Reichian Psychotherapy, Humanistic Counselling and Shamanism in Putney, London
About Deirdre Carolina
Deirdre brings to her psychotherapy work a broad range of experience and knowledge gained from over forty seven years in the fields of Healthcare, Psychotherapy, Sports Massage and Shamanism. In 1990 she returned to the U.K. after spending seventeen years in the U.S.A. where she received training in Reichian therapy, Therapeutic and Sports massage, Kinesiology, Hakomi and related natural health care disciplines. A full list of trainings including 7 years at Chiron centre for Body Psychotherapy can be see here. Currently she is in private practice in Putney South West London.
Daughter of former dancer at Ballet Rambert and dress designer Annie Gough and illustrious military father Hugh Patrick Gough - Royal Irish Fusiliers. Deirdre grew up with a strong sense of both graceful style and practical commitment to life. While her maternal Grandfather, entrepreneur and self made business man Horace Kilian taught her the satisfaction, pleasure and responsibility of running her own business.
In the early 70's Deirdre's world changed, she started to explore anthropology and to travel. She studied Yoga in the U.S.A., Canada and the Bahamas with Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda Ashrams. After achieving her Teacher Training qualification, she returned to London to start a Yoga studio, teaching Hatha Yoga and Meditation.
Deirdre subsequently moved to the U.S.A. in 1973 to open "Sunshine Herbs" in Ashland, Oregon, a shop specialising in Dr. John Christopher's medicinal herbal formulations and natural health products. For seven years she acted as an adviser on alternative health care and nutrition, in close collaboration with local physicians. She studied anatomy and physiology at Southern Oregon University and gained an Oregon State License in Massage Therapy through the Oregon School of Massage. She trained under Jack Schwarz, a world-renowned authority of voluntary controls and human energy systems at the Aletheia Institute of Massage and Psycho-physical Studies where she completed the following courses: 'The dynamic relationship between the immune system, intuition and human energy', 'Energy in motion with light, colour and sound', 'The psychological dimensions of massage' and 'Exploring the paraconscious'. She was invited to join the staff at the Institute's Massage School, teaching Sports and Therapeutic Massage. For three years she gave hydrotherapy and massage treatments as part of a team running the Institute's three day Personal Health Training courses.
During her 15 years in Ashland, Oregon Deirdre and her family lived on a ranch in the Siskiyou Mountains breeding Crabbet Arabian horses. Both Deirdre and her two daughters trained and competed with these magnificent English Arabian horses at dressage and show jumping.
In 1983 Deirdre set up a private massage practice in Ashland, Oregon, specialising in Sports Massage and PNF: physiotherapy. She undertook additional training at "Innerweave" with Patrice Morency, acquiring extensive experience of working with athletes 'in the field'. While living in the USA, Deirdre's other teachers included Donna Eden at Innersource; Touch for Health and Richard Duree at the Association of Specialised Kinesiologists; she also took courses in Crystal Healing, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Chinese Medicine and Martial Arts and participated in workshops with Ron Kurtz, a pioneer of the Hakomi method of Body-centred psychotherapy.
A deep and abiding influence on Deirdre's work was her collaboration with Sandy Goodman, a traditional Reichian therapist for over fifty years. He knew Wilhelm Reich when he was living in New York and was was in therapy with by Dr Simeon Tropp - one of a group of 20 doctors trained by Reich. Sandy was one of the very few people worldwide to operate professionally in a purely Reichian way. For over 25 years Sandy was an invaluable friend and mentor to Deirdre, guiding her in her personal life and passing on his methods of working with clients. Sandy died on 17th April 2012 and is very much missed by everyone who knew him. He was an inspiration, a stickler for the truth and uncompromising in his work. His work as a therapist and an artist is a celebration of aliveness.
Back home in the UK in 1991, Deirdre participated in the intensive seven-year training programme at the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy. After three years she received her certification in Holistic Psychotherapy and Biodynamic Massage. In her four-year post-graduate phase at Chiron she trained as a group facilitator, studied Somatic Trauma Therapy with Babette Rothschild, saw clients under supervision and assisted on the third year Gestalt Course with Michael Soth. She also took external courses with, and later assisted, Michael Gavin and Michael Randolph, facilitating RADIX groups. At this time she taught PNF at the London School of Sports Massage (LSSM). In 1998, while travelling in Thailand, Deirdre was awarded her Certification in Traditional Thai Massage after studying at the Institute of Thai Massage in Chiang Mai.
2020 will be know as the year Covid-19 overwhelmed the world. Besides the obvious distress this virus caused there was an explosion of mental anguish and trauma. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) had been on Deirdre’s radar for some time so when she heard Barbara Lerch was teaching at The EMDR London Centre it was too good of an opportunity to miss.
