I work in a way that supports and helps people to resource themselves, encouraging self-determination and a sense of empowerment. I offer a place for you to explore your behaviours without judgement. I like to focus on what pulls you into the addictive pattern, for example by noticing the feelings that keep you locked into the behaviour. Through honest, open conversation and working with the relationship between us, I can help you to explore your experience and the underlying meaning of your addictive behaviour.
I see addictive behaviours as coping strategies for dealing with life, and as the avoidance of awkward emotions in a search for greater meaning and connection. I understand how certain feelings can trigger what feels like an automatic response to get drunk or high, to numb or escape those uncomfortable feelings. Rather than focusing on fixing the problem I like to look at what is going on underneath the behaviour. I prefer to focus on the underlying experiences or trauma that may have created the need for a coping mechanism in the first place.
I don’t believe in labelling or dictating to my clients how to solve their addictive patterns and I only believe in the value of abstinence when it is directed by the client. I help you to understand your needs and what it is that you are craving, whether it be connection, expression, excitement, comfort or something else, and this gives room for you to discover new alternatives.
As a Gestalt Psychotherapist, I trust that deep down you have the capacity to know what is good for you and will find a balance between internal and external needs, in spite of the tension that can arise between the two. I believe that owning responsibility (and letting go of that which is not your responsibility) can lead to change, new outcomes and personal growth.