Nicola Vanlint Psychotherapist / CBT & EMDR Counsellor
Hello! Welcome to my site

I’m an integrative psychotherapist, I am UK based, in Greenwich to be precise, but with a global client base.

Over the last 15 years I’ve worked with hundreds of clients and spent thousands and thousands of hours supporting people psychologically.

Integrative therapy is an individualized approach to therapy that combines ideas and techniques from different therapeutic models.

Every aspect of my practice model is informed by evidence-based therapies. All underpinned by Neurophysiology, a branch of physiology and neuroscience. And the scientific study of human strength, Positive psychology.

Drawing upon my extensive experience of working with trauma, I also facilitate athletes to psychologically heal from physical injury. N V Therapy

Therapy can be Fun!

The root to successful therapy is the client, therapist relationship.

Social engagement and relationships are enhanced by the presence of fun.

So why should therapy be any different?

Laughter encourages bonding and creates an instant feeling of relaxation.

My own experience as a client benefited from the appropriate sharing of fun, humour and playfulness. In my own practice clients and I may often have fun together in our work.

Using an element of fun in therapy is a serious business.

What do I then mean by ‘fun’? What I do not mean is ‘cracking’ jokes, using humour to put ourselves or others down or avoiding our problems by distraction.

Words and phrases in this context of having fun include: creativity, imagination, collaboration and positive psychology.

Feedback from clients is that whilst they feel I take them seriously, they have found me to be ‘human’ and ‘easy to talk to’. I believe that the presence of fun enables this experience.

• It can help us shift our perspectives and make some issues feel more manageable.

• Fun can be therapeutic and healing in itself.

• We learn more effectively when taught in a fun way.

Neurobiology and the Benefits of Play.

Play stimulates growth in the amygdala (the area of the brain where emotions are processed) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (cognitive functions such as executive decisions, response selection, and working memory.)
Play creates imaginative new cognitive combinations, therefore significantly helping the brain to continue to grow and develop.

Learning and memory are enhanced by play, hence the use of role-play, simulation, humour and irony in education. Learning and memory seem to be consolidated more strongly and last longer when learned in play (Brown, 2009).

Talking about life events and connecting to emotions can be difficult and feel uncomfortable sometimes.
Thank goodness we can also make it fun and have a laugh, too.

Brown, S with Vaughan, C. 2009. Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul. New York: Avery.

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