MY APPROACH TO THERAPY
While the different approaches to therapy vary in what they emphasise and focus on, my experience has shown that the relationship between client and therapist lies at the heart of any meaningful process of healing, recovery or maturation. When we feel accepted, recognised and safe in a therapist’s presence, it is easier to work through painful memories that keep us stuck, to face the parts of ourselves – including difficult feelings and core beliefs – that we keep hidden from the world, and to discover our hidden strengths.
As children, to varying degrees we lacked the opportunity for learning how to name, process, regulate and soothe the intense energies that arose from deep within ourselves. We became afraid of our inner worlds, formed erroneous beliefs about ourselves and the environment, pushed our feelings underground or onto other people, and learned to avoid much of what was really going on. This is normal and an unavoidable part of growing up as a human. At some point in our adolescent or adult lives the cost of these beliefs and coping strategies, could begin to take a toll on our mental and emotional wellbeing, relationships, and occupational endeavours. Work with a professional may then be helpful.
Therapy presents a wonderful opportunity to stop running, even if this idea seems daunting at first. It gives us a chance to venture into emotional territory that feels scary, to discover that we can survive these once-feared places, and to experience the growth and change in behaviour that this can bring. As a therapist, I provide a confidential, non-judgemental, and validating space for honest reflection, where together we bravely face the truth of your life, come to understand your avoidance and initiate the precious task of befriending and championing yourself.
I practice therapy primarily from a psychodynamic perspective that is contemporary and deeply respectful of individuality. In addition to processing your presenting concerns, over time we may explore what unfolds between us, and discover how present patterns of relating to yourself and others are entangled with the past. I believe that psychological insight, coupled with coming to terms with difficult emotional truths, fosters resilience and increases our agency, choice and freedom. While this is my preferred way of working, my interventions are always guided by a thorough assessment and the needs of the client. I draw on other therapeutic modalities – techniques from dialectical and behavioural therapy (DBT), mindfulness practices, and relaxation exercises – when it is appropriate.