I work with persons who present with phase of life challenges, grief, loss, relationship, anxiety, sexuality, depression, compulsions, addictions, trauma, abuse, acculturation and spiritual or existential issues in addition to relationship and couples therapy.
Phase of life issues
Major life change can have a deep impact on your emotional wellbeing, triggering or exacerbating mental health challenges. Exploring phase of life issues is essential for self understanding while deepening insight and reclaiming internal spaces necessary for wholesomeness and wellness.
Grief and Loss
Grief is a natural response to loss. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship, pregnancy, pet, job or way of life. Other experiences of loss may be due to children leaving home, infertility and separation from friends and family. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be. Loss always happens in a life context and as such must be framed within a that context to claim and own it as opposed to it claiming and owning you.
Recurring Relationship Issues
Repetitive negative relationship issues invariably stem from behavioural patterns originating in childhood. Few manage not to bring childhood templates irrespective of quality or values into intimate adulthood relationships. The business of mature intimate relationship is to repair tomorrow what has been ruptured yesterday in childhood. In partner conflict we are attempting to recreate the historical scene whereby we were intrapsychically wounded but hoping now in this conflict to receive what we did not receive in childhood.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come in the future. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous. But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Fear has to do with the present, anxiety has to do with the future. Frequently it is associated with depression.
Sexuality is a core part of our identity. It gives expression to our sense of self. Sexuality in everyday parlance frequently refers to a person’s sexual orientation or preference. Our sexuality gives voice to who we are emotionally, mentally, existentially and physically. We may consider ourselves gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, pansexual (attracted to people regardless of their gender identity), or we may not know or be sure of who we are sexuality. For couples sexual expression in an evolving relationship which can embody rupture and disconnection or repair and deepening connection. It is an unfolding evolving energy optimized and realized in intimate partnership.
Depression is classified as a mood disorder and is characterized by a 24 7 state of heightened stress. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities. It’s also very prevalent. People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity. It can also influence negatively relationships often resulting in chronic health conditions. The same level of thinking and feeling which feeds depression will not be the same level which gets one out of it.
Compulsions or compulsive acts can be defined as repetitious, purposeful physical or mental actions that the individual feels compelled to engage in according to their own strict rules or in a stereotyped manner. Typically, the individual experiences a sense of resistance but this is overridden by the strong, subjective drive to engage the activity. Most often the principal aim behind compulsive behaviour is to generate relief (usually only temporary) from anxiety elicited by the preceding obsession.
Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.The term addiction does not only refer to dependence on substances such as heroin or cocaine. A person who cannot stop taking a particular drug or chemical has a substance dependence.
Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences. Through a guided process safety and trust are established while strengths and achievements are underscored and held in contrast to the debilitation which trauma enforces
Embodies a multitude of shapes, forms and sizes and ruptures wellness and wholeness. It can imprison persons in extreme suffering and victimhood. While it is impossible to eradicate its memory and negative history it is possible to establish distance from it and regain control of it as opposed to it controlling you.
Immigrating and living in a culture distinctly different from your country of origin can present challenges to all aspects of life including mental health. Navigating and finding a map forward can be complex particularly if one’s wellness is compromised. Loss becomes more pronounced and can trigger earlier experiences of loss.
We are compelled to make meaning and when we fail to do so we experience crisis and become out of sync with our deepest selves. When the truth of what we believe is at odds with our experience of reality we rapidly lose contact with wellness while our ability to function healthily is compromised. Often we need through a therapeutic relationship to locate the core of what it is we believe in and in turn become deliberate with our narrative.