotaging you in the present. As a part of that you may need help to let go of what can't be redeemed and healed and to grieve some losses. Sometimes my asking you to look at how you are in our relationship may shed useful light for you on difficulties you experience in your other relationships.
I bring S.E. together in my Integrative therapy approach together with other ways of working - such as Jungian dreamwork, mythology and the archetypal realm. As well as our talking together I may suggest we work with guided imagery, dreams, drawing or painting, breath and body awareness and sound and gesture.
* But please note: your feeling comfortable with using any of these is very important and if you are not - we will not use them.
Psychosynthesis is at the heart of my work in my concern to help you find your own particular purposes in your life and ways towards bringing these to fruition.
*Please note again: You do not need to have any knowledge of these approaches or creative skills of any sort for us to work together. Nor any knowledge or understanding of trauma or neuro-science. What is necessary is your willingness to look at and work with your difficulties. There is always room for humour, joy and a sense of wonder to come into the work too.
I am aware that responses to stress and trauma can vary enormously from one person to another. We are all uniquely different and born into different life circumstances. We all carry different ancestral, cultural, racial and gender legacies which contribute to our sense of who we are. Some are fortunate in being seemingly well resourced emotionally, physically and materially and others less so. At the present time of social, political and ecological uncertainty and change we can also find ourselves challenged in our ideas and certainties about ourselves in our life and in relation to the lives and well being of others on our planet.
We may want answers to important soul full questions e.g. as to what it is to live a life which holds meaning and purpose for us and for others.
Inevitably we all develop different ways to manage our lives. Current stresses and related trauma and perceived difference can seem to demolish our usual coping strategies. Current issues can often interweave confusingly with old and earlier ones we thought we'd laid to rest. Unresolved legacies from the transitions life requires of us as a part of growing up and maturing. Others resulting from life changes we've chosen or been forced to make. Some of these we'll have managed well enough or not so well.
Thankfully, life disruptions are very often weathered with the loving support of a partner,family, friends and community - if we have them. But sometimes professional help is needed to help us understand and heal what has not been given our good enough attention and is now asking us for this. We may need some help to make some changes.
Symptoms of past unaddressed deep wounds/trauma rather than short or long term stress may be there in your experiencing :
Quite small difficulties with thinking and paying attention or feeling a bit low or being constantly on the edge of alert or feelings of panic. Or more extreme experiences to cope with such as wide swings of mood and powerful emotions. Mild or severe depression, addictions, self harm and other self destructive behaviour are often indicative of such wounds. Suicide attempts or thoughts may seem to offer a way out of what feels unbearable. Or you may have moved away from this overwhelm into an empty boredom and hopelessness about yourself and your life. Such experiences often indicate a need for professional help to safely hold you whilst you re-learn to listen to your body and psyche and find your way back into a new and more healed relationship with yourself and others.
Essentially, my concern is to help you find ways to meet with such uncertainties and to realistically assess your life and resources so you can move towards living it as you want and need it to be.
There is truth in an old Motown song: “ It takes one to stand in the dark alone. It takes two to let the light shine through.”
My heart was deeply opened to this in starting work as an Art teacher many years ago with children with special needs. They deeply touched and inspired me to go on to train as a therapist.
Many had severe physical and emotional difficulties but their sensibilities and minds were sharp and bright. With encouragement to find and recognise their very own creative resources and responses, they came alive to themselves, each other and to the life they could choose to live. They proudly showed me that whatever our limitations we all have possibilities we can realise in our lives. I continue to find this to be true of any of us and that with loving will we can face up to and move out of darkness.
Training, qualifications & experience
My Previous relevant working experience.
Before and during my trainings I worked in different Educational and Community settings and in Community and Hospital based Mental Health Teams before going into private practice as a therapist in London. I have now moved to East Sussex and work in the Hastings area. I am a Training Therapist for Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Organisations.
Qualifications: ( also see below). I am a UKCP, ( United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy), registered psychotherapist and Psychosynthesis Counsellor and have been reaccredited in 2003,2008 and 20013.
Diploma in Art and Design/Fine Art. Hornsey College Art, London (now inc. Middlesex University).
Diploma in Psychosynthesis Counselling. Psychosynthesis and Education Trust, London1986
Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy, Bath B.C.P.C. 1998
Licensed to practice SE Trauma work in May 2014 - member of SEA UK Somatic Experiencing Assoc.
Completed Supervision training at Re-Vision (Centre for Integrative Psychosynthesis )London 2003
EMDR Training to Advanced level in early 2000. I no longer offer this.
Life Span Integration Trauma Training with Peggy Pace in 2007 - Birkbeck College London
Post grad. work with stress and trauma related issues at Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship issues
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work related stress
Fees - Contacting me and what happens after that:
You can e mail me and I will try to answer any ?s you have or you can contact me by phone. .
A next step would be meeting together for both of us to see whether I am going to be the best person for you to work with.
If we decide to go ahead, I'll suggest 6 weekly sessions of 60 mins after which we can review how our work is going. You may decide to stop or to continue working with me at this point. Of course you are free to stop and end our professional relationship at any time but my suggesting 6 sessions is an encouragement to give yourself enough time to see if our work is useful for you.
My fee for a weekly 60 min.session is £50 and this is negotiable - as is my availability.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
TUESDAYS WEDNESDAYS THURSDAYS 9 – 6PM. (Some negotiation possible).
Types of client