Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist & Author (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,FRSA,MBPsS)

Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist & Author (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,FRSA,MBPsS)

About me

Hi! I am Imi, a Specialist Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Coach, and Author of the book Emotional Intensity and Sensitivity (Amazon No.1 bestseller, published by Hodder & Stoughton, 2018). I am also a Certified Schema Therapist, Mentalisation Therapy Advance Practitioner, EMDR therapist, and mindfulness teacher (MBSR, MBCT). I started my career as a mental health social worker and was trained as a yoga teacher and holistic health practitioner.

I describe the way I work as holistic, as I combine evidence-based psychology with other physical and spiritual healing philosophy.

I work with people on issues related to the experience of feeling and living intensely, especially the pain of being told – spoken and unspoken – that you are ‘too much’—‘too intense’, ‘too sensitive’, ‘too emotional’.

More specifically, these are some of the challenges commonly faced by emotionally intense individuals:

  • Extreme and unpredictable mood swings, feeling like you are always on the verge of losing control.
  • Sensitivity to criticism and rejection, over-reacting in some situations, carrying internalised shame.
  • Perfectionism, chronically restlessness, overdrive, unable to relax or to take in pleasure.
  • Patterns of impulsive and self- sabotaging behaviours that are not aligned with who you want to be.
  • Feeling oppressed by the dominant culture, not able to have a voice or a place in the world.
  • Not fitting into mainstream society or cultural values, being or feeling isolated and alienated.
  • Being drawn to the same type of partner/ relationship over and over, even when your needs are not met.
  • Taking on other people's emotions; Becoming overly responsible for things that happen between you.
  • Unable to say no, feeling guilty even when you have done nothing wrong.
  • The fear of 'coming out' with your intensity, with the fear of being annihilated if you ‘stick your head out.’
  • Feeling numb and empty most of the time, except when the emotions erupt suddenly and uncontrollably.
  • Existential guilt and despair, feeling hopeless and powerless in the face of uncertainties in life.
  • Not able to trust anyone, feeling like you have to control everything.
  • Losing touch with your intuition, and disconnected from spirituality.
  • Writer/ Artist's block; Feeling stuck and unable to reach your full potential.

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY TRAITS

I also specialise in working with people affected by traits of borderline personality.   Despite being referred to as a ‘personality disorder’, BPD is not a personality defect. It simply reflects a degree of unmet childhood needs, which now affects your way of being in the world.  The condition is often misunderstood and heavily and stigmatised. For one, the myth that BPD is ‘untreatable’ is an old, inaccurate and very dangerous myth within the mental health industry. In fact, mounting evidence is suggesting the opposite is true.

Some of the traits of BPD are:

  • Fearing abandonment and rejection
  • Having series of intense and unstable relationships
  • Not having a strong sense of self-identity, not knowing 'Who I am'
  • Impulsive behaviours that are self-damaging e.g. spending, drug use, sex, reckless driving, binge eating
  • Recurrent suicidal thoughts and behaviour
  • Severe mood swings
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Sudden and uncontrollable rage
  • Feeling dissociated from reality during times of stress

More about me:

I have more than ten years of experience working with emotionally intense people.  My work was recognised by the Endeavour Award, an international scholarship presented by the Australian Government. In 2018, I was granted the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) for my commitment and contributions to social change.

I started my career as a mental health Social Worker and later qualified as a Clinical Psychotherapist (UKCP), Art Psychotherapist (HCPC), Schema Therapist (ISST), Mentalisation-based Therapy Advance Practitioner (BPC), and Mindfulness Teacher (MBSR, MBCT),.

My clinical experience is grounded within NHS Specialist Mental Health Teams and the Samaritans Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre, and sitting on the Board of Directors for Emergence, a personality disorder service-user led organisation. I also founded Eggshell Collective, a BPD support group that had run successfully in Central London for three years.

My aspiration first emerged in 2006, when I witnessed people who are unable to manage their emotions being misunderstood, marginalised or described as having ‘personality defects’. Hearing pejorative labels such as ‘manipulative’ or ‘attention seeking’, and seeing people who do not fit neatly into diagnostic criteria slip through the cracks of the mental health system deeply frustrated me.

