Katie Watson MA Holistic Psychotherapy and Counselling
in Brighton and Hove

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My therapeutic approach

The way I work has evolved from the many diverse therapies I have studied and qualified in over the years. My work with people typically involves some or all of the following approaches:

Working with resources
Resourcing is a major aspect of my approach developed from my experience of working with trauma. Resources are things that have meaning for us, which we can connect to at difficult times. When we can draw on resources we have the ability to steady ourselves in the midst of overwhelm; a process known as self-regulation, or ‘grounding’. This can create agency and resilience amid the turbulence of difficult thoughts, emotions, and circumstances.

Working with the body
For some people talking alone isn’t enough. Therapeutic change, rather than being something abstract and analytic, tends to be a here-and-now, embodied and felt experience. The body is a profound, present-moment resource. What form this takes depends on the individual and issue.

For example it may mean that we focus on any tension you feel or a gesture you make when you are talking; the body is always trying to communicate. It may mean that we explore further by tuning into the subtleties of recurring symptoms, impulses, or sensations. It may mean that we work with you lying down fully clothed on a therapeutic couch, which can help you become more embodied and less analytical. This also gives us the opportunity to work more directly with a healing-oriented approach, if this is something you are drawn to. However we choose to work, when we include with body and the mind together, as a partnership, profound shifts can occur.

Working with imagery
The imagination is a powerful tool in therapy. Research supports its function as a bridge between conscious and unconscious states, linking different parts of the brain, aiding the processing of difficult material (imagery is a touchstone of most trauma therapies, for instance). One reason imagery is so potent is because imagining something happening can cause the nervous system to respond as if the imagined is reality. The body does not discriminate between the real and the imagined; one reason why stress is so debilitating.

Of course the reverse applies: imagination can be consciously harnessed for transformation and change. When I worked regularly with trauma, imagery was a reliable and empowering resource which enabled clients to stabilise, then process and integrate the traumatic event(s). This helped them to return to their jobs and continue with day-to-day life without the debilitating, intrusive symptoms that are so characteristic of trauma and PTSD.

Working with parts
We are all made up of different and usually conflicting parts or 'self-states' which operate in and out of our consciousness. When we find ourselves in familiar yet limiting patterns of belief, relationships or circumstances, there is usually an inner conflict occurring. There are many ways of working with this; how the conflict is experienced in the body for instance, or exploring it further through imagery and process work. Inner child work is a particularly effective means of integration; this was a cornerstone of my regression therapy training and is a gentle yet powerful way to resolve conflicting self-states at the core.

Working with compassion
The greatest obstacle to healing and change is often the way we relate to ourselves. Developing self-compassion is not an easy thing to do when faced with subtle and unconscious ways we can undermine, negate, or sabotage ourselves. In practice, developing compassion can be challenging and often requires radical changes to how we interpret our reality and manage our relationships.

If you are interested in working with me read more about how to arrange a session.

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