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The Body, Mind & Healing In Psychotherapy – Exclusive Interview With Emma Furner

Emma Furner is a psychologist, psychotherapist, mindfulness & trauma sensitive yoga teacher. She believes that the world as it is today, disconnects us from our bodies, the wisdom within, and thus our true selves. She is passionate about building awareness about this, and in supporting people to return to their more embodied self.


By combining a variety of evidence-based Western psychological approaches with a deep understanding of mindfulness and yoga principles, Emma loves to help others explore, heal, and nurture the most significant relationships in life—especially those with ourselves, our emotions, our bodies, our weight, food, and our unique pasts.


Photo of Emma Furner

Emma Furner, Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Yoga Teacher


Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.


Besides being a psychologist trained in psychodynamic and somatic-oriented psychotherapy, I’m also a trauma-sensitive yoga and meditation teacher. But beyond these titles, I'm just your everyday, complex person navigating life’s complexities. I love diving deep into thoughts and feelings, and I'm fascinated by how our modern world challenges us on so many levels—mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.


I believe that life's ultimate goal is to become our truest, most authentic selves amidst all these challenges, and so I’m always looking for activities that support this journey. For many years now, Ayurveda and yoga have been part of this, inspiring my daily routines and rituals. Engaging in my own psychotherapy is another big part of it, both individually and alongside my beloved partner. I truly believe that to support others, you have to walk the path yourself—so my own therapy is a bit of a dual-purpose adventure!


Right now, I'm all about finding balance, honoring my body, living simply and authentically; focusing more on emotions and values rather than external achievements and image. I do have a passion for fashion, art, interior decorating, and all things 'pretty,' which sometimes conflicts with these ideals, but I embrace these passions as part of my unique journey.


Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.


Oh, absolutely! I vividly remember hitting a turning point around age 30 when I decided to start therapy myself. Initially, I tried Acceptance Commitment Therapy, which was helpful but didn’t take me as deeply as I wanted to go. It was when I switched to Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) that everything changed.


My therapist asked me a simple yet profound question: the usual "How do you feel” but with the added “How do you feel that physically in your body?". It was a game-changer. Despite my background in mindfulness and yoga, I realized I'd been living too much in my head, disconnected from the sensations in my own body & ultimately myself. That realization sparked such a deep and life-changing transformation for me that I wanted to offer it to others. I pursued training in ISTDP, emotion-focused therapy, somatic psychotherapy, trauma-sensitive yoga, and beyond.


I wanted to work in a way that honored the insight that true happiness, health, and authenticity can be found by tapping into the innate resource within ourselves—our own bodies. It’s this that continues to inspire me, my work and my business to this day.  


Can you tell me what inspired you to specialize in your current field? What motivated you to enter this particular niche?


After nearly two decades as a psychologist, working in so many different areas, I found myself drawn to working with individuals facing eating issues, body dissatisfaction, and weight concerns. My journey into this field began somewhat serendipitously though. I was closing my private practice in one city, relocating to another to be closer to my partner, when I came across an opportunity with Weight Management Psychology—a reputable practice dedicated to addressing eating, physical activity, and body-image concerns. They were looking for someone to provide deeper, more trauma-informed therapy and this really resonated with my skills and interests.


What started as a practical move soon revealed itself as my true calling. I hadn't anticipated entering such a profoundly impactful and often misunderstood area of health. Not to mention, it didn’t take long to realize that the people seeking support in this area were truly some of the most resilient beautiful souls you’ll ever meet! The role unexpectedly combined so many of my passions, some of which I mentioned earlier – trauma, social psychology, body-based intervention, psychodynamic psychotherapy, feminism, mindfulness, nutrition, and more.


Now, almost eight years later, I remain deeply committed to the area and to more broadly helping others explore, heal, and nurture the most significant relationships in life – the relationship we have with ourselves, our emotions, our bodies, our weight, food, and our unique pasts.


What sets you and your business apart from other similar businesses? 


I think what sets me and my business apart is my guiding philosophy. I don’t just see challenges with weight, eating and body image as problems to solve on the surface. Instead, I see them as opportunities for profound healing and growth. 


As I said earlier, I believe deeply in life’s journey toward becoming our truest selves. Our bodies are not just vessels—they're reservoirs of wisdom and healing that our modern world often disconnects us from. At the core of my practice is creating a safe space for clients to reconnect with their bodies and understand their challenges on a deeper level. It’s about breaking down and addressing barriers like stress, trauma, and cultural influences that pull us away from ourselves.


By integrating therapies that honor not just the mind but also the body and our emotions, I've seen incredible transformations. It’s not only about managing symptoms; it’s about rediscovering, appreciating, and yes, even coming to a place of loving our bodies & our whole selves in profound ways.


Are there any particular initiatives or events that you're proud of?


I think one of the biggest issues in mental health today is accessibility. It costs money, and often quite a lot, to access therapy. It also takes a great deal of courage, especially in cultures where it’s not widely accepted. This usually means it’s accessed when things or symptoms are at the point of being very impactful. 


In wanting to offer a potential solution to this I developed a 14-week group-based webinar series called 'The Deeper Work: Knowing Yourself'. The program content itself was inspired by the people I work with, and my desire for them and others like them, to know and see how wonderful they truly are despite any external & internal messages they may have received, especially about their bodies. 


Over the 14 weeks we cover common barriers to connecting with ourselves, our bodies and being authentic – stress & trauma, anxiety, defenses and other cultural conditioning. Beyond education, the series offers transformative experiential components aimed at deepening self-awareness, fostering a more meaningful relationship with our bodies and ultimately cultivating the self-love and acceptance many of us often lack but are so, so worthy of.


If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?


I already mentioned that I believe a major issue in mental healthcare is accessibility. It’s this that I would love to see changed. I would love to live in a world where all people are able to access quality psychological support and further to that, are even strongly encouraged to do – where it’s the norm rather than the exception.  


Research tells us that although most people, about 95%, believe they are self-aware, only 10-15% actually are! That’s a huge discrepancy and to me, a strong argument for therapy. I remember learning that Carl Jung was once asked if we, as a society, will make it. His response was “if enough people do the work!”. I couldn’t agree more. 


So, when I talk about accessibility, it's not just for the sake of individuals but for society as a whole. Imagine living in a world where 95% of us are truly self-aware. It would be almost utopian. At the very least, it would be a world where the people I work with are much more likely to be celebrated rather than stigmatized.


Follow me on Instagram or visit my website for more info!

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