"Choice is the word the butterfly whispers to the cocoon" -Tom Robbins
"Through her playful and uniquely personal approach she invites you to share everything you want for yourself in relation to how you feel about your body and what you are longing for in intimacy, relationship and your sexual expression."
My mission is to heal separation through creating easy step by step structures that support safety to feel more of ourselves and open sensory receptivity that gets shut down from grief. We’ve all adapted ourselves to belong in our families and communities and learnt to restrict trusting our spontaneity which creates a second guessing inner dialogue that inhibits our expression.
Opening our sensory receptivity and learning to feel more and fear less is the journey into embodiment and trusting our attuned spontaneity again.
Once upon a time, I didn't think I deserved to have feelings and I didn't recognise mine as being allowed. I've come a very long way and I've learnt my deepest teachings from the extremes of my experience and being with the depths of suffering with others. I’ve been a therapist for 28 years and learnt from so many people who've shared their lives with me. It feels like my heart is breaking open now over and over as I let kindness in and I am deeply grateful to feel this at last and take care of what truly matters.
The more we can feel, the more information we have available to make conscious choices from. Then we can let kindness in and live a consensual life. That is the life we want to live. With part of the picture we are likely to be going along with feeling something is missing - and it is!
Sessions with me support you to open your senses into receptivity. I teach from the foundational understandings of the wheel of consent by Betty Martin. They are a fusion of psycho therapy, bio energetics, sex education, anatomy teaching, body focusing, role play, body massage and body mapping with the essential ingredients of acceptance, compassion and kindness.
I have created a successful unique and powerful hands-on healing experience opening the portals of your body mind.
Courage. I support people of all genders, sexual orientations and physical abilities with the embodied capacity to feel and be in liberated presence with connection, intimacy, spontaneity and innocence.
To have an open heart requires courage as we come face to face with the shadows, where you may have made agreements that you are not worthy of love, that you will be rejected, humiliated, betrayed or abandoned.
When we release these fears and come into choice and informed consent, we learn our true internal yes and no, which liberates us into the relief of our naturalness and freedom.
I am a certified Somatic Sex Educator, Sexological Body worker, Art Psychotherapist, Playback Theatre performer, Tantra Teacher and Artist with 28 years of professional practice. I utilise a wide array of tools to reframe how we feel about ourselves and so light the path from loneliness to connection, deep generosity and sexual expression.
Imagine your entire body embedded with neuro-transmitters recording your life experiences on a cellular level. All your wounds and all your pleasure are in the mind of your body. We discover together the language and symbolism of your body mind to support your connection with listening in to your natural intuition.
I have witnessed the magic of the transformations possible when we heal and re-route our pathways to pleasure from ones that were limiting. I facilitate you, step by step, layer by layer, to feel deeply into what is true and to release the self deception strategies of protection that keep us hidden. All of the programmes on offer involve the release of old wounds and contracted stuck energies thus connecting you with all that your dreams and desires.
My Home. I host sessions in my sea side home in Dawlish. The session space is a private retreat and is warm and comfortable and houses my intimate oil painting collection. "Coming here is like bathing in a bath of permission" -SB Exmore. Devon.
Shh Sensual Healing Harmony
For a few years I was the senior guide for SHH, Sensual Healing Harmony, an international five star 4-7 day retreats for women who wish to reconnect with their sexuality and sensual selves. I now offer residential programs for women at the Sea School of Embodiment here in Dawlish.
The Sea School of Embodiment
I co founded the Sea School of Embodiment with Kian de la Cour, an organisation dedicated to bringing leading edge international trainings here to the UK in the field of Somatic Sexology. The SSE is now the certifying body for the UK and Ireland Certified Somatic Sex Educator and Sexological Bodywork training.
I am a professional member and follow the Code of Ethics of the The Association of Somatic and Integrative Sexologists (ASIS).
