I have been practising for 24 years as a psychotherapist and 18 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, where the freedom we were given as facilitators allowed me to pilot ways of teaching an integrative psychotherapy for developmental trauma in an experiential setting. Before that, I had 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 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 up-to-date 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 an 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 courses, Intensive Trauma Treatment and The Body Keeps the Score, Deborah Korn’s course, Treating Complex Trauma: Optimal Integration of Treatment Models, at the Cape Cod Institute in the US, Sarah Scholte’s course, Fundamentals of Somatic Experiencing, and in London: EMDR Europe Standard Accredited Training, advanced EMDR training with Dolores Mosquera, and Attachment-Focused EMDR training with Laurel Parnell.
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 our emotions because of their own backgrounds; not feeling safe, having no-one to turn to – unresolved negative experiences that many people hesitate to call ‘trauma’, but that shape our 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 courses and conferences.