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About Imi Lo

imi lo

 

Imi Lo works with emotionally intense and highly sensitive people. She is the author of Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity and The Gift of Intensity, both available in multiple languages including English and French.

Imi Lo has extensive experience in mental health, psychotherapy and art therapy. She works holistically, combining psychological insights with Eastern and Western philosophies such as Buddhism and Stoicism.

Imi Lo’s credentials include a Master of Mental Health, Master of Buddhist Studies, Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Bachelor of Social Science in Social Work, Certificate in Jungian Studies, and an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy.

She has received multiple scholarships including the Endeavour Award by the Australian Government. She has appeared in publications such as The Psychologies Magazine and Psychology Today.

 

 

More about my professional footprints

Hi! I am Imi. I have spent my professional life of over a decade in pursuit of answers to one question: ‘How to best serve people who are emotionally sensitive and intense?’

More than a decade ago, I received a Master in Mental Health from The School of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Australia; through this training, I obtained a solid understanding of most mental health diagnoses and how to work with them. Although I am no longer working within the mental health system, this training has been invaluable in helping me understand human psychology.

After being a mental health clinician and psychotherapist for a decade, my work has evolved beyond the conventional medical model to include a forward-looking, coaching component.  We may address the past, the pain of alienation and not fitting in, the emotional triggers, and the body-mind disconnection. But we also want to think about thriving. Thus, we will talk about your hopes and dreams, your inner strengths, and most importantly how to harness your potential so you can feel fully alive in your relationships, career and aspirations.

Later, I wished to add a spiritual dimension to my work, so I pursued a Master in Buddhist Studies. It was not an easy journey but I feel it has given me an enriched understanding of human suffering and ways to alleviate it. (I do not consider myself a ‘Buddhist’ and do not preach any religion, but I enjoy learning about world philosophies and drawing from the wisdom they offer).

I have also been trained in various modalities, such as art therapy, schema therapy, Jungian psychology, solution-focused coaching, personality typologies like the Enneagram, and philosophical coaching.

For many years, I have worked with people diagnosed with personality disorders, particularly Borderline Personality Disorder. My aspiration to change the way we think about this ‘disorder’ came from repeatedly seeing intense people being misunderstood, marginalized, or described as having ‘personality defects’. 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 deeply 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.

My experience is grounded within various settings in the mental health sector. I was a clinical practitioner within an NHS Community Mental Health Team in London, Mentalisation Therapist in a Personality Disorder Team, Wellbeing Centre Officer in Mind, UK, and Crisis Counsellor with the Samaritans Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre. I have also sat on the Board of Directors for Emergence, a personality disorder service-user-led organization.

I value clarity and openness, and I am a great believer in sharing knowledge with you, as well as actively engaging with your existential and day-to-day questions. Instead of taking suggestions straight from theories, I weed out the jargon and or overly complicated elements, to include only what I know to be effective and will resonate best with you. After all, underneath all the techniques, it is our relationship and the genuine feelings between us that create changes. I cannot hide behind theories and you will know it if I do.

Every day, I devote my enthusiasm and resources to this work with intense people from around the world. I am grateful that I get to sit alongside many creative and intelligent individuals.

If you are interested in my journey and what has got me here, I wrote about some of my personal histories and struggles here, and 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

 

FORMAL 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

          Granted MBPsS, Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership; University of Derby, UK

  • Bachelor of Social Science- Social Work (Hons)

          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 Jungian Studies 

C.G. Jung Centre

Solutions Focused Coaching Fundamentals (67 hours)

Solutions Academy (ICF Accredited Program), Germany

Schema Therapist

International Society of Schema Therapy

Certificate in Psychotherapy Clinical Supervision 

Metanoia Institute, London UK

Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy

Beeleaf Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, UK

Certificate in Logic-Based Therapy (LBT)

The Logic-Based Therapy & Consultation Institute/ National Philosophical Counseling Association (NPCA)

Three-parts Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Training

EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and EMDR-Europe Association  

Mentalisation-based Therapy (Advanced) Training

Anna Freud Centre, University College London (UCL), UK

Using the Enneagram in Psychological Assessment and Practice  

with Helen PalmerUnion Institute & University

Psychosynthesis (A Psyho-spiritual model to therapy) 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

Heart-mind with Mindfulness: Clinical Applications of Mindfulness

Mindfulness Centre, Australia

Supervision Training for Art Therapists

British Association for Art Therapists

Intensive Mentalisation Training

British Association for Art Therapists, UK

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

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

 

TEACHING

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, and Personality Disorders, and Suicide Crisis management. With students’ consent, the following are testimonials for the workshops I have delivered:

Imi has an incredible wealth of knowledge and talent in her subject areas, and she shared it with us in a totally accessible way that felt inclusive & respectful at all times. Her humility compassion & warmth blended with her expertise and professionalism throughout. It was a thoroughly enjoyable & informative learning experience…

— Lesley C., Lead family support worker at London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Insightful, brilliantly delivered, flowing with compassion and understanding, giving us time to digest this complex area of therapy. Thank you so much Imi.

