‘We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are’ Anais Nin
About the Psychodynamic approach
Psychodynamic counselling is based on the assumption that we possess a conscious and unconscious mind and that early relationships in life are formative in how we feel, think and act later as adults. Feelings become buried in the unconscious because they are uncomfortable or cause us pain and we develop protective coping strategies or defencies to keep them out of awareness. However, while some defences are healthy, others keep us disconnected from ourselves and others. The counselling process involves seeking to understand and find meaning in uncomfortable or destructive behaviour patterns that we unconsciously repeat so that the future can be different from the past.
Exploring painful issues and current conflicts in the safety of the counselling relationship, helps you 'own' your emotions and how you relate to others in the 'here and now', to let go of 'stuckness' and begin to choose options for conscious action, rather than a mindless repetition of the past. The resulting shift in perspective in turn can release you from emotional and often physical, pain.
How I work
'Giving sorrow words' can be a powerful therapeutic experience. Negative emotions are repressed for many reasons - including shame at one's inner demons or fear of the pain of fully experiencing them. My approach is first and foremost to listen closely, to tune in to you and to hear your ‘story’ so that together we can build a therapeutic rapport and you can find the meaning of your difficulties. I see my task as working in partnership with you, providing an empathetic and respectful space so you can let go of some of your burdens, become more conscious of self limiting mindsets and find greater self acceptance and authenticity.
In addition to gaining insight, I have found that an awareness of bodily sensations in the counselling process is extremely helpful in facilitating awareness and release. The body remembers what the mind has forgotten. Many physical symptoms have their origins in repressed emotions that have become ‘lodged’ in the body – often in the neck, shoulders, back and stomach. Counselling enables people to explore and reflect about the triggers for painful physical symptoms and become conscious of the repressed emotions they embody. Through this increased self awareness clients are enabled to shift physical discomfort and become more resilient.
My areas of specialism
I am particularly interested in working with stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties, infertility, eating disorders, life transitions and psychosomatic disorders.