0404 093 865

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gina

Melbourne, Byron Bay or Skype sessions

Ph: 0404 093 865

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My Approach

 

How does your approach work?

 

Our beliefs about the world colour the way we see others, and ourselves. Some of these beliefs are conscious but many are held unconsciously. Becoming aware of our belief structure, and of particular beliefs helps us decide what beliefs we want to retain, and what we may want to let go of, because they no longer serve us.

 

In childhood we develop a personality and ego identity that become an armour behind which our deepest truths and desires get lost.  We lose ourselves by becoming who others (family of origin, teachers, peers) want and expect us to be based on their beliefs and values.

 

Our coping/defensive strategies and masks (who we see ourselves to be, and how we want others to see us) work very well up to a point to help us to function in our environment.

 

However as we develop, as our life changes and we face the challenges and opportunities of relationships, and life-transitions (both welcome and unwelcome) the coping strategies and identity that served us as children may start to constrain and limit us (or may even completely fall apart as a result of a crisis point).

 

Rather than meet the world, with its challenges and opportunities, from flexible and fresh perspectives, we can get stuck in habitual ways of being in the world (with others, and with ourselves).

 

We can get stuck in holding patterns of distress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, despair, despondence, panic, or at worst, even psychosis if we keep trying to navigate the world with an out-of-date map.

 

Unless we are unusually fortunate (if we’re to be really honest with ourselves), this map may not have been that accurate in the first place! This is because it was based largely on our parents’ and society’s beliefs, inherited unconsciously from their childhood, and so on from previous generations - rather than from our own authentic self.

 

In psychological terms, our ego identity (personality) develops from the vulnerable young child’s perspective of who we need to be in order to survive. This process is a normal, healthy and crucial part of healthy psychological development … it gives us a sense of structure and safety, and a blueprint of how to be in the world. 

 

The problem is that as we become adults, until we become aware of our particular blueprint, we respond to the world, to people and to events, from the perspective of the child who needs to please our parents in order to be acceptable.

 

Many people never discover this conscious awareness, and so live out their lives according to values and beliefs they have inherited from parents, other important caregivers and society.

 

Through enquiry, in psychotherapy, we can learn to identify - and then to dis-identify - from our ego and personality structures in a safe and grounded way. What this gives us is a new ability to make conscious choices to guide our lives.

 

Such enquiry helps us to find the thread that leads us out of a maze, helping us both to become clear about why and when we feel constrained or conflicted, and about what our authentic truths and longings are.

 

This renewed sense of passion and excitement then helps us move confidently through the accretions of old, no-longer-functional, conditioning, and through fears that would otherwise keep us stuck. In short, self-enquiry and greater self-awareness help us to uncover what we really want, to light a bright fire under it, and to keep that fire burning.

 

We can also work together to help you to shift unwanted ego habits experientially  - somatically - by tracking sensations in the physical body in the present time. Being more in the body teaches us two important things:

 

  1. To sense how our responses, patterns and habits feel at the level of the nervous system, and;
  2. It provides an experience of what being in presence actually means, and how it feels physically.

 

The experience of how it feels to live in the NOW enables fundamental, long-lasting shifts away from feelings of anxiety and depression, towards contentment and deep sense of self-acceptance, and self-worth.

 

Through a process of somatic experiencing, we literally - and permanently – recalibrate or rebalance your nervous system. This recalibration is thorough, and creates fundamental change at the levels of your brain (neural pathways) and brings your whole nervous system into a new balance through gently giving you new experiences.

 

Habitual patterns of discontent, fear and stress are literally repaired, so that your new baseline is of feeling well, calm and resourced, even when you are faced with challenges.

 

This is why somatic experiencing works, because it integrates your cognitive experience and your subconscious understanding, allowing difficult experiences to be ‘held’ in a different way. It eases traumatic associations and the unconscious bodily responses that accompany the triggering of past traumas.

