One on One Online Therapy (Counselling)
In many ways being human is our biggest challenge. We have complex thought processes, feelings and ways of reacting to the world we live in. Therefore our personal experiences and ways of relating to our world are difficult to understand – even by ourselves! These complexities become even more difficult to understand when one is faced with hardship, trauma, uncertainty and change.
It is therefore very helpful to join hands with a professional counsellor – especially if his/her preferred way of working is to assist you how to help yourself. In meeting with your counsellor the two of you will agree upon the areas to work on, as well as on the outcomes you would like to achieve. It is in the process of working together (called individual counselling) that you will be able to unpack the issue at hand, gain perspective, acquire skills and find solutions.
What then can you expect from individual counselling?
Well, you can expect:
- One-on-one meetings (for example, once a week for between 45 and 60 minutes) with your therapist;
- A safe setting where you get the undivided attention of your psychotherapist;
- Focused attention to the agreed upon goals (e.g. to gain perspective, skills, solutions or relief for the issue at hand, to help you establish or re-establish your life as a thriving, nurturing process, to empower you to move forward with freedom in your life, etc.);
- An atmosphere for learning and exploring alternatives;
- Minimization of re-experiencing pain and discomfort due to the progress made during sessions; and
- A longer or shorter journey, depending on the yourself and the problem at hand
Individual counselling will help you …
- To find new ways to cope with stress, anger, depression, anxiety and other emotional pressures;
- To heal old wounds related to alcoholism, incest, and other traumas
- To get “unstuck” from the effect of past experiences by breaking old patterns and developing new ways of dealing with old issues
- To deal with grief, loss, loneliness
- To resolve sexual difficulties
- To discover creative ways to address life style challenges
- To improve your self-identity and boost your self-confidence
- To clarify commitments
- To explore purpose, meaning and spiritual growth
- To develop healthy boundaries
or to help you cope with any other challenges that results in overload in your life or create the feeling that you are alone against odds that are too high.
In the end individual counselling is a process of joining resources with a professional counsellor in order to get your life under control and to steer it towards a better future.
Joining hands with your Online Therapist (Councillor)
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As a counsellor I do have counselling skills, but… in reality you are the EXPERT on your own your life! Narrative counselling (the style of counseling or therapy that I prefer) is a unique approach to therapy – one that places your experience in central position of importance and is built upon the following core concepts:
- We all create stories of our lives… and then we tend to live accordingly. These inner (personal) stories therefore constitute the guidelines for how we live.
- They shape the way we think and act, but more than that: They also shape how we make sense of ourselves and the world around us.
- Our stories about ourselves have been shaped by our experiences, circumstances, environment, community and culture.
- Our stories are always based on SELECTED events. They are never complete.
- We all have some key stories about ourselves that are deeply ingrained and exert a greater influence than other stories about ourselves..
- We try to fit our experiences (new and different) into the stories we already have (i.e. into what we already know).
- When our experience does not fit comfortably into the existing they become a filter. Consequently they can blind us to feelings, thoughts and behaviours that don’t fit our stories.
- Our stories may not reflect and contain the full spectrum of what we prefer and are capable of. There are always other and richer stories about us, the world and the people around us – stories which might be silenced by the current stories. When we are empowered to access these alternative stories, we might be able to create new meanings about ourselves. And we may also discover new and preferred ways of living.
- In our lives there are always material for new stories that we have not yet told ourselves or other people. It is these stories that (when we start to tell and explore them) often free and empower us to think and act in new, more helpful, ways.
- Narrative Therapy uses the stories people bring about themselves and their lives and help them to re-shape new lenses, new stories, new experiences and new futures. It is the role of the counsellor/psychologist to help you look at your stories (i.e. your life) in ways that help you “author” new stories and “re-author” old ones.
- These new stories usually have remarkably healing effects.
The narrative approach uses the stories we tell about of our lives as the key to the healing or growth process. In the face of serious and sometimes potentially deadly problems, the idea of hearing or telling stories may seem rather trivial. It is hard to believe that conversations can shape new realities. But they do. And they help to shape events into narratives/stories of hope.