I meet regularly for supervision with international teachers Deej Juventin, Professional lead trainer at the Institute of Somatic Sexology and Dr. Betty Martin founder of the wheel of consent which forms the foundation of my practice. I also seek specialist supervision when clients in my practice present aspects of being human that require specialist support, these include Robin Shapiro international speaker, Psychotherapist, EMDR teacher author of "Easy Ego States interventions" and Celeste Hirschman, creator of the "Somatica" method which we are bringing to the UK soon.
"Coco" my toy poodle is with us in sessions as compassionate witness, teacher of naturalness, relaxation coach and guard.
Compassionate witness, relaxation coach and guard
Coco has been practicing embodiment since 2006 and has been part of over 1000 hours of embodiment sessions facilitating naturalness, compassionate witness and is an excellent guard of the space. He is slightly challenged in group settings not liking clapping but has learnt self regulation with support and has contributed his gifts of naturalness to several embodiment trainings.
Getting out of the audience. I met Jonathan Kay in 2015 and I have attended every possible workshop of his that I can. He calls his workshops "Getting out of the audience". They are not for the faint hearted and I have learnt that manipulation is futile if you try to do it 360 degrees. You actually can't hide the back of you if people are behind you and they are going to create you how they want to anyway. This man is a genius FOOL and never have I been more challenged and more rewarded. I had to endure being crippled by my second guessing guards before I discovered incredible joy in my imagination liberated from the straight jacket of the literal. This is neo cortex liberation without drugs. He is a huge teacher of kindness and a ruthless freedom fighter for our souls evolution.
Neuroscience. I am studying Neuroscience and loving learning about the biological roots of our self protection mechanisms and the neural networks between body and mind with my dear friend Dr. Susan Mizen who specialises in the study of psychoanalysis and neuroscience. I was hugely excited to meet Professor Mark Solms and the late Jakk Panksepp recently at the Royal College of Psychiatry at a conference where it was presented by these geniuses that consciousness lies in the body or Id and its the ego that is unconscious. See Mark Solms' talk The Conscious Id on YouTube . I see this as a coming together of Eastern and Western understandings. It's a no-brainer that somatic sex education and bodywork are needed to heal our sexuality and soothe our nervous systems. We must practice embodiment to re route new neural pathways for the fulfilment of our needs for connection, safety and play.
Creative writing. I am grateful to Briony Goffin whose compassionate and intuitive guidance, in her creative writing group, has taught me the liberation through writing out our inner dialogues and how we can negotiate with our inner lives when we can share them with witness. This is a vital bridging between our inner and outer worlds and is now part of what I teach and facilitate.
Playback Theatre. Over the last 12 years, I have been training and performing as part of Tarte Noire, one of the world's leading women's Playback Theatre companies that facilitates "intimacy in the community" - Alison Fairlove. I love being part of this community sharing our stories. As a performer, improvisational theatre has deepened my capacity to be fully present in service of embodying aspects of another's internal world which has been both challenging and enriching. Tarte Noire are like family to me. We meet weekly and perform in Totnes and Dawlish every season. Together we deeply witness and play back each others internal worlds.
Body Poem is a form of therapeutic intervention that I have developed over the years born out of a Playback Theatre form called “Dream Form”. The process is deeply relaxing and allows communications with the exiled parts of the self normally under censorship. The process supports integration and the potential for acceptance to be with the just is of justice. This is justice with our integrity and being in truth with ourselves liberated from time and energy consuming denial and distraction. I offer Body Poem sessions via Zoom and they are an integral part of session work. These sessions are a profound check in with your body mind.
Neuro Linguistic Programming. I have been gifted with inspirational NLP teachers in Roger and Emily Terry who have taught me how we can re-frame everything in their NLP Practitioner with Evolution Training.
Aura Perception Analysis. I completed the 14 day intensive in Phoenix Arizona from early morning till midnight every day (with homework!) Aura Perception Analysis training with Thunderstrikes, Harley Swift Deer, dearmoring my mind and learning about the matrix of the "luminous egg cocoon" we inhabit. I would not have survived this intensive training had it not been for my dear friend's Chi energiser which those of you who have had sessions with me will have experienced.
