Psychotherapy with me takes place at my private practice at Þórunnartún 6 in central Reykjavík. Sessions are 50 minutes once a week or more / less frequently depending on the individual´s interest, needs and financial capacity. My working languages are Icelandic and English. I also offer online sessions where I use Zoom or Kara platforms. My fees for a session are 16.000 IKR, next to be raised 1 September 2021. Most labour unions partly refund such session for their members. I am regulated by the EAP code of ethics. As a Registered Nurse I am regulated by law and regulations for the conduct of Health Care Professionals in Iceland and the codes of Icelandic Nurses. Each client I work with is expected to accept this framework for our work. I am primarily guided by IFS (Internal Family System) therapy but am influenced by EFT (Emotion Focused Therapy) and use EMDR when appropriate. I seek regular consultations, an important quality measure in psychotherapy.
I work with adults in individual therapy.
I work with people who are burdened by a lack of self-worth, guilt, self-criticism, anger, shame, loneliness, sense of rejection and oppression. I work with people who experience loss or problems in their relationships. I work with issues underlying addiction and co-dependence and various forms of anxiety and depression. I help adults to work through childhood attachment trauma of abuse, neglect and unmet needs as well as other kind of trauma and violence, including bullying. I work with people who experience existential or identity crisis, are insecure in who they are or what they want in life and guide people who wish to or are making changes in their behaviour and life.
How I work
My approach is “Integrative” – it integrates methods and assumptions of various Humanistic approaches and aims at personal integration. I promote an attitude of self-acceptance, curiosity and self-compassion. I work primarily with awareness of self and personal parts, through experiencing, understanding, regulating and expressing emotions and associated body sensations and their interplay with thoughts and behavior. I work with the present and explore how it might be affected by the past. I work through the therapeutic relationship within safe ethical boundaries at a pace suitable for each client. I promote collaborative work where I see both me and my clients as active, knowledgeable and responsible participants that change and are affected by the other. I am willing to go with my clients into their deep dark parts in a safe, respectful, accepting manner.
I primarily work in a dialogue (talking-therapy) but I also use in-session experiments like chair work and focusing, awareness, various types of meditation, relaxation and breathing. I encourage my clients to develop a routine of such inner work, physical outdoor activities and a healthy sleep routine. Inner strength is increased in the same manner as muscular strength: by regular practice. Regular practice increased the chances of being able to handle distressing situation and triggers as, in case of muscles, to handle heavy weights. Many of these methods are available at the “Self-care” section.
I am primarily guided by three compatible evidence-supported approaches; Internal Family System Therapy (my main modality), Emotion Focused Therapy and EMDR. I am further guided by Attachment Theory, the work of Bessel Van der Kolk, Gabor Maté, Janina Fisher and April Steele as well as Neurobiology and Polyvagal theory. My initial training was attachment and Gestalt focused.
More about my approaches
More about Emotion Focused Therapy
It is an empirically-supported humanistic treatment that views emotions as centrally important in human functioning and therapeutic change, summarised as “changing emotions with emotions”. I help my clients to experience, understand, regulate and express their emotions and associated body sensations and their interplay with thoughts and behaviour. They learn to tolerate their emotions instead of avoiding or suppressing them and feeling ashamed of them. Emotions become their friends and guide in life. Here is how the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT) defines this approach. Here Leslie Greenberg, one of the founders of the approach, explains it and why it works. This approach is also one of the main approaches used in therapy for couples. ICEFT (Sue Johnson) is the leading agent for such work.
More about Internal Family System Therapy
IFS is an evidence-supported trauma oriented approach. IFS views a person as containing an ecology of relatively discrete minds (parts, aspects of personality), each of which has valuable qualities and are designed to play a valuable role in the person´s life. Life experiences can force the parts out of these roles and reorganize the inner system in distressing ways. Their intentions are good but their methods are harmful. Parts form three groups. Two groups are “protectors”; Managers of everyday life and Firefighters who react compulsively when Managers fail. Both have the job to protect us from being aware of our Exiles; parts who hold pain from our life experiences. In IFS therapy these parts are helped to heal so our Self can become our internal leader and a state we can increasingly live in. The self is where connectedness, calmness, compassion, clarity, courage, curiosity, creativity and confidence reside. My clients learn to become their own healers through inner work and IFS becomes a way of life. Here the founder of the model explains it and shows an example of how IFS inner work can begin.
More about EMDR
EMDR is an evidence-supported trauma therapy. EMDR does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue. Eye movements, directed by the therapist, are used to help resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. The traumatic event will still be remembered but without the enduring inhibiting emotions and thoughts associated with it. Kati Morton explains the process and why it works in a short video.