Dr Barbara Louw

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
  • You need someone to really listen, without prejudice or any preconceived agenda.
  • You find that your self-esteem isn’t what it could be and you feel fragile
  • You are aware that relationships could be better than they are at this stage in your life
  • You are often getting comments from friends and family encouraging you to get help
  • You are exhausted of acting strong all the time
  • You are ready to take responsibility for your life

 Sometimes the client gets the courage to acknowledge that they need help in a specific area of their lives, but then they feel fainthearted and don’t follow through on that decision. Why do you cancel plans at the last moment?

  • You may be too exhausted to face the world
  • You are too tired to pretend to be okay
  • You are struggling and don’t want to burden you with their problems
  • You feel overwhelmed by the challenges of the moment
  • You worry that you will have an outburst or meltdown and upset everyone
  • You are on the edge and can’t cope with being in a situation that’s not in your control

I am passionate about helping people to put the trauma behind them by walk gently in their lives. I know that I spent a brief moment in a client’s life and that all wounds are not visible. I do as much as possible to create a safe place to talk through life challenges such as breakups, grief, parenting difficulties, or family struggles. It is time to be well and whole.

I help you to cope by, assisting you to keep a sense of perspective amid your reality. We also the following together:

  • Look for solutions in problem saturated situations
  • Find balance practicality and spiritual wellbeing
  • Practical guidance when fear and trauma reactions show up
  • Improve your relationships and your ability to communicate
  • Discover the best options rather than being paralysed by perfectionism

This helping relationship is going to be time-limited as far as the problem saturated situation is concerned. You will come to a stage where you realize that you can cope. You know you are starting to heal when you start to look beyond the grief, stress and anxiety and realize the following:

  • You fill your cup – can breathe and have faith that God is guiding you through
  • You create healthy boundaries
  • You feel whole and complete in brokenness
  • It is okay to take a break
  • You know not everyone will support you and you continue healing anyway
  • Your faith is anchored and stronger
  • You are patient knowing that change doesn’t happen overnight

Let us create a trusting relationship to assist you to get the right kind of help.

If you need counselling it is for a season.

Easy appointments via online booking systems with the secure payment portal. You complete your intake and agreement forms before appointments to eliminate wasting your time.

 The online booking system is on Aquilla Wellness Solutions' site on www.aquillasa.co.za

 I include this infographic summarizing this article for you to download, copy and share.

Fear, fake news and false facades

The three things that are thriving in the midst of a national disaster are fear, fake news and false facades. People try to cling to the idea that life has to go on as usual in the shadow of grave health concerns.

The reality is that we have to find a new sense of normality in a maze of anxiety-provoking, exaggerated gossip. It is hard to distinguish what is really happening and when are people exaggerating their situation.

Everything that happens is not a potential catastrophe and you don’t have to be in the centre of everyone’s drama. You are allowed to take step back to take a reality check.

The good news is that people are resilient and much more flexible than we give ourselves credit for. We have used our innovative skills to deal with the shortage of electricity during load-shedding and now our movements are restricted. We have to make last-minute changes to our schedules because meetings get cancelled. We have to change our working hours and reprioritize interactions to fit in with the load-shedding roster.

From the perspective of being a member of a rather normal household, that is life. Having children, managing trauma centres and studying challenged my adaptability skills for many years. My husband and I did our pre-grad studies at UNISA when our children were very small. There were many midnights when I charged up the Muchleneuk campus to drop assignments in the post-box before deadlines. There were many other nights of minimum sleep, because an assignment and business proposal was due at the same time as having to attend a rather boring school meeting.

There are many examples of crisis situations where you were also forced to adapt and change. You survived the crisis and your recollection of the situation got lost among all the insignificant memories.

It is a challenge to embrace change and to find new solutions. As you dare to look beyond survival mode, you are in the perfect place to grow. It may be forced posttraumatic growth or the spontaneous eruption of a new season in your life. Real posttraumatic wellness!

New seasons are times to responsibly manage the shortfall in our health and relationships. Stubborn denial of changing realities and embittered entitlement damages relationships. The damage may also extend into your relationship with God. Turn back to Him in prayer and role your care and fear over to Him today.

As you start to imagine that there can come something good from the worldwide traumatic crisis, your stress levels will lower. Embracing change will lead to creative thinking and innovation. You will find new solutions and deeper meaning in regular experiences.

Since we are all in the same time of disaster, this is the season to show kindness to the people around you. Kindness opens the door to make new friends and to change the world. Change the world with one small prayer and one kind gesture at a time.

If you struggle to deal with the crisis or trauma in your life, you are welcome to make a personal appointment today. I help people to put trauma behind them by focusing on real long-term, practical solutions.

May the peace of God be with you.