Recapitulated dearmoring I completed the fourteen day training with Sabina Tschudi and Johannes Schroder which released my body armour into my body flowing in its naturalness i.e orgasms are richer experiences. I learnt the importance of voice, breath and movement in liberating the kundalini (or un winding the Dura which is the connective tissue that surrounds the spine and brain that literally tightens to inhibit feelings in response to stress) When we relax through movement voice and breath our orasmic energies can flow.
Transform the wounds of plan a into the gifts of plan b. I am grateful to the brilliant mind and incredibly connected John Hawkin who supported a deep articulation of the Reichian body types that I learnt in the Recapitulated Shamanic dearmoring in relation to the self-protection strategies we are all limited with when we are only using plan A. How amazing it is to transform these limitations into gifts creating new ways of being with a plan B or even C! Its never too late to start plan B even after years of plan A not working anymore. We all age and change over time and our bodies and us have different needs for us to adapt to at each life stage and sooner or later plan A becomes obsolete. My oldest client is 82 and he's having a fantastic time now!
Sacred and Natural laws training. I have completed Gateways I, II and III of The Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society, discovering our connections with the natural worlds and healing through ceremony. I attend sweat lodges and teaching sessions and over the last five years Ive been learning the alchemy of the pipe. I have completed the first level training in Sexual Shamanism with Kenneth Ray Stubbs, who is my lifetime mentor in understanding energy and the multi-dimensions of experience.
Plant Medicines have transformed my life and I have been studying through understanding affective neuroscience perspectives the benefits of using plant medicines for healing trauma. There is currently government approved research into the use of MDMA and plant medicines including Ibogaine amongst others being conducted in clinical trails internationally. Therapeutic transformations have been achieved with trauma and addictions with literal rewiring neural networks back into healthy functioning.
I flew to the Gabon to study the Bwiti way of living and hold their wisdom teachings about life and eros, love and humility deep in my heart. The Bwiti is a tradition that is taught in six different languages by tribes from the jungle and the coast fused with Christianity. The ceremonies are a way of life with poly rhythmic music that expands consciousness which literally supports the neuro plasticity of new neural connections which helps people overcome intrusive inner dialogue and implicit memory interruptions that hijack a person being in their natural agency, attuned kindness. trust and confidence. In a country where most families experience trauma and grief, The Bwiti, which is practiced by 20% of the population, has literally saved souls from the despair that most of us in the west would not survive. They have learnt deep prayer and connection with nature and naturalness and these teachings of the most profound wisdom inform my understanding of human nature and what supports emotional balance.
I was born in Africa, in Nigeria, during the Biafran war and raised in Kenya until the age of eight. I recently returned and reunited myself with my roots and I now feel immense gratitude to have wept with the deep sadness and grief that I’ve carried inside me all these years of when I was separated from my African family. On my return, I nearly died of Faliciparum Malaria and I am in deep gratitude to be alive with joy and humility. I understand that sadness births joy and they go hand in hand with each other to birth compassion and humility.
In my early twenties I completed a BA Hons Fine Art in Leeds where I won the painting prize. I was political and loved playing with humour and studied feminism and the history of gender politics. I brought the radical feminists from the University Fine art Department together with the radical anarchists from the Polytechnic Fine Art department (who both felt superior to each other) and wrote a play called "the heart breaks" which was about how comparison and competition breaks the heart and creates separation.
Painting is a big part of my life and I have an art studio and Gallery where I paint and exhibit my paintings of the sea, animals and nature. I always paint with music which is a synthesthetic part of the process and Adam Westcott, an incredibly talented flamenco Guitarist. and me created together a fusion of music and paint in performances called The Eye of Sound where we performed together with me painting while he played his guitar. We performed to audiences at several public events. This was an experiment to liberate projection and perfectionism into receptivity into each moment so the painting is being received through me and the music.
The Medical Model. After Art college, I went on to train in psychiatric nursing and learnt the medical models Pharmaceutical interventions with uncontainable unregulated emotional states.
Art Psychotherapy. I trained and completed a foundation year followed by a Post Grad. Dip. Art Psychotherapy and learnt more deeply the necessity to find symbols from our souls to bridge loneliness.
