What I work with

From social anxiety to health-related compulsions, my practice covers a wide range of issues that you can explore in a confidential space.


Anxiety in a nutshell

Anxiety is a human emotion. Therefore, experiencing anxiety is normal. It is a high level of anxiety that turns the experience into a struggle. 

It is important not to dismiss it. Anxiety has meaning and is flagging something – maybe some internal conflict and emotional turmoil. Or maybe values that you consider important are threatened. Pushing it away won’t solve the problem in the long term. 

Anxiety is always a present-tense feeling. It is always felt in the here-and-now and it impacts your current life. 

Anxiety has a pattern. Whether you recognise it or not, specific things, contexts, or people make you more anxious than others, and this is not any coincidence.

How our work could look like

Working with each client is always different but here is a tentative template for how our work would look like: 

1) The work starts with exploring your experience of anxiety and how it impacts your life.

2) We will then try to clarify if there is any particular life pattern or external event that causes the higher levels of anxiety.

3) From here we progress to understanding what is the emotional dynamic behind the anxiety. Remember, anxiety always has a reason but it’s fine if you don’t know what that could be when counselling starts.

4) Once you’ve gained this understanding of the internal processes that lead to anxiety, the last stage of your journey will be to decide what changes need to take place to improve your life moving forward. 

How your life could look like when anxiety is addressed

The overwhelm goes away

You will still feel anxiety – remember, is a human emotion – but it will be at manageable levels. You might still feel nervous about being in an open space or speaking in front of a room full of people, but that won’t stop you from doing it.

You will learn how to use anxiety in your favour, as an ally rather than an enemy.

Exploring the anxiety enables you to understand the internal struggle anxiety flags. Think about yourself like an ancient city that has soldiers up on its walls. They shout when the enemy is coming, which causes turmoil in the city. But wouldn’t you prefer to understand their shouts, so you can take shelter and protect yourself?

Your decision-making process will benefit from this awareness.

Rather than anxiety pushing you to choose one option, you will make decisions after a realistic assessment of the pros and cons. And you might decide not to change anything. But you’ll not stay in the same place just because you are anxious about changing.

Others have learned how to cope with anxiety. I believe it is possible for you too.

All it takes is a step and a helping hand.

Do you struggle with anxiety?

Get in touch for a free consultation call to discuss how our work together cal alleviate your anxiety.


Depression in a nutshell

Depression is not about sadness, feeling low, sad, or tired. These are just the external manifestations of something else taking place inside.  And it is this emotional landscape that needs to be explored.

Quick “fixes” don’t help in the long run.  Mapping out the mental process underneath your depression will help you deal with depression for good. 

Do not postpone dealing with your depression. Experiencing depression is linked to other mental health struggles, such as high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, addictions, physical symptoms, or bodily illnesses. Act now before it wreaks havoc in your life. 

How our work could look like

No therapeutic journey is the same but the following process might help you get an idea of how we are going to work together. 

1) We will start with exploring the onset of your depression.

2) The following step would be to understand your experience of it, and how depression impacts your life.

3) Then, we shall progress into exploring the emotional dynamic underlying your depression. It is always helpful to check if there are potential patterns of intensity – i.e. it gets worse around holidays, a celebration, or winter months. You’ve now gained an understanding of the psychological processes that led you into depression in the first place and continue to fuel it today.

4) Gaining awareness of what was going on internally will lift the depression to a certain extent. In addition, you might need to set some things straight moving forward. And that is the last stage of your journey: we will define a vision of how you want your life to look without the depression and what actions are needed for that to become reality. 

How your life could look like when depression is addressed

You will regain the vitality you long for and deserve.

You’ll have ups and downs just like anyone else but you’ll have the energy required to take ownership and deal with the challenges rather than drift along.

You will see improvements in both your mental and physical health.

This will enable your growth across different areas of your life – from relationships to your career and your presence in the community.

You will gain a new strength – knowing yourself better.

