For those who have irrational fears or behaviours
Get out of your mind
and into your life
Welcome to my website. My name is Maria Alda Gomez Otero, but everyone calls me Alda. Originally from Spain, I spent most of my adult life living in other countries: France, Portugal, Ireland and since 2014 I have my permanent residence in Devon (UK). Change, transitions, languages and valuing differences have been a constant in my life. I always loved the exotic sounds of foreign languages, and meeting people who were different to the norm, maybe because I often felt a bit different myself. I have often been described as a free spirit, warm, trustworthy and caring. When I made my transition to becoming a counsellor, many of my friends nodded in agreement: "yes, that is what you were meant to be" they seemed to agree.
I hold a Master’s degree in counselling and psychotherapy obtained in one of the most prestigious centres in Ireland and I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), an accredited qualified EFT practitioner and an accredited qigong practitioner. I offer counselling in Exeter and Teignmouth.
My background in languages makes it possible for me to work as a counsellor in English, Spanish and French.
Following Government recommendations, I am self-isolates due to the coronavirus. I am offering COUNSELLING ONLINE until we can get back to our normal lives. You can also continue your therapy online, if you wish so.
I have experience in this form of counselling, and it works as well as in person.
If you would like to hear how to protect yourself from the virus, tips on how to self-isolate and avoid the depression that this could spark, or general tips on how to face the storm that it is about to hit us, go to my BLOG and sign up for updates (right hand-side button).
TRAUMA COUNSELLING IN EXETER
Trauma can take many different shapes and forms. A car accident, divorce, the death of a loved one, an operation as a child, abusive or absent parents, or sexual assault are all examples of trauma. You might not remember what happened to you, but you experience panic attacks, anxiety, depression, addictive behaviours, eating disorders. They are all symptoms of trauma.
You receive a shock in the past and your body reacts to triggers in the present as if facing the same danger now. The area of the brain that makes sense of things, giving meanings to your reality, is inactive during danger, directing all its energy to escaping dangers in order to survive. As a result, you may not remember what happened to you in the past, but you will remember thoughts, feelings or sensations (guilt, shame, anger, fear). Trauma counselling will help you become more aware of what is triggering you and differentiate what belongs to the present and the past. You will gain awareness of what is happening to you and take control over your reactions to your triggers.
Trauma counselling can become an exercise of self-exploration and discovery, helping you to move forward in your life.
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY IN EXETER
Depression and anxiety are two faces of trauma. When your nervous system is stuck in the fight or flight response (fear mechanism) as if you were facing an imminent danger, you will experience anxiety. When your nervous system has shut down as if you were paralised with fear, you will experience depression. Most people tend to experience both, with a prominent tendency towards one or the other.
EFT FOR TRAUMA IN EXETER
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping have been extensively researched as beneficial to reduce symptoms of PTSD, being an effective way of processing unresolved trauma and irrational beliefs. EFT can also be used as a relaxation technique, as it calms down the amygdala (part of your brain that "wakes up" your fear mechanism or fight or flight response.