Psycho-Analysis. During this time, I went into Jungian Analysis with the Society of Analytical Psychology and I'm deeply grateful to Esther Green, who has now passed over, for supporting my integration.
Group Analysis. During this time I completed the Introductory year training in Group Analysis with the Institute of Group Analysis.
The Squiggle Foundation. I studied for a year for a day a week with the Squiggle Foundation year training studying the work of Donald Winnicott.
Up-rooted. After Psychiatric nurse training, I worked in the adult mental health system in, what was then, darkest Hackney, in the straight jacket of the medical model controlling huge distress. I was there for eight years as part of in-patient and community mental health teams facilitating group programs, managing care plans and integrating Art Psychotherapy as part of the program. Hackney was a place where the outsiders lived; people, like me, whose belonging, cultural and racial identity had been uprooted. People navigating loss and change.
Coming home. It only dawned on me why I was working alongside staff and patients from Nigeria and Kenya, when I found myself in tears coming home to my feelings. I had come here to belong again to support others broken from the trauma of separation from feeling safe. Here I discovered the extremes of what happens to the human psyche and body when we are not held safe experiencing overwhelm.
Anesthetization of feelings. Alongside this, I had a placement in Surrey and specialised in working with people who were self medicating. I worked as an art psychotherapist supporting them to increase their physical and psychic capacity to feel and trust in life again. This was one of the hardest jobs I have ever done as the pain of feeling can be so massively feared if once upon a time it felt like we might die from such heart break. Alcohol and drugs exacerbate these splits and the separation between body and mind. Sometimes it's whatever gets you through the night but here also is our human potential to split us from our kindness with such self harm.
How do you persuade a person its much better to feel grief than it is to die. I am grateful to the capacity for image making to hold strong feeling states and make them bearable as this has worked for me but I'm even more grateful now to embodiment training which supports step by step increased capacity to feel and come into presence.
Its never too late until it is. During this time I also worked with people who were preparing to die. I listened very closely to their regrets and with all they were forgiving and making peace with. I listened and learnt that when we don't listen in to what is true for us, it wakes us up in the night and at the end when it might be too late.
"When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced, Live your life so when you die, the world cries and you rejoice" - a song we sing in Playback theatre.
For some people, these openings come in near death experiences or at certain ages that mark our lives with a sense of knowing that there's something more. These openings can happen while we are day dreaming or they wake us up in the night with questions like 'where am I going?', 'what is my purpose' and 'what do I truly want to experience in this one and precious lifetime before I die?'
Disaster. I gravely witnessed the disaster of never being found and the shame of keeping what is true secret when my father died. Truth always comes out to be found, in our lifetime or someone in generations ahead of us will discover us. Our wounds will be carried until someone is brave enough to feel the feelings that went underground.
Bravery is not all that is needed. We need a compassionate witness to emerge with the most vulnerable parts of our beings. We need a "self-regulating-other" (D. N. Stern) who will support us into the embodiment of our feelings. Then we can experience the relief of letting go, of holding in and holding on with what overwhelmed us into disconnection.
The Wheel of Consent
Dr Betty Martin who has informed the foundations of my practice with her profound and simple teachings that support an easy safe step by step route into embodiment and living a consensual life through opening the direct routes to pleasure. I was delighted to sponsor and assisting her UK tour in 2015-16 when she first brought these teachings to professionals who use touch in their practice in her now famous Like a Pro training which I now assist in internationally. I am a certified facilitator of the Wheel of Consent and deeply grateful to have been part of the international Practitioner training.
Betty is my dear friend and mentor and has taught me how to access the direct route to pleasure and presence opening my availability to receive what I need for self care after years of learning the hard way through repeated burn out. I deeply understand now we can only give as much as we can receive. This I am truly grateful for this route for letting kindness in to receive myself.
We are delighted to have Betty Zooming in as part our Certified Somatic Sex Educator and Sexological Bodywork training. The Wheel of Consent is foundational as part of the training for teaching erotic and emotional fluency that supports Safe professional practice.
