I grew up in Germany but spent more than half of my adult life in London. I am a UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist and qualified as a counsellor & psychotherapist with a postgraduate diploma (PG Dip) after five years of training at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education. CCPE is a training and accrediting organisational member of the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College with the UKCP (United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy), and the largest training centre for transpersonal psychotherapy in the UK. The diploma is also recognised by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
Apart from private practice, my clinical experience stems from working in diverse health, social care, community and academic settings, including London Metropolitan University, the NHS and CCPE's clinic (see experience).
I am also a Sociologist (M.A.), which contributes a strong systemic perspective to my approach. To me, our internal world and subjective experience, as well as our behaviour cannot be understood separated from the complex dynamics of relationships we have with the world around us.
Prior to becoming a counsellor, I pursued a career in journalism and worked for global media organisations. Having experienced high-pressured and fast-changing work environments first hand has been very beneficial for working with clients in the areas of stress management, career coaching, career change and finding purpose in your work life.
Last but not least, I am the mother of two wonderful children. As the development of my kids, I experience motherhood as a journey that never stops! Both, very challenging, and very transformational and enriching at the same time. Working with mothers in the areas of adapting to motherhood, developing a new identity, managing transitions, work/family balance and relationship challenges are particularly close to my heart. Coaching & Counselling for Mothers
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About my approach
Integrative counselling brings together and combines different elements of specific therapies, including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural (CBT), existential and humanistic. The underlying philosophical stance on human nature is that each person is unique and distinctive, which leads to the principle that the 'therapy needs to be tailored to the client and not the client to the therapy'.
Integrative counselling also refers to the process of integrating the personality by uniting the physical, emotional and mental levels within a person. As I also consider soul and spirit as essential levels of our being, my approach can be described as transpersonal. The key perspective is then not merely the solving of problems but includes the focus on our potential, the development of our ressourses and creativity.
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Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Four-year course at CCPE, London
Certificate in the Fundamentals of Counselling and Psychotherapy
One-year course at CCPE, London
Magister Artium (M.A.) in Sociology, University of Cologne
CCPE's psychotherapy clinic
London Metropolitan University's counselling service
FreshStart psychotherapy & counselling
The Caravan drop-in counselling service
Family Mosaic Hackney Mental Health Supported Housing
NHS Primary Care Mental Health Team at Edgware Hospital, London
NHS City and at Hackney Centre for Mental Health at Homerton Hospital, London
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Katherine, 23, Marketing & Sales Manager (28 sessions):
“I wanted a therapist who I could talk to in English, so finding Sonja was a huge relief!
Each session helped me understand how to better process my feelings and emotions concerning my job, my family and my relationships. By giving me the space I needed to discuss anything affecting me, Sonja has helped me regain so much confidence. I worked up the courage to quit the job that was making me unhappy and I now have the tools I need to recalibrate, if I’m not feeling 100%.”
Stefen, 32, Research & Communication Officer, charity sector (7 online sessions):
"I would highly recommend Sonja as a coach and counsellor. She provided me with useful and achievable exercises to help me concretise my challenges, goals and opportunities. I also appreciated her integrative approach, which helped me to deconstruct and manage counterproductive thoughts and habits in a refreshingly holistic, empathetic and supportive way, helping me to work to reconcile conflicting desires and better understand and process my emotions and their sources."
Ina, 41, Educationist/Sozialpädagogin, mother of two (13 sessions):
"Durch die Reflexion mit Sonja konnte ich aus einer emotionalen Sackgasse einen Weg für mich heraus finden und eine andere Haltung und/oder Einsicht entwickeln. Mehr Einsicht in meine eigenen Denk- und Handlungsweisen bekommen und dadurch die Chance nutzen mein eigenes Verhalten zu verändern. Außerdem konnte ich als Mutter meine persönlichen Sorgen und Zweifel ansprechen und bin bei Sonja auf offene Ohren gestoßen. Dadurch konnte ich Kraft tanken und Perspektiven verändern. Dafür bin ich Sonja sehr dankbar."
Ben, 29, Policy Evidence Manager, public health, PhD Structural Biology (10 online sessions):
"I contacted Sonja while at a bit of a loose end in my career. My first role following my PhD had left me uncertain where my value lay or what job I would be suitable for. Working with Sonja was very rewarding, she helped me to clarify the elements I enjoyed throughout my working life and pinpoint which values were important to me. This enabled me to consider suitable career paths and provided the tools I need to stop and take stock of a situation. In addition to this Sonja provided perspective and methods to tackle some of the anxiety left over from previous roles. The techniques have enabled me to work past some key barriers and were widely applicable to a range of situations."