Hi, I’m Rachel. I hold an MSc in Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Strathclyde. I’m a recognised Focusing-Oriented Therapist and Focusing Trainer by the Focusing Institute. I work with individuals, couples and families in a trauma-informed, relational way at Family Action in Auckland and in-person and online in Private Practice. I see adults and adolescents and children. I work to help my clients build better relationships with themselves and each other, using Nonviolent principles, Neuroscience and Attachment theories and the felt sense. Most recently I am training to become recognised by Brainspotting International using the optic nerve’s connection to the subcortical region to help my clients heal swiftly from trauma.
Focusing can be used by clients who feel stuck, stressed and overwhelmed to find just a little more space, it is useful in helping to make decisions or ways to move forward with blocked projects. Focusing helps us listen to our small voices which typically get overlooked or even stop speaking because of traumatic events. It is very helpful for brain-body conditions, fatigue, pain, addictive and obsessive behaviour. Focusing offers beautiful ways to find a new way of interacting with self-critical voices and dreams, even very hostile ones. Going at the clients’ pace and creating the right distance makes Focusing an effective but safe process that most people can learn with surprising ease even if they have never listened to their bodies before.
Here is a link to a demo by Gene Gendlin, with my teacher Lynn Preston in the background showing a client exploring with their felt sense. Of course every session looks different, but if you’ve experienced traditional ‘talk therapy’ you will get a sense of the difference.
I also teach focusing to other counsellors and body therapists and people who are stuck with their client work because usual talk therapy goes round in circles, ‘focusing’ helps us to ‘drop-in’ and listen to ourselves at the edge of our awareness.
My work with individuals and families is informed with my commitment to Human Rights, to the Tangata whenua here in Aotearoa, Pasifika peoples, non-binary individuals, to the land and all its creatures. With the body, we can use our healing to disrupt intergenerational and ecological trauma and our individual healing can contribute to social and planetary change as we are looking through a holistic lens. I believe I am the only person putting Focusing together with Brainspotting in New Zealand and one of a handful of practitioners offering either, these modalities have been common in Europe and North America for decades, I am very excited about hosting events to raise awareness about how we can heal from trauma and how practitioners can protect themselves from the effects of vicarious trauma.
I run the Montessori Commons website, to make the work of Montessori more accessible throughout the world and it’s Facebook page as well as the newly created Brainspotting (NZ) site and hope to build a community around that.