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About Me

Hello, my name is Ania Halls and I am a Psychotherapist with a degree and a Masters in Health Psychology. I live on the south coast of the UK, and since 2007 I have been offering confidential therapy for adults experiencing common mental health problems such as stress, anxiety, OCD, phobias, depression, trauma, and early attachment injuries, based on the latest research in the field. In addition to many years of experience and training, at the heart of my work is my trust in our innate ability to heal and overcome adverse life experiences that may have hindered us from reaching our potential.

I have a range of qualifications and training that create a unique mix of skills to draw upon. This includes a degree and a masters in Psychology, and a postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I have also trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) and Brainspotting (BSP). I am also deeply influenced by the work of Peter Levine and have completed various workshops looking at integrating somatic work within psychotherapy.  

These ways of working incorporate ideas about multiplicity of the mind; dissociation; attachment theory; transgenerational trauma theory; neuroplasticity of the brain; polyvagal theory; memory reconsolidation; and adaptive information processing. In other words, I pay attention to the mind, body and spirit,  as well as the newest developments in the field of neuroscience.

 

However, change cannot occur without the safety of a strong therapeutic relationship. Therefore at the core of my work, is making sure that my clients feel comfortable and accepted just as they are. It's incredible what can happen when you’re around someone who is genuine and empathetic, curious and deeply present and attuned - someone who validates your thoughts and emotional experiences and can see the best version of yourself before you can see your own potential. Which is why it is only from the safety of a strong therapeutic relationship that one can venture and explore a variety of interventions designed to help you make sense of you  experiences and to help you get 'unstuck' from your symptoms. 

A BIT MORE ABOUT ME

My psychotherapy journey began when I was just 10 years old, witnessing my mother study for a psychology exam as part of her clinical psychology doctorate. I remember thinking how fascinating the brain sounded and dreamed of becoming a psychologist myself. A decade later and 2,000 miles from where I was born, I embarked on my own studies.

I completed my Psychology degree at the University of Leeds in 2004, followed by a Master's in Psychological Approaches to Health. I then moved to London to enlist on a postgraduate diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT) at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College. In my subsequent roles at the NHS, I worked as a Senior Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, clinical supervisor, service manager, and Clinical Service Lead in two large psychology services. I had the privilege of working alongside and being supervised by world-renowned psychologists at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (CADAT). During this time, I worked with many different client populations and became skilled at assessing, formulating and delivering evidence-based psychological treatments. I also contributed to the professional development of other therapists by teaching and providing clinical supervision, conducting research, and participating in numerous service development projects. Although I was passionate about my work at the NHS, I was increasingly aware of how much the various promotions were pulling me away from my true calling: clinical work.

 

Thus, in 2015, I decided to step away from the NHS and focus solely on private practice. Here I finally had the time to begin expanding my knowledge base into what is now known as the third wave CBT, including Compassion Focused therapy (CFT); Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness. ACT, in particular, sparked my curiosity in the somatic aspects of our nervous system and inspired me to explore new developments in neuroscience, particularly those related to impact of trauma and dissociation.  From here I went on to study and eventually became accredited in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). I also attended numerous workshops in Somatic Psychology and Somatic Experiencing. These experiences equipped me with a comprehensive set of tools to address both cognitive and somatic aspects of being human. However, discovering Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy was a complete game changer as it offered a deeply satisfying, embodied, and potentially spiritual approach to therapy. I was also very excited about how much the principles of IFS connected to what the neuroscience was already telling us about the brain.

 

My journey didn't end here, as in 2022 I came across a therapy called Brainspotting. Brainspotting seemed very intuitive and in tune with the human experience. It seemed that Brainspotting was not just another ‘technique’ created by psychologists but rather a chance discovery of a power internal healing mechanism that was inherent to all human being, yet so far unexplored in the world of psychotherapy. 

Every time I trained in a new modality, I made sure that I experienced each therapy on my own 'system' so that I could feel it from inside out. I found this to be as helpful as any formal training I completed.  It was through my own personal healing and growth that I truly learnt to be non-judgmental, attuned and able to listen, without feeling the need to impose my own agenda on my clients. 

At this point in my career, I am truly grateful to offer my clients a holistic therapeutic experience, meeting them wherever they are in their journey and offering a variety of interventions. Most importantly, I am fortunate to find immense joy in my work and in being able to accompany others on their paths to self-discovery, healing, and growth.

BRAISPOTTING Therapy DORSET UK ONLINE

In my private time I am a mum to an energetic 5 year old. When I get time for myself, I enjoy writing, hiking the British national parks and swimming in the sea.  I also practice what I teach to my clients, by regularly engaging in meditation and personal development, as well as living in accordance to my own core values. 

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