Dr Barbara Louw

The many faces of trauma

The popular opinion allows people to see ‘trauma’ as being synonymous with distress or discomfort. The other day I stood in a queue to pay for a pair of shoes when I overheard a lady telling her friend that she was so “traumatized” because another shopper “snatched a bargain from under her nose”.

The haphazard way people are using terms like ‘trauma’ and ‘stress’ gives the impression that they know what they are talking about. Our own biases allow us to assume that we know what they are talking about and we have the answers.

The problem is that as listeners we stop listening with the intent to hear and understand. We stop paying attention to what they are trying to share and why they need to tell that part of their story.

How to get the most out of a counselling session?

You’ve taken the step to schedule your first appointment with Dr Barbara Louw. You may be nervous or worried you might not know what to do when you get to her office or connect online.

You have all these thoughts running through your head like, “Will she judge me? Will she believe me? Can she understand my dilemmas?  Will it help?” You consider postponing the appointment, but you’re in a crisis or trying to prevent more trauma.

Returning to counselling after a break

Like any journey, your therapeutic journey may have starts and stops, highs and lows, departures and returns. Sometimes unexpected changes in life force you to pause the counselling and coaching for wellness. Perhaps you wanted a break to focus on another part of your life.

Once you are ready to return to counselling, you might wonder how you should go about it. What should you say to your counsellor? “I’m back” doesn’t feel like enough. The principles and care that brought you to Dr Barbara Louw in the first place are still effective.

Ultimately, your counsellor is not going to judge or reprimand you for taking a break.


Counselling versus talking to you friend

Talking to a friend may be free of charge, but working with a counsellor will give you the cognitive and therapeutic skills to live a happier life.

When we don’t completely understand what professional counselling is, it’s easy to assume it can’t be more beneficial than talking to a friend. Like a relationship with a friend, seeing a counsellor involves conversing with someone, being vulnerable and maybe receiving advice. If counselling was only about paying someone to let you vent or chat with them, it actually would be a waste of money.

The ‘talking’ aspects of counselling are only a very small part of the therapeutic journey.

A meaningful gift.

A friend of yours may go through hard times and experience trauma that touches your heart.  This is the time that you realise that we all need a little extra help.

You can show that you care by sponsoring a counselling session. This gesture is a gift that will be remembered for years to come.

A gift counselling session is a gift of hope and growth for someone who needs a nudge in the right direction, special support and counselling to find lasting solutions. Sessions can be facilitated online or in-person in Pretoria.

When you click on the Enquire’-link you will be directed to an email address. You will receive the relevant information to ensure that you can make an informed decision and the confidentiality of all parties are honoured.

We like this gift because it is a gentle, meaningful reminder that someone cares and that counselling is available in trying times. This is a kind way of addressing the needs of a friend and a loved one.

Going for counselling can be an unnerving prospect in any situation where you haven’t defined your problem in your own words. The first question you can ask yourself is might I benefit from trying counselling? The answer is an unequivocal YES if you are experiencing one or more of the following awarenesses:

  • The constant feeling of being overwhelmed
  • You can’t seem to stop making self-defeating choices
  • You might be stuck in a frustrating rut
  • You are caught in a place where nothing you’ve done before seems to have helped
  • You feeling like nobody understands
  • You are riding an emotional rollercoaster
  • You craving a new perspective