Core Process Psychotherapy and Counselling
Cardiff with Gwyn Williams

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'If light is in your heart

You will find your way home'
- Rumi


Home. Gwyn Oct 27

Connection to Being

I offer depth psychotherapy and counselling, and am both a Humanistic counsellor, and a Core Process psychotherapist. I integrate both of these modalities in my practice.

As I deepen into the practice through experience and ongoing training, I see how working through our personality formations, and problematic themes in our external and internal lives, helps us to connect and rest in our Being nature. As we sense into our deeper Self, which is our aligned Self, we can become more expansive and aware, and start to understand and let go of defended places that we hold. If we can feel into our more open, undefended Self, and notice how differently we experience ourselves from that perspective, we can start to feel more resolved within ourselves.

Helpful Resource: Karuna Dartmoor and Karuna Institute:
karunainstitute.co.uk/
karunadartmoor.co.uk/


Touching into Real Presence

While it's impossible to compartmentalise what naturally emerges in the relational field, here are some underlying therapeutic theories that I feel are helpful to understand. They are all ways ‘in’ to understanding ourselves in an embodied way as we witness our own inner processes. If we are able to be both in our ‘stuff’ and witness our ‘stuff’ we are able to transcend our limits around themes that we are exploring. Coming into witness consciousness where we are both 50% in our material and 50% disidentified from it, helps us to create spaciousness and choice. Connection to our inner Being can also be seen as our connection to the Universal Holding Field, Source, our Ground. Whilst I’m not a Buddhist, my work is influenced by Buddhist wisdom which invites us to stay at our edge of emotional pain, and come into deep contact with our felt sense, and hold ourselves with spaciousness, curiosity, compassion and warmth. If we can explore fragmented spaces within ourselves, with a deep sense of self-acceptance, we can become more aware rather than shut down to these inner areas. This can help us to move through difficulty and reach internal resolutions.

Helpful Resource: Waking Up App by Sam Harris: www.wakingup.com/


Attachment Theory

The level to which our primary carer, usually our mother, was able to attune to our emotional needs, was fundamental in how attuned we feel to our inner world. Our mother, or primary care giver, mirrored to us our own health and the security we felt in her holding field formed our earliest attachment patterning.

I’m not sure if a secure attachment style really exists or if it is an ideal that helps us to navigate the chaos that is inherent in the human condition.

Helpful Resource: 'Attachment in Psychotherapy' by Wallin


Object Relations

In order to maintain relationship with our care givers we subconsciously split from our wholeness. In order to cope with the reality of a care giver who was sometimes attuned to us and sometimes not, we maintained an illusion of them, a kind of idealisation of them as being ‘good’. To do that we had to do something with the overwhelming ‘badness’ that we felt in the energetic holding field. We internalised the badness and subconsciously started to experience ourselves as ‘the bad object’ in order to keep the relational field. It was a defence strategy which kept us emotionally alive at that time of our lives.

The badness that we feel is ours is a deep emotional wound, or a core wound. In our earliest stages we acted out from that wound, projecting badness onto our care givers, but a reactive kind of badness which is really a defence against the badness that we actually feel but doesn’t really ‘belong’ to us. We can become ‘needy’ or ‘starving’ in relation to the emotional neglect we experienced and act out or project onto others from that place. Or we can react by rejecting others or not letting anyone in, from how misattuned to or objectified we were as babies. We can also feel excited and inevitably let down and carry that patterning from our earliest years.

We can then start to see how human our care givers were, with their flaws and natural failures to always hold us and meet our needs. We can start to let go of the emotional charge that may still be driving many of our behavioural patterning as adults.

Helpful Resource: 'An Introduction to Object Relations' by Gomez


Shadow

Shadow work helps us to retrieve our wholeness and I see this as soul retrieval work. We have probably pushed away a whole lifetime of retrieval work before we can speak. Our adult self awareness work can be seen as becoming fully individuated by opening to our deeper nature and letting in the things about ourselves we didn’t like on both conscious and unconscious levels. In so doing we become more fully aware of our intrapsychic and external processes that may have left us feeling numbed out, diminished, disempowered and disconnected from ourselves and the world we find ourselves in.

