´Talk therapy´ - using conversation to identify and resolve the problem. This is part of the bedrock of psychology and psychotherapy. These conversations are supportive, caring and open and geared towards helping you. The healing takes place through the use of words, reflections, observations, insights, interpretations and links. We talk about the past, the present and the future. We talk about your hopes, dreams, goals, needs and desires. We talk about your values, beliefs and ideals. We talk about the problem(s) you are experiencing from many different angles. We talk about your thoughts and feelings. We talk about the beliefs you have about yourself, about others and about the world. We talk about your day-to-day experiences as well as all your important life-shaping and life-changing decisions. We talk about your behaviour and how you relate to yourself and to others. We may also talk about your night-time dreams and attempt to understand their meaning. We talk about your fantasies, too, and what these could mean for you. Through this type of therapeutic talking, you learn things about yourself and your problem(s) and how to overcome your problem(s). You gain insight into yourself and into life. You develop coping skills in the form of behaviour changes, changes in the your thinking style and improvements in managing your emotional world. You gain knowledge and skills for improving your relationships. You use the information and insights gained to live a life of greater confidence and inner peace.
Talk therapy combined with Focusing on the body - We could also talk about your physical body - whether you have a physical illness condition or not. The body can sometimes express part of the problem you have through pain, discomfort, changes in temperature or any other physical sensation such as butterflies in your tummy or heart palpitations, sweaty palms, tension headaches or trembling hands. The body is part of your emotional health system and sometimes it is easier for you to express your distress through your body than it is to express it through your feelings and thoughts. When this happens, it is necessary and appropriate to try to access and heal the problem by also focusing on the body and seeing whether it wants to tell you something. Words are used to describe the feelings or sensations in the body and to extract any messages the body may want to share with you. This is done by you focusing on your whole body at once, or any part(s) of your own body during a session and trying to put words to it, with my help of course. It can be amazingly enlightening to try to find the words that fit for the experiences and sensations you have in your body.
Mindfulness, Relaxation, Visualisation, Breathing and Meditation Techniques - I use this set of approaches and techniques regularly with clients who experience all kinds of different problems - emotional and physical. I teach my clients how powerful it can be to practice these techniques as part of their lifestyle when dealing with a difficult emotional or physical problem. These techniques may be taught in one session or over the course of a few sessions. They may also be integrated into a talk therapy session when intense emotion, distress or an emotional block comes up. There are many extremely effective methods to bring about calm, awareness of thoughts and feelings, discover a new insight, gain clarity, diminish confusion, re-discover purpose and passion, reduce anxiety, lift depression, relieve pain or simply provide support for people through moments and periods of sadness, grief, vulnerability, overwhelm or stuckness. These approaches are also very effective in the treatment and management of physical and psychosomatic illness conditions, both to bring relief to physical symptoms and emotional distress, and to gain access to, and deeper insight into, the emotional and spiritual experiences and aspects of such conditions.
Physical Illness Conditions - I work with people with physical illness, ill-health or dis-ease conditions by teaching them to communicate with their bodies and with their illness conditions through words in the form of conversations, letters, poetry, stories, songs, meditations, chants and mantras. I work with all conditions from acute physical illness to chronic physical illness and terminal illness conditions. Some of the conditions I see often include: cancer, HIV/AIDS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Ulcerative Colitis (UC), Crohn´s Disease, Fybromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Paralysis, Amputations, Migraines, etc. Sometimes, there is an unidentified and unresolved emotional issue that contributes to the severity of the experience of physical pain or discomfort associated with a physical illness condition. Sometimes, the condition itself creates new emotional and psychological problems in the form of loss of self-confidence, poor self-esteem, social anxiety or other fears and anxieties, depression, anger, sorrow, relationship problems, etc.
Psychosomatic Conditions - These conditions are where no physical or medical cause has been found for acute or chronic physical symptoms such as pain, paralysis, numbness, headaches, tummy aches, etcetera, but the symptoms persist. In such cases, there is usually an emotional or psychological problem feeding and creating the physical problem. The physical problem is very real and needs to be dealt with through the use of medication, etc, but examining and dealing with the psychological aspect of the problem is also a very necessary part of the treatment and management.
