I have been practising for 23 years as a psychotherapist and 17 years as a supervisor. For 13 years, I was a training supervisor and experiential group facilitator at The Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) in London, piloting ways of teaching an integrative therapy for developmental trauma in a small group, experiential setting. Before that, I taught my own courses and workshops, including a one-year foundation course in counselling and psychotherapy – and in 2016 I gave back all my teaching contracts at CCPE to focus on running my own courses on healing complex trauma.
I’m a former linguist and teacher (and professional dancer) with an MA from the University of Oxford and a PGCE from the Institute of Education, London. I have postgraduate diplomas in psychotherapy and supervision and a postgraduate certificate in dreamwork. I am also an EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner and integrate EMDR into my work.
I learned to work with developmental trauma and dissociative disorders ‘from the bottom up’, from my own experience of healing and integration over seven years of integrative, relational ego state therapy; while practising yoga, and the many skilled teachers from whom I learned, especially Catherine Annis and Bridget Woods-Kramer, taught me the power of working with the body to heal complex trauma. At the same time, I started reading everything I could find on the new ways of understanding and working with trauma and dissociation, and attending courses and seminars; among many others, I have completed Dr Bessel van der Kolk’s Intensive Trauma Treatment course, Deborah Korn’s course, Treating Complex Trauma: Optimal Integration of Treatment Models, at the Cape Cod Institute in the US, EMDR Europe Standard Accredited Training, advanced EMDR training with Dolores Mosquera in London, and Attachment-Focused EMDR training with Laurel Parnell in London.
The word ‘trauma’ often seems too big for people’s experiences, but up-to-date, trauma-informed psychotherapy understands most psychological distress in the present as based on unresolved trauma, not only of commission (obvious trauma) but also of omission: the ongoing lack of what should have been there during childhood, eg not being seen and valued as we are, at least enough of the time; having caregivers who can’t help us handle difficult emotions because of their own backgrounds – seemingly small things that most people hesitate to call ‘trauma’, but that shape our sense of self-worth, self-confidence and the ways in which we sabotage ourselves. The practice of psychotherapy keeps developing rapidly, informed by neuroscience and research, and I keep learning and updating my work through reading, consultation with colleagues and continuing to practise yoga and attend conferences and courses.