Marryam has worked in the community not-for-profit sector since 2005. Since 2009, this included working in forensic mental health and in-patient settings providing case management, counselling, group therapy and out-patient psychotherapy. On 1 January 2014 Changes Psychotherapy was founded as an extension of Marryam’s special interest in working with Complex Trauma and Couples. She has a client-centred, evidenced-based, interpersonal, psychodynamic, and systemic orientation and works within a bio-psycho-social, trauma-informed care model.
Marryam ChehelnabiRegistered Clinical Psychotherapist
We are wired for connection and love.
We are wired for connection and love, but adverse or traumatic experiences disconnect us from ourselves and disrupt that. Therapy isn’t just about symptom relief, although that’s a very important part. Good therapy is about fostering a sense of self in a caring and safe therapeutic relationship. The process of therapy involves transmutation; from numbness to aliveness, fragmentation to integration, constriction to expansion, and alienation to connection – becoming awakened to the fullness of self, alive and present to life in an embodied, creative, spontaneous, and joyful way. I feel very grateful for the meaningful work I get to do with some of the most resilient, brave, and delightful people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.
Good therapy is about freedom here and now.
The name Changes Psychotherapy came from witnessing my client’s bravery in their quest to change, grow, and heal from all forms of intense human pain and suffering. Their strength and perseverance continue to inspire me and this fuels my passion to find the most effective clinical treatments for my clients. My interest in psychotherapy came from my need to understand human experience, which led to me undergoing my own in-depth psychotherapy and ongoing professional training and development. This continues to be a core value of mine today.
PACT Couples Therapy Level I-III
Master of Science in Medicine (Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy)
Level III Trained Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Level I-II Trained Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Level I-II EMDR Advanced Training
Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy
Some of our favourite writers and thinkers
Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.
It is better to try something and fail than to try nothing and succeed. The result may be the same, but you won’t be. We always grow more through defeats than victories.
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Despair co-exists with hope; the tragic is also comic. Such reconciliations of opposites engenders a mood that cannot exactly be defined but which is frail and evanescent, including the opposites but also something beyond them. In a certain kind of melancholy there is both sadness and beauty.
To be a human being means to be lonely. To go on becoming a person means exploring new modes of resting in our loneliness.
The most comprehensive formulation of therapeutic goals is the striving for wholeheartedness: to be without pretence, to be emotionally sincere, to be able to put the whole of oneself into one’s feelings, one’s work, and one’s beliefs.
You are more than you think you are. There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realization and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself. Your life is much deeper and broader than you conceive it to be here. What you are living is but a fractional inkling of what is really within you, what gives you life, breadth, and depth.
Guilt says I’ve done something wrong; … shame says there is something wrong with me. Guilt says I’ve made a mistake; … shame says I am a mistake. Guilt says what did was not good; … shame says I am no good.
The real cradle that holds the baby is the emotional climate between new parents. Many significant social problems like violence in our society can be traced back to this negative emotional climate in families.
An insecurely attached child may view the world as a dangerous place in which other people are to be treated with great caution, and see himself as ineffective and unworthy of love. These assumptions are relatively stable and enduring: those built up in the early years of life are particularly persistent and unlikely to be modified by subsequent experience.
What we see changes what we know. What we know changes what we see… Experience precedes understanding.
Singleness would be recognized as a vital stage of the journey to maturation, a time to learn about who we are, to learn responsibility and self-sufficiency, to identify our true desires, and to confront our inner strengths and demons.
The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others… In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.
When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good. . . . When I have been listened to, and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. How confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard.
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
The mother is downloading emotion programs into the infant’s right brain. The child is using the output of the mother’s right hemisphere as a template for the imprinting, the hardwiring, of circuits in his own right hemisphere.
When unconscious content is replaced by a projected image to that extent, it is cut off from all participation in an influence on the conscious mind. Hence it largely forfeits its own life, because prevented from exerting the formative influence on consciousness natural to it; what is more, it remains in its original form — unchanged, for nothing changes in the unconscious.
