& EMDR Therapy
Integrative Psychotherapy and EMDR Therapy with a focus on embodiment to deal with and heal through distressing or traumatic parts of your life that are negatively impacting your wellbeing
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy provides you with a professional and confidential space that helps you deal with difficult moments in life and heal through the deeper obstacles that are stopping you from overcoming challenges and engaging in further growth. Psychotherapy helps you develop a deeper awareness of your body, emotions, thoughts and behaviours, and better understand how your childhood experience still impacts your current life. It also provides you with the safe space and tools that are necessary to change how you behave, feel and think, rather than being trapped in patterns that are still present from your past. This enables you to live a freer and more meaningful life with a greater sense of wellbeing. In my therapeutic work I adopt an integrative, holistic and embodied approach. This means that I use different therapeutic approaches that respect the complexity of being human while putting a lot of emphasis on having a connection with your body and with being more grounded in the present. We will discuss together which approaches fit best with you but I also invite you to be open to experience other approaches that can stretch your psychological flexibility and become a more integrated and resilient human being.
Common areas I work with
- High stress levels
- Obsessive and compulsive tendencies
- Self-esteem and confidence
- Navigating major life changes
- Trauma and its impact (e.g. PTSD)
- Sexual abuse
- Childhood abuse or neglect
- Developing a deeper connection to emotions
- Shame and guilt
- Anger management
- Relationship challenges and development
- Sex life challenges
- Sexual or gender identity
- Coming out as an LGBTQIA+ person
- Being a non-monogamous person or someone involved in kink/fetish/BDSM
- Preparation for and integration of experiences of expanded states of consciousness
What are the main psychological approaches that I use?
I draw upon different psychological and therapeutic approaches in my work as I believe in the importance of integrating different aspects of life experience rather than fitting people into pre-existing boxes. The main approaches that I draw from are outlined below, although I also use skills and knowledge from other schools of thought.
The Body-focused approach is mainly about placing the bodily experience in the foreground. The world we live in puts a lot of emphasis on the cognitive side. However, we are a body that is made up of various organs, one of them being the brain that is intimately connected with the rest of our body. It isn’t only our brain that remembers but also our body that keeps record of all our life experiences and in turn impacts how we live our life. In Body-focused therapy we bring awareness to our bodily experience so we can understand ourselves in a more holistic way, by-passing the rational censorship that some of us experience in relation to more challenging internal processes.
One of the approaches I use a lot in my work is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy. This is a psychological treatment that targets the way our brain processes difficult experiences and is very helpful when dealing with the impact of challenging or traumatic life experiences. EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and properly store them in long-term memory rather than leaving them active in the background. In this way, it helps reduce the distress that these memories can cause. Part of the process, when doing EMDR online, consists of tapping oneself lightly on the laps or shoulders.
Humanistic and Person-Centred
The Humanistic and Person-Centred approach focuses a lot on creating a safe relationship between the therapist and the client in order to enable change. Research has repeatedly shown that this is actually one of the main things that facilitates change in therapy. This approach also believes in our intrinsic ability to solve our problems as we strive to fulfil our potential as human beings. According to this approach, a decrease in our wellbeing is a result of this potential being hindered or stifled by painful life experiences. The Humanistic and Person-Centred approach helps identify and remove these obstacles through the non-judgemental and accepting relationship that is created during therapy.
The Psychodynamic approach is based on the understanding that patterns of behaviour and relationships that we experience when we’re young strongly impact how we behave and relate later on in life. As children, we had to develop ways of making sense of and protecting ourselves from painful or difficult experiences. Unfortunately, we often get stuck with using these defences in our adulthood even though they’re no longer helpful. The Psychodynamic approach enables us to increase our awareness of the internal conflicts, safely experience the feelings which are causing us difficulties and begin to resolve these conflicts.
In the Mindfulness approach, the aim is to incorporate more of our experience (actions, thoughts, emotions, sensations) into our consciousness, rather than be dragged along by our reactions to what is happening around us or within us. This helps us situate ourselves better in the present, which in turn decreases rumination and worry, inducing a level of calmness that’s experienced as an overall sense of wellbeing and reduction in stress levels. A concept and practice that is intimately linked to mindfulness is that of acceptance, where we experience the paradox of feeling better when we stop struggling with what we cannot change, difficult as it may be.
The Cognitive Behavioural (CBT) approach concentrates on identifying and changing behaviour and thought patterns that we’ve developed over time and that are now unhelpful for us. In CBT we look at thinking processes and explore how they link with and form how we behave and feel. CBT often includes in-between session tasks to develop more our self-awareness and practise behaviours that help bring about the desired change.
What happens during therapy sessions?
We will first have an initial, free, non-committal 25-minute call for you to tell me briefly why you’re contacting me and for me to tell you a bit about how I work. In that call we will both check whether we’re a good fit for each other and what kind of focus would be best for you should we work together.
