Anna Sapounaki MSC, MBACP, EFTA, Tavistock Relationships Psychotherapy, Counselling & Parenting in Wimbledon & Putney, South West London

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“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

Maya Angelou

Anna Sapounaki About me

About Me. Therapist-Anna-Sapounaki

My experience as a counsellor and therapist is founded on years of professional education and training - and of course from working through my own share of life’s challenges! For over 25 years I have helped clients from all walks of life, bringing a broad and varied range of experience and understanding to my work.

My studies and qualifications include a degree in clinical psychology from Ohio State University, and an MS.ED from Northern Illinois University. I trained as a systemic family therapist at the Laboratory For The Study of Human Relations in Athens, Greece (an accredited EFTA-TIC centre for systemic and family therapy training) and qualified as a psychodynamic psychotherapist at Tavistock Relationships in London. I am also a certified NLP practitioner and hold a parenting certificate.

About Me. professional-logos-stacked

Professional training and personal development is a life long process. I have been an educator for many years at the Hellenic American Foundation, and am a member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and the EFTA (European Family Therapy Association).

I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with you, and accompanying you on your life-changing journey.

Areas of special interest

  • The wellbeing of children and families
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Overwork, overscheduling, overthinking
  • Lack of sleep, fatigue
  • Rejection, disappointment, trauma

  • Relationships and the demands of family, friends or peers
  • Parenting
  • Self-esteem
  • Loss, redundancy or bereavement

What is TRAUMA?

Trauma can be a violently produced physical injury or wound or an emotional experience or shock which may have a long lasting effect and may lead to a chronic condition, or neurosis.
It is caused by a one off traumatic incident, a series of upsetting events, or a long lasting disturbing experience.
Traumatic can be a very stressful, frightening or distressing experience.

Situations that may cause trauma:
A bad accident, a car accident, rape or a mugging, a natural disaster, a pandemic, being in combat, war.
Any kind of abuse, verbal, emotional or physical, sexual etc, harassment, bullying, discrimination, neglect, rejection, abandonment.

Traumatic situations can make us feel:
Frightened, terrified, threatened, humiliated, invalidated, exposed and unsafe, alone, unsupported, trapped, ashamed, embarrassed, powerless, confused, outraged, sad, depressed. hopeless, agitated, numb.

How does trauma affect people? What are the symptoms?
Trauma can result in both physical and mental health problems or make us more susceptible to them.
It impacts body, nervous system and every level of the brain (thinking, emotional and survival brain).
When we are under threat, our body automatically responds to danger by releasing cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that as a result create a range of effects and stress signals. These effects and signals can continue long after the traumatic event is over and affect how we think, feel and behave. The problem is that our bodies don’t catch up when the times have changed, they are still rooted in the past. Onno van der Hart in “trauma time” says: ... they are still living in trauma time as if the danger is right here right now when it is not. That’s really why clients come to therapy.
Everyone has a different reaction to trauma, so you might notice any effects quickly, or a long time afterwards.
Traumatised people experience dysregulation and may find it difficult to relax and rest, may feel pain or tension in the body. Also they may have abandoned the pushing motion or the defensive motion because it was overpowered at the time the trauma occurred. They may resort to dissociation, substance abuse or Self-harm (hurting, cutting, killing self).
Also people who have been exposed to ongoing traumatic situations may have become so used to them that they tend to repeat them later in their life. Conflict, constant arguments, unhappiness and pain are what they know so even when the traumatic event is over they are attracted to people, jobs and experiences and they make choices that repeat the traumatic situations they feel so familiar with.

How do we treat trauma?
For trauma to be resolved more cognitive approaches need to be integrated with approaches that focus on the body and limbic system.
The part of the brain where trauma resides is not the one that’s concerned with reason and insight. It is the part that’s concerned with feeling. It shapes our temperament, the way we understand the world, and reacts automatically.
Traumatised people need experiences that target the feeling part of the brain and which contradict the messages they are getting from their body and the way it is wired to respond.
Body work, yoga, mindfulness, breathwork, meditation are very effective in the treatment of trauma. Recruiting all the senses and focusing in the here and now gives a powerful message to the body, that here and now is safe and secure.

“Look deep into Nature and then you will understand everything better.”

Albert Einstein

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