Helena has trained since 2009 in the Saphire™ Imagery work with Dr Catherine Shainberg, transpersonal psychologist, who directs the School of Images in New York.
Catherine trained under Mme Colette Aboulker Muscat, a
mystic in Jerusalem, who held direct lineages to the earliest Kabbalistic writers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Kabbalah means ‘receiving’, and when we look inside ourselves, we ‘receive’ or find the wisdom light that is alreadythere, underneath whatever patterns may appear to obscure it.
This approach teaches the use of the imagination for transformation. It uses the tools of dreaming, visualization and imagery to jolt us into the subconscious mind and give us access to our own inner guidance and wisdom. There are imagery practices to change troublesome mental and
emotional patterns, to improve relationships, increase
creativity and abundance, help with physical imbalances and illhealth, and so to create more freedom and joy in life.
The visualization exercises mostly use images from nature and daily life, and people find them enjoyable and easy to access.
To understand more, see the School of Images website or
Catherine Shainberg's books: Kabbalah and the Power of Dreaming, and Dreambirth.
Helena is certified to practise The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP), and is a Mentor for the process. TRTP is a three session process using hypnosis to connect clients with their best selves, to target and clear negative core beliefs, traumatic memories and distressing past events, and to find the place within where it is possible to create a positive future, with freedom to be vibrantly alive. It is appropriate for PTSD, trauma, depression and anxiety.
TRTP works at the level of the subconscious, where old habits and memories are stored, and includes hypnosis, which is simply focussed attention and willingness to engage in ‘theatre for the mind’ - that is, to use the imagination and follow suggestions to release negative patterns and engage in fresh, positive ones. Anyone can be hypnotised: if you can imagine what it's like to suck on a cut lemon, you can do this work.
The process aims to move the person to a position of empowerment in regard to traumatic memories, and to return body and mind to a state of deep calm – the goals that trauma specialists now recognize as essential to achieve if trauma is to be resolved.
If you are interested in exploring this process with Helena, please see Judith Richards' website, where there is more information and some videos documenting outcomes.
Gestalt is an existential therapy that works in the present moment, the 'here and now', and uses the present context in an interactive way to develop the twin goals of awareness and self responsibility. It uses creative and experiential
techniques to enhance awareness so that a person may
notice aspects of themselves that had been suppressed or ignored.
The most well known Gestalt technique is 'empty chair' work, where a person engages in a role play conversation with an imagined person, who might be a family member, or with a part of their own psyche (e.g. inner critic), and acts out both sides of a dialogue.
Responsibility is understood as ability to respond, rather than react, and so to be free to choose how we wish to be in life. In this way a more whole and authentic sense of self emerges, and a greater sense of freedom and self-direction is experienced.
Helena completed a three year training in this method 25 years ago. Along with her prior Buddhist training in methods of mindfulness and awareness, it opened her understanding that awareness is the key to personal and spiritual growth and is vital to every stage of the journey - hence the name of this website.
All good therapy leads a person to notice their thinking habits and cognitions, and to see which ones might need to be revamped if the lifestyle these are creating feels
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) tells clients that if they have troublesome emotions and life situations, they need to change how they think.
Many psychologists use this approach almost exclusively.
Helena includes CBT techniques selectively. People clearly benefit from recognising the connection between their emotions, thoughts and behaviour, and learning
communication skills, assertiveness skills or stress reduction techniques can be really useful.
Most of us benefit from making behavioural changes in our
lives such as making an effort to exercise, eat a healthier diet, treat others differently, or try something that might have previously scared us, when we want to feel better in our lives.
However, where people are unable to make such positive changes, even when they want to, Helena finds it useful to use the methods of TRTP, Imagery or Gestalt experiment to elicit and transform the blocked subconscious patterns that
hold the dysfunction in place. Then there can really be the possibility of radical wellness.