Mindfulness-based Core Process therapy

Core Process therapy emphasizes presence, mindfulness of present-moment experience, for example through sensing into the body, and the importance of a therapeutic relationship that gradually deepens.

Our life experiences shape us, giving rise to habitual patterns and ways of protecting ourselves that help us try to cope in the environment we grow up in and to meet its expectations. We develop views about ourselves and the world, about our own value. Our nervous system may be tuned to vigilance, for example very alert to the possibility of danger or abandonment. We accumulate tension and it may be challenging for us to stay present in the body. Without realising it we may try to keep certain experiences we have had out of our conscious awareness, when these were too difficult to meet at the time.

At some point in our life, all of this has usually been needed in some way. However, we can easily remain stuck in these processes. Gradually we may start to find more access to a kind of a core within us, underneath the processes. This is a natural possibility for well-being and aliveness, for connection and caring, for landing into just being. The unfolding towards this can be supported by working in a therapeutic relationship, aided by joint presence.

Core Process therapist Anna Backholm.

As a therapist I create a space where you can explore your own inner world. I accompany you on the journey and sense into what might support it in each moment. Things may open up to be seen through bodily sensations, as glimpses which you might not at first think are related to anything, or in how it is to be together. In therapy there is space to be as you are. In joint presence we can meet such aspects of you and your emotions that have not had space before.

What might bring you to therapy could be for example:

  • difficulty in taking space to be yourself, in valuing your own needs or in knowing who you actually are
  • difficulty in finding or feeling connection with others
  • traumatic experiences or strong emotions, which are not easy to be present with alone
  • feelings of depression, anxiety, or shame, or not feeling much of anything
  • habitual patterns of action or emotional reactions that you get stuck in
  • feeling that you are not quite at home in your life, searching for your own direction or deeper meaning
  • a wish to connect deeper to yourself or to your body, to accept all sides of yourself
"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being." - Daniel Ladinsky

In Core Process therapy we keep in touch with our present-moment experience, for example through sensing into the body; this supports the unfolding of things. An important part of the therapeutic process is the therapeutic relationship – a human relationship that gradually deepens. An essential part of this approach is also that we do not try to force things to change. When we are together and present with what is, things have space to shift – also in ways that neither of us could have planned or predicted in advance.

I have trained in Core Process Psychotherapy at the Karuna Institute in England and hold an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapeutic Practice. Currently I am continuing my studies towards accreditation as a psychotherapist in the UK. The training combines a meditative perspective and the therapist’s own practice of presence with psychotherapeutic understanding and skills. The training includes the impact of traumas, early interaction and attachment relationships, and how our experiences in the womb and the challenges that earlier generations have faced (intergenerational trauma) may affect us.

Read more about:
The role of mindfulness in Core Process therapy
The role of the body in Core Process therapy

Hand resting on a rock with lichen.


  • My regular price at this last stage of my training is 80€ (incl. VAT 24%) for a one-hour session.
  • If this is not possible in your financial situation, feel free to contact me, anyway; I am able to take some clients at a lower price. Financial support from Kela (in the Finnish system) is not available for the therapy I offer.
  • The first meeting is free of charge, as it is time for us both to discover whether we could work well together.
  • I offer therapy in person in Etu-Töölö, Helsinki (Apollonkatu 11a, MindFaculty) or online.
  • Therapy sessions are regularly once a week 60 minutes at a time. We can deepen into work in a long-term therapeutic relationship, if that feels right.
  • We protect the special quality of the therapeutic relationship by not meeting in other contexts.
  • I offer therapy in Finnish or in English.
  • I offer therapy following UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) ethical guidelines, and I am also a member of ACPP (Association of Core Process Psychotherapists). My work is supported by professional supervision.
  • Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like to book a time for an initial meeting.