Adult Counselling

“I was reminded today, that a failure to intervene early in life to tackle mental health problems and other challenges, can have profound consequences for people throughout their lives” - Kate Winsor, Duchess of Cambridge. October 2015

Psychotherapy, combined with the latest research about the brain and the nervous system, provides the client with the help of the Psychologist, with a clear roadmap back to recovery. The pace of life is very fast and life throws challenging curveballs to us. Daily continuing stressors, illnesses, loss of a loved one or a motor vehicle accident, apart from our daily full schedules, can affect our health and overwhelm our nervous system, which can lead to severe stress, burnout, anxiety, anger outburst, panic attacks, depression or suicidal thoughts.

Early intervention to determine the dynamics of the stressors on your life and how to change the impact of the stressors can bring relief and healing. Psychotherapy is a path to personal, behavioural, emotional, cognitive and relational health. Psychotherapy can help you to reduce your stress, learn skills on how to restore your emotional balance and resiliency in your own life and create positive growth and connectedness in your relationships.

When to ask for help?

  • Self-esteem/Assertiveness issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • Personal stress/Job stress/Immigration stress/Transitional stress
  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Phobias/OCD
  • Depression/Self-harm/Suicidal Thoughts
  • Conflict/Anger management
  • Attachment issues/Family of origin challenges
  • Traumatic Experiences - Motor vehicle Accident/violence/physical, sexual, emotional abuse/neglect
  • PostTraumatic Stress Symptoms- war trauma/attack/torture/natural disasters
  • Eating Disorders-bulimia/anorexia
  • Pain Management

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression are both ways in which our Brain and Autonomic Nervous system are signaling to us, that the load of stress, loss or trauma in our daily life, has become too overwhelming, and it is time to destress the body to stay healthy and perform in the way that we feel competent and in control. Psychotherapy is the remedy for stress. In a confidential, safe and unconditionally accepting environment with a Psychologist, every client has the opportunity to take a clear look at their life, discover the stress areas and learn skills on how to reorganize your lifestyle to manage the stressors in your life.

ANXIETY is the body’s activation response of “fight-flight”, where the body and the brain produces too much cortisol, which leads to problems with sleep, heart palpitations, dizziness, shakiness, irritability, hypervigilance, avoidance and fearful thoughts, which can escalate into Panic Attacks.   Research has confirmed that the best treatment for a mild to moderate anxiety is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), to reduce the impact of the overloaded Autonomic Nervous system and Brain to restore your body and mind to calmness and equilibrium. For a severe anxiety or Panic attack, CBT, Mindful Meditation and medication can bring significant relief, to get control back into your life.

DEPRESSION is the body’s protective “Freeze” response, when stress, loss, trauma, abuse, bullying, discrimination or harassment continues and the person feels completely helpless to change the situation. This continuation of overwhelming life circumstances leads to changes in the neuro-chemistry of the brain and nervous system - in a negative direction - and the person’s natural resources to recover after stressful situations, starts to break down. Every person inherits a unique nervous system with a different degree of resiliency against stress. Therefore people respond differently under different stressors. Depression can affect your sleeping pattern, sleeping more or an absence of sleep. Eating patterns can change with weight increase or weight loss, negative thinking patterns, high anxiety, low energy, absence of concentration, anger outbursts and social isolation. All these symptoms can push you deeper into a depression so that suicidal thoughts can increase, which can lead to self-harm or suicidal behaviour. Research indicated that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can successfully cure mild and moderate depressions. For a severe depression, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy combined with medication is the most successful choice of treatment, according to research studies, to recover from a severe depression.Sophia has many years of experience, where she successfully supported clients with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Somatic Experiencing Therapy to recover from a deep depression to restore their individual resiliency and continue a happy fruitful life with their loved ones.

Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms/Trauma Treatment

“The core experience of Psychological trauma is disempowerment and disconnection from others. Recovery therefore, is based upon the empowerment of the survivor and the creation of new connections. Recovery can take place only within the context of relationships. It cannot occur in isolation”– Judith Herman

Reaching out for help is your first step on the road to recovery from PTSD

A traumatic event can leave you shattered, anxious and alone. You may experience symptoms of nightmares, flashbacks, sleep problems, severe anxiety, panic attacks, irritability and hypervigilance, feelings of guilt or hopelessness or suicidal thoughts and actions. You might try to soothe the emotional pain with alcohol, marijuana or other drugs, but the feelings of loss and helplessness will not go away. If you are suffering from PTSD, you may find that you have strong reactions to situations that remind you of the painful past event. As a result you may avoid going places that might trigger those memories. Stress, anxiety and the feeling of being stuck and being alone might be constant, and you may find it difficult to be around people, or do the things that you used to enjoy. You have reached the point where you need professional help before your life spins completely out of control.   You know you want to start picking up the pieces and putting your life back together, but, how do you do that? Where do you start? And how long will it take? Contact us now, and we will support you in your recovery. If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Psychotherapeutic interventions, like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been proven successful to guide you back on the road to recovery so you can rebuild your life and restore the relationships with the ones you love. I also use Somatic Experiencing Therapy, which is a gentle way of psychotherapy, developed by the Psychologist Dr. Peter Levine, to reduce the fight-flight-freeze response in the body to guide you to peaceful self-regulation, memory integration and restore your resiliency to feel joy and love again.

With the support of the latest brain research, we understand so much more how the fight-flight-freeze response, due to Trauma, has impacted your nervous system, your thoughts, your emotions, your soul, your beliefs about yourself and your relationships. The good news is that it is this response that saved your life, but it is only with the support of EMDR or Somatic Experiencing Therapy, that your body balances can be restored and the traumatic memories can be reprocessed. The road to recovery is a tough journey, but much easier if you have a roadmap to recovery and someone to support and guide you.

There are various traumatic experiences like:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA)
  • Surviving a physical or sexual assault
  • Neglect, physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse
  • Violence at home/school/work
  • Bullying
  • Military combat/ war/torture
  • Refugee
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Tragic accidents/drowning/near death experiences/surgery
  • Natural disasters
  • Death or abandonment