Hello, and welcome.
This is a place for people who are emotional sensitive, intense, and gifted.
We live in a culture that does not fully understand or embrace this unique trait; intense and passionate individuals are told that they are ‘too much', ‘too sensitive’, 'too overbearing', 'too dramatic', or ‘too emotional’. Many find themselves being misunderstood, plagued by shame or self- judgement, and not being able to reach their full potential.
My goal is to help you answer these questions:
Is there something wrong with me?
How does being emotionally intense explain my life experiences so far?
How can I better my life and fulfil my potential?
DO YOU FEEL AND LIVE MORE INTENSELY THAN OTHERS?
Emotional Intensity can be expressed and experienced in different ways, for a full description, see here.
You feel a constant stream of both positive and negative feelings — pain, despair, fear, excitement, love, happiness.
Sometimes, feelings can become so powerful and compelling that you feel out of control.
On the flip side, you can be flooded by joy, be deeply moved by art, beauty, and have bursts of creative insights.
You are naturally excitable and passionate— even if you don’t show it on the outside.
In social situation, you 'absorb' other people's emotions, and can be overwhelmed by stimuli, noises, or social nuances.
Your psychological distress are sometimes expressed in the body —migraine headaches, allergies, asthma, and panic attacks.
You form strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things, or finding separation difficult since a young age.
You may be shockingly accurate in noting the unspoken social nuances and relational dynamics. Even this overwhelms you, you cannot ‘un-see’ things, and you cannot stand inauthentic people and situations.
You have an innate urge to push the boundaries of conformity, even when it makes life difficult for you sometimes.
Being acutely aware of the suffering, hypocrisies and complexities of life, you may constantly feel older than others around you, like an ‘old soul’ that has somehow lost his/her roots.
You are highly driven, and can be 'perfectionistic', which can be expressed as chronic anxiety and restlessness.
You have incessant internal dialogue and obsessive thoughts.
You live with an existential angst, a sense of urgency, an impulse to move forward, and a constant need to learn and explore.
You experience existential depression over the meaninglessness of life, death, and loneliness.
You have been diagnosed/ mis-diagnosed with mental illnesses such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or ADHD.
CHALLENGES FACED BY THE EMOTIONALLY INTENSE
By combining traditional wisdom and the newest findings in neuroscience, the focus of our work is on helping you resolve the following negative patterns that seem to happen again and again in your life:
Extreme and unpredictable mood swings, feeling like you are always on the verge of losing control.
Shame, sensitivity to criticism and rejection, over-reacting in some situations.
Perfectionism, burn-out or bore-out at work, chronically restless, unable to relax or to take in pleasure.
Impulsive and self- sabotaging behaviours that are not aligned with who you want to be.
Feeling oppressed by the dominant values, not able to have a voice or a place in the world.
Not fitting into mainstream society or culture, being or feeling isolated and alienated.
Taking on other people's emotions; Becoming overly responsible for things that happen between you.
Feeling under-stimulated or over-stressed in relationships and friendships.
Being drawn to the same type of partner/ relationship over and over, even when your needs are not met.
Unable to say no, feeling guilty even when you have done nothing wrong.
The fear of 'coming out' with your intensity, with the fear of being annihilated if you ‘stick your head out.’
Feeling numb and empty most of the time, except when the emotions erupt suddenly and uncontrollably.
Existential guilt and despair, feeling hopeless and powerless in the face of uncertainties in life.
Not able to trust anyone, feeling like you have to control everything.
Losing touch with your intuition, and disconnected from spirituality.
Writer/ Artist's block; Feeling stuck and unable to reach your full potential.
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY TRAITS
I also specialise in working with people affected by traits of borderline personality. Despite being referred to as a ‘personality disorder’, BPD is not a personality defect. It simply reflects a degree of unmet childhood needs, which now affects your way of being in the world. The condition is often misunderstood and heavily and stigmatised. For one, the myth that BPD is ‘untreatable’ is an old, inaccurate and very dangerous myth within the mental health industry. In fact, mounting evidence is suggesting the opposite is true.
Some of the traits of BPD are:
Fearing abandonment and rejection
Having series of intense and unstable relationships
Not having a strong sense of self-identity, not knowing 'Who I am'
Impulsive behaviours that are self damaging e.g. spending, substance abuse, sex, reckless driving, binge eating
Recurrent suicidal thoughts and behaviour
Severe mood swings
Chronic feelings of emptiness
Sudden and uncontrollable rage
Feeling dissociated from reality during times of stress
THERAPY AND COACHING
1. Expertise in emotional regulation, intensity, sensitivity and giftedness
Different from general counselling, we will focus on helping you make sense of the experience of feeling and living with intensity. More specifically, the life themes of: emotional regulation, owning your intensity, living authentically, and releasing your suppressed creative potential. Our work will be synthesised from well-researched psychotherapeutic models:
Schema Therapy, Mentalization-based Therapy (MBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT); Mindfulness-based therapies (MBSR, MBCT), Art Psychotherapy, Psychosynthesis, Creativity Coaching; Sandplay, Jungian Symbol work, Relational Psychoanalysis, Buddhist Psychology and The Enneagram system.
