I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2006 and with a masters degree in Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry in 2011. I have had the privilege of performing a variety of roles: from a newly qualified OT in a far-flung rural hospital in Mpumalanga, South Africa; to senior specialist therapist in an addiction clinic located in a castle in the Scottish countryside.
My most important and challenging role, however, has been mothering two rambunctious boys. Never have I felt such a desire to succeed at anything.
Through my own struggles, my attention turned to maternal mental health. I spent time upskilling myself in the areas of perinatal health, early childhood development, sensory processing, coaching and how to bring this work into the online space.
I'm passionate about a person-centred and strengths based approach. What this means, is that when we work together my starting point will always be to find out what matters the most to you, figure out what is already going well, and then use that information to help you devise some strategies to address aspects of your life you find challenging.
My eclectic approach brings together my expertise in Occupational Therapy, Sensory Intelligence, habit science, and trauma (EMDR) work, to tailor sessions to your specific needs.
Occupational Therapists help people engage in the activities that they want, and need to do. We are trained to analyse why and how people carry out their day to day roles to figure out anything that is hindering them from performing at their best.
Sometimes illness, injury, trauma, or even a challenging new life role, like becoming a mom, will disrupt your ability to perform optimally. When this happens, an OT will help you investigate where the challenges are coming from and develop a plan to get you back on track.
Our approach is holistic with three focus areas: the person, the environment and the occupation. In other words:
This means analysing what your unique sensory needs are and then formulating a plan to help you use that knowledge to manage stress and overwhelm by regulating your sensory input and creating a sensory diet just right for you.
"Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. It has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma." (EMDRIA.org)
When we experience trauma, the memory and sensory experiences that go along with it are stored in the lower order regions of our brain: our fight or flight centres. This makes it hard to think rationally when we recall or re-experience them. EMDR works by connecting the fight or flight sensations, with the higher order, rational, beliefs. As you recall the details of that event you will be given some form of bilateral stimulation (such as tapping on your knees, hearing sounds alternating between each ear, or tracking a light) This allows your brain to integrate its two sides and connect the distressing sensations and memories with adaptive material (thoughts and beliefs that mitigate the trauma). Initially we will work together to help you develop emotional resources. We will then focus on a specific event and process it until such time that it's distress dissipates.
BSc Occupational Therapy (Wits, 2005)
MOT Psych (UP, 2011)
EMDR Practitioner (2016)
Sensory Intelligence Practitioner (2017)
Renaissance Life Therapy Life coaching Diploma
Completed Melissa LaPointe's Strong Beginnings online training in bridging OT and perinatal health and Visionaries on Fire Coaching Program for leaders in the OT field
Completed Kaili Ets' online training Babies@Play