"Reliance on moving factors (an education, a house, a career, a relationship....) as a means of having security
is not a good idea. Moving factors will give you movement, which is pretty good as it makes our lives interesting. But if you want stability you have to attend to the nature of mind itself” - James Low
Counselling and Psychotherapy
I am a humanistic counsellor (BACP Accredited) and a mindfulness based psychotherapist (UKCP Accredited).
I offer a space where you can feel safe to explore your inner emotional difficulties. By coming into a deeper relationship with our inner lives, we can process our emotional pain directly. If we can speak from our feelings, rather than about our feelings, our embodied self feels met, and seen. This can be a powerful way of working through our difficulties.
"Awareness is our true self; it's what we are. We don’t have to try to develop awareness; we simply need to notice how we block awareness, with our thoughts, our fantasies, our opinions, and our judgments." - Charlotte Joko Beck
The Felt Sense
I work by asking a client to notice what is happening for them in their felt sense. This can include feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, images, sounds and other senses that might be coming up for a client in the present moment. If you can stay with this sense of yourself, which is an embodied sense, and deepen into this sense, then you are able to stay attuned to what needs your attention. When we are able to turn towards ourselves in this way, instead of avoiding or protecting ourselves with defences, we can feel more authentic or ‘real’ to ourselves and others.
An Aligned Self
I ask clients to turn towards their deeper Self, or inner wise person, which we all have although it may feel quite obscured at times. When we are able to move underneath the presenting narratives or stories of our lives, we can start to experience existential or spiritual connections or themes underlying how we live. This kind of therapy places awareness as central to change, because when we become aware of our underlying patterns, which are often from childhood, we start to gain a sense of perspective. When we widen our aperture on our lives, we create spaciousness and a sense of choice. We can step into witness consciousness with practice, and stand beside ourselves, and observe our patterns, so that we can release what we no longer feel we need at this stage of our lives.
"Acknowledge the wave, but stay with the ocean" - Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Both Simple and Complex
Working mindfully with the ‘mindbody’ is both profoundly simple and complex. If we can stay in the nebulous or vague spaces and not become too formed in our patterns or beliefs about ourselves, we can work with neuroplasticity and flexibility, to free ourselves from suffering. Rather than looking externally for fixes in our lives, such as work or relationships, if we can move our attention inwards to how we observe ourselves in life, we can deepen into our connection with ourselves. My training considers Eastern Buddhist philosophies as well as Western psychodynamic ways of looking at childhood patterns, and neuroscientific approaches to how traumas are held in the emotional body. If we can relate to our inner lives directly, and become more present to our sense of self, this can free up inner space for something new to emerge that feels right for us.
This modality also acknowledges how external factors, and intersectionalities, can profoundly influence our personality formations. Sometimes we can be too quick to pathologise ourselves and turn everything into an intrapsychic process, when we also need to bring into awareness the way the world has shaped us and continues to do so. It may be helpful for clients to consider how narratives around race, sex, gender diversity, socio-economic circumstances, ancestry, etc, have been internalised and held within their self-structuring. As a gay man, I have found it helpful in my own therapeutic journey to unpick intersectionalities in my life and how they have impacted on consciousness.
Areas I Work In:
- Deep Sadness
- Anger and Rage
- Fear, Terror and Anxiety
- Life Transitions
- Psycho-spiritual Emergence
- Trauma / Neuro-Science
- LGBTQI+ / Gender Diversity