It can feel like a relief to name and honour the most uncomfortable and difficult aspects of self that we put a lot of energy into defending against. Bringing the shadow into the light is a more aware way or choosing what to do with our internal responses and primal feelings without ‘badness’, judgment or disassociation.

Helpful Resource: 'Meeting the Shadow' by Zweig and Abrams


Internal Family Systems / Inner Parts

This is currently a very popular way of working with our limits and seeing how we might be quite stuck in our patterns, and offers a creative way of working through this. We can come into relationship with our internal saboteur, our inner free spirit, our inner wounded child, our empowered adult awareness….. We can start to notice which part gets the most airtime (such as the inner persecutor) and start to give more airtime to a part that we may largely ignore or have put in exile (such as the confident one).

Inner Parts works well within a Buddhist influenced or mindfulness based approach which does not assume a fixed self, where creativity can help us to write a new story of ourselves where we dont need to be experts and we can experiment with new ways of being that may suit us better as we grow, transition and evolve into a new life stage.

Helpful Resource: 'Self-Therapy' by Jay Earley


Emergence

Deepening into our presence and awareness feels both simple and complex. Finding it in ourselves to language the invisible and stay with our internal processes takes time, commitment and diligence concerning returning again and again to our contemplative practice.

It takes courage to turn towards our emotional pain instead of away from it. It’s essential in doing so to acknowledge the human error of expecting life to be a certain way, to only want the good stuff, the good feelings and not the other stuff. When we surrender to the realities of life, which contains everything, including pain and suffering, then we can let go of our resistance to the way things are.

No one likes sitting with feelings such as desperation, helplessness and shame - these could feel like the most difficult feelings to stay with. It is easier to pretend they are not there or to understand them as indicating something ‘wrong’ in our lives that we need to ‘fix’.
Instead, a spiritual practice asks us to stay with difficulty and allow it to be felt and known inside ourselves. Rather than analyse it away, we are invited to embody our sense of self which includes all our felt sense without preference.

We grow a more authentic, honest and grounded part of ourselves as we deepen into the fullness of life. We let go of judgments such as ‘good’ feelings or ‘bad’ feelings and stay with the ‘isness’ of our inner experience.

Putting in all those defence mechanisms only numbs us from the universal holding field. If we accept, and celebrate all our aspects of being in our mandala we can be more creative in what we choose to feed from a more conscious place. If we notice our resistance we can start to be curious and ask ourselves: what’s my problem with anger / boredom / disappointment …. This can help us to accept the natural ebbs and flows in a given moment or a season of our lives.

As we create space and time for our spiritual emergence we are also inviting some of our most inner most pain to surface in order to be resolved and released. This is sometimes known as a ‘dark night of the soul’ and we need to feel robust, resilient and resourced in life in order to hold ourselves as we look into the eye of the storm.

Helpful Resource: Tara Brach Talks www.tarabrach.com/talks-audio-video/


Trauma Informed Therapy

There is a lot to discover in the ways in which, through neuroscientific research, we can assist trauma survivors to resolve the effects of overwhelming experience on mind and body. Understanding and working with trauma that the body remembers and stores, helps us to safely release some of its effects. Becoming more aware of our autonomic nervous system shows us where we are unable to calm defense systems in safe environments. Neuroception can also help us to activate defense systems in risk environments so that our nervous system is no longer 'stuck', but can move between fight or flight or freeze and openness and spaciousness with greater ease.
Psycho-educating ourselves around the polyvagal theory (how our nervous system works) can help us notice the stories about self, the world and relationships through our autonomic states of being.

Helpful Resources:
'The Body Remembers' by Babette Rothschild
'Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection' by Deb Dana


Areas I Work In

- Connecting to Inner Life and Emotions
- Trauma
- Esteem & Confidence
- Life transitions
- Psychospiritual Emergence
- LGBTQ+ / gender diversity


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