I’m a highly experienced trauma clinician with specialist training in trauma-focused psychotherapy approaches. With over ten years of experience at international trauma centres, human rights organisations, and charities, I have a wealth of knowledge in this area. My PhD in Psychology from California Southern University also focused on trauma recovery programs for women and children, further strengthening my expertise in this field.
Trauma can be caused by relatively common life experiences, such as bullying, bereavement, divorce, serious accidents, sudden life events, fertility challenges, miscarriages, and relationship problems. Sometimes it's simply a matter of many small events piling up at the same time, leading to a sense of overwhelm and feeling unable to cope. Often, many people are unaware of how these experiences can consciously or unconsciously impact them many years later. Many of my patients are surprised to learn that symptoms of anxiety, depression and phobias often have a basis in trauma. Fortunately, it is possible to recover from trauma, even in the most extreme circumstances.
My treatment approach begins with listening to your life story and helping you to identify traumatic memories. Through psychoeducation, I help you understand the impact of trauma on your body and mind and your relationships, work, and sense of identity. Many of the symptoms you’re experiencing are normal biological responses known as trauma reactions. I use trauma-focused psychotherapy techniques to help you process, integrate, and heal from these experiences. During therapy, I will support you in building self-awareness and teach you strategies to regain control over your thoughts and emotions. My goal is to empower you to make positive changes and restore a sense of safety, control, and hope for the future.
Some of the trauma-focused psychotherapy approaches I use include:
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR): a highly practical neuroscience approach that ‘resets the hard drive’. EMDR helps you put memories back in the right place to prevent triggering trauma responses in the body and brain.
- Narrative Exposure Therapy: helps you create a coherent narrative of your traumatic experiences. Processing the traumatic memories in this way reduces symptoms and strong emotions.
- Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT): teaches you coping strategies and cognitive techniques to address negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours associated with the trauma.
I believe so strongly that we can rewrite our narrative, and I want you to know there's a light at the end of this tunnel.
Maternal and Paternal Mental Health
I work with mothers and fathers struggling with the difficulties and challenges of parenthood, fertility, pregnancy, or traumatic childbirth. As a mother of two, I deeply understand the impact that birth can have on both the mother and father, including the potential for post-traumatic stress. Part of my clinical research focuses on improving maternal mental health and studying hormonal changes in post-natal depression.
During the first consultation, I will explore the birth history, previous trauma, relationship issues, and your support network. However, there’s no pressure to talk about anything distressing until you feel comfortable and ready to explore these topics together. For postnatal anxiety, I may recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). For postnatal depression, integrating therapy with medication can be helpful while hormone levels settle down after birth. Childbirth leads to significant biological and neurological changes in both the mother and father, so monitoring hormone levels for six months after birth can help identify any imbalances underlying mental health symptoms.
As part of my approach, I believe it’s essential to recognise the taboos around parenthood. Society places so many expectations on mothers and fathers to relish every moment, but parenthood isn’t always easy or enjoyable. Mothers and fathers often feel ashamed when they struggle, but modern families are more isolated than ever before. The lack of community and support can lead to feelings of overwhelm, anger, or experiencing loss of identity. Parenthood is a difficult journey to navigate, and I want you to know that help is available, and you shouldn’t feel any shame in seeking support.
I’m passionate about family mental health and provide relationship therapy for individuals or couples of any sexual orientation or gender identity. I regularly work with individuals who identify as LGBTQI+ or non–binary. Relationship therapy can help with problems related to communication, conflicts, trust issues, family dynamics, or anything else putting a strain on the relationship. I provide a safe, supportive and inclusive space for you to understand each other's perspectives and feelings, helping you develop new skills and strategies for addressing these problems.
Therapy can be helpful at any stage of your relationship, but I often see couples who are working through issues such as loss, divorce, infidelity, or parenting difficulties. However, therapy can also be incredibly beneficial if you simply feel like something isn’t quite right or has changed between you and your partner. Sometimes relationships can feel less fulfilling or stagnant without a clear reason why, particularly in partners who have been together for many years. In long relationships, we can go through many lifetimes with a partner, from young adulthood to parenthood and old age. If this is the case, it can be helpful to step back and ask how you want to grow and evolve together.
My approach to relationship therapy is based on the Gottman Method, which focuses on teaching couples skills and techniques for improving communication, managing conflicts, and increasing intimacy. These may include active listening, expressing needs and wants clearly, and learning how to repair and de-escalate conflicts. Typically the first session is 90 minutes and involves an individual 30-minute session with each couple, followed by a joint 30-minute session. The individual sessions are completely confidential, and I don’t disclose anything from the individual sessions during the joint session unless you ask me to. The goal of relationship therapy is to create a positive and supportive environment based on appreciation and respect for one another, while fostering friendship and intimacy.
My approach to treatment
I believe that all therapists should know what it’s like to be ‘on the other side of the desk’, and as part of my training, I had extensive therapy myself. As a result, I recognise the challenge of coming to therapy and revealing your story to someone. I consider it my life’s honour to hear and hold other people’s life stories, and I have the utmost respect for my patients and the bravery they demonstrate in sharing their challenges.
