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.
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.
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.
WHAT Kind of THERAPY DO YOU OFFER?
Because true healing and come from lasting changes on multiple levels- not just intellectually, but also physiologically, emotionally and spiritually. Effective therapy should be integrative and holistic in nature.
Instead of having of a fixed, rigid modal, it is important to find out the unique way of working that best resonate with you. In the process, I may use a combination of following approaches:
Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Mentalization-based Therapy (MBT),
Mindfulness-based therapies (MBSR, MBCT), Art Psychotherapy, EMDR Trauma Processing
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Hypno-psychotherapy
Sandplay, Jungian Symbol work, Chakra system coaching and The Enneagram
We aim to create deep and lasting shifts by addressing your core 'emotional schemas' or memories, in order to free you from all sorts of chronic symptoms such as emotional storms, anger outbursts or other unwanted behaviours.
As the main goal is to empower you with the capacity to make lasting changes, I also aim to be as open and transparent as possible about what actually happens in the session. I will explain the overall process here.
For how long?
I understand your desire to get better fast. You may have read online or in books that there is no 'quick fix' for the particular issue you face. This may be true, but it is not impossible to feel some shifts in 5 - 10 sessions. There is much value in ongoing support, but in contrast to some other models of long-term therapy, our goal is to effectively equip you with the needed insights and capacity, so you can be free to live a full life as soon as possible.
When, Where and How Much?
All individual consultation, therapy and coaching are GBP 110 per session.
I would always encourage you to give it a try for at least 5 sessions. This would include an assessment (though in theory, 'assessment' is an ongoing process), and a personalized treatment plan. Most people do experience some changes within 12 - 20 sessions. If you decide half-way through that it doesn't work for you, you have the full right to withdraw and I will respect your decision.
My main base is in London SW19. For international enquiries and consultation, we can use Skype.
How do I pay for my session?
I accept cash, cheque, bank transfer, visa and paypal.
With a credit or debit card, you can secure or pay off your session with an easy online process.
If you are interested in, or have personal experience with, emotional intensity, I encourage you to get in touch. I acknowledge that this is a courageous move and would like to support you as much as possible in the process. Prior to your first booking, we can have a 10-minute free-of-charge phone conversation when you can ask any questions or clarify any concerns you may have.