What happens when there are few words to describe how you feel in therapy, yet you feel stuck, unable to express and identify your needs and struggle to self regulate?
NeuroAffective Touch is a somatic approach that addresses early emotional and attachment deficits through a collaborative partnership with the mind and body.
Many people who come for therapy have experienced chronic misattunement, neglect and sometimes emotional or physical abuse. Sometimes there has been a lack of nurturing and bonding from the caregiver. When we are born the quality of nurturing we receive profoundly impacts our ability to form and maintain relationships as adults both with others as well as with ourselves. These first key relationships create a blue print for how we view the world, others and ourselves.
NeuroAffective Touch integrates both psychodynamic psychotherapy and the therapeutic use of touch and bodywork in order to help heal early developmental trauma. It can be used for the following:
Existence issues - I matter, I am seen, and I belong.
Identity – Who am I?
Identifying, accepting and verbalizing your needs.
Self-regulation and self-soothing difficulties.
Self-judgment, shame and guilt.
Somatic numbing, contraction and collapse in the body.
Release of fear and bracing in the muscles and stomach area.
To facilitate a heart connection to self and others.
To calm hyper vigilance and facilitate a felt sense of safety.
To help repair attachment deficits.
To grow in being able to receive.
“Healing early trauma begins with offering the missing non verbal experiences
of somatic support, attunement and safety”. Dr Aline LaPierre
“I have had therapy before, but usually been so overwhelmed by the feelings that come up for me that I have shut down and stayed stuck. It has been different with Kate because the overwhelming feelings I experience in my body no longer get in the way of the counselling process but are exactly what we work with.
SE work is all about connecting with the body, and releasing trauma in a gentle way. Kate's support through this process has been absolute. Within sessions she has taught me grounding techniques and helped me find resources within myself and within the world - things that calm me down and help me feel ok. When I am triggered in sessions she helps me come back in to the room - to find anchors there, and to connect with myself and with her. She has helped me to feel safe enough to connect with my body and it's store of memories and feelings.
All of these things have enabled me, very gradually, to start to release my feelings and all of the traumatic energy that has been trapping me in a painful place. They are also tools that help me to manage my feelings and emotions outside of sessions, meaning that I don't get triggered or overwhelmed as easily or as often and am more able to enjoy the good things in my life. I found Kate when I had lost hope that things could ever change, and am so grateful for her input and care; she has been a lifeline to me.” (Hertfordshire Client)
Somatic experiencing builds on traditional trauma therapy methods (which address emotions and behaviour) by incorporating the body and felt sense, releasing the trauma that is locked in your body.
The codependent person has low self esteem and seeks approval from other people in order to feel better about themselves. They do not have a sense of self worth, so they base their worth on what they do; their achievements; their possessions; how attractive they are; and basically what other people think of them. This is called “Other Esteem”. In therapy, the codependent comes to realise that they are valuable and precious and have inherent worth, not based on what they do, but for who they are.
The roots of codependency begin in a dysfunctional family system, which cultivates a deep sense of shame. Children are taught that they are either “not good enough”, or they are “better than other people”.
A codependent can struggle with over whelming emotions and reactions or feel numb and unable to express or understand what their emotions are. Either way, this can cause them to have problems in their relationship with both themselves and others.
If the codependent pushes their feelings down inside, this can lead to physical illness. Alternatively some may self medicate through alcohol, drugs or food in an attempt to reduce or numb out their feelings of unhappiness.
Don’t be fooled by how well turned out and by what a great achiever the codependent may seem to be. Inside there can be a deep sense of inadequacy and uncertainty about who they really are.
For Love Addicts
“Addiction is an illness of escape”.
Let’s face it addiction causes chaos, it can wreck your relationships, take over your life, not to mention the mental and emotional strain it puts on your body. Who wouldn’t want to be restored back to sanity and take back control of their life?
I have a particular focus on the impact of trauma on the addictive process. I will teach you skills to self regulate and manage difficult emotions. We will explore your core beliefs and how those are impacting your addiction now.
Love addiction is the compulsive pursuit of romantic and sexual relationships in order to avoid a deep void felt within. It manifests in several ways, mainly obsession, escaping into fantasy, seeking the perfect one and believing this person will complete you. It is not based on reality as the love addict has unrealistic expectations and wants to be rescued and looked after.
Love addiction is deeply painful and in order to work on it we have to go back to the roots of childhood trauma. Together we explore the relationship with yourself and we look at ways to self care and learn how to love yourself. We break down fantasy versus reality and we work on boundaries.
For further reference please see the work of Pia Mellody, Love Addiction, Love Avoidance.
“Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion
caused by excessive and prolonged stress."
Everyday can feel like a whirlwind of action. Deadlines, meetings, running around, eating on the go. Your mind under pressure, thoughts whirling around until gradually over time you find it harder and harder to function.
Trying to drag yourself out of bed, hoping a coffee or two will liven up both your body and brain? Only it’s harder to concentrate now and you have this feeling of constant fatigue and brain fog. Things you used to find enjoyable can now be a drag. Instead of meeting up with friends after work all you can think about is sleeping or vegging in front of the TV.
Perhaps a drink will help or some other stimulant? But then nothing seems to work these days for long? This empty feeling in your body just won’t go away. You feel like you can’t be bothered to talk and you would rather be alone. Cynical thoughts come to mind and you wonder if you are depressed.
Then there are the headaches and tummy aches. You can’t remember the last time you felt energized and happy to be alive. If only your body would keep up and ward off all those nasty bugs.
If you relate to many of these symptoms you could be in burn out. It’s time to get your life back on track and take care of yourself, body, mind and spirit.
I have tailor made a programme to help you recover from burn out. It will take some time as getting burnt out doesn’t happen overnight but with the right tools and self-care it can happen. It’s time to understand your triggers and how to handle stress as well as regaining internal balance and boundaries.