Often when people go to see a counsellor, their experiences of life are dominated by problem stories (for example: stories of ‘failure’, self-blame, a deficiency in something etc). Narrative counsellors look for exceptions to these problem-dominated stories because these exceptions are entry points into alternative stories (for example: stories of survival, of resilience, resistance, coping or managing etc). Although we sometimes find ourselves reducing our experience down to a few words (e.g. ‘I’m a failure at relationships’), other stories can and do exist. Counselling conversations can then assist you to discover alternative ways of understanding your life and recover lost or forgotten experiences of yourself. A narrative counsellor possesses technical skills that can be used to investigate a range of problems (and the stories associated with it). If utilized correctly hese kinds of counselling conversations can even be quite enjoyable!
The way we usually talk in psychology, churches, the medical profession, courts, schools, the workplace and the rest of our daily lives tend to glue the person and the problem together. Talk such as: ‘He/she is the depressed spouse’, or ‘They are a dysfunctional family’, or ‘She/he is a problem child’ or ‘He/she is the problem in the organization, is accepted ways of speech as common to kitchens as to the boardrooms in the corporate world.
In the narrative lifestyle we prefer to separate the person and the problem.
This approach not only frees the person victimized by the problem of guilt, but also empowers her/him to take action against the problem. Furthermore it helps the people surrounding the victim to join hands in a collaborating action against the problem.
The Problem (capital letter ‘P’, because the Problem has its own identity – remember you are not the problem.) may have a tight grip on your life. However, in our conversations you will soon discover that it is not all time the case. These brief moments which the Problem does not have all the power are called ‘sparkling events’. The reason for this is that you certainly do have specific skills at your disposal to resist the Problem with. These skills are called ‘unique outcomes’!
Won’t it be terrific to discover yours?
The Specialized work I do during Online Therapy
Besides my narrative approach in journeying with clients, I am trained in the following techniques and brief protocols:
TRE (Trauma and Tension Releasing Exercises)
TRE is a revolutionary new method for stress and trauma recovery, developed by dr David Berceli. It is based upon a viewpoint that tremoring is the organic way in which a human being (and animals) recovers from the aftermaths of tension and trauma.
In most cultures tremors are seen as a sign of shock, weakness and vulbernability and is often calmed down or terminated by medication or other means, resulting in depriving ourselves to recover from tension and trauma in an organic way. TRE is designed toactivate the tremor mechanism of the human body which leads to a safe and organic recovery from the aftermaths of tension and trauma.
TRE is often the first safe step in the journey with my clients. Once you have mastered the technique you have a tool to manage your stress levels and to maintain your nervous system fo rthe rest of your life.
For more information about TRE, please see www.traumaprevention.com
(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR is a brief psychology protocol that helps people to heal from disturbing life experiences. Unlike the popular belief that severe emotional distress takes a long time to heal, studies have shown that with EMDR, people can experience benefits much quicker than traditional approaches.
EMDR can be used in tandem with the narrative approach to help improve emotional well-being. EMDR can also be helpful in overcoming addictions and handling chronic pain.
Millions of people have been treated successfully with EMDR over the past 20 years.
For more information on EMDR and to verify my certification, please go to http://www.emdr.com and www.emdria.org
Emotion Focused Couple Therapy (EFT)
Emotionally focused couple therapy is based upon scientific study of the adult love and bonding processes in couples and is helpful to address distress in adult intimate relationships. It can also be used to help family members to connect and improve attachments.
Couples and families find this method a beneficial approach, as it can help people better understandp both their own emotional needs and responses, as well as those of the significant others in their lives.
I am one of a few advanced EFT couple therapists in South Africa.
For more information about Emotion Focused Couple Therapy and my status as a practitioner, please go to www.iceeft.com.
Brainspotting is a physiological therapeutic tool which can be integrated into a wide range of healing modalities, including psychological as well as somatic approaches to treatment.
Brainspotting can be useful as a complement to various body-based therapies including advanced bodywork, chiropractic, acupuncture, somatic therapies, physical therapy, nursing, medicine, and other specialized approaches to physical healing. It is a valuable resource in the treatment of a wide range of medical, physical, and psycho-emotional issues and symptoms encountered by health professionals.
Brainspotting provides a tool for accessing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of somatic and emotionally-based conditions.
The developer of Brainspotting, David Grand, visited South Africa during July 2016 to start the training of Brainspotting practitioners for the first time on the African continent. This was followed by a second training event during November 2016. I am part of the training.
For more information on Brainspotting, please go to www.brainspotting.pro.
Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately “feedback” information to the user. The presentation of this information, often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behaviour supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.” For more information about Biofeedback and my status as practitioner, please go to http://www.biofeedbacksa.co.za.