Trauma Recovery & Lifestyle Medicine Coaching
Darren brings the highest levels of psychological expertise, care, and discretion to his unique multidiscipline psychotherapy and lifestyle medicine coaching work with individuals, couples, and families. Darren is a complex trauma specialist, lifestyle medicine clinician and passionately obsessed with health and well being including optimal psychological health. A healthy body and mind is indeed important for us all. For many years Darren has helped clients who are elite in their own fields such as sports and tv personality, it is difficult to prioritise optimum psychological health whilst passionately pursuing a high profile career and in many cases this can lead to overlooking metal health resulting in a crash or chaotic event or loss of some kind. Working with Darren to optimise health, mind and body, will be an extraordinary investment resulting in an abundance and deepening of love, happiness and success.
The careers of professional athletes, musicians, actors, and public figures are exceptionally demanding; requiring intensive preparation and continuously high levels of performance that can tax even the most elite professionals. In addition to career pressures, celebrities face relentless public scrutiny that is frequently inaccurate, unwarranted, and potentially damaging. Intrusions to conversations, personal space, and privacy are commonplace; threats to one’s safety can be ever present. Darren brings a wealth of experience, insight and expertise, deep empathy, understanding, and genuineness to the therapeutic space with high-profile clients as they work through the challenges of fame and the other difficulties of life; helping them to improve relationships; optimise performance; heal from trauma; manage grief & loss, overcome addiction, and work through anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns. Due to the unique privacy and scheduling needs of high-profile and celebrity clients, Darren offers in-home visits and travel accompaniment, in addition to standard in-office and online appointments.
Traumatized individuals need to learn that it is safe to have feelings and sensations. If they learn to attend to inner experience they will become aware that bodily experience never remains static. Unlike at the moment of a trauma, when everything seems to freeze in time, physical sensations and emotions are in a constant state of flux. They need to learn to tell the difference between a sensation and an emotion (How do you know you are angry/afraid? Where do you feel that in your body? Do you notice any impulses in your body to move in some way right now?). Once they realize that their internal sensations continuously shift and change, particularly if they learn to develop a certain degree of control over their physiological states by breathing, and movement, they will viscerally discover that remembering the past does not inevitably result in overwhelming emotions.
After having been traumatized people often lose the effective use of fight or flight defenses and respond to perceived threat with immobilization. Attention to inner experience can help them to reorient themselves to the present by learning to attend to non-traumatic stimuli. This can open them up to attending to new, non-traumatic experiences and learning from them, rather than reliving the past over and over again, without modification by subsequent information. Once they learn to reorient themselves to the present they can experiment with reactivating their lost capacities to physically defend and protect themselves.
Exposure to extreme threat, particularly early in life, combined with a lack of adequate caregiving responses significantly affect the long-term capacity of the human organism to modulate the response of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in response to subsequent stress. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is primarily geared to mobilization by preparing the body for action by increasing cardiac output, stimulating sweat glands, and by inhibiting the gastrointestinal tract. Since the SNS has long been associated with emotion, a great deal of work on the role of the SNS has been collected to identify autonomic “signatures” of specific affective states. Overall, increased adrenergic activity is found in about two-thirds of traumatized children and adults. The parasympathetic branch of the ANS not only influences HR independently of the sympathetic branch, but makes a greater contribution to HR, including resting HR. Vagal fibers originating in the brainstem affect emotional and behavioral responses to stress by inhibiting sympathetic influence to the sinoatrial node and promoting rapid decreases in metabolic output that enable almost instantaneous shifts in behavioral state. The parasympathetic system consists of two branches: the ventral vagal complex (VVC) and the dorsal vagal complex (DVC) systems. The DVC is primarily associated with digestive, taste, and hypoxic responses in mammals. The DVC contributes to pathophysiological conditions including the formation of ulcers via excess gastric secretion and colitis. In contrast, the VVC has the primary control of supradiaphragmatic visceral organs including the larynx, pharynx, bronchi, esophagus, and heart. The VVC inhibits the mobilization of the SNS, enabling rapid engagement and disengagement in the environment.
Working with traumatized individuals entails several major obstacles. One is that, while human contact and attunement are cardinal elements of physiological self-regulation, interpersonal trauma often results in a fear of intimacy. The promise of closeness and attunement for many traumatized individuals automatically evokes implicit memories of hurt, betrayal, and abandonment. As a result, feeling seen and understood, which ordinarily helps people to feel a greater sense of calm and in control, may precipitate a reliving of the trauma in individuals who have been victimized in intimate relationships. This means that, as trust is established it is critical to help create a physical sense of control by working on the establishment of physical boundaries, exploring ways of regulating physiological arousal, in which using breath and body movement can be extremely useful, and focusing on regaining a physical sense of being able to defend and protect oneself. It is particularly useful to explore previous experiences of safety and competency and to activate memories of what it feels like to experience pleasure, enjoyment, focus, power, and effectiveness, before activating trauma-related sensations and emotions. Working with trauma is as much about remembering how one survived as it is about what is broken.
Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy - Working on The Mind & all Bodily Systems