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My approach

I am an integrative practitioner which means I integrate several approaches to create an experience that works best for each client. No two clients are the same, and therefore the needs of each client will require something different. You can find out more about what integrative therapy is here

My core integration draws from Humanistic theory. Simply put, this includes working with the bodywhich means we 'listen' not only to verbal, cognitive recollections and experiences, but also pay attention to what comes up physically in the space; our sensory world (detailed in the section below). Also included in this theoretical background is person-centred therapy which focuses on unconditional positive regard for clients and allows clients to lead the session - you are the expert on you! as well as existential-phenomenological theory which looks at our embodied experiences as humans, who are we and what are we here for?! I also integrate some Transactional Analysis to help us to create structured goals for therapy, as well as to explore the underlying intricate games we play when we relate to others (we all do it!) and the way we have internalised our sense of self and others. 

Other than Humanistic I also explore a Relational Psychodynamic approach. Here we unpack unconscious drives and processes, in particular with reference to the relationship with others and between us as therapist-client. Whilst an offshoot, I also utilise Attachment theory which looks at our very early relationships and the way we relate to primary relationships in life.

I also integrative more behavioural theory such as elements of Mentalization which helps us explore the thoughts, feelings and intentions that we have and the way we interpret those of others around us. Essentially thinking about the way we think and feel and understanding and empathising with this and the way others think and feel and our own assumptions. 

My Integration 

You get

  • Collaborative experience as we build an approach that best suits you .

  • Clear goals and goal setting for therapy.

  • Psycho-education where needed to help us to understand why things might be happening in a certain way.

  • An approach that incorporates the body and mind. 

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"The central premise underlying the practice of integrative psychotherapy is that integration can occur through a variety of modalities—affective, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological" Richard G. Erskine

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Whilst I am trained to be able and welcoming in working with a host of different experiences (with many different topics and themes coming up in the work we do together anyway (e.g. anxiety, depression, bereavement, compulsive behaviours, mood disorders, chronic stress/burnout etc.)) there are particular areas of interest for me.

My core areas of interest

These include

Research is showing us more and more how deeply intertwined the body and mind are in our overall wellbeing. Traditional talking therapies, whilst helpful sometimes neglect the importance of a holistic approach - especially considering how so many experiences are felt in a physical way! 

For instance ... how do you know you enjoy being the sun? If you consider it, It is most likely because of the feeling of the warmth of it on your skin, perhaps the smell of the warm tiles on the floor (If you know, you know!). We are embodied beings, which means our experience comes from our sensory lives. We know that knocking our shin on the coffee table at the frustratingly awkward height causes pain because of the way our body's sensory receptors respond to the stimulus. We interpret these feelings to mean different things. For me personally, I know that I will feel happier in the sun than I would in an endless loop of knocking my shin on a table ...

Within my practice we explore our personal interpretations of these sensory experiences and explore how they feel in the body, what comes up for you and how you are processing that in your thoughts too. I use techniques such as Focusing to help us locate sensations that may come up for you. I might also use grounding techniques such as breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques (depending on what is appropriate for the situation) to help to ensure your emotional safety. To be clear - my approach does not involve my physical touching of any clients!

If you want to know more about how I incorporate the embodied experience, then get in touch ... let's talk!

Incorporating the body
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Misty Slopes
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“The unconscious does not merely revel itself in dreams, it reveals itself in every gesture in the twitching of the forehead, the beating of the heart”
Georg Groddeck

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