Contact Me

(Apologies, but I’m away & offline 26th August till 4th September so there will be a delay in my replying at that time.) Please feel free to contact me to book an appointment, or with any questions you might have. You can use the contact form below, email me at samantha@peelingtheonion.co.uk, or ‘phone me on 0754 666 6135. Information about booking appointments, & the clinical somatic education sessions, essential somatic movement classes, & Bach consultations I offer - as well as my fees (with discounted packages for blocks of sessions) - is available here.

Name *
Name

My Consultation Room

4 Waverley Offices
Market Square, Melrose TD6 9PW

 
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About Me

What is my background?

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My main professional background is as an academic, and as a lawyer!

I was for many years a university lecturer in the UK & the USA, first in philosophy & rhetoric, latterly in film & literature. I practised as a barrister (out of Exchange Chambers in Liverpool & Manchester) for several years, too - mostly in commercial, chancery, & contract law, specialising in unmarried property disputes - but left legal practice to spend several years overseas doing independent voluntary work (environmental & development work; volunteering at orphanages; volunteering with small NGOs - on the Galapagos Islands and in Bolivia, as well as in Lesotho, where I set up a small-sale development project). I’ve also worked as a freelance consultant for small charities in the UK, as a buyer for an ‘ethical’ cosmetics company, as a counsellor, & as a copy-writer & copy-editor for professional clients & large publishers.

Brought up in a household where my mum was the main breadwinner but also an avid gardener & amateur herbalist (my dad was healthily sceptical!), I discovered Dr Bach’s remedies as a teenager, & have used them ever since.

I’ve practised yoga for 25 years, & reiki (as a personal meditation) for the last ten; despite many opportunities, I’ve never trained as a teacher in those or other modalities, as I never felt they were quite right for me. It was only on discovering Clinical Somatics - & its power to positively improve my proprioception & effectively eradicate physical pains I’d been told had structural causes & so were effectively untreatable - that I wanted to train to help others. For me, as for many, Clinical Somatics is the ‘missing piece’ in self-care & caring for others - a way to understand & develop fuller command over myself & the way I move in & through the world, & experience myself in it.


Why do I practise Somatics & Bach?

As mentioned above, I’ve used Bach flower remedies since I was a teenager, & have long found them to be the most effective & appealing of the ‘natural’ remedies.

Unlike many of my peers, I come to Thomas Hanna’s work, & Clinical Somatics, through & primarily from the perspective of existential & phenomenological philosophy. (I’ve studied philosophy since sixth form at school, & it’s informed all my other studies & professional practice, as well as my experiences & studies of psychotherapy, Bach, reiki, yoga, & other approaches to well-being.)

I’ve carried out postgraduate research on the history of yoga & its incorporation into ‘western’ culture since the late 1800s, as well as practised yoga with a variety of teachers internationally, since first encountering it as a grad student in Iowa in 1994. Dissatisfied with aspects of yoga, I became interested in Peter Blackaby’s approach to yoga, ‘Intelligent Yoga’, which focuses on cutting out yoga asanas that are not necessarily helpful for the human body, & emphasises ‘the innate intelligence of the body (and how to take heed of it)’.

This, along with my personal experiences (as a client) of both Rolfing & Bowen Technique - as well as chiropractic & mainstream medicine - to try to address chronic & longstanding problems with pain, numbness & other symptoms felt primarily in my right hand & arm, is what lead me to decide to train & practise as a Clinical Somatic Educator, having discovered it for myself & had such amazing & long-lasting results from it in a very short time - for my 85-year-old mother, as well as for myself.

Bach flower remedies & Clinical Somatic Education share some fundamental approaches to healing & self-help that make them work well together, in my view, although I teach them as entirely separate systems (& do not promote the idea that either needs the other to ‘work’).

Both approaches privilege the role & importance of self-awareness & the need for us to actively engage with & participate in our own healing & self-improvement to get truly effective & long-lasting results.

