We are very glad and excited to have Leyna join our team at Kundalini House on Thursdays.
You are a qualified Psychotherapist, who works with a wide range of clients, but you have also been working for the past 10 years in an area which needs a lot of support, that of family violence, addiction and sexual violence. Can you tell us how you came to be working in this area?
My own life experience and the experience of those close to me, has definitely influenced my journey as a therapist. I began working in addiction, having sadly lost people in my life to drug use. This led to my desire to support people experiencing substance use issues . Whilst working in this space I also worked with those impacted by sexual violence and abuse. Many people I worked with had experienced a history of trauma, which included Family/Domestic violence. Through my experience, I gained much insight into how trauma, addiction and the manifestation of mental health conditions were closely linked; and I have continued to be driven to support those presenting with such experiences.
Psychotherapy is very helpful for when we are experiencing challenging life situations, but it can be just as helpful for us to feel more at peace and happier within ourselves. By addressing and looking at our anxieties, our subconscious beliefs, our patterns in relationships etc it can help us feel lighter and easier in the world.
You have a Person-centred approach to your work and you also are a big advocate of yoga and meditation to help with the way we feel in the world. Can you tell us a little bit about what this approach is and how it works in therapy?
The Person-Centred approach, supports the concept that each individual has the capacity for growth, given the right conditions. Much like a plant, given the right amount of water and sunlight it will grow in its own way. It considers the client as the expert of their own world, with the ability for self-actualisation. This is achieved in therapy through a delicate process of exploration.
Person-Centred philosophy is interested in the individual’s ability to move toward a more authentic self. It recognises that through our life we are conditioned and taught who we are, which is often based on the values and morals of others. Some of which may shape us positively, however some of our conditioning can leave us feeling unhappy, living a life that does not feel true to who we really are.
Therefore my focus as a Psychotherapist is to stay present to where the individual is at; and to what is emerging within the therapeutic relationship. I see my role as a facilitator; there to support the individual in their own process of self-awareness.
So you might wonder, well how does this actually help?
Well, through this relational experience, there is an opportunity to gain a deeper more honest relationship with self. The nature of this therapeutic relationship provides challenges that bring up emotions, beliefs and behavioural patterns, some of which can be connected to past experiences; or our conditioning. Allowing space for this to emerge provides an opportunity for exploration at a more conscious level. Through conscious connection with the self, we can begin to develop deep self-awareness and learn more about who we truly are; and how our view of the self influences the way we view others and our world.
As you mentioned I am an advocate for regular yoga and meditation practice; and am interested with how such practices can provide us with a deeper connection with self and others. It has been through practising, that I have had some of my most profound moments of clarity. Similarly to Person-Centred therapy, the focus surrounds the individual and their experience and connection with the self. For me, this encompasses the journey back to the authentic self.
I am interested in how yoga and meditation can assist individuals with their emotional and physical wellbeing. I am particularly interested in how yoga and meditation can assist with the treatment of trauma and emotional regulation. When working with individuals, I am drawn to calling upon mindfulness exercises, which can include breath work and focussing; with an intention to assist the individual to gain further insight into their mind, body connection.
You practice Yoga everyday Leyna, can you give us your tips to maintaining commitment and staying well and healthy?
My main motivation surrounds my desire to live a fulfilling life, when I feel healthy and well connected with my true self; I have the capacity to make good choices, form healthy relationships and generally feel good.
I find that living in a fast paced world, it is easy for me to lose focus, motivation and connection. It is when I find myself in this place, that my mood, tolerance and general outlook on the world is impacted. In simple terms, I feel that my mind becomes clouded, this leads to stress in my personal life, making poor decisions about my eating habits and my overall health.
I find that keeping up with a good routine is key to maintaining focus and commitment. I practice from several centres and have specific classes each week that I will attend. I plan each week in advance, so I can be organised and have a mental note of what the week ahead holds.
If you would like to book with Leyna, please call her on 0402 468 382.
Visit her website here.