It is essential that you feel safe and comfortable when working with me. I strongly recommend that you avail of a free 20 minute initial consultation online or by phone (by appointment) in order to see if we are a good fit for each other. I work in person in my office near Waterford city, Ireland, over the phone and online by skype, facetime etc. My costs are very reasonable. I also offer a sliding fee scale for those in difficult financial situations, please feel free to contact me about this.
I believe one of the main ways we heal, is by feeling our emotions and the resulting sensations in our bodies, particularly the ones that we may consider 'negative'. Unfelt feelings and physical sensations, or unexperienced experience, are fundamentally what maintain our hurts.
Until we feel safe enough, we'll try and avoid pain which works really well short term, but not in the long term as we well know because of the issues that bring us to therapy. It is crucially important therefore that therapy include the body in its processes, as our body is where we feel our emotions and physical sensations. If we are not in our bodies, we cannot fully release the stress they hold.
I am fascinated by how trauma and dissociation are inherently linked. It is why Irish psychiatrist, Ivor Browne, calls trauma: unexperienced experience with dissociation being the mechanism that keeps our experiences unexperienced. I firmly believe that the notion of trauma should be normalised. Every single one of us has been hurt at some time in our life, and, as a result of not feeling our wounds, we carry unresolved traumatic stress that shows up in various ways.
I believe being able to tolerate difficult emotions and physical sensations is essential to healing from trauma. When we find it too difficult and unsafe to stay with our pain, we leave our body, or dissociate; what Tara Brach humourously calls leaving the premises. We need to learn how to stay in our body to heal and not dissociate in the many different ways we all 'check out', and for that to happen, safety is essential. We can't talk ourselves into feeling safe, we either feel safe or we don't. Our bodies are our litmus test in that respect, they can't and won't lie.
If we're not in our body, and many of us are 'leaving' our bodies over and over again because what they contain is too overwhelming, we can't listen to their messages and release the stress they hold for us. So, stress builds up and up and up, until our barrels become full and begin overflowing with symptoms. Symptoms are usually our first sign that something is amiss. They are the bread crumb trail that lead us to the root cause(s). There are some good questions we can ask so we get some clarity about what's really going on with us.
The most priceless skill we can learn is how to regulate our autonomic nervous systems so we can tap into our ability to relax and feel comfortable in our own skins. I believe a dysregulated nervous system, stemming from unresolved traumatic stress, is the number one health issue in our world today.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of emotions, the work of Karla McLaren is truly exceptional, I recommend that all of my clients get her book, The Language of Emotions: What your feelings are trying to tell you. Another book I highly recommend on the importance of the body in healing trauma is In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter Levine, his work has been invaluable to me both personally and professionally.