Willow Tree Counselling is a safe place where you will be warmly welcomed and listened to and where we can explore what has brought you to counselling
When traumatic or difficult things happen in our lives, we are changed from these experiences. It can be difficult to move on with our life and to lead the type of life we would like to. Sometimes we feel stuck, sad, angry, confused and overwhelmed.
At times our bodies respond to traumatic or difficult experiences in ways that we don’t understand or leave us feeling confused and out of control such as having nightmares, flashbacks to events, having body sensations that make us feel like the event is occurring now when it is not (body memories), feeling uptight, irritable, anxious, sad, hyper-vigilant, panicked, feeling like hurting your body; by cutting, burning, purging, starving etc, experiencing intrusive images, thoughts, feelings, feeling like dying, to name a few.
Sometimes when we feel like this we find ourselves unable to talk to others and share our painful feelings. Sometimes we feel like people do not understand (even professionals) and at times we don’t have the words to describe how we feel. There are times we find other peoples comments hurtful and unhelpful.
At times like these it can be helpful to have someone outside of our family and friends to talk to. I can help you by genuinely trying to understand how you feel, by helping you develop a greater understanding of your feelings and helping you express those feelings. I can help you by talking about practical ideas that might assist you manage your feelings, thoughts and behaviours. I also help you create the life you would prefer. I do this through talk therapy or using art and play in therapy depending on the age, interest and comfort of the people who come to see me. The approach I use respects and utilises our natural body and life rhythms and does not force change.
I work from trauma focused models of intervention, which are three phased models focusing on safety, integration (making sense of what has happened) and reconnection to your preferred life. I also work from attachment focused models focusing on your relationship templates (ideas about relationships developed in childhood) and how your relationship templates impact on your current life.
I am also trained in EMDR. EMDR is short for Eye Movement Desensitisation Response which is used to help people manage difficult memories associated with traumatic experiences this may be particularly useful for people who experience flashbacks, intrusive images etc. There are a number of theories to explain EMDR one of which is that EMDR is associated with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the natural ways the eyes move when processing the day’s events and transferring information to long term memory. EMDR seeks to replicate the eye movements that occur in REM during counselling through a structured process. It is through this process that the body is assisted in moving the memory to where it should be which results in less stress around the memory. Should you be interested in EMDR please speak to me further about this.
More and more research is highlighting the importance of paying attention to the body’s responses to trauma. As Babette Rothschild says “the body remembers” and as such I am informed by therapies that focus on the bodily experience, providing practical skills to help manage hyper arousal, flashbacks, anxiety, nightmares etc.