Registered Psychotherapist (PBANZ).
Master of Psychotherapy (1st Class Hons), Grad Dip Psychotherapy Studies,
phone 022 0107 264
My approach to therapy
As a therapist I believe it's essential to treat my clients with compassion, respect, and warmth. Compassion isn't about being sugar-coated sweet, it's about being kind in a way that helps a client to heal. At times compassion means being able to be challenging and firm with a client, and at other times being very gentle and soft, all with the aim of helping that person to feel better.
When you begin therapy, I'll help you to clarify (if necessary) what you're wanting help with so that you can tell whether therapy is helping or if we need to tweak what we're doing in sessions. As therapy evolves, what clients want to work on changes, so we adapt as we go. Although I draw on a range of different therapeutic models (such as: psychodynamic psychotherapy, DBT, ISTDP, mindfulness), I don't have a therapy "template" (unlike some other styles of therapy) as therapy is deeply personal and unique to each individual.
I am committed to ensuring that my work with clients is helpful and safe for them - to help do this I have regular clinical supervision. I also keep my skills and knowledge up to date by attending relevant training sessions, and studying the latest literature/research.
A bit about me
Before realising I wanted to become a therapist I drifted about seeking my vocation. My friends seemed to know what to do with their life, why didn't I? First, I chose to develop my creativity and ingenuity as a graphic designer, but after a few years I felt unfulfilled. I tried working in travel, which was highly stressful and pressured, and eventually I recognised I needed to leave. I hadn't yet developed the skills to manage stress in a healthy way.
So, I quit my job and went travelling in Latin America for a year to do some soul searching - and of course, have fun. None of my friends could come so I headed out as a solo female traveller. Through trial and error I developed skills to overcome the stressful and anxiety provoking situations that inevitably arise when travelling alone in a foreign country. This was an amazing, life altering experience that helped me to develop a sense of trust and confidence in myself.
Returning home, I took a while to find something meaningful to do. A friend told me about the psychotherapy course he was doing at university, and the way they described the satisfaction of helping others in a direct, tangible way felt appealing. At the time I was working for Amnesty International as I have a passion for social and environmental change, however I was finding it frustrating that I couldn't see the positive effect of my work in direct, personal way.
I felt that the psychotherapy course addressed what I was looking for in a profession. A requirement of the course was to be in weekly therapy as a client for at least 3 years. Being in therapy was essential for me to develop the capacity to do the immensely stressful and anxiety provoking training. I also learned to be vulnerable and to work on and understand myself more, so that I could be a better therapist. This experience helped me and my clients enormously as I know what it's like to be a client and to go through all sorts of ambivalence, resistance, and anxiety about being in therapy - and I have experienced the positive effects of sticking it out.
I also needed to find ways to deal with the immense stress, and I noticed that spending time in nature helped to calm me down and give me some space from my worries. I would spend hours in my small vege garden and walking in a nearby park. This was an instinctive process as I had learned during my upbringing that I loved spending time in nature and caring for our environment. These experiences led me to discover ways of integrating nature into therapy and to the practice of ecotherapy, or applied ecopsychology.
My search for a meaningful profession overlapped with my search for a greater sense of meaning in life - I had an inkling that something was missing. I also wanted to develop my ability to feel calmer and more content. Eventually I knew I had found it when I encountered meditation and mindfulness through Zen Buddhism. Zen practice has been enormously beneficial in my personal and professional life. It's given me a greater sense of purpose, the ability to be with difficult thoughts or feelings and being less reactive. It's also helped me to be kinder to myself and others, and to know myself (the good and the not so good parts) which helps me to be a more open, non-judgemental therapist.
How to begin?
If you're ready to meet with me then feel free to contact me via phone or email. You can also use our online booking calendar (click "Book Now" on the left). If you've got some questions, please feel free to ask, sometimes a quick phone call or email will clarify things.
The first session is really an opportunity for you to meet with me and get a sense of whether or not you feel like I'm someone who can help you. Sometimes it takes a few sessions for a client to decide this and that's absolutely fine. If I'm not the right person I'll do my best to point you in the right direction. It's also a chance to talk about what's going on for you (in as much or as little detail as you feel comfortable with), to ask any questions about therapy and me, and for you to get an experience of how I would help you with your issues.
I don't ask you tons of questions and expect you to tell me your life story, unless that's what you'd like to do. It's an informal conversation where I am guided by what you'd like, how you're feeling, and what you're comfortable with. Near the end of the session I'll allow time for us to discuss how the session has been for you, to clarify any remaining questions, and to decide whether it would be worthwhile to meet again or not.
If you are ready to make a positive change in your life contact me by email or call 022 010 7264 to book a session or to find out more about how I can help you. You can also book instantly online by clicking "Book Now" below.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Publications and Presentations