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About Imi Lo

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Imi Lo is a consultant, speaker, trainer, and published author with extensive experience in mental health and psychotherapy across diverse international settings.

Her books, ‘Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity’ and ‘The Gift of Intensity,’ are internationally acclaimed and available in multiple languages.

Imi Lo has held various roles, including mental health supervisor, psychotherapist, art therapist, suicide crisis counselor, and trainer to therapists and coaches. Having called different countries home, she has worked in international organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders and the mental health charity Mind.

Imi holds two Master’s degrees—one in Mental Health and one in Buddhist Studies. She is trained in philosophical counseling, Jungian theories, global cultures, mindfulness-based modalities, solution-focused coaching, trauma-informed practices, and LGBTQ+ affirming approaches.

Imi Lo is the recipient of multiple awards and scholarships, including the Australian Government Endeavour Award, the HSBC Social Work Scholarship, and a Postgraduate Scholarship for Buddhist Studies.

Her expertise and insights have been featured in major publications such as Business Insider, Psychologies Magazine, Marie Claire, HuffPost, The Daily Mail, and The Telegraph. Imi also contributes regularly to Psychology Today.

 

More about my professional footprints

Hi! I am Imi. I work with highly intense, sensitive, and gifted humans.

I have spent my professional life of over a decade in pursuit of answers to one question: ‘What do people who are emotionally sensitive and intense need?’

My mental health profession began in 2009 as a suicide counselor. But after more than a decade in this field, I feel compelled to pursue something more spiritual, philosophical, and creative. That’s when I decided to depart from psychotherapy and grow my practice into something not constrained by the medical paradigm, which frequently focuses on what is “wrong” with a person rather than what they need. I do not think that there is anything intrinsically defective about anyone; nonetheless, their neurodivergent characteristic or trauma may cause them to become a misfit in the environment that they are in. Personally, I also began to find more solace in ancient wisdom, such as Stoicism and Buddhism, rather than traditional psychology.

I have a Master in Mental Health from The School of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Australia; through this training, I have come to understand most mental health diagnoses and how to work with them. Later, I wished to add a spiritual dimension to my work and pursued a Master in Buddhist Studies. I did my final dissertation on the intersection between ancient Stoic Marcus Aurelius’s work and Buddhism’s scriptures. (I do not consider myself a ‘Buddhist’ and do not preach any religion, I just enjoy learning about world philosophies and drawing from the wisdom they offer).

I have various experiences in the mental health field and have trained and supervised trainee therapists and coaches. In my years of living in various countries, I have held positions such as Mental Health Supervisor in Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders,  Clinical Practitioner in the NHS, and Suicide Crisis Counsellor with the Samaritan Befrienders. I have also served on the Board of Directors for Emergence, an organization that advocates for people with personality disorders.

For many years, I have worked with people diagnosed with personality disorders, particularly Borderline Personality Disorder. Hearing pejorative labels such as ‘manipulative’ or ‘attention-seeking’, and seeing people who do not fit neatly into diagnostic criteria slip through the cracks of the system frustrated me. My experience in the public health system has inspired me to break away to forge a different path, where I hope to initiate a paradigm shift away from the model of pathologies. This was also when I started devoting myself entirely to understanding how neurodivergent people are misunderstood by society.

My current passion is in coaching highly intense and gifted adults, fueled by the realization that the needs of gifted grown-ups are often overlooked in mainstream discussions. While resources for gifted children are abundant, there is a noticeable silence around the distinct challenges faced by gifted adults, including issues like shame, fear of attacks, and the childhood trauma of being parentified.

I communicate directly and candidly. While I understand this may not be for anyone, I believe the truth can set us free.  Underneath all the techniques and theories, it is the genuine relationship between us and the insights that we find together that will create the most lasting changes for you.

Through our work together, I hope that you’ll gain clarity and a renewed sense of purpose. While it’s not always easy, I believe that it is always worth it.

If you are interested in my journey and what got me here, I wrote about some of my personal histories and struggles. I also spoke about my childhood experience and journey in some of the following interviews:

 

  • A deep and raw conversation with the brilliant Adam Williams from Humanitou. The take-home message is we ought to grieve who we’re not and embrace who we really are.
  • And here is a video about the work.

I look forward to being with you!

Imi

 

Experience

  • Mental Health Supervisor- Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders
  • Clinical Supervisor- Mind
  • Psychotherapist/ Mentalisation Therapist– NHS Personality Disorder Team
  • Trainer and Module Leader – Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy
  • Social Worker/ Clinical Practitioner- NHS Personality Disorder Community Team
  • Non-Executive Director- Emergence Plus (Personality disorders service-user-led organization)
  • Honorary Psychotherapist- London Friend (LGBT Charity)
  • Wellbeing Centre Officer– Mind, Richmond Royal Hospital
  • Mental Health Mentor- Randstad Student Support, UK
  • Healthcare Assistant- NHS Eating Disorder Inpatient Unit
  • Suicide Counsellor – Samaritans Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre, HK
  • Placement Art Therapist – Tennyson Special Education School, Australia
  • Placement Art Therapist and Counselling Practitioner- Centacare Family Services, Australia
  • Taipei Psychiatric Hospital Drug & Alcohol Unit, Taiwan

Teaching Experience

I have delivered training workshops for trainee therapists seeking accreditation with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Some of the modules I have taught include Human Development, Psychopathology, Attachment Theories, Personality Disorders, and Suicide Crisis Management.

