A space for you
Fundamentally, I respect your ability to find your own way even if that is currently blocked, and I give you plenty of space to do that. You can expect to be listened to attentively and empathically, and to gain new perspectives. I see psychotherapy as a supportive place to grow awareness and to connect more deeply with your own life force - it's this that will take you forward. Awareness includes awareness of what's getting in the way.
Techniques that might be used include Mindfulness, Focusing, dreamwork, and artwork, as well as exploration of current life issues.
Just as a broken leg is not healed by the plaster cast that holds it, but by the body's own self-healing capacity, so what we need as human beings in difficulty or stuckness, is the right kind of 'holding' - not too tight, not too loose. In psychotherapy this is not a physical holding but a relational one. It happens via the presence of another who listens with careful, non-judgemental attention. This acts as a catalyst that enables us to join up what has been broken and gradually, in time, to renew ourselves.
And psychotherapy doesn't have to be about problems, though it is these that often spur us to come to therapy. It is also about fostering growth and development, allowing you to become more yourself.
My main training is in Core Process Psychotherapy, which is an integrative approach combining mindfulness with understandings drawn from developmental and depth psychology. This includes but is not limited to understanding how our past can shape and pattern our perceptions and expectations of relationship, of others and the world. The past is always embodied as process in the present. By bringing awareness to that process - how we construct ourselves and our relational world - we can over time loosen up and work more creatively with those feelings and patterns that might be constricting our lives and which perhaps bring us to psychotherapy. Just as important is an openness to what might be emerging, a sensitivity to where the deepest currents of our being might wish to flow, including relating creatively to questions of ultimate meaning and purpose.
That usually takes time: time to get the necessary perspective and insight, to process the feelings, to mourn what has been lost, and to allow these learnings and new understandings to inform and be expressed in our lives. The beauty of open-ended, process based therapy is that it allows this time and gives space for changes to unfold organically.
Sessions are usually once a week, for 50 minutes, at the same time and on the same day.
Sessions are offered at the Bloomsbury Therapy Centre and in Stoke Newington , London N16.
All of us have an innate potential and creative capacity. I mean 'creative capacity' here in the broadest sense, including the ability to find a path for ourselves, work within difficult circumstances, to relate, to bring up children, to be compassionate to and befriend our own inner life and feelings... But this can get blocked and sometimes we can get stuck or seem to repeat painful and destructive patterns. This might happen, for example when a traumatic event or difficult life circumstances seem to hit us in raw, unhealed areas. We might then feel we need more resources. Psychotherapy can provide a space for increased acceptance and compassion, for wise and skilful response, for relating of a different kind, and for something new to unfold, as and when it's ready.
Perhaps the most important benefit of good psychotherapy is the that clients can over time and with practice learn to become their own 'therapist'. In other words, you will find that your relationship to yourself changes for the better. You may become more able to befriend your experience, even when that experience is difficult. This may equip you to deal in ways that feel better to you with life's ups and downs.
Background and Influences
My professional training is in Core Process Psychotherapy. Influences on my work include Buddhism, Focusing, Jungian and psychoanalytical understandings, artwork and imaginal/dreamwork practice, all of which form part of my personal experience. Sessions are mainly around me listening to you, reflecting and talking with you, attending to what might be implicit, offering reflections and invitations to explore more deeply. In this process you can be empowered to sense and find your own way forward.
From Buddhism comes an awareness that we are always changing: we are a process rather than a fixed 'thing'. So creative change is always possible - though we may also need to recognise and accept existential limits as well as apparently unchanging aspects of our character, and the constraints imposed by our culture and life circumstances - and learn to work creatively within those.
From Focusing comes a trust in the body-mind's wisdom. Trusting and following the 'felt sense' may move us forward quite naturally in the direction that is right for us.
From artwork, imaginal and dreamwork practice comes a trust in the depths of the psyche, which - in dialogue with conscious awareness - can bring us towards more creative living.
Jungian ideas and practice provide helpful maps and metaphors, and means of navigation for all of this. The ancient stories and myths of all cultures, as Jung discovered, can still offer us huge resources.
Simply talking and being listened to, encouraged and, where appropriate, challenged in a respectful way, may bring a loosening up of stuck places and gradually open a path forward.
During a session we may work with awareness in the moment, dreams, artwork, Focusing - and this does not exclude a solution-focused, pragmatic exploration of the issues. In this way you can gain insight, perspective and self-acceptance and be supported and encouraged to take whatever steps you may need to take to follow your own path.