First of all, welcome.
This is a place devoted to helping you make sense of the experience of feeling and living with intensity.
Emotional intensity is not a pathology, but a unique personal trait.
It is a mixed blessing, a gift, and a foundation for growth.
In recent years, there has been growing interest amongst academics and scientists in the relationship between emotional reactivity and behaviours. Psychologists have developed theories on Emotional Sensitivity (HSP), Introversion, Emotional Intelligence , and Giftedness. At the same time, neuroscientists have found that sensory processing sensitivity is highly related to creative ability.
Some people feel more intensely, are more aware of subtleties, and process information more deeply than others. Yet this does not represent a homogenous population, nor is it equivalent to mental illness.
With a unique understanding and perspective towards the experience of living intensely, you will be offered:
- Psychotherapy and coaching that are supported by psychological and neurological research
- A holistic healing relationship that aims for changes not just on an intellectual, but also on a visceral and emotional level
- Skills and exercises that you can implement in-between sessions to consolidate the insights and learnings
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.
what can you offer me?
1. Expertise in emotional regulation, intensity, sensitivity and giftedness
Different from general counselling, I am dedicated to working with issues related to the experience of feeling and living intensely. The process you will experience is synthesised from well-researched psychotherapeutic models that are especially effective with these issues:
Extreme and unpredictable mood swings
Sensitivity to criticism and rejection, over-reacting to certain situations
Being drawn to the same type of partner/ relationship over and over, even when your needs are not met in them
Being and feeling isolated and alienated by others
Feeling stuck in patterns of impulsive and self- sabotaging behaviours
Struggling to say no, feeling guilty even when you have done nothing wrong
Feeling numb and empty most of the time, except when the emotions 'explode'
Chronic anxiety and restlessness
2. Non- pathologising and holistic way of working
The tendency for traditional medical model to pathologise symptoms often do more harm than good. 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 people can present themselves to the world as who they truly are, they naturally move towards peace, liberation and self fulfillment I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
3. Addressing the problems at their emotional roots
By addressing the core memories that generate the presenting symptoms, there will be deep and lasting shifts that dispel your symptoms at their roots. This is more than just an intellectual/ cognitive process, but involve changes on a physiological, emotional and energetic level. By combining traditional spiritual wisdom and the newest findings in neuroscience, the goal of our work is to help you transform the unconscious emotional schemas, and to mobilize your innate capacity. It is also about empowering you with the capacity to make lasting changes, rather than keeping you in endless therapy.
WHY DO I FEEL INTENSELY?
In recent years, there has been growing interest amongst psychologists and the general public on the topics of emotional sensitivity, emotional intelligence, introversion, and their links to wellbeing and creativity. An overlapping trait amongst these topics is Emotional Intensity— the propensity to feel emotions with more awareness, intensity, and depth.
If you identify with the description of emotional intensity, you may also find resonance with the following:
You are one of the 15-20% of the population who identifies as a 'Highly Sensitive Person' as defined by Dr. Elaine Aron
You identify as being an Empath
You feel that you have Thin Boundaries as defined by Hartmann's inventory
You fall on the right side of the bell curve and are gifted in one or more forms of intelligence:
Intellectually Gifted -traditional IQ measure)
Logical-Mathematically gifted -the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically
Linguistically gifted - the ability to express oneself rhetorically or poetically, and to master languages
Spatially gifted - the ability to create mental images
Muscially gifted -the capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms
Bodily-Kinesthetic Giftedness- a keen sense of body awareness, ability to communicate through body language
Interpersonal Giftedness-the ability to understand and discern the feelings and intentions of other
Intra-personal Giftedness -the ability to understand one's own feelings and motivations
Spiritual Giftedness -Psychic sensibility, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and particularly 'Claircognizance'
(the above framework is based on Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, with the added Spiritual dimension)
Emotional intensity is an innate trait, a temperament. Living with emotional intensity is a mixed blessing. It means feelings a wide spectrum of emotions in a more vivid and profound way than most people do, and this includes both positive and negative emotions – pain, distress, despair, fear, excitement, love, sadness or happiness. At its best, intensity comes with a sense of awe, quivering aliveness and deep appreciation for the beauty in this world. At its worst, it feels like a consuming, out-of-control, never-ending storm.
WHY DO I FEEL DEPRESSED OR OUT OF CONTROL?
The ability to feel deeply and intensely often starts at a young age when emotion regulation skills are lacking, and can lead to psychological wounding such as internalized shame and loneliness. The pain that comes with a pervasive sense of being ‘too much’ is not to be taken lightly – a person can be made to feel ‘wrong’ for the most part of his or her life, and internalizing this sense of shame can lead to depression, inability to self-regulate, and even self-destructive urges.
The good news is, once you have learned about the origin of your experience, you may find that suddenly your life history makes sense. You may realise that a lot of the shame and depression you bear comes from ill-informed and uninvited commentary about your differences. As a unique individual, your high level of awareness of subtleties is not only unusual, but also extremely precious.
DO I NEED THERAPY?
Living with emotional intensity is a mixed blessing. At its best, intensity comes with a sense of awe, quivering aliveness and deep appreciation for the beauty in this world. At its worst, it feels like a consuming, out-of-control, never-ending storm.
I am very aware of the potential damage of over-pathologising. However, it is also true that because of their innately unique ways of perceiving the world, they are acutely aware of and have more intense internal responses towards existing problems in their early lives, which may exacerbate the impact of any developmental deficits and trauma.
Being able to regulate one’s own emotion is a core component of mental health. Some disorders are characterized by heightened emotional sensitivity and intensity, whilst others are defined by a lack of emotional responses. In some cases, as with individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, a person may swing from feeling overwhelmed to feeling numb on a moment-to-moment basis.
Many emotionally intense adults confess to having felt lonely and misunderstood for years, being plagued with self-doubts, and living with a lingering sense of existential loneliness. This can in itself lead to a sense of despair and depression. However, not everyone who experiences emotions intensely has a mental or personality disorder. It is only rigidity and a lack of flexibility of emotional response that constitute pathology.