Through the process of mapping out the depression’s emotional dynamics, you will gain a better self-understanding. This awareness is a strength you’ll take with you into the future.

Do you struggle with depression?

Get in touch for a free consultation call to discuss how our work together can alleviate your depression.

Low self-esteem and confidence

Low self-esteem and confidence in a nutshell

We all have self-esteem. It can be your friend or your worst foe. It’s built in us as one of the main pillars of our identity. It is our perception of ourselves and stays with us for as long as we live. So why not make it your ally rather than your bully?

It shapes the way we interact with ourselves, with others, and with the world. It impacts our decision-making process, from the least to the most important ones. It models our way of interacting with others.

Self-esteem is strongly related to feeling worthy, feeling good enough. In the long term feeling worthy or good enough has little to do with external achievements, titles, or social status.

The true meaning and value of self-esteem and confidence. A healthy level of self-esteem is not the same as being proud.  A healthy level of confidence does not mean you are always going to win or “make it”. It is rather about not feeling inferior and having the courage to explore and enjoy.

How our work could look like

1) We would start with exploring your self-assessment and the level of harshness built in. It is important to recognise both your weaknesses and strengths if you want to improve.

2) If we “detect” a harsh “internal judge” that leads to an unrealistic, rather negative, image of yourself, we will try to understand when and in what circumstances this “internal judge” came to life – this is not something you were born with, although it might feel like that.

3) Understanding alone is not enough – we also need to clarify how insecurities, a low level of confidence, and low self-esteem impact your current life and stop you from doing the things you would enjoy. 

4) Finally, it is important to acknowledge that rather than trying to “get rid of the internal judge”, we should try to help him get rid of that unhealthy and unfounded harshness, become more compassionate and align with reality. 

How your life could look like when low self-esteem is addressed

You’ll have a realistic image of yourself.

You have weaknesses – counselling can help you improve rather than putting yourself down. You have strengths – counselling will enable you to see them and you might start liking what you see when looking in the mirror. 

You’ll have more compassion for yourself 

Our work together will address the sources of your negative self-assessment, infuse some much-needed compassion into your life, and improve your current relationship dynamics.

You’ll enjoy more and doubt yourself less

Second-guessing yourself and your actions carries with it a perpetual state of anxiety. Understanding the irrationality of your negative self-assessment and second-guessing will bring anxiety under control and allow you to enjoy the pleasures of life.

It is a difficult journey, but you don’t have to do it alone. I can help.

Do you struggle with low self-esteem & confidence?

Get in touch for a free consultation call to discuss how our work together can alleviate your low self-esteem.

Obsessive personalities and OCD

Obsessive personalities and OCD in a nutshell

OCD is about underlying anxiety. OCD is not about orderliness or conscientiousness. Clients with OCD experience overwhelming feelings of anxiety if the compulsive behaviour – i.e. excessive washing, cleaning, checking, hoarding – is not performed.

Clients with OCD get no joy or satisfaction from their rituals. They know their compulsive behaviours are peculiar and irrational and these behaviours baffle them as much as they baffle those around them. Carrying out the compulsion serves the purpose of lessening the underlying anxiety.

The core aspect of OCD is the thinking process and the underlying anxiety. The person experiences tormenting, obsessional, preoccupying, aggressive thoughts and fantasies over low-probability threatening events. These thoughts lead to feeling anxious.  Performing compulsive behaviour – a repetitive act, similar to a ritual – has the purpose of alleviating the underlying anxiety.

OCD symptoms – the compulsive behaviours – and their impact on the individual can vary significantly. It can go from a rather peculiar but not harmful desire to have all their clothes in a specific order to extremely dangerous and harmful manifestations, such as compulsive hair-pulling or compulsive self-mutilation.

How our work could look like

Each therapeutic journey is different and there are multiple aspects to factor in when trying to create a template for it. But here is an idea of how we could approach it:

1) We would start with understanding the characteristics of your compulsive behaviours and their impact on your life. OCD can result from an emotional crisis so it is worth exploring potential events that took place around the time when symptoms started.

