Hi! I am Imi, a Specialist Psychotherapist, Arts Therapist, Coach, and author of the book Emotional Intensity and Sensitivity (Amazon No.1 bestseller, published by Hodder & Stoughton, 2018). I am also a Certified Schema Therapist, Mentalisation-based Therapy Advance Practitioner, EMDR therapist, and mindfulness teacher (MBSR, MBCT). I started my career as a mental health social worker and was trained as a yoga teacher and holistic health practitioner.
I describe the way I work as holistic, as I combine East and Western psychology with other physical and spiritual healing modalities.
I have spent my entire professional life in pursuit of the answer to one question: ‘How to best serve people who are emotionally intense?’
More about my professional background:
I have more than ten years of experience working with emotionally intense people. My work was recognised by the Endeavour Award, an international scholarship presented by the Australian Government. In 2018, I was granted the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) for my commitment and contributions to social change.
I started my career as a mental health Social Worker and later qualified as a Clinical Psychotherapist (UKCP) , Art Psychotherapist (AThR, HCPC), Schema Therapist (ISST), Mentalisation-based Therapy Advance Practitioner (BPC), and Mindfulness Teacher (in MBSR, MBCT) .
My clinical experience is grounded within NHS Specialist Mental Health Teams and the Samaritans Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre, and sitting on the Board of Directors for Emergence, a personality disorder service-user led organisation. I also founded Eggshell Collective, a BPD support group that had run successfully in Central London for three years.
My aspiration first emerged in 2006, when I witnessed people who are unable to manage their emotions being misunderstood, marginalised or described as having ‘personality defects’. Hearing pejorative labels such as ‘manipulative’ or ‘attention seeking’, and seeing people who do not fit neatly into diagnostic criteria slip through the cracks of the mental health system deeply frustrated me.
After gaining the Master of Mental Health from the School of Medicine at The University of Queensland, Australia, I wanted to broaden my knowledge and skills through exploring various therapeutic avenues, such as Schema Therapy, EMDR, and mindfulness-based therapies. Instead of taking suggestions straight from these models, I weed out the jargons and or overly complicated elements, to include only what I know to be effective and resonate best with you. After all, underneath all the theories and techniques, it is our relationship and the genuine feelings between us that makes therapy work. I cannot hide behind theories and you will know it if I do.
Leaving my job in the NHS and ending the academic path to pursue my passion have allowed me to work in a holistic, creative and authentic way. I have devoted all my enthusiasm and resources to Eggshell Therapy and Coaching- a practice that is dedicated to working with emotionally intense people. Since its opening, I have been able to help people from all around the world. Every day, I am grateful every day that I get to sit alongside many creative and intelligent individuals, fulfilling my mission to liberate them from the bind of negative patterns, and to live full and authentic lives.
I value clarity and openness, and I am a great believer in sharing knowledge with you, as well as actively engaging with your existential and day-to-day questions.
I look forward to being with you!
PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC AWARDS
- Endeavour Award (International), 2010 – Australian Government
- Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), 2018 - Royal Society of Arts, London
- Dean’s commendation for High Achievements in Master of Mental Health, University of Queensland, 2011
- Dean’s List Recipient 2009, School of Social Work, CUHK
- HSBC Social Science Scholarship, 2008, 2009
- Social Work Departmental Prize, CUHK, 2008, 2009
- Class Scholarship, CUHK, 2008, 2009
Interviews and MEDIA Consultations
- 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
Interviews with Youtubers:
- Interview with Vlogger Twinky Tus, on Gifted Women and Impostor Syndrome
- Interview with Vlogger Twinky Tus, on Invisible Childhood Wounds
Teaching and Supervision
I have delivered lectures and workshops for trainee therapists seeking accreditation as a faculty member of the Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy, an accrediting authority of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Some of the topics I have covered include Human Development, Psychopathology, Attachment theories, Personality Disorders and Suicide crisis management With students’ consent, the following are testimonials for the workshops I have delivered:
Imi has an incredible wealth of knowledge and talent in her subject areas, and she shared it with us in a totally accessible way that felt inclusive & respectful at all times. Her humility compassion & warmth blended with her expertise and professionalism throughout. It was a thoroughly enjoyable & informative learning experience...
