I grew up in Germany but spent more than half of my adult life in London, where I 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). CCPE is a training and accrediting organisational member of the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College with the UKCP (United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy), and I am a UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist and Counsellor. My 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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Andreas, 45, German:
"I started working with Sonja at a time when my relationship was at the verge of breaking up and I had serious difficulties with a colleague at work. She helped me to find a way through these difficult period but more so, through our work I managed to connect and give more room to my emotions. It helped me to be more at peace with myself and better manage that thing called life. I would not want to miss what I have gained through the discussions with Sonja and wholeheartedly recommend her. "
Bethanie, 21, Canadian:
"I came to Sonja while I was struggling to adjust to life in Germany and was feeling lost as to what to do next. While my time with her was relatively short, she was able to open new perspectives to me and got me to ask myself questions I had never thought to ask before. She made sense of the word jumble that poured out of my mouth during our sessions and gave clarity to my thoughts. While in the end, the decisions I had to make for what to do with my life were not easy, I believe I made the best one with her help and support. Her compassion, guidance and knowledge were amazing and instrumental in my decision-making. I will carry the knowledge she gave me for the rest of my life."
Sylvia, 31, Greek:
"I reached out to Sonja while stuck at a low point in my personal life, with thoughts going in circles and unable to make important decisions. By asking the right questions, being empathetic and supportive, Sonja helped me to gain clarity and the strength I needed to change things. Over the course of our work we went deeper into my sense of identity and the internal conflict I was often unaware of. Through exercises and her interactive approach, she also helped me to develop hands-on coping skills, as well as to feel more aligned with myself. I couldn’t recommend her enough."
Johannes, 35, German:
"It's been a huge pleasure to work with Sonja throughout the last months. Not only did she help me to establish a stronger mindset and to organise my thoughts, she even more so supported me in building a skillset to handle stressful situations in private and professional life. I learned a lot about myself, which enables me to take better decisions and treat myself and others in a healthier way."
Stefen, 32, British:
"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, German:
"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."
"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."