Would you like someone to travel beside you as you take some time out to get a fresh perspective on life? Would you like to learn about relationships, develop self esteem & emotional awareness or release deeply painful memories and emotions that have been there for what seems like forever?! I've found this work to be deeply healing and transformative and I'd love to share it with you. What originally drew me to this way of being supported, was the feeling of being deeply understood. Hakomi people just seemed to get me in a way that meant something deep inside rested and said 'yes, that's it!'. What a relief.
Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Path and Possibility
I want to give you a brief overview of this work and what this approach is based on. There have been lots of courses and trainings over the years but it turns out nothing is as potent and healing as mindfulness. And what makes it even more potent is when we sit together with someone else who is aligned with our intentions and wanting the best for you. Researchers Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon, psychiatry professors at the University of California, San Francisco coined the term limbic resonance as a way of describing the way we can empathetically share deep emotional states with another. It can also be termedloving presence (Metta or Compassion in Buddhist practice) which is how it is used in this way of assisted self-discovery.
Loving presence is how we do therapy (and ideally life!) and not the only aspect of what makes for deep change, but it's one of the core foundations. You might be saying now.... "yeah but... I didn't get enough (or any) in my childhood. How can I hope to change that?". The sub-text being I'm fatally flawed. The answer is absolutely this can change because I know it from my own experience.
The thing is understanding that love comes in many forms.... there's simple kindness or supporting love, encouragement, friendliness, being responsive to others needs, love that sets boundaries and limits and might get angry and make a stand for goodness, love that points towards prosperity, love that lifts you out of pain and suffering, love that protects you from harm or love that opens the doors of our perception to possibilities we hadn't considered.
This therapy is about possibility
Let's be clear here, this is not about leading you into dark spaces inside and leaving you there without the skill the deal with it. That is abusive and that's not what this is about. Healthy change happens by inclining our mind and heart towards where we want to head in life (some call this purpose) and how we want to live our life. As we get clearer about what we want and what we love to do and how we would love to be in life, what gets in the way of this also becomes clearer. One of the next steps is to get curious about what we may need to learn or let go of for this to happen. It's a theme of continually tweaking our approach, rather than having to make major changes. With emotional healing, moving slow can be moving fast. Why? Read on...
The Middle Way
Let's begin with trauma... There's a couple of ways that trauma happens. There can be invasive trauma like sexual or physical abuse or there can be the abuse of neglect. Emotional neglect. Whatever you suffer from, it will call for a unique response to help you heal from that and learn the skills to be free from it. Here we are working with two broad themes...
Self-Esteem and Boundaries.
Self-Esteem - Trauma can be disempowering or shaming, where we may have been pushed or told to believe we are less than others (victim) or at the other end of the spectrum, falsely empowering where we believe we are better than others. Grandiosity. Boundaries - Our boundaries can have the extremes of being too open, where we let too much in or out, or they can be too closed where nothing comes in or goes out.
So the middle way is letting go of the extremes of less than or greater than others.... Am I too open or too closed? Am I putting myself above others or placing myself below them? Either way, we re-learn how to be in relationship with friends, partners, family, work colleagues etc.
Is something not feeling right?
you might say that something inside of us is looking for something that we don't have or we don't have enough of. For instance, feeling worthy. It can seem as if worthiness is missing altogether or it's a random experience that teases us with its elusiveness. In this situation I feel enough and in this one I feel shame and embarrassment. And wouldn't it be great if it was as easy as going to buy a new/replacement something on Amazon. But the trouble is that maybe 1. We don't know what it is that we're missing or need. 2. Even if we know what the problem is, it can seem incredibly hard to experience the thing we want. For example we may know people who have a natural self-esteem & worth who go about their lives with confidence and clarity, but we are filled with doubt and indecision. They make it look so easy.
Here's one brief example of a missing experience
Sometimes because of something that happened in our past, there may be a part of us that doubts if we are loveable. Painful things, maybe traumatic things may have happened to us and not really knowing how it happened, we have given those experiences a meaning. We may feel or reason that because we were treated badly, we were treated like that because we are not loveable or there is something wrong with us. If this happened when we were a child, we may not have received the reassurance that bad things can happen to us, but that doesn't mean we're not loveable. So in our sub-conscious, there may be a memory which co-exists with a feeling (in this case a bad unpleasant feeling) and thoughts which we take to mean "I'm not loveable", "no one loves me" or "there's something wrong with me". Remembering here this is an example.
