1:1 psychotherapy for adults
an integrative, trauma-aware model for positive emotional health
Human beings have an inherent capacity for growth, creativity and joy - a life well lived. Therapy can be a helpful tool in this process. Read more below about how I can support your self-discovery and healing through my unique trauma-informed model for emotional health.
everything is fine - why do I feel so bad?
time does not heal all wounds
Maybe you can't quite put a finger on why you feel the way you do. All you know is that you are not flourishing in life. You may be doing well academically and/or professionally, yet there is a vague sense of doom or emptiness that you can't seem to shift.
Many people experience feelings of sadness that reverberate within, like an underlying tone or mood. This can be confusing because you’re not sure what’s caused it. You may even believe that this is just who you are, and accept that you just have to live with it.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Therapy is so much more than 'talking about your problems' - it can be a journey from desolation to a 'coming home' to yourself, finding a sense of self-compassion and hope. Releasing yourself from the expectations of how things could have been, and moving towards a future that is whole, integrated, calm, and rooted in joy.
Are you experiencing any of the following?
A profound sense of feeling 'lost' or fragmented inside, and wondering: "Who am I?" Or drifting along, thinking "What's my true purpose in life?" worried that time is slipping away.
Having difficulty setting boundaries in your everyday life, relationships or at work; not knowing how to pay attention to your body's signals and its needs; struggling to practice self-care and look after yourself well emotionally and/or physically; exhausted all the time.
Confusion or anger around your early years, or being plagued by distressing memories of your childhood and teenage years; feeling that your life story is just a sequence of 'bits' without a coherent narrative. Not getting on with your parents or siblings, or being the family 'scapegoat.'
Feeling sad, a constant of low-level anxiety or fearfulness; finding it difficult to switch off or manage your emotions. Small events can trigger catastrophic thoughts and worries that feel unmanageable and leave you struggling to cope.
Dissatisfaction in your relationships, being a 'people-pleaser' and struggle to speak up as you fear conflict; difficulty trusting others; scared that your friends or partner will leave you or think badly of you; worrying that you're 'over-sensitive' or 'too much.'
Feeling unworthy, flawed or like a failure (even though you may be a high achiever academically and professionally). Your internal fears and worries hold you back and stop you from having what you want.
Lacking enjoyment, fulfilment, and motivation in life; feeling that you have no sense of direction or meaningful goals for the future. Worried that you can't have a good life because of the things you have been through in your life; a sense of hopelessness.
There could be many different reasons why you experience symptoms like these, but what matters is that these feelings are real. Often, they come from somewhere - it's just that we don't remember it. And the good news is that we don't need to remember all the details in order to heal.
On the other hand, you may come to therapy knowing that there were some painful or traumatic events that happened in your life, and you would like some help to work through these experiences to that you can heal.
Therapy can help you explore and heal your past and find ways to orienting yourself in the present, so that you can look confidently towards your future with a renewed sense of wholeness and purpose.
I specialise in longer-term, depth-oriented psychotherapy for childhood issues and the kind of symptoms specifically outlined above. I work holistically, using conversation-based, relational methods as well as somatic work and the creative arts in my online practice.
What is early relational trauma?
Much of our emotional pain resides in non-verbal memories from our earliest relational experiences.
It is very common for people to have grown up with emotionally unavailable parents. Sometimes this is also known as emotionally immature parenting, or childhood emotional neglect.
This can be a confusing experience that's difficult to put in words. What it means is that you didn't receive what you needed in terms of secure attachment and emotional nurture and connection.
This is a type of invisible childhood trauma known as 'early relational trauma.' It's difficult to recognise this type of trauma because we like to think we had a lovely childhood. After all, nothing particularly bad happened. Your childhood was stable and uneventful. But maybe some of the good things didn't necessarily happen either.
Emotional trauma isn't about what's inflicted upon you, but something that was missing: emotional warmth.
If your parents themselves weren't cared for emotionally as children, they may have lacked the skills to provide emotional nurture. So they focused on practical things instead: Food on the table, a stable bedtime routine, toys and homework. They celebrated your birthdays and looked after you when you were sick.
Many people still believe that this is sufficient. But the truth is that every child needs to feel safe, secure, connected, comforted, seen and valued. This is not a 'nice to have' - it's essential for future emotional health.
If this was you, then there are things you can do to address that inner melancholy that may be there underneath the surface as you go about your day-to-day life. Awareness is the first step. I developed the Hexagon system specifically to help you heal and thrive in all areas of your life.
the hexagon system
The Hexagon system is a holistic model for healing the areas that typically need attending to after emotional trauma. I use this as a guiding framework for the therapy I do.
Regardless of what you've been through, therapy can help you to:
1. Find out who you are and cultivate a deep sense of self
2. Pay attention to what you need to thrive and flourish, including tuning into your body and its needs; set healthy boundaries in your everyday life and communicate them confidently
3. Understand yourself better through reflecting on your childhood attachment style (inner child work) and join the dots of your life story
4. Confidently manage feelings through effective emotional regulation and grounding tools
5. Find your voice in relationships, relate well to others, build positive and trusting connections with others
6. Identify the internalised, self-limiting beliefs around unworthiness and catastrophic fears so you can create new ways of being
7. Find ways to experience joy and fulfilment in your everyday life, and set meaningful goals for the future
how it works
experience a personalised, holistic healing journey
Below I have tried to capture some of the main elements that I use in combination with the Hexagon system: relational, conversation-based depth-therapy, bodywork, and creative work. The different topic areas of the Hexagon can be explored using any of these modalities - that's what's makes it so versatile.
It is important to realise that depth-oriented therapy is always more than the sum of its parts. It is a rich, relational process, which ultimately needs to be experienced.
A relational approach
My way of working is relational. I relate to you in a warm, present, empathic way. The therapeutic relationship is an important part of healing from emotional trauma. All human beings need connection - we cannot sit in isolation and simply 'think' our way to emotional health. What was broken in relationship, also needs to heal in relationship.
What is depth-therapy?
I work in a depth-oriented way, which means that we do not just aim to fix things on the surface - instead, we go deeper in order to understand your experience in the context of your life story and what happened to you. That way, you can join the dots and see the bigger picture. Knowledge is power, and making sense of your life story brings self-awareness and self-compassion.
Even though we don't just talk, conversation is the starting point in therapy. It's up to you what you want to bring to each session, and to choose how you'd like to use the time. You may want to tell me something about your personal story, significant life events, or talk about how you're feeling in the present moment. Trusting the process means that the things that need addressing will begin to surface as we talk.
At times we may spend the whole session talking and reflecting together, other times we may use creative work or bodywork, depending on what feels right moment to moment. I work collaboratively with you, to help you find a focus and pace that feels right for you.
Why is it important to include bodywork in effective trauma-therapy?
Trauma and chronic stress cause us to live in 'survival mode.' You may feel hypervigilant or disconnected from your body, and experience numbing or dissociative states. Learning to tune into your body and regulate your nervous system is an important part of emotional health. Somatic therapies to work directly with the brain and nervous system to achieve a sense of well-being and safety within the body, using touch, breath work and movement.
Using the creative arts in therapy
The medium of art can be a wonderful way to process thoughts and emotions.
ready to book?
If you are interested in working with me, please book a free 20-minute initial consultation via Zoom.