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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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2024 CSA (Anon.)

"Intensive EMDR presents a compelling option to potentially accelerate the path to recovery.  My personal experience, with significant progress achieved in just a three-day program, suggests its effectiveness.  The flexibility of online or offline sessions (assessment and follow-up sessions available online, with the retreat in person in Somerset) makes intensive EMDR even more accessible.  For those seeking a faster and potentially more impactful treatment path, intensive EMDR is definitely worth considering." 

2023 CSA/Somatic symptoms (Anon.)

“Last September I went on an intensive EMDR retreat over the course of three days for complex trauma.  Initially I was very apprehensive.  I had no experience of EMDR, and I wasn't sure if I truly wanted to face years of suppressed trauma.  I also struggle with ADHD symptoms, so I wasn't sure if I'd be able to concentrate for the amount of time required.

Instead, intensive EMDR was the breakthrough that I didn't know I needed. Beverley was very patient and gentle with me. We went at a pace that was right for me, which included regular breaks, so I could concentrate and focus the whole time and I found the weekend flew by!   

Intensive EMDR was the starting point for me in facing years of trauma, that resulted in debilitating health issues. Through the retreat, Beverley knew I was a Christian, and allowed me to bring God into the memories and pain that resurfaced. Through it, I started finding healing. Not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually too. I found God was there even in my brokenness, and that I am loved.

Intensive EMDR was a good starting point for me, to allow time and space for me to open a door that I'd shut for so many years. I then have continued with EMDR weekly since, which is allowing me to walk into the healing God has promised me. For nearly a decade I have struggled with chronic pain and severe fatigue. Since intensive EMDR, I went from being in a wheelchair, to crutches, to now being able to walk again. I was also previously diagnosed with severe asthma, and told Id be on high dose prednisolone for life. Now, my breathing is far more controlled. I'm in hospital less with asthma attacks, and am now on a low prednisolone maintenance dose, with the possibility of further reducing my asthma medication over the coming months. To my surprise, I found many of symptoms diagnosed as physical illnesses, were in fact body memories and trauma related. Each day I'm finding freedom and healing.  

Beverley has a really compassionate approach, that has allowed me to face pain without feeling judged or condemned. I struggle to trust people, but I found Beverley quickly became someone I could trust, and who hasn't given up on me. I would highly recommend intensive EMDR as a starting point for anyone considering EMDR. It isn't a quick fix for severe complex trauma, but it took me much further than I could have done with weekly EMDR. For me, it's been an amazing and life-changing opportunity to start walking in freedom and healing.”

2022 BDD (Anon.)

"I spent a weekend at Beverley's intensive EMDR retreat in 2022. I was very nervous about going and doing intensive therapy beforehand but Beverley was so helpful, talked me through what to expect and helped me find accommodation in a really calming and relaxing environment within walking distance of the resort. The retreat itself could not be any more relaxing, in a quiet and picturesque village in the countryside, surrounded by fields and farms, and Beverley made every effort to welcome me and put me at ease.

I had done some weekly on-line EMDR beforehand and found that the EMDR retreat was much more intense: in terms of the amount of time spent doing it - essentially three full days with breaks and lunch, it was the equivalent of about 2 months worth of sessions remotely packed into 2 days. I think this made it more effective and it led to a fairly significant breakthrough during the weekend. I also found it was very effective and helpful being in the room with the therapist and also being able to use the full range of EMDR equipment which you don't have access to remotely.

Although it was draining, I found that doing intensive EMDR really moved me on in my recovery. Not only that, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, in some fantastic accommodation with plenty of lovely pubs and walks around and the warmth of Beverley's hospitality. Thank you for having me."

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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