In August 1999 Deirdre decided to participate in the longest organized motorcycle trip to date organized by Nick Sanders. This expedition would ride from New York City to Alaska and back again on Triumph sport motorbikes, over 12,000 miles in 26 days. She felt she had arrived at a cross road and needed to review everything in her life believing that by pushing herself mentally and physically with this challenging task it would act as a modern day vision quest. On her return to London the answers to her life questions seemed clear.
Following her discovery of Tantra and Taoism, in the mid 90's Deirdre and her partner embarked on a one-year couples training with John Hawken and Monica Entmayr of Skydancing UK. She later undertook further study with the Thai Taoist Master Mantak Chia. Since 1998 she has participated in many courses with Sarita and Geho at the Anglo-French School of Awakening Tantra. It was the latter who introduced her to Tachyon energy and the theory of verticality. Between 2000 and 2004 Deirdre completed the tachyon practitioner courses as well as the three levels of The Quality of One with Sarita and David Wagner. David pioneered the tachyonization process and created the Tachyon Institute for Spirituality and Science in the USA - Planet Tachyon.
At the end of 2000 and early in 2001 Deirdre was working with Mark Issott, Founder of the Sacred Angel School of Healing, and was initiated into Reiki and the lesser-known Violet Fire energy. She found that the latter, along with the tachyon, craniosacral and holotropic breathwork, not only began to transform her own energy practices but also were powerful tools for use with clients. Mark introduced Deirdre to India and they travelled to the South exploring the temples and ancient sites of Tamil Nadu. In 2007 and again in 2009 Deirdre returned to India where she felt a deep soul connection. She spent many weeks visiting the sacred sites of Rajasthan and Northern India, participating in ritual and particularly enjoying the holy cities of Varanasi, Tantric temples of Khajuraho, Jaisalmer and Pushkar. She also visited Pune and the Osho ashram soaking up the controversial tantra Master's teachings before heading south to Kerala, the home of Ayurvedic medicine.
In September 2015 Deirdre returned to Kerala and Ayurvedic Medicine living at Gowri Sankara, Dr Mini Joy's Ayurvedic Massage and Panchakarma centre. Dr Mini's family has a long tradition in Ayurvedic medicine going back generations. At the Centre all the herbal preparations are made on site by Kuttan who has been with the family for over 40 years. Deirdre's month long program was one of learning and deep purification of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Ayurvedic massage is an essential element of this system, combining a skilled understanding of the body with knowledge of oils, herbs and bodywork techniques. Oil massage and traditional herbal preparations are an intrinsic part of this ancient holistic healing system which was developed in India more than 3,000 years ago.
October 2017 saw Deirdre's return to Rajasthan for Diwali in Jodhpur and puja at Fort Dundlod the home of Kr.Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod (Bonnie). Dundlod is the largest Marwari horse breeding stud farm in the India which founded The Indigenous Horse Society of India; highly respected for protecting the bloodlines and promoting these beautiful animals unique to India. Riding these rare, majestic Marwari horses through the Shekhawati where the Rajputs withstood the onslaught of Mughal hordes with Bonnie was a great honour and privilege; a very special way of exploring this colourful region of India.
“To ride a Marwari is to realise new levels of joy that demand in turn, a receptive stillness for its appreciation. It is to view the way ahead through a pair of perfectly curved ears, gateway to the heart of India’s spiritual and ceremonial heritage.”
Spring 2023 saw the world opening again after the Pandemic years. Travel was possible and rest and rejuvenation essential. Udayagiri Ayurvedic Retreat and India were the destination and a six week sabbatical was what was needed for Deirdre to reinvigorate and replenish mind, body and soul. This stunningly beautiful, mountain retreat soothes the soul, while ancient Ayurvedic treatments heal exhaustion, pain and stress. Daily Puja and yoga drag the mind from the world, soothe the senses and heal the body. Remote, silent and healing.
When, towards the end of 2003 Deirdre became aware of problems in her wrist and shoulder due to over twenty years of practising massage, a friend suggested she explore the NO HANDS® massage technique. This intrigued her and she subsequently participated in both the Foundation and Practitioners courses, obtaining certification and license in this unique form of massage created by Gerry Pyves, Founder/Director of The No Hands® Massage Company. NO HANDS® supported Deirdre in her massage work until November 2017 when due to ongoing musculoskeletal problems, she sadly decided to give up massage after 35 years. Deirdre now works exclusively with Psychotherapy and Shamanic clients.
In the spring of 2006 Kristina Fitzsimmons and Deirdre decided to travel to Japan to visit the sacred gardens and temples of Kyoto, Miyajima and Mount Koya. Kristina is a friend and renowned garden designer and had designed a Japanese garden for Deirdre some years earlier. Japan offered them both a glimpse of an age old culture as they learned about the art of Japanese gardening, participated in Tea Ceremony, attended Fire Rituals and meditated with Buddhist monks.
