About me

My career path starting at a very early age, I found that I was able to perceive and intuit things about those around me. These insights often provided me with a window into the deeper core level material with which a particular individual might be grappling. In the very beginning, all I could do was to observe, and to know.

That innate ability to tune into others, to feel what they feel, to understand the nature of life patterns, could be a double-edged sword at times. On the one hand, people would turn to me for advice, insight and support. However, on the other hand, if I was not careful I could become flooded by other people’s emotions and be temporarily distracted from my own self.

At first I struggled to understand and express what I sensed and perceived; to know what was mine versus what was someone else’s. I later learned there was a name for what I was - an intutive empath. Following naturally, the next realisation came that I am an HSP, or Highly Sensitive Person.

While I have come to accept, integrate, and value these gifts as I have grown into an adult and a professional therapist, the road early on was not always easy.

As a sensitive being in the world I could be prone to emotional overwhelm. I struggled with emotional dysregulation, and harmful self-soothing to calm my overstimulated nervous system. As a highy compassionate and empathic being I had to learn boundaries and how to set energetic limits to avoid becoming saturated by other peoples’ energies. This journey taught me to understand the unique experiences of many of my clients.

In addition, I learned to reclaim my own special magic and stand in my own truth as a highly intuitive being. Once I was able to fully embrace this, my path became clearer. Part of this path is to assist others to understand and integrate their own unique traits, so they can live more fulfilled and balanced lives, both on an emotional and physical level.

I have been volunteering since age eighteen. Once my natural inclination became crystal clear, it was followed by formal study and training. Some of my areas of decades of experience include hands-on work with:

  • a very diverse client base
  • issues proceeding from childhood and family
  • substance-using populations
  • eating disorders
  • compassionate care for those living with cancer
  • crisis intervention
  • sexual and violent abuse
  • complementary / alternative / holistic modalities
  • bodywork (professional massage)
  • HIV + AIDS populations
  • those nearing the end of life
  • LGBTQ+

I have worked with

  • Children
  • Families
  • Individuals
  • Couples

As a UK transplant I also welcome individuals who are new to the Bay Area from other parts of the world.

Looking back, I believe that my life journey has coalesced into a path devoted to facilitating others integrating their own gifts to obtain a connection with their authentic selves.

How I Work

My career began working with women with severe mental health challenges. I worked with women living with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This work gave me a good foundation in the complexities of mental health challenges and how they affect communities, individuals, and families.

I came to realise that many of these women had co-occuring issues such as substance misuse. This led to me becoming trained as a drug and alcohol counselor, an area in which I worked for the next eight years.

It is my belief that substance abuse affects most people either directly or indirectly. Working witihin a harm-reduction philosophy, I was able to train and practice a holistic and multi-layered approach to care. This includes devising a care plan, advocacy, outreach, and delivery of complimentary treatments such as auricular acupuncture.

Offering both Western and Eastern approaches to treatment has given me a great understanding of the need for holistic, individualized approaches to treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol use.

Seeing this powerful link between psyche and body, I decided to embark upon my Masters in Somatic Psychology. I graduated wih my MA in Somatic Psychotherapy from John F. Kennedy University in 2016.

During my program I practiced several somatic modalities such as Hakomi, Sensory Motor, and Somatic Experiencing. I was also able to learn how to use modalities such as guided imagery, breath work, mindfulness, meditation, and healing touch to access the body’s unique wisdom and self-healing capabilities.

As a trained body worker since 2002 I have a good grasp of how the body can somaticize psychological trauma, wounding, and emotional imbalance.

As part of this I am particularly interested in continuing my experience working with those dealing with chronic illnesses, such as migraines, M.S, and depression.

I have journeyed with people living with a cancer diagosis. I have worked as a complimentary care volunteer with Hospice by the Bay, offering healing massage to people nearing the end of life. I have also worked with Charlotte Maxwell Complimentary Care Clinic for five years by providing massage and reiki to women living with various stages of cancer.

Engaging in therapy with individuals living with a chronic or life-threatening illness is a collaborative process. My compassion and sensitivity lend themselves well to gently encouraging individuals to take charge of their own healing and journey towards wholeness. I provide a non-judgmental safe space for individuals where they can feel emotionally held and able to express their fear, pain, and despair. Often people can feel judged, lableled, and shamed simply for having an illness. Part of my role is to help the individual feel empowered and learn self-compassion, knowing they are more than their diagnosis.

I work somatically, which means I invite the body into the therapy room, often asking questions like, “Where do you feel that in your body?” Or, “If your body could speak to you what might it say?” Or, “If you take a deep breath and go inside what do you sense?” My work is trauma-informed, which means I have a good foundational understanding of trauma and how it can impact the mind, body, and spirit.

