My story begins during childhood experiences of sensory processing difficulties, anxiety, perfectionism, and OCD behaviours, which were almost invisible to those around me growing up throughout my schooling. I coped well enough at school that it was hard to guess that underneath the exterior, I was likely struggling within my emotional and mental health, and experiencing significant sensory processing challenges. I remember I went to great lengths to pursue perfection in my schoolwork and reflecting back, my determination has been an asset for me, but also drained my energy reserves throughout childhood, adolescence and into my early 20’s, leading to adrenal exhaustion and imbalance in my nervous system’s ability to manage stress.
I also experienced sensory sensitivities to movement, noise, light sensitivity and experienced food-related challenges (a limited diet of mainly white foods, specific types of fruit, processed food where the taste was consistent & predictable, and foods with a consistent texture). I wasn’t able to expand my range of food choices until around mid-teen years, where I learnt skills to try new foods and expand my nutritional intake. It was challenging for my parents who didn’t even know that Occupational Therapists existed to help with these kind of challenges. It’s quite possible I would have benefited from Occupational Therapy myself!
So, interestingly enough, I began studying Occupational Therapy at University in 2010, as I felt passionately about helping others and enjoyed learning about health, body anatomy and health science. My self-learning and self-awareness really grew once I began work as an Occupational Therapist with children and their families, 5 years later. It’s at this time that a lot of my childhood challenges started to make sense, as I began reflecting on my own childhood experiences while learning and building on the theory and knowledge from my work. I was reading literature about attachment, sensory processing, neurodivergence, nervous system maturity and neuroplasticity.
Things started to make sense as I discovered WHY I experienced challenges since childhood.
I decided I wanted to dig deeper to better understand my experiences as a child, knowing what I had learnt as an Occupational Therapist and as a keen student of life. Through accessing psychology and counselling support for several months, I was able to make connections about my childhood challenges, to expand my self-awareness and give clarity around my experiences. Fast forward to the last couple of years, and I now have an immense appreciation for my experiences and challenges as a child, as I am very passionate about working with families to support their children’s emotional and physical wellbeing.
I’ve found that my experiences with sensory processing challenges helps me to relate to the children and teenagers I work with (adults too!), and to appreciate a wider understanding of how they might be experiencing their world. I use a strengths-based approach to support and encourage clients to recognise their strengths, leading to building self-confidence, their sense of self and support their wellbeing and enjoyment of life!
After working an as Occupational Therapist for several years, I continued to search for confirmation of the mind-body connection. Psychology and counselling supported my mind, but I felt deep and repressed emotions being held in my body, making it difficult to move through the mental challenges of anxiety, OCD and perfectionistic tendencies. So, I went looking for more information to understand the nervous system and how our brain and body is connected, and the influence of this connection on our health, wellbeing, thoughts and experiences in life. I began receiving bodywork sessions to address my unresolved emotional experiences in early life and this lead to me studying a 3 year diploma in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Read more about my journey to becoming a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist on my blog.