My approach is rooted in a biopsychosocial model which argues that our health is determined by a complex interplay of biological, psychological and social factors. My studies and research alerted me to a dissonance between mind and body, calling for a contextualised approach to helping people. Neuroscientific research provides unequivocal proof that human brains develop and mature in conjunction with their social environment. It is perplexing that Western medicine, in the wake of this burgeoning volume of evidence, still seeks to separate the mind from the body, and the individual from its environment. The data, in stark contrast to the assumptions of the biomedical model, highlight the interconnected and social nature of human existence, and our scientifically proven need for attachment relationships.
During my cross modality training I learnt how to blend skills and ideas from philosophy, attachment theory, neuroscience, and trauma and body psychotherapy. The process of honing my craft has been facilitated by the pioneering work of a growing and very active community of world-renowned health experts including neuroscientist, Stephen Porges, and trauma therapists, Peter Levine and Bessel Van der Kolk. Their ground breaking research into the autonomic nervous system has taught us that human beings are born with an innate expectation for reciprocity in terms of physiological, psychological and emotional regulation. In short, we are designed for co-regulation rather than self-regulation. The essence of my approach is thus to help you feel safe enough in your body to make the sometimes perilous but, in my experience, always healing, journey back to your natural, authentic self. In this sense my approach is an experiential, rather than an intellectual exercise.
Other key influences include retired physician, Dr Gabor Mate, who similarly concludes that healing requires a reconnection to the client's internal world and that, since healing also requires the presence of a caring other, the process is necessarily a relational one. Equally necessary, as boldly highlighted by Belgium psychotherapist Esther Perel, is an understanding of the dangers of seeking absolute certainty and security in adult relationships. Her deft exploration of three major tensions - between security and freedom, mystery and transparency, and trust and betrayal - offers indispensable insights into the paradoxical nature of healthy adult relationships in the modern world.
Over the years I have also been drawn to spiritual gurus such as author, Eckhart Toller, and Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, whose teachings focus on the art of living in the present moment. Spiritual practices such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation teach us how to feel more present with, and connected to, our bodies. These ancient traditions overlap in a very helpful and functional way with the more modern traditions of neuroscience and trauma psychotherapy. I have found them immensely helpful, both professionally and personally.