2. Non- pathologising and holistic way of working
I am not against medication or psychiatry as a whole, but the traditional medical system tends to pathologise the most natural human expressions such as grieve the loss of connection, anxiety in a time of rapid change, or anger for injustice in the world.
Intensity, as a natural human expression, is not a pathology in itself. It is important that you honour and celebrate your unique gifts in order to live a life with vibrancy and authenticity. When you can present yourself to the world as who you truly are, you will naturally move towards liberation and self fulfillment.
Because true healing and come from lasting changes on all aspects- physical, emotional and behavioural, our work should be integrative and holistic. Instead of having a fixed, rigid modal, we will find out what works best for you.
3. Addressing the problems at their emotional roots
Therapy is not a plaster- a temporary fix, but more like good nutrition. Drip by drip, it builds you up from the inside, and allow you to grow resilient in the face of the challenges life offers.
By addressing the core memories that generate the presenting symptoms, we make deep and lasting shifts that dispel your struggles at their roots. It is also about empowering you with the capacity to make lasting changes, rather than keeping you in endless therapy. This is more than just an intellectual/ cognitive process, but involve changes on a physiological, emotional and energetic level.
An eggshell looks tough on the outside, but is delicate and soft on the inside. It is extremely sturdy and resilient, and the breaking of it signifies the birth of a new life. Emotional intensity is what makes you unique and powerful. Many individuals who live intensely have a lot to offer, and deserve a vibrant, meaningful life.
I look forward to being on this journey with you.
For a more detailed explanation of what we may achieve, please refer to the Roadmap.
from misfits to leaders
Up until now, you have not yet grappled with the value of your qualities. You did not get why you feel angsty, impatient, restless and depressed with issues that other people find acceptable. The truth is,
You are a fast-moving machine in a world that does not keep up.
You are the truth seeker in groups that are complacent about hypocrisy.
Your thoughts are critical and challenging when others opt for a comfortable life.
You are a passionate lover in a culture plagued with fear and separations.
In our society, individuals who feel things deeply were pathologised, institutionalised, or were encouraged to numb out their vitality through drugs. Emotionally intense people are being held back by their internalised shame, past baggage, and existential guilt.
In fact, emotionally intense people are like canaries in the coal mine. In the old days, miners sent canaries into unknown pits. If the canaries stopped singing, they knew the mine was toxic, and they would stay away. When there are woes in the world, the sensitive souls are amongst the first to take the hit. Your sadness, anxiety, rage are not wrong; They are warning signs of the world’s pain.
If I were to sum up my message in three sentences, they would be:
One, there is nothing wrong with you.
Two; not only that, you are in a unique position to do something, create something, stand up for something.
And three; your sensitivity and intensity are not your hindrances, but DOORWAYS to your fullest potential.
I hope you can join us in the collective quest to challenge the way society thinks about sensitivity, empathy, being different and being creative. Rather than being overwhelmed, oppressed and isolated by your intensity, you could use it to create meaning, to find your tribe, and ultimately, to actualise your fullest potential.
AS FEATURED IN
- The Daily Mail, UK: An Interview about the book Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity, Feb 2018
- Psychologies UK: Sensitivity is my Superpower, Nov 2017
- The Telegraph UK: Borderline Personality Disorder: 'I couldn't deal with the rollercoaster in my head', Feb 2015
- Marie Claire UK: 'How to Toughen Up', Issue March 2016
- Happiful Magazine: Emptiness and Borderline Personality Disorder, April 2017
- The Ambient, on smart light and how colour affects our mood, Feb 2018
- Refinery29: How Do You Know Which Therapy Is Best For You?, Jan 2017
- The Debrief Magazine: The realities of dating when you are struggling with your mental health, May 2016
- Foreword for the Art for Mindfulness Colouring book series (Harper Collins) 2016.
- MX Brisbane, AU: Interview as an artist/ art therapist, 23rd November, 2010
- City Brisbane, AU: Press Release for the exhibition at liveingallery, 25 November, 2010
- 4 ZZZ Radio, AU: Radio Interview, aired on 12 June 2011
- Interview with Vlogger Twinky Tus, on Gifted Women and Impostor Syndrome
- Interview with Vlogger Twinky Tus, on Invisible Childhood Wounds