Therapeutic Creative Arts - The use of drawing or painting, sculpture, movement/dance and music/song as well as the creative use of words through mediums like poetry are all powerful methods of working through problems and bringing about healing, growth and change. These techniques may be used equally well with children and adults alike. It is sometimes useful to use these approaches with people who are struggling to talk and put their feelings, thoughts and experiences into words. It may be used as the main method of therapy, or may be integrated into talk therapy sessions. I encourage my clients to use the therapy space in this way to express themselves, unleash creativity, unblock emotions or simply as a new way of being: some people live inside their thoughts/head/mind alot and this can be part of the problem. The only way to get out of their minds is to engage in a creative therapeutic activity. For some, using a drawing or a sculpture of song at the start of each session helps them to get into the session more easily and comfortably than starting to talk immediately.
Play Therapy - This is almost the same as creative arts therapy in that play may involve drawing or singing, etc, but play therapy also includes using toys to enact, express and work through emotional issues and problems. For some children and adults, therapeutic play is the main way in which they communicate with the therapist. It is yet another very useful way of moving beyond mental and emotional blockages, as it encourages a switching off of the thinking, raitional mind. Play therapy can help me to gain clarity and insight rather quickly into someone´s inner emotional world.
Ritual - The use of ritual as part of the therapy or healing process can be incredibly important. Ritual may be the lighting of a candle, the singing of a song, the reading out loud of a poem or letter and such. It can take place in the therapy room or outside of the therapy room in nature or in some other building (such as a place of sacredness or worship) with or without the therapist. There are set rituals from established traditions, but I also encourage my clients to design and create their own person rituals that have special meaning for them and for their healing. Rituals help to mark the beginning or end of a process, a phase or an experience. They mark moments of transition in our lives. They affirm us and something about us. They help us to release, to move on and also to welcome and invite that which is new into our lives. They can involve others or just yourself. They can be verbal or non-verbal or both. They may include objects or props such as flowers, feathers, stones, crystals, candles, clothing, colour, nature, religious or non-religious symbols, prayer, meditations, mantras, etc. - in fact, anything that holds meaning and value for the person and their healing at the time. They help because they put us into a different psychological space than we usually find ourselves in, in the ordinariness of our lives. They can also allow us to feel loved, supported and witnessed by others in our lives, which helps us to feel that we belong and are valued. They can also connect us with the spiritual aspect of our nature and of our whole being: the part of ourselves and of life that is strong and soft simultaneously.
The Gentle Touch - This is a therapeutic technique and healing method I am qualified to provide and to offer training in. I learnt the technique from therapist, healer, medium, spiritual counsellor and dear friend of mine, Lorraine Astra Brown, who developed this method of healing touch. It involves working with the physical as well as the subtle/energy bodies and usually includes a very gentle and respectful laying on of hands on the physical body, but may also be done without actually touching the physical body. It may also be done through me guiding the client to apply the gentle laying on of hands to themselves. This approach to healing may be used for any physical, emotional, spiritual, life or whole-person problem or difficulty. Even those without any problems experience an upliftment and enhancement of their whole being after a treatment. Treatments may be once-off or given as a series of treatments. The treatment activates healing, opening up, release and growth on all levels of being. People receiving the treatment experience a deep sense of peace, relaxation, release and even joy. They feel more grounded, centred and contained during and following treatment. This treatment modality fits in very well with my approach to healing the whole person and may be integrated into other forms of therapy such as talk therapy or given on its own. It may or may not involve reflection afterwards, depending on the client´s needs.
-Healing work always continues beyond the therapy session and room and I encourage all my clients to build up a set of practices to support and facilitate the healing. This may include things like journalling, letter-writing, meditation, breath-work, physical exercise, contemplative spiritual practices such as prayer or chanting, connecting with others, pursuing creative interests, communing with nature, etc.
- All the different ways that I use to support and bring about healing and positive change for my clients are underpinned by a strong personal and professional code of ethics, combined with a deep respect, honouring and caring for others as well as for myself. Integrity, dignity and respect are some of the pillars of the way I work and I aim to ensure that clients feel safe, cared for and comfortable every step of the way. No practice, belief or rule is imposed on anyone at any time. I am not affiliated with any specific oppressive, discriminating or marginalising belief systems. I strive to keep my professional and personal values and framework transparent, heart-centred, soul-centred, integrated, holistic and inclusive.