As such, education is key to both - and this is one reason I practise these systems, & not others, to help others: I believe that for any of us to achieve a sense of ease, of balance - whether emotional or physical, & given those two are inextricably intertwined in any event - the ability to identify areas of dis-ease and im-balance must come from within, as must the awareness to address & improve how we feel at bodily & emotional levels.

Fundamentally, for me practising Clinical Somatics & Bach flower remedies are ways to embody & practically put to use my philosophical beliefs in the value & inevitability of human freedom, the inescapably embodied nature of our being, & the essential importance of being as self-aware & ethically responsible as possible. They are both practices that enable profound transformation for many people, & can hugely enhance self-awareness & the capacity for self-care.


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What are my qualifications?

Bach flower remedies

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I took all 3 levels of my Bach flower remedy training with the Bach Centre (distance learning for Level 1; then Levels 2 & 3 at the Centre), & am an active and registered BFRP (Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner).

Amongst other commitments, BFRPs commit to the Bach Centre’s Code of Practice (including using only Dr Bach’s original method for choosing remedies) & to undertake at least 20 hours’ continuing professional development per year.

Being a BFRP also means I can be your mentor for the Bach Centre’s Level 1 Distance Learning programme if you ask for me by name when you apply to them for the course. Let me know if you have an interest in formalising your learning about the remedies in this way.


Clinical Somatic Education

ESMT & CSE in training: I’m currently training as a certified Clinical Somatics Educator (& completing my training as an Essential Somatics Movement Teacher) under Martha Peterson at Essential Somatics. Martha’s not just an inspirational teacher, but is groundbreaking in bringing Thomas-Hanna-inspired Clinical Somatic Education - and her own Essential Somatic Movement as a development of Hanna’s work - to people across the world. She and her teaching team - all highly qualified & experienced clinical somatic educators - run three-year trainings for Clinical Somatic Educators, & train Essential Somatics Movement Teachers, as well as running weekends & other workshops to spread the word & enable the joy & benefits of somatic movement to be experienced by more & more people, globally. More information about my other wonderful teachers, who work alongside Martha, is available on their websites: Laura Gates; Theresa Evans; Colm McDonnell.

I’m in the second of three years of my training to become a fully certified CSE, & as such am expected & well equipped to have a professional practice. I’m mentored regularly by my teaching team, & the training combines hands-on & other work. Essential Somatics’ ESMTT and CSE training programmes require a surprising amount of written work as well as extensive personal practice & required reading, & also requirements to listen to the full library of Thomas Hanna’s lectures & trainings - which we’re fortunate to have access to as Essential Somatics students.

Having completed several postgraduate degrees & taught around the world, I feel qualified to say that the training is excellent & well-rounded, & covers not just practical somatic movement training, but pertinent requirements to learn & think about Hanna’s worldview & the philosophical foundations of Somatics.


Academic & professional

I have an undergraduate MA (First Class Hons) in Philosophy (Aberdeen, 1994); postgraduate MAs in, respectively, Communication Studies (Film Studies) (University of Iowa, 1996) and Nature (Anthrozoology & Philosophy) (University of Wales-TSD, 2013); a PhD in Cultural Studies (Film & Ethnography) (Sheffield Hallam University, 2001), & both a Postgraduate Diploma in Law (2001) and Bar Vocational Course (2002) professional qualification from Nottingham Law School.

Currently, I’m an established & experienced copy-editor (working mostly for philosophy, history, & legal journals and book publishers) with professional qualifications from Chapterhouse. I also have TEFL qualifications & experience; a Foundation Course & two years of diploma study in counselling & psychotherapy, as well as experience as an existential psychotherapist & also as a bereavement support volunteer with Cruse (whose training I’ve also completed). I’ve taken & continue to occasionally take professional development courses in the fields of bereavement support & existential psychotherapy, especially where these are helpful to my Bach remedy practice.

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