Hi, I’m Rachel.
I’m a Focusing-Oriented Therapist and Focusing Trainer recognised by the Focusing Institute, NZAC and the University of Strathclyde. I work with individuals, couples and families in a trauma-informed, relational way at Family Action in Auckland and in-person and online in Private Practice. You can learn more about my extensive qualifications here.
I work to help my clients build better relationships with themselves and each other, using Nonviolent principles, Neuroscience and Attachment theories and the felt sense. Most recently I’ve trained to become qualified in Brainspotting; using the optic nerve’s connection to the brain to help my clients heal swiftly from trauma.
Focusing can be used by clients who feel stuck, stressed and overwhelmed to find just a little more space, it is useful in helping to make decisions or ways to move forward with blocked projects. Focusing helps us listen to our small voices which typically get overlooked or even stop speaking because of traumatic events. It is very helpful for brain-body conditions, fatigue, pain, addictive and obsessive behaviour. Focusing offers beautiful ways to find a new way of interacting with self-critical voices and dreams, even very hostile ones. Going at the clients’ pace and creating the right distance makes Focusing an effective but safe process that most people can learn with surprising ease even if they have never listened to their bodies before.
Here is a link to a demo by Gene Gendlin, with my teacher Lynn Preston in the background showing a client exploring their felt sense. Of course, every session looks different, but if you’ve experienced traditional ‘talk therapy’ you will get a sense of how this is different.
I also teach focusing to other counsellors, body therapists and people who are stuck with their client work. Where usual talk therapy goes round in circles, ‘focusing’ helps us to ‘drop-in’ and listen to ourselves at the edge of our awareness, and therefore can help resolve issues more effectively.
My work with individuals and families is informed with my commitment to Human Rights, to the Tangata Whenua here in Aotearoa, Pasifika peoples, non-binary individuals, to the land and all its creatures. With the body, we can use our healing to disrupt intergenerational and ecological trauma and our individual healing can contribute to social and global change as we are looking through a holistic lens. I believe I am the only person putting Focusing together with Brainspotting in New Zealand and one of a handful of practitioners offering either. These modalities have been common in Europe and North America for decades, I am very excited about hosting events to raise awareness about how we can heal from trauma and how practitioners can protect themselves from the effects of vicarious trauma.
I run the Montessori Commons website, to make the work of Maria Montessori more accessible throughout the world. My background as a Montessori Teacher coupled with my training as a therapist and counsellor means I’m very well suited at offering family therapy and support to teachers and educators.
I have a range of skills in helping people from various backgrounds, if you think I might be able to help, reach out and say hello.