 

In our work together, you’ll develop new capacities to help you learn to hold and manage activation, resulting in a new resilience you may never have felt before.

 

What approaches to therapy do you use?

 

My overall orientation to therapy is an holistic one that is based on your individual needs (which may well vary from session to session). I specialise in a wide range of modalities and techniques to support your healing:

 

My approaches include:

 

  • Talk therapy (enquiry): to help you articulate, understand and integrate key aspects of your experience at a conscious (mind) level;
  • Experiential modalities: that help ground your understanding and healing at levels other than just the mind (attempting to solve problems solely ‘with the head’ can often lead to going round in circles);
  • Somatic experiencing / trauma resolution: which allows the healing and integration of past trauma without re-traumatisation.

 

The techniques I use to help clarify and process aspects of your experience (some of which can be stuck or unconscious) may include:

 

  • Talk therapy and enquiry
  • Somatic Experiencing, Focussing, and other forms of somatic enquiry
  • Voice Dialogue Facilitation (the ‘Psychology of Selves’, developed by Hal and Sidra Stone), helps identify and, literally, dialogue with both dominant and disowned parts of yourself, in order to better understand what may be contributing to driving some of your beliefs and behaviours
  • Art therapy and symbolization 
  • Gestalt chair work
  • Dream work
  • Chakra diagnosis and rebalancing
  • Guided past life regression therapy
  • Various other guided relaxation and meditation techniques

 

I also offer directly, or am associated with, a range of workshops, facilitated sharing groups and other resources (such as movement and dance-based meditation evenings). You may attend as standalone events or, if you choose to, along with your therapy, to support or deepen your individual psychotherapy sessions.

 

What are the theoretical and practical bases of your approaches?

 

My approaches are informed by both trauma resolution, and in-depth psychology frameworks. Fundamentally I consider and work with the whole person  - mind, body and soul (not ‘soul’ in any formal religious sense, but the ground of your being – not just the ego self but what stands outside our learned sense of identities.

 

We can work with your own history (personal and, if necessary, generational patterns) when appropriate, in a way that helps you to learn to avoid being ‘stuck in story’. You’ll also gain a much deeper and clearer understanding of how to feel and be more grounded, integrated, confident and relaxed in your daily life – to feel more and more ‘comfortable in your own skin’.

 

~

 

Between stimulus and response,
there is space.
In that space
is our power
to choose our response.
In our response lies
our growth
and our freedom.

 - Viktor E. Frankl, Man's search for meaning

 

~

 

Professional development.

 

Through my research and ongoing training, I keep up with, and incorporate, developments in:

 

  • Trauma resolution: I am an Advanced Level Somatic Experiencing student. SE is an approach developed from the work of Peter Levine (best known through his book Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
  • Prioritising and cultivating experience of presence, through ongoing study of the Diamond Approach to Inner Work (see the work of A.H. Almaas)
  • Transpersonal counseling and psychotherapy, through my own ongoing research, and training, and by teaching at the Phoenix Institute, a leading provider of Holistic, and Transpersonal, and Art Therapy Education
  • The neurophysiological basis of healing issues that people commonly bring to therapy, ranging through: depression, anxiety, PTSD and attachment (or ‘developmental’) wounding, including any pre-verbal, pre- and post-natal unconscious traumas of very early childhood, for example by keeping up to date in developments such as the Neuro-affective relational model, or NARM

 

As part of my professional requirements, I have regular supervision from senior SE Supervisors (Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute faculty members), senior Path of Love facilitators, and ongoing personal sessions with my Diamond Approach teacher. I also attend Diamond Approach retreats 3 times a year, plus regular interim sessions.

 

I therefore keep up-to-date in my own enquiry and processing, plus have ongoing access to world-class professional expertise.

 

Read more about my background here.

 

To make an appointment at Kind Counselling in inner Melbourne, please contact me directly on 0404 093 865 or send an email enquiry.