If we decide to start working together, we will have our first full session where I will ask you some information about your whole life story in order to better understand who you are as a person. You don’t need to prepare anything for this session.
During the rest of the sessions, what we do depends on what your needs are and what we decided to focus on. Some sessions will entail you talking in more detail about an aspect of your life, exploring it in a non-judgemental and safe place. During other sessions we will dig deeper into what might be causing or maintaining the difficulties you’re encountering. Sometimes I will invite you to do some activity during the session and occasionally might also suggest some tasks that you can do between sessions. This is all done in a collaborative way and there is no obligation to engage in what is being suggested. However, you will also be challenged to allow yourself to grow!
How long does therapy take?
This is a million-dollar question! Each person is different and the process of change is very unique to each person depending on how you function as a person and the challenges that you’re dealing with.
Psychotherapy works best when you allow your more vulnerable side to be present. For this to happen, you need to feel safe and this sense of security and safety takes some time to develop. I suggest planning for 4-5 sessions to be able to feel more ‘settled’ in the therapeutic space. Of course, this is a recommendation, not an obligation.
This doesn’t mean that therapy is never-ending! Instead, we will be evaluating your process as we go along in order to ensure that our focus is on how you implement the changes brought about during therapy in your everyday life.
What I offer you
I offer you an empathic, safe and non-judgemental space as well as the professional expertise and experience that are needed to help you deal with and heal through the challenges you’re encountering. Awareness and respect of diversity is central to my practice. I adopt a culturally competent, sex-positive and LGBTQIA+ affirmative approach in my work. You can read more about me here.
I’m aware of how important it is to be able to express yourself in your own language. You can use English, Maltese, Italian or French during sessions. However, it’s important that you have an understanding of English as this is the language I primarily work in.
What others have said
Michael was a calm and steady support for me during one of the toughest times of my life. Although I came to him searching for answers, this is not what he gave me. Instead, our conversations compelled me to look deeper within and become more in touch with how I was feeling – both mentally and physically – and thus, do my own work and find my own answers. Michael is not who you come to for a quick-fix — he’s who you come to for long-lasting resultsLeah, Denmark
I feel that I’ve benefited enormously from seeing Michael for EMDR therapy sessions. I felt in safe hands throughout the process. I’m very grateful for how much healing I’ve experienced since starting therapy with Michael. It’s been very worthwhile and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to do so.Andreas, Denmark
Michael showed a deep understanding of my condition and what I had been through … He identified dynamic elements of my life prior to my trauma that I could address in order to feel confident that I would be able to live an even more relaxed and fulfilled life than I did beforehand. I understand now that I will never go back to the person that I was, but I am, in many ways, happier with the person that I am nowCara, UK
Price for one session (50 min): €95
If you live/work in Scandinavia, Switzerland or Australia: €125
COUPLES / RELATIONSHIP GROUPS:
Price for one session (50 min): €115
If you live/work in Scandinavia, Switzerland or Australia: €150
There is an extra charge of €10 for sessions held in-person in Berlin.
* All prices include German VAT (19%) for individuals (not businesses) when applicable.
Can psychotherapy be claimed with health insurances?
In most countries (including Germany and Denmark), you will not be able to claim the expense for the psychotherapy I provide with your health insurance. However, in some countries it might be possible. Please check with your health insurance about this. If your health insurance chooses to reimburse you, please note that I don’t deal with the health insurances directly so sessions would need to be paid directly by yourself and then you can ask for reimbursement from the health insurance.
Free initial call
Before deciding to embark on a therapeutic journey together, we will have an initial, free 25-minute non-committal conversation to understand what your needs are and how I can be of help. You can book an initial meeting here.
Duration and frequency of meetings
Psychotherapy sessions last 50 minutes. There might be cases where we decide together to have longer sessions, as in the case of some EMDR sessions, so as not to interrupt what comes up during a session.
In order for therapy to focus on your growth and healing, it’s important that you can usually commit to weekly or fortnightly meetings. Otherwise, life happens and this will interfere in the rhythm of our work. If this isn’t possible for you, I encourage you to let me know and we’ll see how we can work around it in a way that would be beneficial for you.
I mainly offer psychological and EMDR therapy sessions online, allowing you to easily plan sessions around your schedule and choose to be in a place that works well for you. It also means that you can continue your therapeutic journey when you’re away, should you so desire. We will use Zoom as our platform for the sessions. Please ensure that you have a stable internet connection so as to avoid connection problems.
Payment needs to be made prior to the start of coaching. The preferred mode of payment is a SEPA bank transfer in Euro. SEPA countries consist of all those in the Eurozone together with Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
If you live in another country or cannot make a SEPA transfer for any other reason, payment can also be done using a bank card.
The details for either form of payment are available on the invoice.
Unless it’s a serious medical emergency, should you need to cancel a session, it’s important to let me know at least 24 hours before the beginning of the session, otherwise the session will still need to be paid for.
LGBTQIA+ & sex-affirmative