I am a Somatic Experiencing trauma therapist based in Glastonbury, Somerset as well as an experienced mental health professional with a long career in public mental health services. I have specialised in understanding trauma and helping people recover from the effects of trauma for over fifteen years.
I see trauma treatment as requiring a broad set of skills, both somatic (body focused) and psychological. Hence I bring my training in the Somatic Experiencing trauma therapy approach and combine this with Psychodynamic skills and theory. Additionally, I include elements from the contemporary Cognitive Behavioural tradition which includes a clearly structured approach to emotion regulation and mindfulness.
Since qualifying as a mental health nurse in 1992, I have always pursued the learning of psychotherapy skills and understanding. Being never convinced by the medical model of mental and emotional distress, I was naturally drawn to the trauma field in order to understand better the difficulties that all human beings are prone to.
I was fortunate that within the NHS, I was able to train in a number of therapeutic approaches including Psychodynamic Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. I was supported and supervised to offer both individual and group therapy in these forms.
I see trauma treatment as requiring a broad set of skills, both somatic (body focused) and psychological.
Alongside this, I discovered the somatic trauma treatment field led by such luminaries as Peter Levine, Pat Ogden and Bessel Van Der Kolk. With my own background in Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Shiatsu, I felt naturally drawn to these more body focused approaches because they put the bodily nervous system and its instinctive wisdom at the very centre of trauma treatment. I qualified in Somatic Experiencing (SE) Trauma Therapy in 2014 and I followed this by assisting with another full SE training over a three year period in order to ensure I deeply understood the SE theory and method.
In the last decade I specialised in working with people with diagnoses of Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex PTSD as well as dissociative problems. I had a lead role in my NHS locality promoting psychological and relational work with this client group. As well as individual and group therapy, I supervised staff in their own therapeutic work and delivered ‘Relational Recovery’ training to mental health staff.
Over recent years I have developed my trauma therapy approach both in the NHS and in private practice. I continue to explore the meeting points of the somatic and psychological therapies in meeting the complex needs of trauma survivors. I enjoy offering both the naturalistic Somatic Experiencing approach and a longer term relationally focused approach that incorporates Somatic Experiencing alongside other therapy models. In this way I aim to work with the many levels of difficulty that someone may bring to therapy.
As a somatic trauma therapist I continue to be committed to my own learning and development. To this end I have ongoing clinical supervision with a highly experienced psychoanalytic and somatically trained psychotherapist. Additionally I continue to train in therapeutic skills including, most recently, Mentalisation Based Treatment.