The potential to heal is within each and every one of us. I believe that we all have the capacity to thrive, to be internally happy and succeed at whatever goals we set our sights on. However, at times life becomes too challenging to face. Individual therapy can be helpful for anyone who is struggling and trying to manage. Together we can explore and make sense of these challenges and find new ways of making your life more fulfilling. Sometimes this may involve making small adjustments to existing coping strategies or even finding new ones. Other times it entails acceptance of situations we cannot change and gaining back control of your life. You will begin to recognise the limitations that you have set yourself and begin to try new ways to move beyond them.
I provide a space of acceptance that is safe, confidential, non-judgemental and nurturing. I believe that counselling is a collaborative process and therefore I adopt an integrative approach and select an intervention that best suits your needs so we can bring about the most meaningful changes in your life.
Children go through difficult times such as transitioning to a different country, adjusting to a new school or home, bullying, academic or social struggles. It may be a loss, a divorce, an illness, anxiety, verbally struggling to express themselves, self-esteem or any difficult situation your child is having trouble overcoming. Play therapy is very effective for children who cannot express themselves verbally. Play is the child's natural medium of self-expression, the toys are their words and they are more likely to communicate their feelings through play. Play therapy gives the child that safe space to act out symbolically or directly these unspoken emotions. It can help them express themselves in healthier ways and discover new and more positive ways to problem solve. Therapeutic play takes place in a safe, comfortable playroom, where I utilise a toolkit which includes clay, creative art materials, therapeutic stories, puppets, drama, music, role play and sand tray therapy. These different means allow the child not only to have fun but they can also be a mirror to their inner life processes.
Play therapy has a fundamental affect on the wiring of the brain. Neuroscientists say "cells that fire together, wire together", meaning that unused neural circuits are eliminated. The connections that occur more often become stronger whilst the less stronger ones get pruned away. This starts increasing the efficiency of our neural network, so as a child starts practicing a given skill the neural connections for that skill will become denser and more entrenched. This is the same concept for a child that has negative experiences. So when a child comes to play therapy we try and explore new experiences and discover other and more positive ways to solve problems via the toolkit. This in turn will create new neural connections, eliminate and rearrange old ones. This is known as neuroplasticity and it gives the child the capacity to change.
Somatic Experiencing® is a therapeutic approach developed by Peter A. Levine, combining the fruits of his study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics alongside over 45 years of successful clinical application. Trauma happens when the natural healing abilities of our nervous system are disrupted, so no matter what the event or how long it has been you may be carrying the aftermath of the accompanying feelings of fear, anxiety, pain and helplessness in your body. Clients’ bodies tell the story of their trauma even if the memory is not present.
Somatic Experiencing® focuses on building awareness of the physical processes that you obtain when you experience this stress or you connect to the previous trauma. By focusing your attention on your physical state we can safely release the traumatic shock 'frozen' in the body, and you can start to build healthier coping skills.