"I went into the woods, because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. And not, when I had come to die, realise that I had not lived." - Thoreau
I am passionately curious about people, the choices they make, and the meaning-making process which influence their ways of being in the world. I have well developed philosophy around dealing with “otherness” and the ways we can engage in conversations across diversity. I am curious about the unfolding nature of everyone’s process, and admire the courage and strengths which are so often evident in addressing the challenges of the day.
I am grateful to have grown up in Wellington, New Zealand. My parents had four children in five years and were dedicated to providing the best environment for our physical, mental, psychological, and also philosophical development. The dinner table was a provocative arena for discussion, sometimes more intense than I might have hoped for. They were innovative thinkers and teachers, as well as being deeply entrenched in the value of community. My Jewish ancestral lineage links to Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, and we had a culturally-engaged Jewish upbringing.I realised I was gay in my early teens, wrestling with the challenges of navigating this culture for some time.
In my 20s I began my journey on the path of personal development, which remains ongoing. Everything I have learned in my own personal unfolding has played a valuable part in the skills and attitudes I have developed as a therapist.
I began with meditation and personal development courses, and progressed to Process Oriented Psychology, which has provided the strongest framework to my psychotherapeutic style and my way of navigating the world. Process Work suggests that there is a deepening process just at the edges of our awareness, which, when effectively unfolded, can lead to insight and better choices. It notices power differentials and seeks to address issues of privilege and marginalisation - both culturally and within our own psychological filters. It is also constellated around Taoist and Shamanistic approaches to healing. Open-hearted curiosity is a useful characteristic of this work.
With global tensions seeming to escalate, I believe it has never been more important for us to develop skills to assist in getting along with one another. Sometimes these challenges also rest within our own psyche.
Attending the University of Western Sydney’s faculty of Social Ecology was a fertile environment for leading edge perspectives on research, sociology, change management, and reflexive critical thinking. I gained a Graduate Diploma and Masters Degree in Critical Psychology, which provided a grounding in qualitative research (the deeper truth beyond statistics) and learning to value the disciplines of academic rigour.
I am enchanted by the magnificence of the cosmos and its infinite unfolding. I appreciate the notion of standing in awe of the very nature of creation, as well as the moral principle of making the world a better place.
I explore spirituality, which I understand to be a search for meaning, and our relationship with the inexplicable mysteries of existence and the universe. I refer to Tarot and Runes quite regularly, but see their messages as helpful advice rather than prophetic vision.
For the past 15 years, I have forged a meaningful relationship with the Northern Rivers & Byron Bay. This was initiated by the presence of the Radical Faeries, a group of mainly gay men exploring a deepening sense of who we are and how we might free ourselves of social patterning which has inhibited our self-expression.
I enjoy movement, particularly the 5 Rhythms model, developed by Gabrielle Roth
Sexuality and erotic vitality are subjects which engage my passion, as well as attempting to unpack gender binary cultural norms. Noticing the presence of sex-negative and shame-based ideologies, has lead to deepening awareness and insight - both for my own journey, and through working with clients. I appreciate the expanding perspective which has been afforded me by working around sexuality with men and women and transgendered folk.
I trained with the Institute of Sexology as a Somatic Sex Educator, a modality which values Touch, Breathwork, Awareness, Sound and Movement as tools to move towards Embodiment and Presence. I have engaged in a variety of body-oriented modalities, including Hakomi and Somatic Psychotherapy. The body is a wonderful source of information, which can be overlooked in more conventional “talk therapies”. This aspect of my work is motivated by the principle of Erotic Vitality, which is more a state or perspective on our erotic energy, than something defined by particular activities.
I have worked in private practise for most of my professional life, as well as presenting workshops, writing and group facilitation. I work significantly with gay clients, addressing a range of issues. More recently my client-base has become more diversified, attracting a broad range of people who are attracted to awareness as a tool for developing better strategies to address the challenges of the day. There is certainly a niche areas, related to folk who have worked with more mainstream modalities, and found them lacking the sensitivity and rapport to hold space for engaging sustaineable change.
It is important for me to live near the sea. I have all my life. I delight in water, though rarely laze on the beach. I prefer a walk around the coast, alone or chatting with a friend. Nature is a very nourishing and supportive aspect of my process.
I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to support others in moving towards greater sense of well-being in their lives, with more freedom to explore who they are and what they want.