After gaining the Master in Mental Health from the School of Medicine at The University of Queensland, Australia, I wanted to broaden my knowledge and skills through exploring various therapeutic avenues, such as Schema Therapy, EMDR, and mindfulness-based therapies.  Instead of taking suggestions straight from these models, I weed out the jargons and or overly complicated elements, to include only what I know to be effective and resonate best with you. After all, underneath all the theories and techniques, it is our relationship and the genuine feelings between us that makes therapy work. I cannot hide behind theories and you will know it if I do.

Leaving my job in the NHS specialist team has allowed me to work in a holistic, creative and authentic way. I have devoted all my passion and resources to Eggshell Therapy and Coaching- a practice that is dedicated to working with emotionally intense people. Since its opening, I have been able to help people from all around the world. Every day, I am grateful every day that I get to sit alongside many creative and intelligent individuals, fulfilling my mission to liberate them from the bind of negative patterns, and to live full and authentic lives.

I value clarity and openness, and I am a great believer in sharing knowledge with you, as well as actively engaging with your existential and day-to-day questions.

I look forward to being with you!

Training, qualifications & experience

Qualifications

  • Master in Mental Health (School of Medicine, University of Queensland)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (MBPsS)
  • Certificate in Psychotherapy Clinical Supervision
  • Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • BSc. in Social Work (Hons)

Specialist Psychotherapy Qualifications

  • Certified Schema Therapist for Personality Disorders
    • Certified by the International Society of Schema Therapy
  • Mentalisation-based Therapy Practitioner (Advanced) for Borderline Personality 
    • Anna Freud Centre, University College London (UCL)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Trauma
    • Fully trained by accredited trainings approved by EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and EMDR-Europe Association (EMDR-E)
  • Mentalisation-based Art Therapy
    • British Association for Art Therapists
  • Contemporary Hypno-psychotherapy at Beeleaf Institute, London
  • Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner

Professional and Academic Awards

  • Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), 2018 - Royal Society of Arts, London
  • Endeavour Award (International), 2010 – Australian Government
  • Dean’s Commendation for High Achievements in Master of Mental Health, University of Queensland, 2011
  • Dean’s List Recipient 2009, School of Social Work, CUHK
  • HSBC Social Science Scholarship, 2008, 2009
  • Social Work Departmental Prize, CUHK, 2008, 2009
  • Class Scholarship, CUHK, 2008, 2009

Interviews and Media Consultations

  • The Daily Mail, UK: An Interview about the book Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity, Feb 2018
  • Live Interview on Talk Radio Europe (Spain), about the value of sensitivity in today's world. March 2018
  • Psychologies UK: Sensitivity is my Superpower, Nov 2017
  • The Telegraph UK on Borderline Personality Disorder, Feb 2015
  • Marie Claire UK: 'How to Toughen Up', Issue March 2016
  • Happiful Magazine: Emptiness and Borderline Personality Disorder, April 2017
  • The Ambient: on smart light and how colour affects our mood, Feb 2018
  • Refinery29: How Do You Know Which Therapy Is Best For You?, Jan 2017
  • The Debrief Magazine: The realities of dating when you are struggling with your mental health, May 2016
  • Foreword for the Art for Mindfulness Colouring book series, Harper Collins 2016.
  • MX Brisbane, AU: Interview as an artist/ art therapist, 23rd November, 2010
  • City Brisbane, AU: Press Release for the exhibition at liveingallery, 25 November, 2010
  • 4 ZZZ Radio, AU: Radio Interview, aired on 12 June 2011

Teaching and Speaking

I have delivered lectures and workshops for trainee therapists seeking accreditation as a faculty member of the Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy, an accrediting authority of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Some of the topics I have covered include Human Development, Psychopathology, Attachment theories, Personality Disorders and Suicide crisis management I also supervise therapists in training as a clinical supervisor and mentor. With students’ consent, the following are testimonials for the workshops I have delivered:

Imi has an incredible wealth of knowledge and talent in her subject areas, and she shared it with us in a totally accessible way that felt inclusive & respectful at all times. Her humility compassion & warmth blended with her expertise and professionalism throughout. It was a thoroughly enjoyable & informative learning experience...

