"CBT helped me to overcome debilitating chronic anxiety, and also helped with previously undiagnosed depression, as well as giving me some tools to help with pain management in a chronic medical condition. It’s not a quick fix, or a passive “cure”, but a two-way enabling process which has given me some methods to use to help me to deal with problems as they arise in the future, and has put my mental health back into my own hands. I couldn’t see beyond the immediacy of the issues, but you helped me to understand where it was all coming from.
Although I had considered myself pretty self-aware, some of these issues were more deep-seated than I had realized, and CBT has actually improved that self-awareness and enabled me to look at things in a different, much less negative way. I can highly recommend it as a proactive, drug-free method of dealing with mental health problems."
" I was referred to Paulien following an episode of extreme stress in the workplace, which had led to inconsolable bouts of crying and me having to take time off from work. I was sceptical and reluctant to seek any therapy help, but I was also in such a bad place emotionally I knew I had to do something and I didn’t want to turn to any medication.
I have been amazed at the result of seeing Paulien – just six sessions over the course of 7 months (not many at all) – I can palpably feel the difference in myself and friends; family have also commented at how I seem to have a different calm about me. I am not sure how Paulien does this but I like the way she makes sense of the emotions – making you understand the triggers which lead to thoughts and feelings, seeing it almost in a flow chart (!) actually helps you recognise events the next time they occur. It is very powerful as once you recognise the triggers you can actually change how you react to them. This, and the art of mindfulness are probably the two most significant tools I will take away with me.
I am still me, but a more relaxed me – somehow (I’m not sure how) I’ve cracked the all-hours working and gained around 20 extra hours a week for myself/family, and I am able to control my reactions to difficult situations far more. It has helped both on a work and a personal front – for the last few months I’ve been decluttering; anything that isn’t really working for me/family and really making progress on other things we have wanted/needed to do. Life-changing. Thank you Paulien"
“When I walked away from a head on collision I knew I was lucky to have suffered only whiplash. The other driver, proven to be over the alcohol limit, had been driving on my side of the road trying to overtake a stream of cars. With nowhere to go, all I could do was stop and wait for the crash.
I knew images of the incident would come crowding in, and they did. More disconcertingly an image of the eyes of the other driver began to arbitrarily appear in front of mine, as if they were on a slide. I’d see them at least 10 times a day… they’d appear when I was in conversation at work, when driving. I felt ill – depressed, tired, my world had gone ‘flat’; I was furious at the other driver, horrified he could have killed me, mad I had no recourse other than wait for a court case. I was in constant pain from the whiplash. This went on for weeks – months probably.
The best thing I did was to accept help. I was referred to Paulien for specific treatment to help my mind process the trauma I’d experienced. The crash had happened so quickly in many ways – yet so slowly in others – that I hadn’t been able to properly process the event.
Paulien treated my symptoms in two ways; with Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
EMDR quickly brought positive results and I no longer see the other driver’s eyes in front of mine. I have a sense of distance from the crash now. I can drive past the site of the collision and feel only relief I am so lucky and safe. I feel free from the trauma of it all; it’s just something that happened to me.
EMDR for me was a tough, emotional journey. But with Paulien you are in a safe pair of hands, and in a safe place to submit your mind to revisiting your trauma in a very specific, carefully managed way. The treatment helped me process and ‘file’ traumatic memories in the appropriate part of my brain and in a way that allows me to manage those memories in a positive way.
Using CBT Paulien provided me with a range of techniques and tools that helped me manage nervous attacks that most often occur when driving – rapid breathing, tension, hypersensitivity to what ‘s going on around me on the road. I know these techniques work because I called on them when I skidded in bad snow and I went on to finish my journey. I know I couldn’t have done that without the CBT techniques that Paulien gave me.
I have a great sense of emerging from a cold, dark and long tunnel. When treatment gets tough, Paulien says you can either break or keep going. I trusted Paulien implicitly and we kept on trucking. It was the best thing I could have done."
Other comments made by clients at the end of therapy:
- I feel a more complete person.
- I think some of the things you have taught me will turn out to be a few of my most treasured belongings.
- I always looked forward to the sessions.
- The relationship with my wife and daughter has improved and I can enjoy life again.
- I feel much better thanks to your positive and supportive approach.
- It has been great. I found working with CBT empowering and I liked the structured approach.
- The strategies you taught me have helped me to overcome my difficulties.
- I have more insight in myself and the relationship with other people has improved.
- I feel better than ever before in my life.
- EMDR has helped me to overcome the nightmares and images I had of the accident.
- My husband and friends have commented on how much less anxious I am.
- I will never forget what you have done for me.
- I can see a future again.