PSYCHOTHERAPIST - EMDR - TRAUMA SPECIALIST
MA (Art Psych), HCPC, BAAT
EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner
Therapy works. I've seen it time after time.
No two journeys are the same, but I can help you get to where you want to be...
For over 20 years I have worked with people with emotional and mental health issues in a variety of settings including the NHS, Education, the Police Service and Childrens’ Homes. At the heart of the wide-ranging diagnoses my clients have been referred to me with, I see survival adaptations to challenging life experiences - whether these have taken place in childhood or later in life. These experiences mould our nervous systems, effecting how we think, feel and behave, influenced by our unique biopsychosocial circumstances.
When clients come to me ready for change, we work together to adapt and ‘re-wire’ their nervous systems to how they want to think, react and behave in the present and future, no longer constrained by patterns from the past.
My therapeutic approach is informed by the latest research into trauma and neuropsychology. I integrate knowledge of Attachment Theory and Polyvagal Theory of the Autonomic Nervous System into my EMDR practice, and training in adjunct trauma therapies including Internal Family Systems (IFS Institute Circle Program), Deep Brain Reorienting (DBR Level 3), Image Transformation Therapy (ImTT), Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM), and Gabor Mate's Compassionate Inquiry.
I have regular consultation including with Mark Brayne, pioneer in Attachment Informed and Intergenerational EMDR, and Sanja Oakley, EMDR therapist featured in Oprah's docuseries ’The Me You Can’t See’ doing EMDR therapy with Prince Harry.
Trauma and EMDR
Trauma is a wound held deep in our nervous systems.
It can be caused by overwhelming ‘big T’ traumatic events which can lead to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), phobias and other negative symptoms.
It can also be the emotional wounds inflicted by repeated ‘small t’ traumatic events:
eg. being dismissed, humiliated, criticised, bullied, oppressed, discriminated against,
or the absence in childhood of the all important 4 S's:
Feeling Safe, Secure, Seen and adequately Soothed.
These experiences can create underlying beliefs of not being good enough, being powerless, feeling responsible or shameful in some way, or having a pervasive sense of not being safe in the world which can stay with us into adulthood and influence all that we do.
We adapt to accommodate the emotional pain and negative core beliefs we carry, create defences and find ways to self-soothe. But these adaptations can end up manifesting in ways we would rather they didn't, such as mood disorders, eating disorders, relationship issues, or controlling, addictive, and other self-destructive behaviours.
The good news is we can change!
(Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
Through the guidance of trauma therapy we can harness our innate drive towards equilibrium and healing, allowing the nervous system to re-wire through neuroplasticity. We identify and then transform the underlying trauma, reconsolidating it in adaptive form.
Through a dual attention to present safety and past disturbance, with the use of Bilateral Stimulation - (not necessarily the Eye Movements from which EMDR originally takes its name) – we target the negative memory networks and how the emotional pain is held in the body, desensitise, and change our negative core beliefs into something more adaptive to the present situation.
For single incident trauma EMDR can be incredibly effective in just a few sessions. It is endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association, US Defence Department, World Health Organisation and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of PTSD.
For more deep-rooted developmental trauma, or Complex PTSD, the course of therapy is usually longer as we learn to become our own best parent, healing the emotional wounds of the child with creativity and compassion. This is where adjunct trauma therapies such as Attachment Focussed EMDR, Deep Brain Reorienting, Comprehensive Resource Model, or IFS can be integrated as part of treatment.
EMDR can be used for a wide range of difficulties including:
feelings of shame
low self esteem
people pleasing defences
medically unexplained symptoms (MUS)
disconnection from self
COVID related issues
An explanation of the eight phase protocol of EMDR and its evidence base can be found in an article written by its originator and developer, Francine Shapiro.
We can choose which direction we want our lives to go in, what we want to change, who we want to be, and how we want to view ourselves, the world and others.
Following a degree at The University of Edinburgh I worked for an NGO in International Development. I went on to take a Masters in Art Psychotherapy, before deciding to specialise in Trauma Therapy, training in EMDR (Richman EMDR Training - approved by EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and EMDR-Europe); Child and Adolescent EMDR Levels 1 & 2 (EMDR Academy - accredited by EMDR Europe); and Attachment-Focussed EMDR (Parnell Institute, USA).
I am State Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) (reg. no. AS09485).
Home is Suffolk (UK), where I enjoy swimming and surfing in the North Sea, painting, and being with family, animals and friends.
I work in Private Practice online with clients throughout the UK and Internationally, and in person in Framlingham, Suffolk, UK. I also work as an EMDR therapist for the NHS.
"Trauma is not what happens to you but what happens inside you. Trauma can also be inflicted not by what happens to you, but what doesn’t happen that should happen - by not having your essential human needs met.
But if trauma is what happened inside you, the wound that you sustained, the meaning you made of it, the way you then came to believe certain things about yourself or the world or other people, and if trauma was that disconnection from your authentic self, well guess what? Good news! That can be restored at any moment. It’s a wound that can be healed…
We don’t have to allow it to define our lives, how we see ourselves, how we see the world, how we relate to other people, how we relate to possibility…"
I offer therapy sessions online (via Bilateral Base) or in person:
Studio 5, 10 Church Street, Framlingham, Suffolk, IP13 9BH, UK
Please be in touch if you would like more information or to book a session
+44 (0) 7903236012