— Lesley C., Lead family support worker at London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Insightful, brilliantly delivered, flowing with compassion and understanding, giving us time to digest this complex area of therapy. Thank you so much Imi.
— Ed Luttrll, Director & Principal Coach at BlueTouchPaper Consulting
- Master of Mental Health- School of Medicine, University of Queensland, AU
- Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (MBPsS) - University of Derby, UK
- BSc. in Social Work (Hons) - Chinese University of Hong Kong, HK
- Fine Art Program- Yale University, US
- Certified Schema Therapist for Personality Disorders
- Certified by the International Society of Schema Therapy
- Mentalisation-based Therapy Practitioner (Advanced) for Borderline Personality Disorder
- Anna Freud Centre, University College London (UCL)
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Trauma
- Fully trained by accredited trainings approved by EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and EMDR-Europe Association (EMDR-E)
- Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy
- UKCP Accredited Training via Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy
- Certificate in Psychotherapy Clinical Supervision
- An Integrative Relational Approach to Supervision, Metanoia Institute
- Mentalisation-based Art Therapy
- British Association for Art Therapists, UK
- Psychosynthesis (A Psyho-spiritual model to therapy) Foundation
- The Institute of Psychosynthesis, London UK
- Trans(gender) Awareness Training
- London Friend, UK
- Neuro- linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner
Qualifications in Holistic Health
I am enthusiastic about combining ancient body-mind wisdom with modern psychology in my work.
My qualification in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT) was gained in Oxford University, and my Practicum in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is recognized by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As a mindfulness teacher, I have delivered mindfulness training programs in special education units, mental health charities such as Mind and in the local communities.
Before becoming a therapist, I was a Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), and was trained in various holistic healing modalities such as Reiki, aromatherapy, and energy work. I am also an Enneagram counsellor and trainer, it is a powerful and dynamic system that is close to my heart.
I am currently pursuing studies in the Metaphysics; I enjoy engaging in spiritual teachings that are relevant and pragmatic, addressing real-life human questions without being bound to any doctrine or dogma.
Experience prior to Eggshell Therapy
- Psychotherapist – NHS Personality Disorder Specialist Team
- Trainer and Module Leader - Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy
- Non-Executive Director- Emergence Plus
- Clinical Practitioner- NHS Personality Disorder Community Team
- Social Worker/ Care Coordinator- NHS Community Mental Health Team
- Founder - Eggshell Collective, London BPD Sharing Group
- Suicide Counsellor – Samaritans Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre, HK
- Psychotherapist- London Friend, UK
- Wellbeing Centre Officer– Mind, Richmond Royal Hospital, UK
- Mental Health Mentor- Randstad Student Support, UK
- Assistant- NHS Eating Disorder Inpatient Unit
- Art Therapist- Tennyson Special Education School, Australia
- Counselling Practitioner- Centacare Family Services, Australia
- Taipei Psychiatric Hospital Drug & Alcohol Unit, Taiwan
- Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity- Published by Hodder and Stoughton, February 2018
- “A heuristic and art-based inquiry: The experience of combining mindfulness practice and art making”;
- Published in The Australian and New Zealand Art Therapy Journal 2011 (Volume 6)
- Introduction for the Art for Mindfulness Colouring book series.
- Accredited Clinical Psychotherapist, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), UK
- Registered Art Psychotherapist, Health and Care Professional Counci (HCPC), UK
- Professional member/Art Therapist, The Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA)
- Certified Schema Therapist, International Society of Schema Therapy
- MPSsS, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, The British Psychological Society (BPS)
- Registered Social Worker, Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC), UK
- The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- The Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA)
- The British Psychological Society (BPS)
- International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST)
- The Community for Contemporary Psychotherapy (CCP)
- EMDR Association Britain and Ireland
- Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
- Australia Global Alumni
- British Mensa
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
- British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT)
- Hong Kong Social Workers Registration Board
- Australia Endeavour Awards Alumni Network
Thank you for being here, and I look forward to meeting you!