My approach as a therapist is to listen deeply so I can truly hear what you have to say, with kindness, warmth, and non-judgment. I believe it’s essential to fully explore what your challenges and struggles mean to you and understand how they affect you rather than simply putting a label on your experiences. Having lived across four continents, I also understand the importance of cultural differences, and I pride myself on upholding culturally sensitive and competent practices.
In the first consultation, I’ll take your case history, including the presenting issue and any previous difficulties you might have had. We will then discuss your goals for treatment and how long that might take, and what a reasonable outcome of success looks like for you. The first session will be collaborative, with much of the space given to you to tell me what you’re looking for and why. I’ll also encourage you to ask as many questions about me or the treatment approach as possible! I’m a very open therapist and welcome the chance to answer questions or alleviate any concerns you might have.
I believe you are the expert of you, and hopefully, I’m a good travel companion for your journey into self-awareness.
Personalised treatment plans
When creating a personalised treatment plan, I take a holistic approach by getting to know you as a person and how your symptoms, challenges, and diagnoses impact your life and what matters most to you. I take the individual differences that make up a person very seriously, such as culture, family background, life experience and beliefs. I will do my utmost to incorporate these differences when working with you.
My extensive training in psychological talking therapies allows me to integrate different approaches depending on your needs and preferences. Some of the approaches I use include Psychodynamic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Narrative Exposure Therapy, Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT), the Gottman Method (for couples therapy), and Play Therapy (for young children).
I’m also an accredited Arts Therapist, which involves using creative arts during therapy sessions as a means of expression and exploration. You can choose what kind of creative activity you would like to engage in, such as drawing, painting, writing, dance, drama, singing, or playing musical instruments. We will then interpret your creative expression and the process of creating to gain insight into your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours.
During art therapy sessions, I often use an Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach to understanding your inner self, also called your "internal system". IFS is based on the concept that our identity is made up of many sub-personalities, which can work in collaboration with each other or against each other. Looking at your personality's different sides helps us gain insight into your inner desires and motivations, resolve conflicts between parts, and promote self-awareness and healing.
Art therapy provides a unique opportunity to access one's unconscious mind through creative expression.
As part of my therapeutic approach, I’ll support you in making healthier choices that include a balanced diet, nutrition, exercise, and rest. We all know it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it’s difficult to maintain healthy habits while struggling with mental health.I’ll also be happy to discuss the benefits of any other interventions you may wish to incorporate, such as alternative therapies or medicines. Having travelled the world, I’m interested and open to many ways of practising and promoting good mental health.
As a Psychologist, I don’t prescribe medication. However, I’ve worked collaboratively with psychiatrists for many years and greatly believe in the benefit of medication. I fully support medication use when necessary and will respect your choice regardless of whether you engage with pharmacological approaches.
Alongside my clinical work, I regularly work with attorneys, charities, and criminal defence teams, preparing medico-legal and expert witness reports. I gained extensive experience in this area working with High Courts as the Clinical and Medico-Legal Director for a trauma charity and leading private practice therapist in Hong Kong for nine years.
Education & Training
I’m a dual-qualified Chartered Psychologist and Arts Therapist with over a decade of clinical experience working with children, teenagers and adults. I’m professionally registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and the British Association of Dramatherapists (BaDth). I also have a PhD from California Southern University and two Master’s degrees in Psychology.
Alongside seeing patients in private practice, I’m currently the Board Advisor for the anti-trafficking charity Ella's, monitoring and evaluating their programs since February 2021. I have been an independent research consultant for human trafficking since October 2018, conducting investigations on impact investment for anti-trafficking programs in Southeast and Central Asia and evaluating recovery programs for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. Between 2014 and 2020, I worked as an Independent Research Consultant, advising major corporations such as Google and JP Morgan on employee assistance programmes and training law firms on trauma-informed management of witnesses. I was recognised as an expert witness for Hong Kong High Court for trauma-related cases and became a medico-legal advisor for UN refugee and torture claims. Additionally, I was a Guest Lecturer in Psychology at Hong Kong University and Monash University.
Between 2016 and 2018, I served as a Children's Fund Program Director for the Justice Centre in Hong Kong, managing trauma recovery programs for refugee and asylum-seeking children and conducting research and evaluations. I have also held positions as a Group Therapy Lead for Solace Women's Aid and a Psychotherapist for a school for excluded children with challenging behaviour and learning difficulties. Before this, I worked as a Child and Adolescent Therapist in secure mental health wards in the NHS, treating young people for severe depression, self-harm, psychosis, personality disorders, and eating disorders.
Regarding my education, I recently earned my PhD in Psychology from California Southern University in 2021. My PhD thesis focused on the clinical efficacy of trauma recovery programs for trafficked women and children in Southeast Asia. Prior to that, I completed an MSc in Psychology from Manchester University in 2015, an MA in Psychotherapy from Roehampton University in 2014, and a BA in English from Leeds University in 2006.
I have appeared in international media outlets such as CNN and Yahoo News, and publications including The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Sun, Metro, Grazia, The Independent, and The Mirror.
I’m passionate about exercise, and I like to work out every day! I have two little girls who keep me busy and two energetic and bouncy labradors. I love to travel and have lived in Hong Kong, Australia, and Brazil.