I have training in several modalities that are based in energy psychology. These modalities are rooted in other types of traditions (such as shamanism) and approaches to mental health and well-being. Where appropriate, I can weave these into the therapeutic process.

I am a trained Theta Healer and Dynamic Energy Healer.

What To Expect

What might a typical session be like?

A therapy session is usually 50 minutes in length. It takes place in a setting that is much like a living room. We could sit opposite one another, maybe on the floor sometimes, if that is what makes you feel more comfortable.

People attending therapy are known as clients. Some people may have heard the term patient, but that word has its origins in the medical community which sees its patients as ill, and therefore instead I favor the term 'client'.

Usually I begin by asking what brought you to therapy, what you’d like to work on, what your goals are, if you have any fears and/or questions about the process, and remaining open to anything else you feel you can share.

If we both feel like we can work together, and it is a good fit, then we will enter into a therapeutic contract. Some paperwork will be involved such as a confidentiality statement, a fee agreement, a session-cancellation policy, and an outline of both yours and my responsiblities.

As the sessions progress it may involve expressing your feelings, thoughts, ideas, fears, hopes dreams, dissapointments, and expectations while I actively listen and empathise within a non-judgmental environment that I hope feels supportive and safe.

If you so decide, I might offer interventions, or homework, or techniques and tools that you could choose to use in between therapy sessions in your everyday life

Sometimes clients feel a need to express something that is difficult to put into words. Therefore they choose to express it in a non-verbal manner. I hold space for, and welcome, expression through artwork, writing, movement, role play, and miniature sandbox play therapy. Sometimes individuals might ask for specific activities such as a grounding meditation, a guided imagery, breathwork, or other modalities.

The most important thing to remember is that I am there to listen, and listening in and of itself can be a powerful offering that can assist someone in understanding themselves and their inner world more clearly.

Most importantly, all of the above methods and practices are merely options on a menu for the client to choose, or not choose. The client is always in the driver’s seat of the therapy session and the goal is to proceed safely. I am there as a facilitator, a guide, and a collaborative partner as you embark upon your own uniquely-tailored therapy journey.


The Emdria website writes “EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories.”

EMDR has been proven effective in the reduction of symptoms linked to PTSD, anxiety, depression, addictions and OCD.

The idea is that through dual attention EMDR is a way to toggle between having one foot in the past and one foot focused in the present, by doing so the hope is to reduce present time triggers that are associated with the past event (s), the goal is to alleviate what is causing blocks and issues in current everyday life, based on traumatic experiences/memories. Once difficult memories are reprocessed people can be freer to live their lives with fewer triggers and symptoms.

To find out more about EMDR: About EMDR Therapy

My EMDR profile: Trudy McMahon at EMDRIA

Relational Somatic Healing

What is Relational Somatic Healing

It is part relational in that it takes place between two people, me the therapist and you the client. That means we are in what is known as the relational field.

It is somatic in that it is about the body and it is healing in that attachment and bonding are hopefully taking place on many levels.

The use of touch in a safe therapeutic relationship can be very beneficial in terms of helping clients heal developmental wounding and attachment wounds while learning how to co-regulate their nervous systems more effectively.

This can help with stress, anxiety and depression.

My mentor writes "the type of touch offered on the table where the client is fully clothed is firm but gentle, steady and embodied, helping undo aloneness, helping one cultivate a deep sense of being held in one's pain, fear, grief and contraction. Such touch has no agenda or expectations. It is simply listening, accepting, welcoming and being present."
-Shirley Dvir (2023).

Some of the holds I might offer when you are on the table include: the heart hold where I place my hand under your upper back, or the kidney hold, where I place my hand on your lower back near your kidney, or on your shoulder or your knee for example. However, no hold is ever performed without your say-so. In this regard you are always in the driver's seat.

You will get the choice to have a cozy blanket over you too, if you wish. We might only do a few minutes of touch, or spend more time doing touch, in a session. It can be mixed in with talk therapy. The choice is yours. Equally, you may never want to try it and that's totally fine too.

The important thing is we go at your pace, only when you are ready to transition to table work is when we will go there.

You will also sign a separate consent form to do touch work.

Consent is very important and we can spend as much time talking about this piece as you want.

At no point will the touch be sexual in nature and at no point will you or I be undressed.

For more information see the website: Relational Somatic Healing


Some useful websites and contact information. Please note these are merely suggestions, not recommendations or endorsements of the services.

Sliding scale lower fee counseling center: Links for self identified Highly Sensitive People and Empaths Body image Couples Drug and Alcohol Crisis lines Eating disorders HIV / AIDS Cancer Care Resources


I am available for zoom, phone, and in-person sessions.

To book an appointment:

(Scroll down for afternoon consultation slots)