    — Lesley C.,  Lead family support worker at London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Insightful, brilliantly delivered, flowing with compassion and understanding, giving us time to digest this complex area of therapy. Thank you so much Imi.

    —  Ed Luttrll, Director & Principal Coach at BlueTouchPaper Consulting

Clinical Experience

  • Specialist Psychotherapist – Personality Disorder Team, NHS
  • Trainer and Module Leader - Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Non-Executive Director- Emergence Plus
  • Clinical Practitioner, Care Coordinator- Personality Disorder Community Team, NHS
  • Founder of Eggshell Collective, London BPD Sharing Group
  • Suicide Counsellor – Samaritans Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre, HK
  • Honorary Psychotherapist- London Friend, UK
  • Wellbeing Centre Officer– Mind, Richmond Royal Hospital, UK
  • Mental Health Mentor- Randstad Student Support, UK
  • Eating Disorder Inpatient Ward – NHS
  • Art Therapist- Tennyson Special School, Australia
  • Counselling Practitioner- Centacare Family Services, Australia
  • Taipei Psychiatric Hospital Drug & Alcohol Unit, Taiwan

Accreditations

  • Accredited Clinical Psychotherapist (UK),  United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
  • Registered Art Psychotherapist, Health and Care Professional Council
  • Registered Social Worker, Health and Care Professional Council
  • Certified Schema Therapist, International Society of Schema Therapy
  • MPSsS, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, The British Psychological Society

Membership

  • The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • The British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST)
  • EMDR Association Britain and Ireland
  • The Community for Contemporary Psychotherapy (CCP)
  • Australia Endeavour Awards Alumni Network
  • Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
  • British Mensa

Previous Memberships

  • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT)
  • The Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA)
  • Hong Kong Social Workers Registration Board

   

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

UKCP
HCPC

Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I am passionate about dispelling destructive myths and stigma about borderline personality disorder (BPD), and provide evidence-based treatment for related issues such as fear of abandonment, moods swings, anger outbursts, impulsive and compulsive actions, chronic anxiety, suicidal thoughts and urges to self-harm.

My goal is to create deep and lasting shifts that dispel your difficulties at their roots. On top of a mere intellectual shift, we aim for changes on a visceral and emotional level.

Because true healing and come from lasting changes in physical, emotional and behavioural levels, the work should be integrative and holistic in nature. Instead of having a fixed, rigid modal, it is important to find out the unique way of working that best resonate with you.

Photos & videos

  • Charlotte's Story
  • Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist & Author (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,FRSA,MBPsS) image 1
  • Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist & Author (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,FRSA,MBPsS) image 2
  • Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist & Author (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,FRSA,MBPsS) image 3
  • Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist & Author (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,FRSA,MBPsS) image 4
  • Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist & Author (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,FRSA,MBPsS) image 5
  • Certified Schema Therapist
  • Mentalisation-based Therapy (Advanced Training)
  • Master in Mental Health Award

Fees

WHAT DO YOU OFFER?

I offer one-to-one consultation, therapy, coaching, and supervision.

FOR HOW LONG?

The duration very much depends on what you are after. Some people just want one or a few consultations for specific issues, others sign up for a course of 8-10 session coaching, or longer-term therapy.

I understand your desire to get better fast. You may have read online or in books that there is no 'quick fix' for the particular issue you face. This may be true, but it is entirely possible to attain deep insights or experience a rapid shift in a short period of time. These shifts can then be consolidated via other means, such as less-frequent follow-up sessions, books, email support from me, or being around the right people in your life.  There is much value in ongoing support, but in contrast to some other models of long-term therapy, our goal here is to effectively equip you with the needed insights and capacity, so you can be free to live a full life as soon as possible.

I encourage you to trust your instinct and the ability to discern. If you decide half-way through that it doesn't work for you, you have the full right to withdraw and I will respect your decision.

HOW MUCH?

