Core Process Psychotherapy and Counselling
Cardiff with Gwyn Williams (he / him)

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'In a state of protection, survival is the only goal. 

The system is closed to connection and change.  In a state of connection, health, growth and restoration are possible.'

- Deb Dana, polyvagal theory

Counselling and Psychotherapy

I am a humanistic counsellor (BACP Accredited) and a mindfulness based psychotherapist (UKCP Accredited).

I offer a space where you can feel safe to explore your inner emotional difficulties. By coming into a deeper relationship with our inner lives, we can process our emotional pain directly. If we can speak from our feelings, rather than about our feelings, our embodied self feels met, and seen. This can be a powerful way of working through our difficulties.

 

Buddhist wisdom

 

While I'm not a Buddhist, I'm a psychotherapist based in mindfulness approaches to innate health, which includes assumptions around the nature of emotional pain.  If we can turn towards our pain, and stay with it, and feel into its information, this can help us to change how we relate to natural processes in our inner lives. 

 

A psychotherapy based on mindfulness asks a client to deepen into their understanding of their inner lives, which includes their felt sense, inner sensations, memories, patterns, defences, shadow, repressed parts and unevolved parts.  It includes all our most painful aspects of self, such as distress, difficulty, boredom, craving, aversion, what feels desperate or unbearable.  Instead of avoiding these parts, we work with them and become curious in how we relate and understand them from a place that offers perspective, and equanimity.  If we are able to include the whole of our experience, we learn rather than judge what it means to be more human.  Deepening into self-awareness with a sense of loving-kindness, compassion towards ourselves and others, and openness to what 'is', helps us to become a wider container to our experience of a more aligned Self.  This helps us to move away from a contraction around the small 'self' and its habitual reactivity to inevitable life struggles.  


"Awareness is our true self; it's what we are. We don’t have to try to develop awareness; we simply need to notice how we block awareness, with our thoughts, our fantasies, our opinions, and our judgments." - Charlotte Joko Beck

 

The Felt Sense

I work by asking a client to notice what is happening for them in their felt sense. This can include feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, images, sounds and other senses that might be coming up for a client in the present moment. If you can stay with this sense of yourself, which is an embodied sense, and deepen into this sense, then you are able to stay attuned to what needs your attention. When we are able to turn towards ourselves in this way, instead of avoiding or protecting ourselves with defences, we can feel more authentic or ‘real’ to ourselves and others.



An Aligned Self

I ask clients to turn towards their deeper Self, or inner wise person, which we all have although it may feel quite obscured at times. When we are able to move underneath the presenting narratives or stories of our lives, we can start to experience existential or spiritual connections or themes underlying how we live. This kind of therapy places awareness as central to change, because when we become aware of our underlying patterns, which are often from childhood, we start to gain a sense of perspective. When we widen our aperture on our lives, we create spaciousness and a sense of choice. We can step into witness consciousness with practice, and stand beside ourselves, and observe our patterns, so that we can release what we no longer feel we need at this stage of our lives.


"Acknowledge the wave, but stay with the ocean" - Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

 

Psychodynamic patterning

 

As we become more attuned to our inner life, we can notice how our childhood patterns might still be 'running us' and how we can deepen into awareness of these protective behaviours in order to live more from adult awareness.


Working mindfully with the ‘mindbody’ is both profoundly simple and complex. If we can stay in the nebulous or vague spaces and not become too formed in our patterns or beliefs about ourselves, we can work with neuroplasticity and flexibility, to free ourselves from suffering. Rather than looking externally for fixes in our lives, such as work or relationships, if we can move our attention inwards to how we observe ourselves in life, we can deepen into our connection with ourselves. My training considers Eastern Buddhist philosophies as well as Western psychodynamic ways of looking at childhood patterns, and neuroscientific approaches to how traumas are held in the emotional body. If we can relate to our inner lives directly, and become more present to our sense of self, this can free up inner space for something new to emerge that feels right for us.



Intersectionalities


This modality also acknowledges how external factors, and intersectionalities, can profoundly influence our personality formations. Sometimes we can be too quick to pathologise ourselves and turn everything into an intrapsychic process, when we also need to bring into awareness the way the world has shaped us and continues to do so. It may be helpful for clients to consider how narratives around race, sex, gender diversity, socio-economic circumstances, ancestry, etc, have been internalised and held within their self-structuring. As a gay man, I have found it helpful in my own therapeutic journey to unpick intersectionalities in my life and how they have impacted on consciousness.

 

Neuroscience

 

I find neuroscientific ways of understanding trauma, such as polyvagal theory, essential to understanding our automatic patterns.  If we can learn how we are in each state (freeze, fight or flight, connected), we can start to work more consciously with our biological reaction to life's events and interrupt unhelpful patterns that might be keeping us limited.

 

Inner Family Systems

 

We don't need to behave in the same way, if we want change in our lives.  We can 'add on' parts, or build up inner parts, that might be able to bring us into more skilful ways of being ourselves, and being more effective in the world. 


Areas I Work In:

- Loss
- Deep Sadness
- Anger and Rage
- Fear, Terror and Anxiety
- Life Transitions
- Psycho-spiritual Emergence
- Trauma / Polyvagal / Emotional Nervous System / Neuro-Science
- LGBTQI+ / Gender Diversity


How I work with clients:

 

I ask a client to sit with their inner process with questions such as:

'What's happening now?" and 'Can you deepen into that?"

This helps a client to come into a more present relationship with their difficulties, so that they can become more able to sit with their inner lives, and process what needs to be processed.  

I trust a client to trust themselves, in deepening into their difficulty, and having it witnessed by a therapist.  Through staying curious, open, undefended, and non-judgmental, and have this mirrored by the therapist, a client is able to stay with their inner vulnerability, and where they may have been quite defended or shut-down.  

In staying with our inner distress, rather than avoiding it, we paradoxically can feel ourselves breathing more fully, emotionally.  This is because we can start to take ownership of our shadow aspects, our full emotional life, and sense of whole self.

 

 

Links

Karuna Institute
karunainstitute.co.uk/
karunadartmoor.co.uk/

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