"That which haunts us will always find a way out. The wound will not heal unless given witness. The shadow that follows us is the way in."
Melanie works with children, adolescents and adults who identify that they may benefit from therapy. Melanie has a particular interest in working with patients for whom short-term interventions have not been effective.
Melanie has trained in a broad variety of evidence-based approaches, including eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, emotion-focused therapy, psychodrama and psychodynamic therapy.
Melanie most often employs a psychodynamically-informed method when working with patients to address longstanding issues that may be more amenable to treatment with relationally-focused and insight-oriented therapies. The use of EMDR and/or the Safe and Sound Protocol may also be utilised to support emotional regulation following traumatic events in the past and present.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an intensive therapeutic process which helps individuals to explore challenges in everyday life, complex feelings, and difficulties arising in interpersonal relationships. The therapy is focused on the here-and-now, emotions, thoughts and experiences, the therapeutic relationship, exploration of dream life, interpersonal patterns and dynamics. The focus is less on symptom reduction, and more on building attachment security, a personal sense of agency, emotional maturation, flexibility of coping styles, the tolerance of strong emotional states, self-esteem regulation, capacity for self-reflection and mentalization, and other areas of overall psychological functioning.
This way of working might be useful if you are looking for a therapy that moves beyond a search for strategies and solutions, towards a search for meaning and awareness. This process can lead to meaningful change in mental health symptoms, with effects that have been shown to be more likely to endure over time than other evidence-based approaches.
The Safe and Sound Protocol is a listening therapy based on the research of Dr Stephen Porges, whose work on Polyvagal Theory has been useful in understanding nervous system responses to trauma responses. This approach draws on the auditory system as a gateway to the vagus nerve, which is linked to the heart, lungs, and digestive tract to control our physiological arousal. Many patients with a history of trauma seek support for ongoing emotional regulation difficulties. The Safe and Sound Protocol supports the nervous system to down-regulate.
EMDR may be used after a thorough assessment has been conducted for those patients who are ready to process traumatic or distressing experiences. The intervention stimulates the brain's capacity to integrate distressing experiences by recreating eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation in session with a therapist, and noticing experiences including thoughts, images, somatic experiences, and feelings in the process of this.
These forms of therapy can be helpful for the following difficulties:
depression, including chronic, recent and perinatal depression
complex interpersonal dynamics and repeating difficulties in relationships
experiences of trauma, neglect, abuse and deprivation