Courage is not an ability one either possesses or lacks. Courage is the willingness to engage in a risk-taking behavior regardless of whether the consequences are unknown or possibly adverse. We are capable of courageous behavior provided we are willing to engage in it. Given that life offers few guarantees, all living requires risk-taking.
I was in darkness, but I took three steps and found myself in paradise. The first step was a good thought, the second, a good word; and the third, a good deed.
Stories make available perspectives on the emotional themes of our implicit memory that may otherwise be consciously unavailable to us. This may be one reason why journal writing and intimate communication with others, which are so often narrative processes, have such powerful organizing effects on the mind: they allow us to modulate our emotions and make sense of the world.
Romantic Love delivers us into the passionate arms of someone who will ultimately trigger the same frustrations we had with our parents, but for the best possible reason! Doing so brings our childhood wounds to the surface so they can be healed.
A securely attached child will store an internal working model of a responsive, loving, reliable caregiver, and of a self that is worthy of love and attention and will bring these assumptions to bear on all other relationships.
A word devoid of thought is a dead thing, and a thought unembodied in words remains a shadow.
[Narratives] serve as powerful tools for high-level neural network integration. The combination of linear storyline and visual imagery woven together with verbal and nonverbal expressions of emotion activates and utilizes dedicated circuitry of both left and right hemispheres, cortical and subcortical networks, the various regions of the frontal lobes, and the hippocampus and amygdala.
It’s a myth that if you solve your problems you’ll automatically be happy. We need to teach couples that they’ll never solve most of their problems.
A child’s attachment behavior is adapted to an environment containing a figure – the mother figure – who is both accessible to him and responsive to his behavioral cues
Life is always moving, changing, shifting into its next shape. The movement is natural. It is how we evolve. Let the shifts happen. Take responsibility for yourself each step of the way. Trust the new shape and form of your world.
In approaching the subject of self….. we enter a world of feelings, of shades of feeling, of nuances and shifts, a world in which reality is not an absolute but that is penetrated by illusion, fantasy and imagination. (Self) is a state that cannot be grasped and apprehended by a language of facts, the discourse of science, in which the words say only one thing at a time. What is required is a different kind of expression, one that can capture both feeling and multiplicity.
Emotional sickness is avoiding reality at any cost. Emotional health is facing reality at any cost….The quickest way to change your attitude toward pain is to accept the fact that everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth.
In insecure relationships, we disguise our vulnerabilities so our partner never really sees us…The most functional way to regulate difficult emotions in love relationships is to share them.
It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.
Above all else, we seek connection – with parts of ourselves that we have repressed, with other people, and with the larger universe. We cannot experience life in its fullness unless we have an intimate relationship with another human being and, beyond that, a feeling of connection with the world around us.
The therapeutic stance is one of an overarching attitude of curiosity and interest in the patient’s inner world; one in which understanding of the patient’s feelings is paramount, as opposed to things that are external or valued by others.
The cooperative and interactive activation involved in stories may be precisely what is required for sculpting and maintaining neural network integration while allowing us to combine sensations, feelings, and behaviors with conscious awareness.
Our sadness is an energy we discharge in order to heal. …Sadness is painful. We try to avoid it. Actually discharging sadness releases the energy involved in our emotional pain. To hold it in is to freeze the pain within us. The therapeutic slogan is that grieving is the ‘healing feeling.’
Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness.
There is a form of implicit memory that is profoundly unconscious and forms the basis for the imprint trauma leaves on the body/mind. The type of memory utilized in learning most physical activities (walking, riding a bike, skiing, etc.) is a form of implicit memory called procedural memory. Procedural or “body memories” are learned sequences of coordinated “motor acts” chained together into meaningful actions. You may not remember explicitly how and when you learned them, but, at the appropriate moment, they are (implicitly) “recalled” and mobilized (acted out) simultaneously.
People with impaired social engagement systems are prone to misinterpret safety as a threat and objective danger as safety. Their visceral feedback system fails to protect them, or prevents them from engaging in the fullness of what life has to offer.