My core training in body orientated relational psychotherapy brings an understanding of how emotional life is rooted in the body; our sense of self emerges from embodied, relational experiences during our early life, and at the same time we learn how to protect ourselves against uncomfortable experiences through holding tension (often unconsciously).

Chiron, the symbol of the wounded healer was at the heart of my training and of my practice; it is through the exploration and understanding of our vulnerabilities that we become more fully alive and compassionate. We have all learnt to accommodate our needs; to fit in, in order to be feel loved and accepted but this may have necessitated too much constriction or a need to repress or suppress parts of ourselves that remain outlawed. I strive to support and accompany my clients in accommodating 'shadow' feelings or parts of oneself that may be repressed or split off (and possibly projected onto others). In this process I make myself available, to resonate and respond as another embodied person.

Recent developments in neuroscience and medicine confirm that the body has an integral part to play in our psychological and emotional development and wellbeing. Bringing awareness to the body in therapy and incorporating body orientated approaches, supports an integrated and deep process of change.

We know that emotional pain, distress and trauma is often experienced through the body; chronic tensions, experiences of anxiety, depression, medically unexplained symptoms, compulsive behaviours, eating disorders or body image problems are symptomatic of emotional conflict, yet can also be hard to make sense of or overcome, particularly on your own. Perhaps communicating through words alone, or thinking things through does not help you connect with your feelings, or shift how you feel inside?

Each process of therapy is as unique as each client, and negotiations as to how we work (how needs are met) are part of the dynamic of working together. Sessions always begin sitting face to face, with some time to talk and reflect (and this will be the focus of the work for many clients. I suggest body orientated approaches as and when appropriate. I include working with body awareness, breath, mindfulness, image work, movement (either subtle or more active and expressive)and, with your agreement, hands-on contact(through clothing). All of which can provide a means to deepen your connection to yourself and allow a wordless exploration in which understanding emerges over time.

If you would like to find out more about Integrative Body Psychotherapy please look at www.body-psychotherapy.org.uk/