You will find answers to some of the most frequent questions that I get asked by new or existing clients. If there is something that is not listed here, please feel free to send me your query through this contact form.
- What type of psychotherapy do you offer?
- Do you work with trauma or PTSD?
- Do you have a fixed structure to your psychotherapy sessions?
- What happens in the assessment session?
- Would I have to prepare for each session?
- Is psychotherapy all a serious affair or can it be fun?
- What do you think about mindfulness and meditation? Is that useful?
- I am not that good with words: can psychotherapy work for me?
- Do you work with art and poetry in psychotherapy?
- Do you facilitate bodywork, or do you just offer a ‘talk therapy’?
- Do you work with psychotherapy trainees?
- Do you have experience working with gay men?
- How does diversity look like in your psychotherapy practice?
- Do you have any testimonials that I can read?
What type of psychotherapy do you offer?
I am a Transpersonal Psychotherapist whose work is informed by Psychodynamic, Jungian, Transpersonal, Affect Regulation and Trauma theories. What this means in easily understandable language is that when I work with clients, I try to understand their life history, understand how their sense of self and personality became shaped by their family, friends, school, groups of people and by the society as a large; and to help them discover the resources within them to heal themselves.
I also try to facilitate a space where my clients can come in touch with their unrealised potential, to discover their meaning in life, and to discover their authentic self, as it was meant to be had they not gone through difficult life experiences.
I offer depth psychotherapy, which means that apart from working with all the different layers of an individual’s personality and life history, I facilitate a space where a person, if willing to, can come in touch with a deeper level of consciousness, which I call in secular terms as one’s ‘essence’.
Do you work with trauma or PTSD?
I am a trauma-informed psychotherapist, which means that I have attended professional training workshops to understand working with trauma; and academically, my work is informed by trauma theories. Broadly speaking, an experience – past or present – is experienced as traumatic if it overwhelms the capacity of the mind, body, and the nervous system, and activates our animal defence responses in the brain.
I have worked with trauma survivors – specifically the survivors of domestic violence – and with individuals who had the symptoms of PTSD. As part of my final year training at CCPE, I developed a psychotherapy workshop to help people regulate their difficult emotional states (self-regulation of emotions).
Do you have a fixed structure to your psychotherapy sessions?
Following a fixed structure in psychotherapy sessions would mean that ‘one size fits all’, meaning that there is one script of psychotherapy that can help every possible individual to get better. A fixed structure would also mean that it is the structure, and not the rich and diverse life experiences of an individual, that matters.
So, no, I do not follow a fixed structure to my sessions. This is because depth psychotherapy is a process of honouring what you have experienced in life, of creating space for what you would like to talk about in therapy and things that are bothering you in the present. It is also a process where a client and I, we discover together, what needs looking at in your life, and what needs attention.
What happens in an assessment session?
Once you contact me and book an appointment, we will arrange a first session at a mutually agreed time. The first session is always an assessment session, which is structured, and that is to help me take notes on specific questions such as your life history, current or past significant relationships, and to understand if you have any diagnoses or are on any medication.
It is my ethical responsibility to understand if I could be of service to you, in relation to your presenting problems. In the rare circumstance where I think that you might benefit from a different type of psychotherapy, I will do my best to offer you any suggestions of organisations or my colleagues.
Would I have to prepare for each session?
No, because the purpose of psychotherapy is to allow you to take the therapeutic hour (50 mins), with whatever you wish to talk about, without any pressure or expectations. This can often be a healing experience where one no longer has to meet the demands of society or of anyone else, and one can begin to attend to what one needs in the present moment.
Is psychotherapy all a serious affair or can it be fun?
Psychotherapy is also a process of celebrating the things that have worked in your life, and helping you to mindfully notice and allow your mind, body and the nervous system to register that positive, nurturing and calming experiences do happen in life, and they are wonderful to be with.
I often use mindfulness and breathing exercises to help my clients begin to feel, somatically and emotionally, all the good things that have happened in their life. Plus, humour is always welcome!
What do you think about mindfulness and meditation? Is that useful?
I was a late, but passionate, adapter of mindfulness and meditation, initially having spent many years being sceptical of these. There is now a rich body of psychotherapy research explaining how mindfulness and meditation can activate the regulatory centre of the brain in trying to ‘process’ one’s emotional wounding, and not just re-living it.
I actively use mindfulness in the therapy room, often whilst inviting my clients to keep their eyes open: mindfully noticing one’s feeling activates the regulatory centre of the brain, which calms us and helps us feel more grounded. Whereas simply feeling one’s emotion carries with it the prospect of ‘sinking into those feelings’ as I phrase it.
I am not that good with words: can psychotherapy work for me?
There can be various reasons why you may find words difficult, and I always approach this with curiosity – for some individuals, they like expressing themselves through the means of art, whereas with others, ‘not being good with words’ can often be a story of how one lacked that time and attention in life where one’s parents or caregivers did not help the child to give language to emotions.
Language is acquired, even if we are looking at one’s native language, and more so with what I call an ‘emotional language’. How we label our emotions, or not, is acquired; and it is possible to acquire this very liberating ability in adult life.
Do you work with art and poetry in psychotherapy?
I welcome, and enjoy, working with art in the therapy room. Colours, images, and poetry can open up a path to the riches of the unconscious and the spiritual self. When clients work on creating an artwork, I also invite them to notice the shifts in their physical energy during this process.
Do you facilitate bodywork, or do you just offer a ‘talk therapy’?
Working with the body was an active part of my training at CCPE, and from clinical experience, understanding how emotions are expressed through body sensations is as important as the traditional ‘talk therapy’.
Research in Attachment-, Trauma- and Affect Regulation Theories shows how the emotions and the body are deeply intertwined, and that in order to become fully present and fully grounded within oneself, comprehending the emotional language of the body is profoundly important.
Having said that, I respect that for many people, they would rather prefer the traditional ‘talk therapy’, and I welcome that, because the psychotherapeutic process is lead by you, and to what length and breadth you would like it to go into.
Do you work with psychotherapy trainees?
I welcome the opportunity to work with psychotherapy trainees, since it can be wonderful to watch a person’s journey through this very long process that requires dedication, perseverance and therapeutic support. I am academically informed by the following theories, if these may appeal to you: Attachments, Trauma, Affect Regulation, Jungian, and Transpersonal.
Do you have experience working with gay men?
I have worked with LGB clients, and the work with them has been as engaging as with all other clients. However, I do understand that many gay men might want to work with psychotherapists with whom they can openly talk about their life experiences. To address that concern, I wish to put your mind to rest by saying that you are most welcome to talk freely.
How does diversity look like in your psychotherapy practice?
I have worked with clients across different age-groups, ethnicities, sexualities and walks of life. Whilst diversity has been a very current topic in the recent years, in my work as a depth psychotherapist, it translates into being curious about a person’s life-, sociological-, economic-, and cultural experiences – and how these experiences affect or shape them.
Do you have any testimonials that I can read?
I follow the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) ethical guidelines, which do not allow psychotherapists to advertise client testimonials.