How I can help you

Differentiation

Two of the most powerful human drives are our urge to control our own lives and our desire for relationship with others (attachment). In therapy, we can learn to become more of a unique individual and a solid person through relationships with others. This process is called differentiation.

Attachment is a special emotional relationship that involves an exchange of comfort, care, and pleasure. Our early attachment styles are established in childhood and are often impacted by events surrounding our early years. Often, no matter how much you are loved and valued in your adult life, judgemental parts within you are standing ready to condemn you as inadequate or undeserving in relationships. This feeds a sense of anxiety and shame within you.

In therapy, we explore the struggles which run deep within while gently examining the emotional injuries of childhood. Along this journey, you learn to embrace your wounded parts with warmth and openness and develop your inner security. This will allow you more freedom to have a solid flexible self. This is the start of the process of differentiation. It is reached as you learn to soothe your own mind and heart, become emotionally grounded, and tolerate discomfort for growth.

I use EMDR therapy to work on specific memories which are the root of your attachment trauma

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Burn-out

Increasingly, I see clients who describe being “burn-out”. The World Health Organisation describes “burn-out” as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress. It happens when the balance of deadlines, demands, working hours, and other stressors are much higher than the rewards, recognition, and relaxation. Research also shows that for many working parents with a child or children under the age of 18, balancing their jobs and family obligations can be a challenge and can contribute to being “burn-out”.

I use Deb Dana’s Autonomic Ladder to explain what happens when feeling “burn-out” happens.

The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy

Being ‘burn-out’ means that the dorsal vagus has activated after you have been in sympathetic activation (flight, fight, fear, submit responses) for far too long. This is an ancient reaction activated by your body to protect you. You suffer from severe exhaustion, negative emotions crowd out positive emotions, and you give up and surrender your responsibility. You may also suffer from gut issues and massive headaches. It can be hard to distinguish from depression if sustained over weeks.

In addition to dysregulation in brain function, emerging evidence suggests that burnout also leads to turmoil within the regulation of the body’s neuroendocrine system. When stress becomes chronic, as in the case of burnout, the body fails to return to normal, leading to a cascade of potential health problems. Therefore, it is important to have the support of your general practitioner as well as a trained therapist when dealing with a burn-out.

The aim of the treatment to get you back to feeling calm, connected, playful and effective in life (at the top of the ladder illustrated above). We pay attention to the body and the breath in the sessions. I use EMDR therapy to soothe the reactive sympathetic nervous system associated with painful experiences. We explore your early relational patterns, your level of self-differentiation from work and family systems, and your struggle with role boundaries and inability to set limits.

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Grief

‘Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed’. David Kessler, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief.

Life, love, and loss are inextricably interwoven. As we go through life, we experience losses and encounter different kinds of griefs. Grieving is a process of reconstructing a world of meaning that has been challenged by loss.

We sadly lose precious loved ones and experience the deep void they leave behind. The loss of a loved one is undoubtedly one of the most difficult hardships we will endure in life. We can experience loss through an illness, a disability, a traumatic divorce, or an accident. As we try to move forward to reconstruct our life, we can become paralysed by grief and unable to function.

Moving to a new country involves several losses and implies several different kinds of grief. There can be loss of belonging to a community, part of our identity, and the proximity of loved ones. Often, we grieve the loss of the ideal life we had imagined living in our new country of adoption.

During this unprecedented period impacted by Covid-19, we are experiencing the loss of normalcy, the fear of economic toll, and the loss of connection. Some of us have lost our jobs and are uncertain of what the future holds.

If you are struggling with lingering grief and are unable to find meaning in the wake of a transition, please contact me. As a trained therapist, I can accompany you as you navigate the various stages of loss. The therapeutic process will consist of meaning-making while you develop a coherent narrative that integrates your loss.

Depression and anxiety

Depression, ranging from mild to severe, is deemed to be a disorder of mood. It is the persistence of low mood for longer than two weeks or it comes back repeatedly for a few days at a time. There is this feeling of ‘being stuck’ and not having hope for the future.

People experiencing depression tend to think in very self-critical ways and often have low self-esteem. They are often teary and can experience changes in weight or appetite. Depression can cause disturbances to sleep. Restoring a regular sleep routine can play an important role in managing depression. Through therapy, you can better understand what you are experiencing and learn techniques for developing self-compassion. You also learn how to manage your thoughts and behaviours. I use EMDR therapy to facilitate processing and healing from past experiences and shed irrational negative beliefs.  

People suffering from depression often suffer from rumination. In therapy, we explore your script system, what authentic feelings are being avoided, and learn mindful techniques to stay in the present. We then consider appropriate strategies for self-reparation and self-stabilisation.

It is important to have the support of both your general practitioner and your therapist when dealing with depression.

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I am available to support you face to face or via online sessions.