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About

About Me

I'm a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and Europe Accredited EMDR Practitioner.  I specialise in working with people wanting help with overcoming the symptoms of complex PTSD, DID, BDD and chronic pain conditions, as well as a wide range of other mental health problems.  I have found that often the best way to treat these issues and make progress is through intensive Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR).  I moved to Somerset in 2022 in order to offer intensive EMDR in a beautiful rural location where clients have access to an indoor swimming pool and gym during their stay.  Accommodation is within self-contained 1 and 2 bed apartments on site, which means you are independent during your stay but are near enough to return home for your own meals (or to go for a quick swim).

The benefit of working intensively is that of achieving rapid progress in a short period of time - and who doesn't want that!  Whilst EMDR, and in particularly intensive EMDR, might seem like the obvious choice for resolving life controlling issues, progress depends on your willingness to make important changes and to maintain, or continue to work towards gaining, your freedom.  Intensive EMDR is a first step, and often a first very big step, but recovery takes work and determination.

I set up the charity Still the Hunger in 2012 in order to offer a more holistic approach to therapy for clients wanting to include their Christian faith with their recovery journey.  I am passionate about working with EMDR and faith, which is always exciting, and have run webinars for other therapists on this subject.  That said, I work with all people, regardless of faith, and take enormous delight at helping clients towards getting set free and able to live healthier and happier lives. 

 

Hannah's Project operates under the banner of Still the Hunger, which you can read more about our work here: 

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Treatment


Specializing in BDD, DID, PTSD and C-PTSD

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

BDD is a powerful coping mechanism that distracts the brain from thinking about difficult experiences from the past that may have triggered the onset of BDD. Regardless of what caused the BDD originally, it is the BDD symptoms that cause significant distress in a person’s current experience and for which they seek help. Whilst we can focus on those symptoms initially, as processing continues the focus is more likely to be around the other events that may have been repressed. As a coping strategy, BDD is highly successful. Instead of focusing on the distressing events that caused the onset of symptoms, the person becomes preoccupied instead on an aspect of their body and, as a distraction, turns this into something to be feared and hated. As the obsession with the distorted perspective becomes increasingly distressing, the more the original experience(s) are pushed out of mind and ‘forgotten.’ 

EMDR enables us to work on repressed content alongside the BDD symptoms without the person becoming overly distressed. It is a gentle and safe procedure, which resolves the need for BDD as a coping strategy.

You can read more about EMDR for BDD in the chapter I wrote for the book, 'Trauma-Informed and Embodied Approaches to Body Dysmorphic Disorder' edited by Nicole Schnackenberg.

I run a free monthly BDD support group for clients currently in therapy with us at Still the Hunger.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Clients with DID will often present with the perceived experience of having been failed, not just in their childhoods and day to day adult lives, but also, sadly, by those to whom they have been referred for help.  Reflecting on the meaning of those failures, alongside the fact that trainee psychodynamic psychotherapists are not trained to recognise DID, (Sinason, 2012) led me to explore the meaning behind this.  I was interested in exploring the link between historical thinking about DID with the perceived experience of having been let down, and how this links to the question over what happened to them.  My MA research dissertation was on understanding knowing and not-knowing simultaneously in DID.

 

EMDR can be a very effective modality for helping clients deal with the overwhelming trauma and experiences behind DID in a safe way, and with helping them to come to terms with knowing their own narrative.  Acceptance of details of what happened to them is all part of beginning to establish a greater sense of self - which leads to integration and healing. 

Alongside intensive EMDR for DID, I run a weekly support group for clients with either DID, BDD, eating disorders, or C-PTSD.  I also run a free monthly support group for clients already in therapy with me who are struggling with DID and/or historical childhood sexual abuse.  This gives them an opportunity to discuss what EMDR may look like for each other.  It is really helpful to know that you're not alone on this journey. 

PTSD and C-PTSD

Over the years there have been differences of opinion over whether Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and DID are one and the same or how they overlap (Howell, 2019).  Each are seen as an outcome of relational trauma which causes dissociation. Whilst these conditions can co-exist in the same person, research over the development of ICD-11 now shows limited overlap between conditions such as BPD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and C-PTSD (Howell, 2019)’. 

I use Attachment-Informed EMDR, which is particularly helpful when working to overcome trauma.  This is a gentle and effective method for resolving trauma and rescripting experiences in a way that is empowering and life-changing.  

 

Flashbacks, whether in the form of somatic symptoms (physical body memories), or anxiety triggered by a familiar experience can be effectively dealt with using EMDR. 

 

EMDR puts an end to flashbacks and triggering for good.

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Contact
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