The Therapy Process
My main approach to working with you will be relational- meaning, our relationship will be a part of the process, informed by psychodynamic thinking and system theories. At the same time, I synthesise Eastern and Western philosophies and spiritual systems such as Buddhism and the Enneagram, as well as well-founded psychotherapeutic tools like Schema Therapy I also employ creative and intuitive methods such as Art and Poetry Healing, Jungian Symbol Work, Dream Analysis, and Shadow Work.
I may give you creative homework and reflective exercises designed to help you consolidate the insights and progress we make within the sessions. For example, I may ask you to bring in photographs, doodles or some form of diary entries. Nothing is mandatory, however. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. For more information on some of these activities, please see the Online Portal.
On top of ‘fire-fighting’ imminent issues, the aim of this work is to make changes to the deep-seated life patterns that cause similar problems to come up again and again in your life. This process can create lasting change because it looks below the surface and addresses core emotional roots.
Our focus is on helping you move towards living a full life. Alongside discussions about your psychodynamics, we will also talk pragmatically about your day-to-day habits and performance, career path, life goals and relationship fulfilment.
Our work does not focus on dysfunction, diagnosis, or past symptoms. It is about helping you move towards a future of deep fulfilment, authenticity and creativity.
You are in the driver’s seat. Sharing ideas and knowledge with you is a core part of our journey. Ultimately, you will be equipped with the necessary skills and capacity that will allow you to take charge. (If you are severely unwell, are suicidal, or require significant psychiatric input, please make sure you have support in place and know that as we will be working online, this could not replace your major mental health care. )
Although the process is often organic and non- linear, categorising the change process into the following phases might help clarify what actually happens in the work.
PHASE 1: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BLOCKAGES
To start, we will try to understand what it is that troubles you and stops you from being your best self. We will work towards identifying some of your old survival strategies, behaviours or thinking patterns that no longer serve you. For example, in your subconscious, there might be mind-imagery, specific memories, and deep feelings around certain beliefs: ‘People will always leave me in the end’, ‘I can never trust anyone’, ‘I do not fit in anywhere’. In your attempts to lessen your pain, you might have developed destructive habits or self- sabotaging patterns.
If you have been through therapy or counselling before you may have come across references to them as ‘Defences’, ‘Negative Automatic Thoughts’, ‘Life Traps’, ‘Maladaptive Schema’, ‘Inner Critic’, ‘Negative self-talk’ etc. To keep things simple, I call them ‘Blockages’. And since they take a wide variety of forms based on who you are and your personal history, I will work with you to design and prioritise your goals.
During this phase, we shall work together to better understand the parts of you that you do not like or want, and you will begin to feel your inner tension and conflict softening. For example, I might start by asking you to make more concrete this inner destructive force: If your inner critic were a person, what would they be like (man/woman, what would they sound like, look like, etc)? Does your inner criticism come in a particular shape, size, form or colour? What bodily sensations do you get when feeling shame? Could you draw it on a piece of paper?
Theories that are relevant at this phase:
PHASE 2: Bouncing Back and Integrating
Once we have identified your blockages, we will learn how to manage and, in some cases, transform these challenging parts. We aim at lessening the times when you feel overwhelmed, so you do not have to resort to avoidance or compensatory behaviours (overeating, overspending, and other destructive habits). We want to integrate the more vulnerable, ‘younger’ parts of yourself, rather than rejecting them, and at the same time mind the undisciplined, rageful and destructive part of yourself, along with your inner critic.
Lasting change requires not only an intellectual understanding but also a relational experience. We will try to access some of your core wounds through experiential processes such as visual imagery or homework assignments. This step is potentially life-changing, but can also be the most challenging. I will do my best to make sure that you have full control over the process and are free to go at a pace that feels safe for you.
Theories and techniques that are relevant to this phase:
PHASE 3: Building Your Internal Capacity for Lasting Changes
Our biggest goal is to build a solid sense of self for lasting resilience in all aspects of your life. Through a mixture of psychoeducation and relational experience, we may look at how you can gain inner strength, and take care of yourself — Practically, Emotionally, Interpersonally, and Spiritually. By fully internalising and integrating these new capacities, we hope that you will be able to manage your emotions, behaviours and relationships over the long run, even after finishing a course of coaching.
– Practical: Managing the balance between burn-out and bore-out; Learning to self-soothe; Lifestyle support; Life structuring; Learning to say no; Navigating work politics; Strategies on building your own creative career.
– Emotional: Befriending different emotions; Riding emotional storms and Managing destructive behaviours
– Interpersonal: Living authentically; Honouring your values; Communicating your needs assertively; Having your deep desires heard, seen and received as your true self
– Spiritual: Learning to trust life; Tapping into your creative resource; Finding your place in the world
Tools that are particularly helpful for growth at this phase:
PHASE 4: Moving Towards Your Full Potential
I hope that you can find a place in the world where you are not just tolerated, but celebrated. Remember, you are highly, but not overly, intense and sensitive. By this phase, I should know you well enough to work with you to find your strengths based on your personality and unique personal story. We can work towards maximising your potential by getting in touch with your gifts.
I deeply honour your deep yearning to be seen and heard as who you are, and by finding the right stage for your audience, the right channel for your gifts. We do this by tapping into the seed of your creativity, and channelling your existential angst into a sense of mission and purpose.
As you step into embracing your unique qualities, I hope you can learn to trust your unique ways of relating to the world and be able to connect to what you have to offer. Themes such as authentic existence, the meaning of life, and purpose of being come to the foreground of awareness, as you embark on the journey towards self-actualisation. Furthermore, I want you to build a life around your values so you do not struggle with inner conflicts that pain your soul. The work in this aspect may also include practical ways to increase productivity and optimise your health, in order to facilitate your creativity. This may involve learning from artists and others who have achieved success in life.
Ideas and tools that are helpful in this phase:
Jungian Symbology, Dream Analysis, Depth Psychology, Bibliotherapy, personality inventories such as the Enneagram, MBTI, performance coaching that facilitates lifestyle and habit changes, creativity tools such as the morning pages.
In a nutshell
To recap, our goals include, but are not restricted to the following:
1. Knowing your personal history and patterns well enough that when you fall back to old survival strategies or mind traps, you can wake up in reactivity and not let it run the show.
2. Knowing your emotions well enough that when they come up you can recognise, name, and know what to do with them.
3. Being able to stay connected with others whilst being true to yourself.
4. Being empathic with others without losing your personal boundaries.
5. Knowing your unique strengths and gifts in order to live a fuller life.