Hi! I am Imi, a Specialist Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Coach, Supervisor and Teacher. I am also a Certified Schema Therapist, Mentalisation-based Therapy Advance Practitioner, an EMDR therapist, and a mindfulness teacher (MBSR, MBCT). I started my career as a mental health social worker and was trained as a yoga teacher and holistic healer.
I describe the way I work as holistic, as I combine evidence-based psychology with other physical and spiritual healing philosophy.
I have spent my entire professional life in pursuit of the answer to one question: ‘How to best serve people who are emotionally intense, sensitive and gifted?’
My aspiration to work with emotional intensity 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 frustrate me. I believe that these problems can and should be overcome.
Having worked with many gifted and emotionally intense individuals, conducted research and written about this topic, I have now accumulated a body of knowledge, and ways of working that can most effectively benefit emotionally intense people and those around them.
More about my clinical background:
I am an award- winning mental health professional, with more than ten years of experience working with Emotionally Unstable (Borderline) Personality Disorder.
I started my career as a mental health Social Worker and later qualified as a Clinical Psychotherapist (UKCP), Art Psychotherapist (HCPC), Schema Therapist (ISST), and Mindfulness Teacher (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.
After gaining the Master in Mental Health from the School of Medicine in Australia, I was determined to broaden my knowledge and skills through exploring various therapeutic avenues. I am trained in evidence-based methods including Mentalisation- based Treatment (MBT), Schema Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Trauma, Art Psychotherapy, Mindfulness- based therapies (MBSR, MBCT), and Hypno-psychotherapy. 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, I still believe it is our relationship and the genuine feelings I have for you that makes therapy work. I cannot hide behind theories and you will know it if I do.
Leaving my job in the NHS specialist team has allowed me to work in a holistic, creative and authentic way. I decided to devote all my passion 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. Everyday, 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.
If you are interested in my personal journey and what has got me here, I wrote about some of my personal history and struggles in here.
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
Interviews and Media Contributions
- Psychologies, UK: Sensitivity is my Superpower, Nov 2017
- The Telegraph article: Borderline Personality Disorder: 'I couldn't deal with the rollercoaster in my head', Feb 2015
- Marie Claire feature article 'How to Toughen Up', Issue March 2016*
- Refinery29 article, How Do You Know Which Therapy Is Best For You?, Jan 2017
- The Debrief Magazine, on The realities of dating when you are struggling with your mental health, May 2016
- Happiful magazine, on Emptiness and Borderline Personality Disorder, April 2017
- Foreword for the Art for Mindfulness Colouring book series.
- Interview, MX Brisbane, on 23rd November, 2010
- Press Release/ Interview, City Brisbane, on 25November, 2010
- Radio Interview, 4 ZZZ Radio Interview on 12 June 2011
* (It was an honour to be featured for my professional opinion in Marie Claire UK Issue March 2016. In the article I was described as a 'Clinical Psychologist'. As these are distinctive professional titles in the UK I would like to clarify that I am registered as a Psychotherapist (UKCP) , Art Psychotherapist (HCPC), and a Social Worker (HCPC), not Clinical Psychologist)
- Master in Mental Health (Distinction, Dean's Award for High Achievement)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (MBPsS, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership)
- Certificate in Psychotherapy Clinical Supervision
- Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- BSc. in Social Work (Hons)
- 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)
- Mentalisation-based Art Therapy
- British Association for Art Therapists
- Contemporary Hypno-psychotherapy
- Neuro- linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner
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. My qualifications to teach are gained in Oxford University (Mindfulness- based Cognitive Therapy for Depression), and recognised by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (Mindfulness- based Stress Reduction Practicum). I now teach therapists and health professionals to use Mindfulness in clinical practise.
I am a qualified Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and was trained in various holistic healing modalities such as Reiki, Enneagram coaching, aromatherapy, and energy work. I combine ancient body-mind wisdom with modern psychology in my work.
Experience prior to Eggshell Therapy
- Psychotherapist – NHS Personality Disorder Specialist Team
- Trainer and Module Leader - Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- 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
- Honorary 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
Professional and Academic Award
- Endeavour Award (International), 2010 – Australian Government
- Dean’s commendation for High Achievements in Master of Mental Health, 2011
- Dean’s List Recipient 2009, School of Social Work
- HSBC Social Science Scholarship, 2008, 2009
- Social Work Departmental Prize 2008, 2009
- Class Scholarship2008, 2009
Other Professional Training
- Psychosynthesis (A Psyho-spiritual model to therapy) Foundation
- Working successfully with Addictions
- Hypno-psychotherapy in Practice
- Trans(gender) Awareness Training
- Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
- A Critical Analysis of Domestic and Family Violence
- Working with children and families with mental illnesses
- Certificate of Enneagram Trainer
- Enneagram and Counselling – Qualified Trainer
- 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 (UK), United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
- Registered Art Psychotherapist, Health and Care Professional Council
- Registered Social Worker, Health and Care Professional Council
- Certified Schema Therapist, International Society of Schema Therapy
- MPSsS, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, The British Psychological Society
I am a member of the following bodies:
- The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- The British Psychological Society (BPS)
- International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST)
- EMDR Association Britain and Ireland
- The Community for Contemporary Psychotherapy (CCP)
- Australia Endeavour Awards Alumni Network
- British Mensa
Sometimes it is helpful to but a voice to the face. Here is a short video clip in which I explain why I do what I do, and a little bit about emotional intensity.
Thank you for being here, and I look forward to meeting you!