I work with people who would like support in
- Relieving emotional and mental distress
- Changing problematic behaviours, feelings and thoughts
- Working through past trauma
- Feeling more balanced, confident and able to make choices
I offer 60-minute Body Psychotherapy sessions on a weekly basis. I can work in person or on zoom and/or on the telephone. During Covid, sessions will be on zoom, skype or telephone. When circumstances permit, I hope to see clients in premises just south of Cambridge.
The regularity of weekly sessions is essential to creating a safe and consistent place to engage in deep healing work. The sessions are in confidence.
What is Body Psychotherapy
Body Psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach aimed at supporting you to relieve emotional and mental distress and develop more confidence.
Body Psychotherapy helps you explore what is happening in the present through building a mindful awareness of your body and mind and through making connections with your personal history. It facilitates the restoration of your mental wellbeing and capacity to contain and/or express your emotions in order to be able to make grounded choices.
A body psychotherapy session can involve talking; sensing your body and exploring emotions through meditations and/or gentle exercises; it can include the use of art materials, movement, dynamic exercises and biodynamic massage.
Past experience and trauma, whether one off or repeated, can impact negatively on health. It may cause, for example, feelings of anxiety, panic and/or depression. You may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems and sleeping difficulties. It can result in over activity or lethargy.
Feeling trapped by these responses often produces a sense of being out of control and overwhelmed. It may be difficult to make decisions or stand up for yourself.
How it works
Feeling embodied is at the heart of the approach. Becoming attuned to how your emotions are expressed and what you sense in your body facilitates change.
As you become more aware of sensations and emotions you begin to understand your personal history in a new way. This can help make sense of the feelings you are experiencing. Deepening your awareness of how you feel, move and think provides the foundation for becoming more embodied. You may begin to feel and behave differently. You may find you move with more balance and fluidity. You may begin to notice your body and mind working together. Being more embodied gives you a platform for dealing with unwanted symptoms and for developing more capacity to make confident choices.
I consider it essential to build a trusting relationship with my clients based on mutual respect. I am committed to being present, honest and direct with you at all times. Sometimes I will reflect on how we are interacting together as this can be a clue to how you relate to others.
As a psychotherapist my role is to support you and be with you as you explore deeply.
At our initial meeting we will explore why you are choosing to come to psychotherapy and what you would like the outcome to be. I will ask you questions about your health, family history and current situation. We will discuss together how to proceed and how best we can work together. It is important for you to feel comfortable with me.
Body Psychotherapeutic Approaches
I will use a mix of approaches depending on how the sessions evolve. For example
Learning to trust yourself
I will invite you to link the challenges and conflicts you face to how you feel and what you sense in your body. I will support you in making connections between your thoughts and emotions. By making sense of these different threads, trust in your own intuition and judgement can grow.
Becoming more embodied
You may be taken through meditations that focus on what is happening in your body. I will invite you to notice physical sensations, breathing patterns and associated emotions. Different movement exercises can give you a sense of your boundaries and muscular patterning. Examples include exercises that help you to become more grounded and exercises that help you to feel more aligned. The foundation for becoming more embodied is being present to what is happening in your body both in rest and in motion.
Dealing with conflict
Dealing with inner conflict is a crucial part of healing. My intention is to help you to acknowledge and validate your conflicting thoughts and sensations. Inner conflicts seem to soften as they are allowed to exist and I stay alongside you as you experience them.
Working with past experiences
I may invite you to try exercises to help you relax. Other exercises might help you release energy and deepen into your emotions. This can support you to connect with past trauma and create meaning from your experiences. If appropriate, and by mutual agreement, Biodynamic massage may be used. Events in our lives affect the way we hold ourselves impacting our muscles, connective tissue and structure as a whole. By releasing some of this holding at both an emotional and physical level, Biodynamic massage can help relieve states of stress, overwhelm and anxiety. It can help you feel calmer and more supported. Techniques used depend on whether you are feeling agitated or lethargic and on whether you feel able to express or contain your emotions.
Changing unwanted behaviours, feelings and thoughts
Through the exploration, awareness and exercises described above you can develop your capacity to choose when and how to contain and express feelings. You may find that your thoughts and behaviours shift and become more aligned.
Body Psychotherapy also draws on
- Gestalt experiential exercises: including drama, drawing or writing to bring hidden experiences and feelings to the fore.
- Psychodynamic theories: to relate current experiences and behaviour to past developmental disturbances and trauma.
- Transactional analysis: to help you to see where your adult relationships might exhibit parental or child behaviours that can cause difficulties and suffering.