Consultation and Projects

  • Speaker- Presentation on the convergence of Buddhism and Stoicism – 6th International Conference on Philosophical Counseling & Practice
  • Mental Health Consulting- TrueMind+Body Wellness Centre
  • Workshop on Schema Coaching- Henley Business School, University of Reading
  • Founder/ Host- Eggshell Collective BPD Social Group in Central London
  • Panel Member- ‘Absolute Truth Talks,’ hosted by Philharmonia Orchestra and House of Absolute, London

Reviews, References, and Testimonials

Throughout the years, I have the honor of working with many wonderful people. Here are some kind words and professional references from coachees, supervisors, and colleagues.

Reviews, Testimonials and Kind Words

Education

  • Master of Mental Health (Distinction); Awarded the Dean’s Commendations for High Achievement; School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Master of Buddhist Studies (Distinction);   Tung Lin Kok Yuen Postgraduate Scholarship; The University of Hong Kong, HK
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Psychological Studies; Metanoia Institute, Middlesex University, UK
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology; University of Derby, UK
  • Bachelor of Social Science- Social Work; First Class Honour. Completed with multiple scholarships; The Chinese University of Hong Kong, HK
  • Yale Summer Art Program; Distinction; University of Yale

Professional and Academic Awards

  • Tung Lin Kok Yuen Postgraduate Scholarship for Buddhist Studies, 2020
  • Dean’s Commendation for High Achievements- University of Queensland, 2011
  • Endeavour Award (International), 2010 – Australian Government
  • Dean’s List Recipient, School of Social Work, 2009, CUHK
  • HSBC Social Work Scholarship, CUHK
  • Social Work Departmental Prize, CUHK
  • Class Scholarship, CUHK

Certificates and Diploma

  • Certificate in the Principles of the Theory and Practice of Supervision – Metanoia Institute, London UK
  • Certificate in Jungian Studies  – C.G. Jung Centre
  • Oxford Executive Leadership Program – University of Oxford, UK
  • Solutions Focused Coaching Fundamentals (67 hours)- Solutions Academy (ICF Accredited Program), Germany.
  • Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy – Beeleaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, UK
  • Certificate in Logic-Based Therapy (a form of Philosophical Counselling) – The Logic-Based Therapy & Consultation Institute/ National Philosophical Counseling Association
  • Mentalization-based Therapy (Advanced) Training  – Anna Freud Centre, University College London (UCL), UK
  • Using the Enneagram in Psychological Assessment and Practice  – Union Institute & University
  • Psychosynthesis Foundation- The Institute of Psychosynthesis, UK
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Clinical Training Retreat – Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, UK
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Practicum – Openground Australia

Additional Training

  • EMDR Training- EMDR Europe
  • Psychological First Aid- Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Psychosocial Support for Migrants- IOM
  • Intensive Mentalisation Training – British Association for Art Therapists, UK
  • Diversity and Inclusion -King’s College London, UK
  • Language and Global Identities – King’s College London, UK
  • LGBT Counselling and Transgender Awareness Training  – London Friend, UK
  • Principles and Practice of Ericksonian Hypno-Psychotherapy – Beeleaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, UK
  • Applying Enneagram in Coaching and Counselling  – InnerSpace HK
  • Psycho-Educational Approach to Art Therapy   – British Association for Art Therapists, UK
  • Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner – Beeleaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, UK
  • Working Successfully with Addictions – Beeleaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, UK
  • Heart-mind with Mindfulness: Clinical Applications of Mindfulness  – Mindfulness Centre, Australia

Publications

Books

Academic Journals

  • “A heuristic and art-based inquiry: The experience of combining mindfulness practice and art-making”; Published in The Australian and New Zealand Art Therapy Journal 2011 (Volume 6)
  • An LBT Session with a Client Going Through a Breakup”— Published in the International Journal of Philosophical Practice, Vol 6, No.1, Spring 2020

Everything else

Expertise

Coaching Gifted Adults

Coaching gifted adults to address common challenges such as underachievement, perfectionism, Imposter Syndrome, social isolation, loneliness, overexcitabilities, career boredom and diversification, and relationship struggles.

Heightened Sensitivity and Empathy

Specialized guidance for highly sensitive and empathic individuals seeking their place in the world. The coaching process addresses sensory integration issues, challenges like misophonia, managing relationship misunderstandings, emotional reactivity, and porous energetic boundaries.

Trauma-informed Coaching

Knowledge and experiences in Complex Trauma (PTSD), Parentification Trauma, Narcissistic Abuse, Splitting, Structural Dissociation, and Personality Disorders (Cluster B and C), including Borderline Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. (Although I was trained in specialized forms of psychotherapies such as EMDR and Mentalization-based Treatment, I no longer offer these or practice as a mental health therapist)

Cross-cultural Experiences

Coaching and consultations for those navigating cross-cultural experiences, whether first or second-generation immigrants or the children of immigrants. Addressing issues surrounding transgenerational trauma, cultural dissonance, cross-cultural challenges, and ancestral trauma.

Existential and Mid-life Crisis

Coaching individuals experiencing significant life transitions, such as mid-life, quarter-life, and existential crises. The work is informed by philosophies such as Stoicism and Buddhism, Jungian theories, and archetypal symbolism.

Interviews and Media Consultations

Thank you for being here, and I look forward to meeting you!

Imi