Continuing on from the example above .... because this experience of not feeling loved feels at best uncomfortable and at worst undermining for our confidence, we develop ways to manage the feeling. Some messages we might get about this from well meaning care-givers or others might be
get over it. Just get on with it
stop your crying
pretend it's not happening - "I'm ok"
None of these tend to work ... usually they heighten our anxiousness and sense of insecurity. All this contributes to a sense that we shouldn't be feeling what we're feeling and so we hide it and begin a life of pretence. The hiding is the shame.
Working with painful memories is not about fixing what happened in the past. We can't change the past. But we can, with the help of someone who understands the process, turn towards the way that we experience challenges like low confidence in the present and learn new helpful ways to engage with life. Using the above example again... healing may be learning (actually remembering) how to give and receive love, kindness, encouragement and support in the present moment. In opening to support as it is here now, we're rewiring (as in neuroplasticity) our being to allow ourselves to be nourished and supported when it's there in a healthy way.
Letting in love might be a first step for some. Keeping out harm might be a first step for others.
In learning healthy boundaries, we're learning the skill of not being locked in being open all the time (boundary-less or too open), but we're also not locked into being closed all the time (walled off boundaries too closed). Love may not be here from others 24 hours a day, but at least when it is here, let's enjoy it and open to it because it brings joy to life ... and when harmful things or people are there, let's keep their impact on us to minimum.
As you read this, there may be a part of you going "Yeah but, what about .... ". I want to let that part of you know that yes, there's a lot more to this and you'll have your own unique inner world and experiences. You can't read about this and experience a deep transformation, you have to be in it, exploring your present moment experience to uncover the things that hold you back.
Neuroscience shows us that we are all capable of change at any stage of life. Gratitude, appreciation and kindness all play a vital role and are also skills that we share together on the path. This is a very simplified way of explaining how change can happen. My role as a therapist is to listen to you, clarify what I've heard and open new possibilities for ways you might get what you're after. Maybe these are things that you've not considered or that have seemed out of reach and the path to them unknown.
What makes change easier is when it's not suggested from outside (the therapist or well meaning friends), but is a connection to something inside that we know is true. There's a unique understanding that you have about this and it has a potency for your life, that no-one else can know or experience. So together, we tune into that and let that guide you. Along with the pain, confusion or difficulty, there's also something else inside calling out that wants to emerge and be free.
There is a part of us that somehow knows and is always moving towards some sort of happiness, peace, wholeness, vitality, clarity, confidence. This part of you knows that there's something more to life and it keeps looking regardless of how bad things can seem to be. This part of you also knows the deeply satisfying "yes!" that comes when you touch on it.
This elusive "something else" is what we get clearer about and what we move towards in our sessions. This part of your being is deeply nourishing, satisfying, fulfilling, resilient, strong, loving, connected, open to support and being encouraged. Connecting with these qualities of life brings us in tune with a natural inclusion and belonging, a sense of purpose and a natural knowing of what is most important to us. This knowing leads to a huge reduction in the ways we create harm and suffering for ourselves and an equally vital increase in the ways we know what nourishes our deepest being.
There's a great teaching story in Buddhist mythology. The Buddha as a young man on his path, had been meditating in a very strict and highly concentrated way which included ways to gain control over the mind by fasting. The story goes like this.... he said that in the midst of doing these practices he was so thin that when he ate a few grains of rice, he could feel their outline in his belly. Well no surprises, eventually he collapsed from this effort and harshness and something in him let go. As he sat there exhausted and defeated, a memory came from childhood of a time when he was naturally happy sitting under a tree where he grew up. This caused him to change his approach and allow nourishment, care, kindness and love to guide his efforts.
What I take from this is that there's no need for huge effort to change ourselves based on an idea that there's something wrong with us that needs to change. There's an alternative which is to spend some time with someone who can help us be clear on
Learn how these qualities affect us and importantly, how can we develop these in a natural way that isn't forced.
How habits might we be blocking my light from shining?
What is trust and what is trustable.