— Ed L., Director & Principal Coach at BlueTouchPaper Consulting

I have also collaborated with Henley Business School to deliver a workshop on Schema Coaching.

 

EXPERIENCE IN MENTAL HEALTH

  • Psychotherapist – NHS Personality Disorder Team

  • Trainer and Module Leader – Beeleaf Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy

  • Non-Executive Director- Emergence Plus

  • Clinical Practitioner- NHS Personality Disorder Community Team

  • Social Worker/ Care Coordinator- NHS Community Mental Health Team

  • Suicide Counsellor – Samaritans Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre, HK

  • Honorary Psychotherapist- London Friend (LGBT Charity), UK

  • Wellbeing Centre Officer– Mind, Richmond Royal Hospital, UK

  • Mental Health Mentor- Randstad Student Support, UK

  • Assistant- NHS Eating Disorder Inpatient Unit

  • Placement Art Therapist and School Therapist- Tennyson Special Education School, Australia

  • Placement Art Therapist and Counselling Practitioner- Centacare Family Services, Australia

  • Taipei Psychiatric Hospital Drug & Alcohol Unit, Taiwan

 

OTHER WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

  • Founder/ Host- Eggshell Collective- BPD Social Sharing Group in Central London
  • Panel Member- ‘Absolute Truth Talks,’ hosted by Philharmonia Orchestra and House of Absolute

 

PUBLICATIONS

 

INTERVIEWS AND CONSULTATIONS

Newspaper and Magazines

Exclusive Interviews

– The Third Factor Magazine; From Hiding HSP to Gifted Leader with Imi Lo (A brilliant piece on overexcitabilities, intensity, shame and more), March 2002 

Media Consultations, and Mentions

-Metro UK, Emotional contagion: What you need to know about catching feelings online, Feb 2021

– Psychologies UK: Sensitivity is my Superpower, Nov 2017

– Womankind Magazine: Why Sensitivity is a Gift (in print), Winter 2019/2020

The Telegraph UK: Borderline Personality Disorder: ‘I couldn’t deal with the rollercoaster in my head’, Feb 2015

Marie Claire UK: ‘How to Toughen Up‘, Issue March 2016

i-D Magazine: ‘Shadow Work’ is the latest self-care trend, May 2021

– Rewire.org: Are You Catching Other People’s Feelings?, Nov 2018

Happiful Magazine: Emptiness and Borderline Personality Disorder, April 2017

– The Ambient; On smart light and how colour affects our mood, Feb 2018

– Refinery29: How Do You Know Which Therapy Is Best For You? Jan 2017

– The Debrief Magazine: The realities of dating when you are struggling with your mental health, May 2016

– Study Breaks: Being Too Much: How Do You Deal With Emotional Intensity?, Oct 2018

Podcast/ Youtube Interviews

Sex and relationships for the emotionally intense/ highly sensitive person with Imi Lo, Sex Unshackled ; (a thorough review of what Emotional Intensity means, followed by a discussion of challenges intense people face in relationships and sex.)

– A discussion about the Conceptual Framework with ‘Thoughts in Record.’

“What Your Reactions Say About You” Podcast Interview with Imi Lo, We Do Hard Things Podcast

A deep and raw conversation about my personal journey, Humanitou Podcast

Being intense, being different, remaining single and childfree,  Honest Uproar

What is Emotional Intensity?, Students of Mind Mental Health Podcast

– Empath’s Alchemy Podcast: If It Ain’t Broke…

What is Emotional Intensity and How to Embrace It, Imi Lo, the Corrie Lo Show

– Natfluence: Interview with Imi Lo

– On Gifted Women and Impostor Syndrome with Twinky Tus

– On Invisible Childhood Wounds, with Twinky Tus

– On Being Intense and Parenting, with Ashleigh Boyd

Radio Interviews

Talk Radio Europe Live Interview, about the value of sensitivity in today’s world. March 2018

– MX Brisbane, AU: Interview as an artist/ art therapist, 23rd November, 2010

– 4 ZZZ Radio, AU: Radio Interview, aired on 12 June 2011

– My work also appears on online resources including Psychology Today, Psych Central, Counselling Directory, The Elephant Journal, The Tattooed Buddha.


Imi Lo Therapy and Coaching Imi Lo Therapy and Coaching

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

Imi Lo