Book your online or in-person appointment today

 

All of a sudden many people find themselves in an unaccustomed and disconcerting workspace. Home!

Your new workspace can be filled with very busy “colleagues” and distractions. On the other side, you may be totally isolated and alone, which can be equally distracting. Working from home is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.

The involuntary quarantine causes many mental health issues to the surface because we are social beings. This is even true of the self-proclaimed introverts because people need social interactions. We don’t realize the value of the interaction and exchanges between colleagues during the course of a normal working day.

The issues that can come to the foreground from being forced to work from home in the midst of a world-wide pandemic are:

  • The change in your mindset from “living” to being in survival mode. This shift in mindset is the clearest in people binge shopping for so-called essential goods, leaving shop shelves empty. The empty shop shelves aggravate feelings of anxiety and despair. People who cannot afford to stockpile are even more anxious because their situation turns out to be more hopeless.

Book your online or in-person appointment today

 

People need ways to express themselves freely and spontaneously, without the anxiety of being analysed.

Children learn naturally and most effectively through play.

The therapeutic value of art and play” is my latest online workshop for teachers, parents, counsellors and people who enjoyed being kids. We look at the value of spontaneous play and art-making, as well as the value of folk art in our communities. This workshop will give you a new perspective on how valuable art, craft and play can be without burdening anyone for an artificial outcome. We explore spontaneous art and natural play; handicraft; folk art and culture as tools of self-expression and creativity, leading to healing, learning and wholesome pleasure.

This online workshop will also be presented in English and Afrikaans on Aquilla Training’s website, in collaboration with Inter Trauma Nexus and Aquilla Wellness Solutions. You can enrol for the workshop at your convenience and complete the workshop in your own time.

Price R 400-.  Length 5-6 hours. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the CPD/CPTD points are negotiated, but still pending.

Aquilla Training’s online workshop library is growing at a steady rate, as we add at least two online workshops per month. We help you to stay up-to-date which gives you the confidence of knowing you are working with best practices.

You are being supported within our caring and supportive learning environment from which you can develop and grow. You can access your learning anytime you want ... anywhere you choose ... using any device type — desktop or mobile. The online workshops can be accessed at any time - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

After the workshop was published you can enrol at any time and work at your own pace. No unreasonable deadlines or other limitations. This means professionals can accumulate CPD points - no travel and accommodation required. Certificates are downloadable when you completed the final workshop assessment.

Some of the popular topics available online are:

Addressing bullying

Dealing with cyberbullying

Grieving children

Grieving parents

Reality of suicide

Support in a disaster (COVID-19 pandemic support) 52 short sessions - FREE!

The therapeutic value of art and play

Miscarriage and stillbirth (NEW – soon to be released)

Burning Infertility (NEW – soon to be released)

Wisdom for ministry – weekly sessions for Association for Christian Ministries (A4CM)

Afrikaans

Kinders wat rou en treur

Ondersteuning ten tye van ‘n ramp (COVID-19 pandemie) 52 – kort sessies - GRATIS!

Ouers se rou en smart

Terapeutiese waarde van kuns en speel

Welklikheid van selfdood

Miskraam en stilgeboorte (NUUT – word binne kort vrygestel)

Brandende onvrugbaarheid (NUUT – word binne kort vrygestel)

Wysheid vir bediening – weeklikse sessies vir A4CM

 

We are introducing regular live online events on counselling and practice management topics. The links for the regular events will require you to register so that we can update our faithful clients, prospective students and friends with new theories, sharpen your skillset and balance ethics, law and self-care.

  

Book your online or in-person appointment today

Hotline Numbers:

(Published in 17 March 2020)

  1. Department of Health WhatsApp service where news; info; questions and updates regarding the #coronavirus is available. Simply add this number: 060 0123456 as a WhatsApp contact and type Hi in the message block. They will then send you a menu to choose from and you can use this to get regular updates. 
  2. Corona Virus Outbreak 24-Hour Hotline Number: 0800 029 999

Book your online or in-person appointment today

The World Health Organization reports that “Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan. Effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide”.

It is reported that in South Africa 9 per cent of all teen deaths are caused by suicide. The fastest-growing age is young people under the age of 35, specifically female suicides which peak between 15 to 19 years.

Some counsellor prefers not to use the term suicide, but rather self-harm. Self-harm is then defined as an act of deliberate self-poisoning or self-injury, regardless of motivation, and self-harm mortality is a death resulting from such an act.

 

Youth are at risk because they face a number of social, economic and health challenges that contribute to self-harm behaviours, including the emotional and mental stress associated with high unemployment rates, poverty, HIV/AIDS, educational difficulties, physical and emotional abuse, parental separation and substance abuse.

Book your online or in-person appointment today