2) Despite the symptoms – the compulsive behaviours – being the ones that make life difficult, OCD is not mainly about them. Clients with OCD experience aggressive & negative thoughts and fantasies, they worry a lot and rumination is always present. This triggers anxiety and it is the desire to alleviate anxiety that compels the individual to perform the ritualistic behaviour. There is an emotional conflict underlying the client’s symptoms and it is this conflict that we are going to explore and understand the emotions at play.

3) But insights into the psychological processes are not enough if they don’t lead to behavioural changes. Usually, understanding the emotional landscape causing the symptoms will result in partial or even complete remission of your compulsions. We might also explore some behaviour alternatives that will help you move on rather than falling back on old compulsions and agree on which ones would benefit you. 

4) Trying out new ways of functioning is difficult. But with the self-knowledge you’ve gained, we’ll define together how you want your life to improve moving forward. You’ll be able to transform your life and no longer be the prisoner of your compulsions.

How your life could look like when OCD is addressed

You are no longer the prisoner of your negative thoughts.

Intentional efforts to push away the negative thoughts that seem almost omnipotent won’t help. No wonder the person feels like there is no escape, that they feel like a prisoner of their minds. Understanding yourself better and becoming aware of the emotional landscape that led to the onset of your symptoms will help you improve your general state and help you get rid of compulsions.

Your tiring compulsions no longer get in the way of living life as you want

Although most OCD is strongly related to the psychological and emotional realm, it is the compulsive behaviours – excessive, repetitive acts – that create difficulties in my clients’ lives. This behaviour might be impacting their careers, relationships, health or the things that they can enjoy. Being free from the tyranny of compulsions, the client can now engage and freely enjoy what before was off-limits.

You will be more spontaneous.

Clients experiencing OCD usually feel an urge to control and be perfect. This blocks any spontaneous behaviour. Enjoyment is very rare when you are always focusing on controlling and making sure you do things perfectly. Understanding your desire to control and how it is linked to OCD and the underlying anxiety will give you more freedom to accept that lack of control does not equate to danger and that good enough is sometimes perfect.

Your relationships will improve. 

For clients experiencing OCD the compulsive behaviours are a real danger to their relationships. The client doesn’t enjoy performing the acts or rituals but feels compelled to do so. He is aware that these behaviours are irrational and admits not enjoying them. Therefore, others cannot understand why he is still performing them and this often leads to being judged and labelled as difficult, selfish, immature or ill-intended. Being able to stop the compulsive behaviour will stop you from damaging your relationships.

Do you struggle with OCD?

Get in touch for a free consultation call to discuss how our work together can alleviate the anxiety surrounding the obsessions and compulsions.


Addictions in a nutshell

The root cause of addiction is different from what you might think. When thinking about addictions, we often think about the object of the addiction – the drinking, the gambling, the pornography, the eating etc. But this is just the external manifestation, which has the purpose of pointing us to the existence of an underlying emotional issue. Addictive behaviours have the purpose of numbing away the feelings and anxiety underneath. Dealing with the behaviour without addressing the underlying issues increases the chances of relapse.

Addictions are irrational. Although in the beginning the addictive behaviour served the purpose of generating pleasure or easing pain, most clients struggling with addictions speak about enjoyment being long gone. Despite admitting that their addiction causes damage and pain in their life, they feel compelled to still engage in their addictions. The addicted client, as well as those around them, are left wondering about the reason for them continuing to engage in the harmful behaviour.

It is not easy to accept having an addiction issue. Probably the most challenging blocker in the process of healing is the denial of having an addiction issue. However, we cannot heal that whose existence we are not ready to admit. Accepting that we are dealing with an addiction – and not some “one too many” random mistake – is the only starting point for the client to achieve long-term healing.

Addictions have long-lasting effects. It is not clear whether addictions are caused by physiological aspects but it is clear that addictions cause physiological damage. It is scientifically proven that structures of the brain and the body suffer changes as a result of long-term exposure to substance addictions. Sexual dysfunctionalities are related to pornography addiction. These are just some examples of what is already known. Take action before it is too late!

