We are not broken, just stuck. Sometimes the way we cope with emotional wounds, anxieties, and fears may in fact be detrimental to us, leaving us trapped by the same patterns in life. I depart from an attachment and trauma-informed, strength-based perspective and place an emphasis on emotional regulation, experiential integration, and behavioural change.
We hold within us an internal working model which represents the external world. This model guides us in our understanding of self and others, and informs the way we process information and make decisions. We develop this representational model from the moment we are born. While consistent throughout the lifespan, this internal working model is fundamentally malleable. Perhaps you have a strong feeling that you are unworthy, that others will inevitably abandon you, your needs will never be met, or others cannot be trusted. Perhaps you even know this to be logically untrue, but cannot help experiencing this to be emotionally true. This is the result of developing an internal working model at a young age which then shapes your experience of the world.
In therapy, we uncover the unconscious and self-perpetuating internal working model and bring it to light. Once we gain understanding of how the model works, we can start to make space for change: think of it as updating an outdated program. We train the mind to be more flexible in processing information so we can stop reinforcing the old patterns of how we relate to self and others. Through the safety created in the therapeutic relationship, we unpack traumas from the past, learn to integrate our experiences so they are more congruent and containable, and find ways to reconnect with ourselves and others in a fulfilling way.
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