Aren’t we an amazing species? We are capable of the most profound love, the greatest courage, the most spectacular creativity – and the most despicable greed, toxic hatred and cold indifference in the face of our fellows’ suffering.
What makes the difference? And given who and what we are now, how can we cultivate those qualities we aspire to, and transform – or at least mitigate – our failings? How can we stop adding to the burden of our own human suffering, and further the process of healing, both within us, and between us?
These questions have fascinated me for fifty years, during which time I’ve been blessed with a great many wonderful teachers.
My work with clients draws from many sources. The most important among them are:
- Hakomi: The first mindfulness-based psychotherapy, Hakomi has been described as “Applied Buddhism”. The method is very gentle, and very powerful, employing mindfulness to explore beliefs and habits we may hold without being consciously aware of them. These beliefs and habits manifest as automatic ways in which we perceive and interact with our world. By using present-moment experience as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious, we can begin to observe how we have organised our lives around these ways of being.
Bringing these beliefs and habits into consciousness, we begin to have more choice about whether, and when, and how, we want to continue those ways of being. We can expand our repertoire of experience, and begin to engage with our lives, and with the life around us, in ways that are more deeply satisfying.
Internal Family Systems: A therapeutic approach that works with the “parts” of ourselves as interrelated sub-personalities, allowing healing of old emotional wounds and trauma, and making more available the gifts of those parts.
Process-Oriented Psychology: An approach that appreciates symptoms and disturbances not as pathologies to be transcended or somehow got rid of, but as expressions of the very thing we need for our further growth, happiness, or enlightenment.
Last, but in no way least, Zen: Zen, like all branches of Buddhism, emphasises insight into the interconnected nature of all things, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life.
I see clients on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in East Grinstead. I am part of the faculty of the London Hakomi training, and from time to time offer other training classes.
I also host a fortnightly Zen practice group, The Sussex Sangha.