Ruth Steenvoorden

R.G.N., Dip. Counselling and Psychotherapy, Dip. Gestalt Psychotherapy, Level 2 Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. MIAHIP.

Qualifications: General Registered Nurse (Barking University London) Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Tivoli Institute Dublin)
Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy (Dublin Gestalt Centre) Certificate in Level 1 and Level 2 Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Colarado, USA)

Experience and approach: Ruth Steenvoorden joined Focus Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2000 after graduating from the Tivoli Institute, Dublin. Following this she commited to a four year training programme in Gestalt Psychotherapy which she completed in 2006 with the Dublin Gestalt Centre. In 2009 Ruth engaged in process based work with a Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist and consequently went on to study with the Sensorimotor Institute based in Colorado, America. She has now successfully completed both Level 1 (Trauma Training) and Level 2 (Developmental Trauma Training). This form of psychotherapy blends cognitive and emotional approaches with particular attention to physical sensations in the body, which can help create connections between past and present experiences. The symtoms of trauma, attachment and emotional issues along with childhood developmental wounds often cause much distress in our current lives. The most common are depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, mood swings, low self esteem, chronic pain, hopelessness, substance abuse, self harm and feelings of being disconnected from oneself and others.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: When we think about a traumatic experience our physical and emotional reactions can become overwhelming. People can become distressed, unable to think and remain stuck in this place. Sensorimotor psychotherapy is a body-centred psychotherapy that can broaden out a persons experience of managing overwhelming feelings, as it includes the body, as opposed to the traditional talking therapies which may be limited. Sensorimotor psychotherapy makes it possible for clients to discover the habitual and automatic attitudes, both psychological and physical, by which they generate patterns of experience. This gentle therapy teaches a client to follow the inherently intelligent process of body and mind to promote healing. Through the use of simple experiments unconscious attitudes are brought to consciousness where they can be examined, understood and changed. Ruth draws on mindfullness techniques that can develop stability hence able to transform and integrate past experiences. To be mindfull is to focus on internal states rather than external events and to attend to “present moment” rather than past or future. Mindfullness is a passive state of consciousness in that its goal is to observe “what is” rather than attempting to manipulate or change it. The aim in the work is to directly address the implicit memories and neurobiological effects of trauma and developmental childhood wounds. Ruth has at the centre of her practice the belief that it is in the therapeutic relationship of empathy, gentleness and unconditional positive regard that a person can discover their deepest value and unique self.

Professional Status: Accredited member of Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy.