I work with acute and chronic pain and discomfort, both physical and psychological, including that which arises with anxiety, depression, PTSD and developmental trauma and during pregnancy.
We experience everything, including what’s going on in our minds, through our bodies. These experiences can leave their traces in the form of physical and mental patterns or behaviours that, while useful at the time, may not always help us in the long-term. With Yoga, the Trager® Approach and Somatic Experiencing as the foundations of my work, I help my clients develop conversations with their bodies that give them more choice about how they might engage with and respond to the world around them.
Each of the three approaches I use works with a person’s disrupted nervous system. Doing this helps with all sorts of suffering, whether it is experienced mentally or physically.
Yoga, Trager® Approach and Somatic Experiencing
Using Postural Yoga
With postural Yoga we get the mats out and explore floor-based (or sometimes chair-based) physical movements and traditional Yoga forms together. With our breath as our guide, we work towards a balance between strength and fluidity, stability and flexibility. I encourage you, the client, to build up a home practice to help integrate and deepen the work.
Using the Trager® Approach
The Trager Approach brings a focussed quality of attention to gentle movements that are both active and received passively through hands-on work. Through compressions, elongations, weighing and gentle movements, unconscious patterns come into conscious awareness and the body finds its way to release, groundedness and connection.
Using Somatic Experiencing
In Somatic Experiencing we also bring close attention to physical sensations. When we can safely allow these sensations to move through us, and allow for our nervous systems to discharge and integrate the process, it becomes possible to tolerate even difficult feelings. Then we can move beyond the habitual patterns of action and reaction that are causing us pain or unhappiness.
Combining the three approaches
What is common to every session with me, whether the focus is postural Yoga, the Trager Approach or Somatic Experiencing, is that together we bring our attention to the feelings, sensations and images that arise in your body. Slowly and safely, states of overwhelm or freeze release, allowing the innate inclination of every living system towards restoration and resilience to make itself felt. Old patterns of holding and reactivity, with their associated discomforts and behaviours, can then let go, leaving room for a newfound aliveness and receptivity to the world.
Another aspect common to every session is the joyous recognition that in every living system there is more that is functional than dysfunctional. We are working with how we’ve survived rather than how we are broken.
I invite you to let me know if you have a preference for one of the three approaches, or we can mix and match, and together explore what works best for you. For Yoga and Trager loose clothes are usually more comfortable than tight or formal clothes.
Areas I work with:
- Stress and associated symptoms
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Chronic pain ranging from stiffness to debilitating musculo-skeletal pain
- Phobias and other avoidance behaviours and patterns
- PTSD, Complex PTSD and Developmental Trauma
- Syndromes including fibromyalgia, migraines and IBS
I had been teaching an individualised, Scaravelli-inspired style of Yoga for ten years, was training to be a Trager practitioner, and raising my young family in Downtown Cairo when the Arab Spring of 2011 rose up on my doorstep.
By 2012 I was suffering from physical symptoms which I addressed through a combination of trauma-informed body-based work and psychotherapy. As the revolution ebbed and flowed around me and my young family, I set about learning how to use my new-found understanding of trauma and the body to help others, initially through my skills as a Yoga teacher and Trager practitioner, more recently adding Somatic Experiencing to my tool-box.
I have worked with individuals of all ages, in groups and one-to-one, both long-term, short-term and in one-off workshops since 2001. From 2015 -2019 I also taught weekly trauma-informed Yoga and movement awareness classes to adolescents at the Banati Foundation, a residence for street children, while running a private practice. In 2019 I returned to London, my home town.
I work in English, Egyptian Arabic and have a comfortable working knowledge of French.
“Am I suffering from trauma?”
It took the excitement, fear and drama of the Egyptian uprising of 2011-13 for me to recognise that the coping strategies my body and mind had developed for managing stress were not always working in my best interests. It was at least a year before I learned to recognise the physical symptoms I was suffering from as ‘trauma’.
In many ways the label was irrelevant, except that it helped me find the therapy that worked for me, and to develop a more effectively therapeutic way of working with clients and students. But we don’t have to have gone through ‘trauma’, to benefit from developing a more articulate and coherent relationship with our bodies; how they hold and process our experiences and how we might have more choice about that.
- Yoga teacher training with Mary Stewart, London 1999-2001
- Registered Senior Yoga Teacher with AIYP and IYA
- Licenced Trager® Practitioner, Cairo, 2013, Registered with Trager® UK and Trager® Egypt
- Principles of Yoga Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff, USA, 2013-14
- Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Training 40-hour intensive with David Emerson and Jen Turner, USA, 2014
- Yoga Therapy and Mindfulness for PTSD 40-hour intensive with Heather Mason, London, 2015
- One Year Foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy, Counselling and Coaching from the New School of Psychotherapy and Coaching, London, 2017
- SE Advanced Trainee Practitioner, Edinburgh, 2017-2020
Before becoming fascinated with the stories our bodies tell, I worked in the London publishing industry as a literary editor and project manager.
You can either call or email me. I’m happy to talk on the telephone about any concerns or questions you may have about the process.
£60 for 55 mins
£90 for 75 mins (when the table-work aspect of Trager® is used)