What to Expect from Therapy
Preliminary Phone Consultation. To help you decide if you are ready to begin therapy for stress, anxiety or panic, we offer a free 10-minute phone consultation. We can discuss the problems you are experiencing that may be related to stress and anxiety and how counselling may benefit you. You have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and together we can decide whether ours is the best counselling and therapy service for you.
First Therapy session. What our first therapy session entails will depend on your unique circumstances and needs and how stress and anxiety are affecting your life.
The primary goals of the first counselling session are to establish a working relationship and to determine and address your immediate needs. If you are feeling anxious due to a current crisis, we will work to help you overcome it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, we may spend time talking about the history of your problems and the role stress and anxiety have played in your life. We will discuss your goals and plans and decide on the best course of action for addressing your problems in therapy.
More than anything, you will feel a sense of relief and hope after your first therapy sessions.
Initially coming to see you was an act desperation…I’d been in hospital which was a first, I was living by myself, and had been struggling with a difficult relationship…I was feeling out of control…therapy with you became a positive way of dealing with things… it’s something I’m very thankful that I’ve done… I was lucky to find the right person first time round. So thank you to you, Jacqui. Read More…
– SN, 29 Lawyer, North Sydney
Therapy Sessions 2 – 6. An increased sense of hope and relief are likely to continue in this phase of counselling. In our therapy sessions, we will work together to get a more detailed picture of the stress and anxiety if your life. This will include how it impacts you day-to-day and how it fits into the context of your life – present and past. We will explore the causes of your distress and find the best ways of resolving it.
You will experience new insights and shifts in perspective but also positive changes to how you feel and behave.
Continuing Counselling and Psychotherapy. Typically at this point in counselling, your immediate situation will have improved. You may choose to continue in therapy to work on making deeper and lasting changes that will improve all aspects of your life. Where relevant, we will continue to work on past trauma or loss, and behaviours and feelings that may be causing difficulties, so that you can resolve not only your immediate problems but also reduce the likelihood of them occurring again.
…I wasn’t coping well with life and it was impacting on my family…I wanted to work with somebody to help process it… Initially, it was hard to trust that it was helping — I needed a spreadsheet!… All of a sudden progress started kicking in…I can turn my mood around much faster. I just cope better now! Read More…
– AB, 35, Business Owner & Mother of two, Surry Hills
Our therapy approaches are based on the research in neuroscience that now shows how our brain is affected by stress, anxiety and trauma. The new brain research shows us it is possible to change our brain’s activity patterns and structure in order to achieve positive and lasting change. “Recent brain scans done before and after psychotherapy show both that the brain plastically reorganizes itself in treatment and that the more successful the treatment, the greater the change.” (Norman Doidge, 2007.)
Below are two of the key therapy approaches we use in our work as counsellors and therapists.
The psychodynamic approach to therapy involves becoming aware of and resolving difficult or painful thoughts and feelings that are having a negative effect. It recognises that some of these may be hidden or unconscious, with possible roots in your past experiences and relationships. Therefore, in addition to exploring those issues worrying you directly, we take note of any others that may manifest, either physically (e.g. headaches, tightness in the chest), behaviourally (e.g. procrastinating, using alcohol) or emotionally (e.g. bursts of anger or tears that seem misplaced or an overreaction.)
Therapy of this kind builds your capacity to be open, and to tolerate feelings. This in turn brings health benefits and enables you to live life more fully – neither being regularly overwhelmed by feelings nor blocked or numb to them.
Psychodynamic therapy will help you deepen your insight (intellectually and emotionally) so that you may make more informed choices about the way you want to live your life. It will help you achieve a greater sense of control and stronger self-identity. It will also help you establish and sustain healthy relationships and pursue your passions through work and leisure. It will help you feel stronger and achieve an overall greater sense of well-being.
I was at the point of experiencing anxiety, and sometimes panic attacks of some degree, everyday… My GP referred me to someone but I knew she wasn’t for me straight away… If there was a list of criteria for a person to perfectly fill the role of counsellor, Jacqui you match those criteria…I’m in a different place now, a really good place. Read More…
– KH, Financial Industry, Eastern Suburbs, Sydney
Mindfulness in Therapy
Mindfulness is an approach used in therapy that assists you in being more aware of what you are experiencing from moment to moment so that you can be more in tune with your thoughts, behaviours, feelings, and sensations to enable you to have greater freedom and capacity to respond and be as you would wish.
Mindfulness also builds your resilience so that you are better able to cope with the stresses and strains of life. It can help reduce reactivity and develop greater peace and stillness of your mind and body on a day to day basis.
Ours is a structured but flexible counselling approach based on proven methods. As therapists, our commitment is to work with you in a manner that best suits your needs and goals. Our style is transparent and collaborative – together we will find the right pace and approach to working together.