Since her experience with yoga in the early 70’s pranayama and breathing techniques have been an important element in Deirdre’s life. In 2006 when she discovered Holotropic Breathwork, (developed by Stan Grof), she joined a Holotropic group run by Marianne Murray and Michael Breer. This group was an ongoing pleasure and delight for many years, being a gentle way of exploring the self and developing awareness. In 2010 Anthony Fidler, one of the group members, introduced Deirdre to Seitai a Japanese Healing art and philosophy of life.
Deirdre's life path has led her to experience and study the mind/body/spirit matrix for most of her adult life. During her initiatory crises, she underwent an intrapersonal metamorphosis, which forced her to draw on previously untapped energies and strengths. One thread of this rich tapestry is Shamanism and Soul Retrieval. Her teachers include, Simon Buxton - Founder/Director of The Sacred Trust and the UK Faculty for The Foundation for Shamanic Studies; Nicholas Noble Wolf - a North American Shaman from Colorado and caretaker of the Earth Renewal Ceremony; Howard Charing - author and Shaman; Leo Rutherford - Trance dance shaman, Eagle's Wing: Ross Heaven - Vodou Shaman and author and Sandra Ingerman - author, former Educational Director of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in the USA and teacher of Medicine for the Earth and Eliana Harvey, Shamanka Medicine Woman. In the summer of 2006 Deirdre was invited by Simon Buxton in collaboration with Greg and Anne Laws of Openmind Training, to participate in a Pilgrimage to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana to live with and share healing work with the San (Bushmen) who are accepted as the oldest living culture on the planet. She gave and received healing from trance dance shamans, was given the San name of Qamou and received the gift of n/om (inner life force) from her San family. "I have never met more open and loving people, so powerful in their gentleness".
Trance dance had captured Deirdre's body and soul, especially after her experience with the Kalahari San. In 2008 when she received an invitation from Nicholas Noblewolf to come to Wolf Creek Canyon Ranch, Colorado and participate in an four day Earth Renewal Ceremony on the southern Ute reservation Deirdre readily accepted. It had taken her eight years since first meeting Nick and his wife Anne to know this was the right moment for her to attend. Nick says that "It is sometimes said that a person does not choose to dance the Earth Renewal, but the Earth Mother chooses the person. To dance and sing and fast for three days is a personal offering for the Earth, for ourselves, for our families and for all."
While on retreat in Dorset in December 2018 Deirdre shared a shamanic healing journey with Eliana Harvey; a Shamanka Medicine Woman. The Shamanka path is dedicated uniquely to women’s shamanism. Her long talks with Eliana elucidated old family trauma prompting long overdue, profound healing and insight to happen. Deirdre was not looking for a teacher, but "when the student is ready, the teacher appears". She has since completed the Luminous Warrior year long training with Eliana. As a Shadow Walker Deirdre continues to navigate beneath the surface, to identify and confront deep wounds and hidden fears, treating darkness as a sacred, liminal space full of potential and grace. This journey of relentless initiation and self-examination continues to deepen her personal wisdom and profound understanding of our vital, autonomous human spirit. On her many visits to Middle Piccadilly in Dorset, Deirdre is blessed and grateful for her ever deepening friendship with Eliana - a profoundly wise woman and Elder.
In early 2009 Deirdre discovered Argentine Tango; it is an improvised dance, a conversation of two bodies totally present to each other, moving with the music. It would seem to combine, Tantra, Somatic Therapy, meditation and relationship, offering a lifelong path of personal re-invention and transformation; a lifestyle, a spiritual path. Argentine Tango requires a deep, mutual connection, a balance of yin/yang energy both within oneself and in the embrace. Having become totally enamoured with traditional tango music and this dance style, Deirdre travelled to Buenos Aires in the Spring of 2011 and again in Spring 2012 to experience the tango lifestyle at it’s very roots. She found it was intense, challenging and ultimately delightfully satisfying.
There comes a time in life when reviewing and reconsidering one's life makes sense; some may call it a Vision Quest. A time to totally stop and dive deeply into retreat, purification and sacred space. 2013 took Deirdre to Holland to a seven day silent meditation retreat with Adyashanti; American born spiritual teacher and author.
Deirdre's particular passion lies in the synthesis of body psychotherapy, shamanism, and quantum physics. Her approach to life upholds the importance of personal choice, authenticity, accepting responsibility for one's actions, acknowledging human beings as unique and whole, exploring subjective experience and seeking a meaningful life through personal growth. As a psychotherapist and healer she looks at a client's needs in regards to their entire being and within the context of their environment and circumstances.
At this time Deirdre continues to explore and integrate her work as a psychotherapist, in harmony with her own spiritual practice, her family and her life in south west London.