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EXPERIENCE CHANGE
with
Ania Halls

nternal Family Systems and  EMDR London & York


 

BABCP & EMDRUK Accredited
IFSUK & BSPUK Registered


AVIVA, BUPA & AXA Approved

Hello and Welcome!

 My name is Ania Halls and I am a Psychotherapist with a degree and a Masters in Health Psychology. I live in the UK and since 2007 I have been offering confidential therapy for adults experiencing common mental health problems, based on the latest research in the field.

 

I have a range of qualifications and training that create a unique mix of skills to draw upon. This includes formal training in Internal Family Systems Therapy  (IFS) , Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Brainspotting and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  I am also deeply influenced by the work of Peter Levine and I have completed various somatic psychotherapy workshops.

 

These ways of working incorporate ideas about multiplicity of the mind; dissociation; attachment theory; transgenerational trauma theory; neuroplasticity of the brain; polyvagal theory; memory reconsolidation; and adaptive information processing. In other words, I pay attention to the mind, body and spirit, as well as the newest developments in the field of neuroscience.

At the heart of my work is my trust in our innate ability to heal and overcome adverse life experiences that may have hindered us from reaching our potential. However, in my experience change cannot occur without the safety of a strong therapeutic relationship. Therefore at the core of my work, is making sure that my clients feel comfortable and accepted just as they are. It's incredible what can happen when you’re around someone who is genuine and empathetic, curious and deeply present and attuned - someone who validates your thoughts and emotional experiences and can see the best version of yourself before you can see your own potential. Which is why it is only from the safety of a strong therapeutic relationship that one can venture and explore a variety of interventions designed to help you make sense of your experiences and to help you get 'unstuck' from your symptoms. 

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"Neuro-physiotherapy with psychological consequences"              

    - David Grand,

founder of Brainspotting

EMDR Brainspotting London & York

PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES OFFERED:

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitazation Reprocessing Therapy

IFS

Internal Family Systems Therapy

CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Supervision

Click on the arrow for more information about each therapy

MY APPROACH

Most of us don’t realise that psychotherapies can be broadly divided into Right and Left-brain therapies. This is sometimes also referred to as 'Top-Down' versus 'Bottom-Up' approaches. The main difference between these therapies is linked to how they engage the brain and how much emphasis is placed on cognitions and the body. For example, in order to influence psychological issues, Top-down therapies focus on changing our cognitive and behavioral patters; whereas Bottom-up therapies focus on regulating the nervous system through metabolising unprocessed bodily sensations and emotional experiences (including memories and images). 

 

Trauma can disrupt communication between the left and right hemispheres, leading to a disjointed sense of self and reality. This can manifest as difficulties in integrating emotional experiences with our logical understanding, thus making us fear and doubt our intuitive reactions.

In my work with clients I believe it's vital to work with both brain hemispheres to allow for a deeper integration between how we think and feel, on both the conscious and subconscious levels. This way of working can be particularly helpful for those individuals who did not benefit from more traditional therapeutic approaches in the past. Please read the next section if you would like to find out more.

Right-brain Therapies

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT BRAIN THERAPIES?

Left-brain Therapies

Talking therapies such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are classed as left-brain therapies. This is because they engage the left 'logical' hemisphere of the brain. The left hemisphere is involved in regulation of emotion through rational thought, planning, analysing, problem solving etc.  This part of the brain has the drive to tell our autobiographical stories through a linear sequence of events using language.  Left-brain therapies can be highly effective for people who are experiencing mild to moderate difficulties, and are seeking to gain cognitive understanding of what is happening and wish to learn new life skills on a more conscious level.

If you opt for talking therapy, then cognitive approaches such as CBT and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) can be particularly helpful in engaging the logical hemisphere. They offer a pragmatic framework that can help to explain how our thinking patterns and behaviours developed and how they contribute to our symptoms. Through becoming 'psychological detectives' the client and the therapist engage in a functional analysis of the presenting symptoms and look for alternative ways of interacting with their thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations as well as the world around them. Many of these techniques are mindfulness-based and aim to create more distance between our thoughts and emotions and therefore increasing our tolerance to negative affect. They also encourage curiosity and compassion towards different parts of ourselves and can help us understand how our early life experiences shaped our beliefs and our rules for living.  Click here if you would like to find out more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapies. 

 

Talking therapies can help us feel good in a way of being 'seen and heard' in our stories, allowing us to understand how our problems developed and giving us practical tools for self-regulation. The downside is that they are limited in their ability to reach deep enough into the right-brain and touch on the root of our traumas and how they are stored in our minds and bodies. This is particularly the case for those who have experienced multiple traumas and early relational injuries. If this is the case, then right-brain therapies might be a better choice. Please read on if you would like to find out more about right-brain therapies.

The right hemisphere of the brain is involved in regulation through subconscious processing of emotions. Verbal language does not reach this part of the brain. This is because this part of the brain communicates non-verbally through facial expression, body language, imagery, reflexes, urges, bodily sensations etc.  It is also the seat of impulses such as flight, fight and freeze, as well as creativity and intuition. It is also where trauma is stored. In fact, most psychologists now believe that trauma (and difficult experiences) are stored in neural networks as sensory fragments (i.e. visual images, smells, sounds, etc.), which means the trauma memory is not stored like a story, but rather by how our five senses were experiencing the situation at the time it was occurring. It is this unprocessed information within neural networks that makes us experience various psychological and somatic symptoms.  

 

The therapies that speak the language of the right-brain include Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR), Brainspotting (BSP), Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), Somatic Experiencing, Coherence Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) and many more.

 

These approaches involve guiding clients to focus on an issue that they find disturbing. This could be a past trauma memory, feelings of anxiety, recurrent negative thoughts, a negative core belief or any current psychological or psychosomatic symptom they are bringing to therapy. It is not necessary to understand the origin of the symptom. By focusing on the issue, and simultaneously using specialised techniques, the therapist helps the clients to locate, hold in place, process/ metabolise, and release information that is stuck in maladaptive survival networks within the brain. The result usually is that the client no longer feels activated when thinking about the issue and spontaneous new and more adaptive beliefs emerge as the information is finally linked up with the rest of the brain. This type of focused processing is subconscious and is typically far less activating than just talking about the issues and clients often find the experience positively intriguing - particularly because so much change can happen without our left logical brain fully understanding  how we got there.

 

Click here for more on:
- Internal Family Systems Therapy
- EMDR

- Brainspotting

“IFS can be seen as attachment theory taken inside, in the sense that the client’s Self becomes the good attachment figure to their insecure or avoidant parts. "

- Richard Schwartz,

founder of Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

IFS Internal Family Systems Therapy London and York Lisbon

FIRST SESSION

Getting in touch for the first time can seem scary, however, it can be the start of a life changing journey and a invaluable investment towards your future. I feel that finding the right therapist to work with is the most tricky part of a therapy journey, I therefore offer a free 30-minute introductory telephone conversation, which gives both you and me ample time to decide whether we can work together and if we are the right fit. 

Once we agree to work together, depending on your needs and your preferences, we may choose a specific therapeutic modality to focus on or we may decide on a blend of approaches to help you find what might suit you best. The idea is for us to work together as 'psychological detectives', who work as a team to get you 'unstuck' from your symptoms.  

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss us working together. My contact details can be found on the Contact page.
 

 - Peter A. Levine,

founder of Somatic Experiencing 

“Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.”

Somatic Experiencing IFS EMDRTherapy London & York Lisbon

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