Online meetings are GBP 120 per session. Face-to-face meetings are GBP 140 per session.

After booking the first session, you will receive an email confirmation with all the logistical details. You will also be directed to complete an Online Assessment. This initial step is optional, but it may help us to have a deeper understanding of your unique needs and challenges, and allow us to focus in our work together.

Using a credit or debit card, you can book your session with a secure online process.

With less than 24-hour notice, my cancellation policy is to collect the agreed amount of payment. The same rule applies to me, where if for any reason I were to miss a session, your next session will be free-of-charge.

HOW FREQUENTLY DO WE MEET?

I do not have a fixed rule about the frequency of our meetings.

The old gold standard of having weekly (or more frequent) session is arbitrary and does not reflect authentic and unique individual needs. Yes, sometimes having some regularity can help us settle into an emotional rhythm. However, in our fast-moving modern world where you might already feel stretched in multiple directions with financial, life and work demands, a weekly set-time schedule may seem undoable.

Indeed, entering therapy is not a light undertaking- financially, emotionally, and pragmatically. At the same time, nothing is more important than investing in yourself and building a solid foundation for your relationship and creative endeavours in life.

The work happens not just within the hour; in fact, the real work begins in your real life. If we were to meet less frequently, I might offer certain ‘reflection prompts,' specific homework or exercises, so that the work continues in-between sessions.

I trust you to find your own pace and would try my best to work with you to find a balance between cost, your readiness, and our progress.

Published articles

Further information

WHERE SHALL WE MEET?

We can meet either online or in person.

MEETING ONLINE

Meeting online is no longer a second-best solution. With its own merits, it is something that is different to, but not inferior to face-to-face therapy. I work with clients from around the world so actually, half of my sessions are conducted via Skype.

Here are some of my thoughts and experience with meeting online:

Research has found that Skype therapy can be as effective as face-to-face. In fact, there are times when online therapy can bring out a level of depth and progress that in-person session cannot. In a nutshell:

Have you ever felt that an hour of traveling to your therapist’s office through the tube, settling to the new environment and checking in, you are no longer able to connect with the emotional materials that most need to surface? These may be the times where you feel frustratingly numb and empty, and unable to connect. This is understandable, especially if disconnecting have been part of your way of protecting yourself from feeling emotionally vulnerable. Many people have found having therapy from home allow them to feel safer, more at ease and in control. Being in the comfort of your own home can enable you to feel more at ease and in control, so you can open up at your readiness.

Meeting online can bring out a level of depth and progress that in-person session cannot.  Having someone with you in the here-and-now of your battles can alleviate the loneliness that many sensitive and intense individuals have carried all their lives.

By meeting you in your private space, I am meeting you in your world, in real time. This is especially useful if you struggle with bouts of intense emotional storms, periods of depression, and feel that emotional triggers surround you. Meeting online would give us more opportunities to ‘strike while the iron is hot’ in the space where your day-to-day struggles occur. I also get to have a more vivid sense of your difficulties, to help you bring the new learnings or insights into your actual life.

Most intense and gifted people are resource-rich but time-poor. Perhaps your competence attracts expectations, you have high standards for whatever you do, and your multiple passions tug you in a million directions.  You may already be confronted with the feeling that there is never enough time to do all that you want to do, or have to do. If you were already battling with a sense restlessness and urgency, overwhelming responsibilities from inside and out, travelling stress is the last thing you need. Meeting online gives you the benefit of flexibility- so you can use your time and money in ways that you want to, rather than being limited by the public transport system or traffic.

Throughout the years, I have been able to develop deep emotional bonds, spiritual friendships, and go on incredibly moving journeys with many intense and sensitive souls via Skype, even when we have never met in person.    Everyone is different, I personally have a lot of good experience with meeting online.

FACE-TO-FACE SESSIONS

Eggshell Therapy has a permanent base in Southwest London. It is 20-minute walk from Colliers Wood tube station. For more please visit: eggshelltherapy.com

Maps & Directions

London, SW19

Type of session

Online counselling: Yes
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None

Availability

Monday to Friday

Types of client

Young people
Adults

Supervision & training

Supervision available