Áine’s delivery of Transpersonal or Holistic Counselling can traverse mind, body and spirit, if requested. With over 20 years experience in using meditation and guided imagery and more recently acquiring skills in some of the somatic and psycho-sensory modalities, you are in safe hands.
Whilst talk-therapy will always be part of counselling, the ability to narrate one’s story is essential – Áine is eager to help connect mind and body whenever possible as this speeds healing exponentially.
This can be achieved through various channels such as imagery, felt-sense (focusing), symbolism, and facilitation of the identification and dialogue of parts, (Internal Family Systems Therapy) or IFS.
Internal Family Systems
IFS (Internal Family Systems) combines systems theory with the notion of sub-personalities and allows us to develop a rich inner dialogue that can untangle even the most complex problems. Most importantly, IFS introduces us to the notion of Self-Leadership or the True Self – that part of us that knows what is best for us, that is our highest good and that can objectively listen to our “parts” as they express their motivations and raison d’etre.
IFS Therapy therefore ultimately trains the client's Self to take the leadership role in their system. During this process, it is usually necessary to unburden (heal) some wounded Parts that have become stagnated with limiting beliefs and energies. The Therapist's job is to guide the client's Self into a healing dialogue with a part, thus enabling it to return to the role it was originally born to be within the system. Hence, the IFS motto - "All Parts are Welcome".
The qualities of the Self naturally include Curiosity, Compassion, Connection, Clarity, Courage, Confidence, Calmness & Creativity and as the Parts come to trust the unconditional Compassion and Love of the Self to lead, they begin to work in harmony with it and these qualities become more readily available to both ourselves and others.
For an introduction to the model from its founder, Richard Schwartz see here
A relatively recent development, Energy Psychology includes psycho-sensory modalities that involve touch. Two such techniques that are practiced by Aine here are Tapping and Havening.
Tapping is based on Chinese Acupressure and involves the client tapping specific algorithms along several meridians. It is sometimes known as Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Designed to stimulate the system's own healing system, it is a useful self-help tool that clients can continue to practice at home or work.
Havening is mostly used to help release traumas or very difficult emotions associated with bad memories. The term Havening comes from the word "Haven" which means to put in a safe place. Neuroscientists have found that the Havening Touch, which is a firm, slow movement on your face, arms, and palms, can cause a change in brain chemistry and permanently remove the emotion from the distressing thought, memory or craving.
Áine finds that this can greatly facilitate healing of those places that otherwise seem firmly stuck in concrete. The Havening touch can be self-administered by the client or by the therapist and this is always the client's choice.
For a wonderfully clear explanation of the neuroscience believed to be behind this technique, check out this brief video by Tam Johnson.
Eugene Gendlin was a philosopher and psychologist and his legacy is deep. He coined the term "felt sense" - after he studied hundreds of people going through therapy to try to decipher why some people "got better" and others continued in loops for many years. He noticed that those who got better had a natural ability to listen to their bodies, to a vague, murky sensation which might give rise to a dream-like image - and he studied them, writing down their process in 6 simple steps he called Focusing.
Áine works from our Lysterfield and Melbourne clinics and is also available online for Telehealth appointments.
Her background is eclectic, having come to Australia from Ireland in the early 1980's, leaving to take a sabbatical from a degree in Theology. She discontinued that path and later went on to study Cultural Anthropology and the Sociology of Medicine here in Melbourne. Her favourite psychological model for many years was Psychosynthesis so it is no surprise that she has ended up specialising somewhat in Focusing and IFS (Internal Family Systems) after qualifying in Transpersonal Therapy.
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