Who I am
Psychology was no career option for me. It is my calling in life.
Born a Londoner, into a family of Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants, I stand between two worlds –east and west. I am passionately interested in cultures and how people relate to life uniquely. All of this, coupled with my introverted, analytical mind, drew me to study psychology. CBT was my first love and I have never grown out of it.
My second watershed moment came with the encounter with mindfulness taught in the light of cognitive therapy. I experienced firsthand the daunting difficulty of being with oneself; all one’s challenging emotions, thoughts and sensations.
It was around the same time that I began to see individuals grappling with traumatic experiences, people scarred by vicissitudes of life: victims of road accidents, natural and man-made disasters (genocides and civil wars), traumatic child-birth experience, assaults, childhood abuse, human trafficking and intimate partner violence.
I won’t lie. Working with trauma was traumatising. My sense of place and security in the world was devastated by this phase of my work. Feeling helpless and ill-equipped myself, I went back to personal therapy to understand my reactions to the stories I heard.
I read new literature on trauma and trained further in working with it. I learnt about trauma imagery, dissociation, complex trauma, working with shame, cultivating compassion and acceptance and how the body stores trauma memories.
This finally culminated in my training in Eye Movement Desensitisation Therapy (EMDR) and Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), additional talking therapies for PTSD and trauma approved by NICE.
It has been a beautiful, enriching, challenging, bumpy and heartbreaking ride. The people who turned to me for help have been inspiring to work with and it has been a privilege to witness their journey. They have shown me what it means to live out humanity in all its authenticity, beauty, torn-ness, suffering and joy.
what I believe
I believe that psychotherapy is a creative, organic, mutually fruitful, collaborative endeavor, one that demands patience, diligence and compassion for result.
I believe that individuals are dynamic and complex and so should the approach be to understand them. A single-minded, one-dimensional approach doesn’t often yield any lasting, authentic change. I believe any change we may wish for is accompanied by grey areas: tradeoffs, challenges, compromises and potential risks. It requires the strength of vulnerability.
My approach is aligned with these convictions. I offer therapy that blends knowledge from a variety of sciences, my own experience and evidence of what works with each individual.
I am influenced by and integrate the following scientific fields:
When you come for therapy, you can expect candid, straightforward and jargon-free talk. I don’t pretend to have all the answers – I don’t think any therapist does – but I can assure you that we can think better together.
Training & Qualifications
• MSc Occupational & Organisational Psychology | In progress | University of East London
• Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing Therapy | 2016 | Richman EMDR Training
• Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy & Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction | 2013 | Teacher Training, Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice, Bangor University, Wales.
• Post-Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies | 2010 | King's College London
• BSc Honors Psychology | 2002 | City University, London
• British Association of Cognitive & Behavioural Psychotherapies (BABCP) - Accredited CBT Therapist
• BABCP Accredited CBT Supervisor
• EMDR Association UK & Ireland
The Importance of Accreditation
The title “CBT therapist” is often loosely used. Anyone with mere academic interest and a membership (which is open) in the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) can claim it. The title alone doesn’t automatically signify any level of training and proficiency.
Accreditation by BABCP, however, is a serious matter and involves a rigorous process. The accredited therapists are highly qualified, thoroughly vetted and abide by the code of ethics and practice that protects clients. They are also obligated to receive expert CBT supervision and pursue regular and relevant professional development. Accreditation is renewable every year. The name of all accredited CBT Psychotherapists are listed at http://cbtregisteruk.com/
You can thus be assured that you are meeting someone who is deeply committed, accountable, professional and experienced.