Old Vs New Circumstances. Recently there has been an explosion of potential addiction objects –pornography, online gambling, and video games did not even exist 50 years ago. Drugs or sex existed but were far less accessible. Although these are just the external aspects of addictive behaviours – and not the underlying issue – an increase in potential outlets has not been particularly helpful.

Old Vs New Perceptions. Back 30-40 years ago we would think of someone addicted to a substance as someone whose life was a shipwreck. Nowadays we come across the term „functional alcoholic”. You can replace „alcoholic” with any other addiction object. It refers to someone who struggles with an addiction but manages to go on – at least for the time being. But their capacity to keep things “under control” enforces the denial. Since they compare themselves to that perception of the „shipwreck addict” they grew up with, they will tell others and themselves that they are nothing like that.

How our work could look like

Each therapeutic journey is different but the steps I propose below might be useful for you to get an idea of how our work could look like:

1) We will start by exploring your addictive behaviours and how they affect your life. It is crucial to pinpoint how the addiction is impacting your life so you can understand why it needs to go. We all have addictions– coffee, sports, etc. – but we allow them in our lives until they start wreaking havoc. In this initial phase we will also work on the behavioural side: putting a stop to the addictive behaviour during the initial stage of counselling is a must and I will support you in finding the best way to do so.

2) Determining the underlying cause of your addiction is the major next step of the treatment. Addictions are ways of dealing with unexplored emotions. Trying to work only with the behavioural side – drinking, gambling, etc. – might help in the short term but won’t make a difference in the long run. Understanding the emotional landscape and the feelings fuelling the addiction will lead to a decrease in the urge to engage in addictive behaviour.

3) Defining new addiction-free ways to deal with emotional experiences and designing safeguards. You have gained awareness of yourself and you know what was underneath the compulsion. This will enable you to deal with emotional hardships in a more mature way moving forward. Designing safeguards is quintessential for fighting addictions. Avoiding circumstances that could lead to relapse is a very good example of that – i.e. people struggling with alcohol addiction might want to consider avoiding going places or in groups where alcohol is consumed.

How your life could look like when the addiction is addressed

Gaining back ownership over your life

One of the characteristics of addiction is that you feel compelled to engage in it. Even if in the beginning this behaviour brought pleasure, this was no longer the case after a while. But you kept on. Your life started to revolve around your addiction and it felt like you had lost the freedom and autonomy to decide. Understanding the emotional conflict underlying the addiction will help you stop engaging in addictive behaviour and get back ownership of your life.

Improved relationships & health

Addictions always impact your relationships and health. It might be a direct impact or a knock-on effect. Addictions will stop you from doing the things that you enjoy with loved ones. It might push you into doing things that you dislike and hurt loved ones. Time, energy and engagement are required for any relationship to exist. The same applies to taking care of your physical health. But little is left if most of it is eaten up by the addiction. The knock-on effect can also appear in your finances. Almost all forms of addictions have a financial cost associated with them. Financial struggles are one of the main reasons for couples breaking up and for stress-related health issues.

Eliminating the addiction will give you back the time and energy that should go into building long-lasting relationships, spending time with those you love, enjoying the things you like, spending your money as you wish and taking care of your body.

Self-awareness, less suffering, and less anxiety

There are a lot of „external” reasons why giving up addictions is desirable. But in the process of healing your addiction, you will gain something just as important – awareness of your emotional struggles and where these stem from. This will lead to deeper self-knowledge and acceptance of yourself rather than trying to avoid and run into the addiction. When you learn to identify your emotions and accept them rather than push them away, you will see the levels of anxiety dropping.  You will know what is happening and even if that is not always enough to completely avoid suffering, at least you will not be overwhelmed by it.

Do you struggle with addictions?

Get in touch for a free consultation call to discuss how our work together can alleviate the anxiety surrounding the obsessions and compulsions.

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