What attracted you to become a therapist?
I resisted being a therapist, but it became an inevitability the more I realised how therapy was changing me and my life for the better.
Where did you train?
I trained at the Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre, one of two body psychotherapy schools in the country (the other is in London).
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I think there is growing recognition that feelings are activated in the body as much as they are in the mind - there is no separation. Then there is also the realisation that our first language is the body! Many psychological problems originate in this very early pre-verbal period when life is all about sensing, touching and feeling, and when we need our parents to help us regulate our emotions.
So, although my work is face-to-face just like other therapies, it also involves a level of somatic awareness – an inquiry into what you are sensing and feeling in the body and how this might have come to be. Sometimes I use a particular kind of therapeutic massage called biodynamic massage to help support this feeling of ‘coming back to yourself’.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I work with people who do not feel embodied – by that I mean sense themselves in their bodies in a way that is safe, grounding and enlivening. This can be through trauma or abuse, or simply from feeling shut down in states of depression or anxiety.
I say on my website, I work with people who feel there is ‘something wrong’ or that there are feelings locked away but somehow this suffering will never be met by another person. I have profound empathy for such a predicament.
If I had to name a core group of people I work with, I would have to say middle-aged women who are trying to work on the issues described above. But I welcome all adults!
What do you like about being a therapist?
I love being on each client’s journey with them – and exploring what makes it unique for them on the way.
What is less pleasant?
I sometimes find it hard when clients leave therapy – even though they are generally doing so from a better place in themselves.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I’ve been using welldoing.org for about three months so not yet in full swing, but I like the liveliness of the site – it feels more than simply a directory and I read the weekly news articles. I haven’t explored the booking system yet, still to come.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
My clients are quite curious – and some tell me about their own reading. Babette Rothschild’s The Body Remembers, comes up quite a bit.
What you do for your own mental health?
I am still in regular therapy and wouldn’t change that. Being a therapist means you have to work even harder at self-regulation and self-care and that can be quite a hard discipline sometimes.
You are a therapist in Ipswich. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
Ipswich is lively and diverse with a growing student population. People from all walks of life come to therapy, not just a niche social group. I’m always surprised by who walks through our doors.
What’s your consultation room like?
My home practice looks out over the Orwell estuary. It feels open and peaceful.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
That there is nothing fundamentally wrong with you.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That there is nothing fundamentally wrong with me!