How can I recognise these qualities so that I experience them more often
As we explore, there's a natural part of you that begins to see clearly where you want to head, what you want to do and who you like to hang out with and at some point your heart leads the way. I want to emphasise here, we're not looking for a perfect scenario or ending. It's not always going to be perfect because life is not like that.... but it becomes clearer how to be with imperfection and how to hold disappointment and grief with care and respect.
If we look closely at our efforts to be happy and fulfilled in life, we might just begin to see that there's always a good intention at the heart of what we do. Taking the pressure off being perfect, we may allow the delight and nourishment that comes from kindly reflecting on our efforts.
The aim of this way, as the young meditating Buddha-to-be found out, is about engaging in life in a way that feels increasingly satisfying, fulfilling and nourishing (fill in your own words here). It's a gradual path. Stephen Levine wrote a book called A Gradual Awakening which summarised this beautifully. By putting the focus on to the qualities of life that nourish us, something happens that allows a natural blooming.
Interested to read more about the theory and origins of Hakomi?
Hakomi Education Network is a growing International group of therapists, trainers and people interested in the work of Ron Kurtz. The work is super helpful for anyone... you don't need to be a therapist or be in therapy to enjoy its benefits. It's about a basic goodness in life that's deeply supporting and life affirming.
Interested but want to know more?
Starting therapy can feel a bit daunting. There's nothing worse than going to someone and feeling like that was a big waste of time and money! I get it. We want to know first and then do... but without doing something, you'll never know what it's really like... So here's a couple of ways I'd like to support you in coming to a decision that is right for you.
You can call me anytime to ask questions, to suss me out and get a sense of what this is about. Call 0412 018962. If I don't answer, leave a message letting me know when it is a good time to call you back.
Calling may be an important step in clarifying what you need. Just by talking to me, it may eliminate me from your list of who you'd like to work with! It's important that it's a fit for me as well. I'll be sure to recommend one of my friends if they might be better suited to work with you.
Listen to your heart, your intuition. This is a quieter voice than the one that might be anxious or untrusting.
How to begin?
First, have a good think about if this is for you. If you feel sure
you're ready to change the patterns of the past that have been holding you back
you're willing to commit to honestly looking at yourself
you're open to freeing up your goodness, love, humour, natural strength and clarity!
then call anytime as I'd love to work with you. Enquire or book a session on 0412 018962, international callers +61 412 018962. No text messages please.
Or email:Click here to email if you are overseas. It's super helpful if you include dates/times for when you are available.
All sessions are held within the safety of complete confidentiality.
How to meet up for Sessions?
There are a number of ways we can meet and each one has its own benefits.
Therapy at home or wherever you are
This way of meeting up and getting support might be best for you if you find your life is quite busy or if distance makes in-person sessions impossible. There's nothing like meeting up face to face but it can be really nice just to sit in the comfort of your own place and have a session. I work with people all over the world and find it really effective. I receive my mentoring and supervision via internet sessions and high recommend it.
Sessions can be held from the early morning through to the evening.
These sessions are very effective and can be arranged anytime, all you need is a computer and good internet connection.
How does it happen?
Zoom is my preferred application for video meetings and I find it consistently reliable. I don't use Skype anymore because of ongoing problems with upgrades, connections and dropouts.
Download Zoom: from https://zoom.us/download You can sign up for free and they don't spam you hard. Once we've organised a meeting time, I'll explain how it happens. It's a little different to Skype but great once you are used to it.
In these sessions, we tune in to the resources and allies the natural environment holds for us and use them to support our healing and freedom from the past. There's something magical about being in nature that is deeply and naturally healing.
I'm happy to talk about this anytime. It's one of my favourite things to do.
$120 AUD per hour
please note the first session is $145 and 1.5 hours.
$180 for 1.5 hours
$210 for 2 hours
$190 if held at my regular sites. Travel time can be negotiated if we do it elsewhere.
Please note: Eco-therapy sessions are usually preceded by at least 3 sessions in my clinic, possibly more. Before heading outdoors, we need to form a therapy relationship and to have mutual agreements in place about how to do sessions outdoors. It's important to set it up well so that safety, care and support are well considered. Going slow, is going fast.
In Person: Payment can be made by Credit card* or Cash.
Internet sessions: Payment is accepted with Credit Card* or via PayPal.
NB. If using PayPal, it's expected that the amount I receive is the session charge and that the client pays for any surcharges PayPal adds on any transfer.