Kian de la Cour and me teach the Wheel of Consent in small groups several times a year for making these teachings available for people wanting to learn to trust in receiving and learning how to give.
Open your heart and sing! One of my biggest teachers, over the years, is Ida Kelarova who held me safe in her ten day darkness retreat, surrounded by potato fields and pine forests, where I went into my darkness and felt what I hadn't been able to feel alone before. She has given me the most precious gift of my life, my capacity to feel without overwhelm. This has opened my heart and deepened my capacity to hold others safe and go where we need to go to flow with life without fear. She taught me that true joy springs from having felt compassion with our sadness and that love is possible when we are no longer in fear.
My children and the children I have worked with have been my biggest teachers in understanding the developmental stages in child development and the creative process and how that relates to our confidence in spontaneity and sexual expression. This was originally born from my fine art training and training in Art Psychotherapy and with facilitating art groups for children for seven years.
Tantra. in 2003 I began training with Shakti Tantra with teachers and pioneers, and now dear friends and colleagues, Hilary Spenceley and Sue Newsome who wove together many teachings including Quodoushka with teachings from Bioenergetics, Osho and Tantra. This makes the Shakti Tantra formula deeply effective for change. I then went on to teach as part of Shakti Tantra team specialising in teaching the famous Women's program. I have explored coming out of hiding from shame-less into shame-free. I experienced the 'Namaste' of witnessing myself and others with kindness and to be me without second-guessing how I am going to be received. Only when released from this can we trust our spontaneity.
Dark Eros. Dark Eros is a deep dive training that is a fusion of Tantra and BDSM developed over many years by John Hawken who is one of the original Tantra teachers in the UK with his tantra school Sky Dancing. His training has evolved into The Paths of Transformation which I have been deeply honoured to be a guest teacher with him contributing affective neuroscience and wheel of consent understandings. This year in 2019, we are together bringing new light to Dark Eros combining the Wheel of Consent and neuroscience with this brave exploration into integrating exiled parts of the self with erotic energy.
The Erotic Awards. In 2007, I was nominated for an Erotic Award by my now dear friend Dr Tuppy Owens, the political sexual freedom fighter, founder of the national Outsiders organisation which supports people living with a disability to celebrate and have access to the support they need to meet their sexual expression and intimacy needs. I won the Erotic Awards artist of the year for my work with the Outsiders organisation healing body image through painting body portraits.
I continue to support the Outsiders facilitating sexual freedom events and for a couple of years, when I had more time, I was a judge for the Sexual Freedom Awards Ceremony. I am also part of SHADA (Sexual Health and Disability Alliance) I used to perform annually at the Erotic awards and the Night of the Senses and one year I was the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Quodoushka. ten years ago I went on to train directly with my Quodoushka teachers Batty Gold (ThunderBear) and Rose Fink (ThunderEagle). Quodoushka is a vast matrix of teaching about sexuality essential for sex and relationship education and I have attended 5 level 1 trainings along with levels 2 and 3 and embodied these teachings with my practice. I was delighted to sponsor and assist the UK Quodoushka workshops here in Devon in 2015-16 and look forward to welcoming Rose and Batty here again in the future.
Certification in Somatic Sex Education and Sexological Bodywork. CSSE & CSB, I was introduced to Sexological Bodywork and Somatic Sex Education with my amazing teachers and mentors Joseph Kramer, Deej Juventin and Uma furman. This training transformed my practice in understanding anatomy, routes to arousal, body mapping, routes to embodiment, gender and sexual roles in intimacy and healing shame. Most of all, this training supports clarity, after years of working in the field of sexuality, in creating consensual co-empowered agreements and safe professional practice.
I am now delighted to be teaching the UK and Ireland Certification in Somatic Sex Education and Sexological body work training with Joseph Kramer and Kian de la Cour.
My life's opportunity is to go deep into understanding the essential need for kindness and compassion for survival. I can still be horribly critical when I'm applying high standards on myself but you get the benefit of that as I am committed 100% with my integrity providing leading edge embodiment therapy. Part of me will always know fear and the separation from kindness and I'm grateful to many of my teachers supporting me into the relief of humility.