Do you remember a time when you were being fully yourself? I mean truly alive?
Somatic psychotherapy and counselling can help you get that back
Anxiety can get in the way of you appearing as your true self and fully enjoying life.
Have you experienced anything like:
- panic attacks that make you feel completely out of control
- a racing heart that puts you on edge
- pressure on your chest that feels painful
- constant unwanted thoughts that pop into your head and stop you from getting a good night’s sleep
- anxiety so bad it makes you feel nauseous or even gag in the morning
- feeling dizzy or unable to concentrate when you really need to
- everyday moments that feel more like life or death scenarios
- keeping yourself small and hiding your talents hidden for fear of being judged or rejected?
I understand the frustration
of trying solutions that don’t work for you or feeling so lost as to how to get better.
Just talking about anxiety or trauma doesn’t work very well because it only engages the ‘executive’ thinking part of our brain. Actually, to get better we need the mind and the body to be working TOGETHER on the problem. This is somatic psychotherapy and counselling.
Working with your body, breathing and movement engages the ‘lower’, older parts of your brain, focusing on sensations and emotions. This is where we work with soothing your nervous system, integrating trauma, and helping you tap into your implicit memory – the memory that is stored in your body.
Then talking through what you experienced in a session uses the higher parts of your brain and helps you make sense of it all, integrating your feelings, thoughts, and memories.
Somatic psychotherapy and counselling is a ‘bottom-up’ approach. It integrates the body and the mind to help you overcome stress, anxiety, trauma, depression. It helps you work through limiting beliefs, and patterns of behaviour that are no longer serving you.
It’s time to show the world your true colours
If you’ve been living on autopilot, or even living someone else’s dream, maybe it’s time for you to wake up from that dream and start living the life you want to lead.
Maybe it’s time to step out of the shadows and show the world your true colours. Leaving behind you the should’s, ought to’s, the limiting beliefs and unhelpful patterns.
Book a free 15 minute discovery call, a completely commitment-free way to learn about somatic psychotherapy and counselling and how I can help. During busy times I may need to ask you to register on my waitlist, but I’ll get to you as soon as I can.
Hi, I’m Sarah Tuckett
Anxiety Counsellor, Somatic Psychotherapist, & Dance Movement Therapist based in Brisbane.
Want to get to know me better? Watch this video.
How I work
Speed up your healing
Clients often come to me after traditional (talking) counselling didn’t work for them and they want to work on a deeper level. Using the body in trauma therapy has been proven to shorten treatment time and help people create connections between their feelings, thoughts, body, and nervous system. (Ogden et al., 2006). In your first sessions we will teach you simple exercises to self-soothe and create a sense of safety in your body. Once safety has been established, and you feel ready, we can begin to work a little deeper.
Your body is a storehouse of information about your history. Our body remembers how we related to our primary caregivers in our early days or any trauma we experienced – big or small. Over time these physical and emotional patterns in our body become unconscious. We create coping mechanisms to defend against hurts. We unwittingly still act in these patterns as an adult, even when the danger has passed. When you feel ready, I’ll help you access this unconscious information through posture, movement, breathing, and awareness of sensations. We get right to the root of the patterns keeping you stuck. This makes your therapy more effective.
I’ll teach you the simple somatic psychotherapy tools that you’ll actually use to stop your heart from racing and your mind from crumbling. You’ll learn to feel physical sensations in your body and tolerate them, instead of panicking about them and making the situation 10x worse. The result is a feeling of grounding and inner peace, even in sticky situations that would normally have gotten you stuck. I love helping people relax and become calmer, more connected to their body and aware of how they can affect their own nervous system through breathing and posture.
Movement facilitates self-expression through the body. It helps bring what is unconscious to consciousness. This is useful when words are too terrifying or hard for people to express. If you’ve ever felt like you couldn’t be honest with a therapist about something that felt too painful or shameful to admit, this will help you. Sometimes there is no need to put it into words. It is enough just to feel, remember and be aware. You can choose how much movement, direction and autonomy you want in your session, depending on your comfort zone.
Non-judgemental and relaxed
A lot of clients have told me, in the beginning, they were fearful of opening up to a stranger because it felt too vulnerable. We tend to feel like we’re the only ones going through what we’re going through, but as unfortunate as it is, most of our struggles are quite universal and I have heard almost everything before. Nothing will shock me and you’ll never be looked down on because we have all been through struggles where we needed a helping hand – myself included. Whatever you tell me, I’m on your side.
Usually, you’ll see a therapist in an office environment and it’s quite formal. My counselling studio is the opposite of that — surrounded by bamboo and a water fountain, which blocks out the city noises. We sit on sofas and comfy chairs (or on floor cushions if you prefer). I always invite you to kick off your shoes and put your feet up. I always tell clients not to feel like they need to dress up for me. I want you to feel as relaxed as possible, so you can focus on healing.
What to expect when you book
Getting to know each other
Getting to know each other
Most people book a free 15-minute discovery session first, so we can both get to know each other and see if we are the right fit to work together. (During busy times I may need to put you on a waitlist, but I’ll get to you as soon as I can.)
I know that when it comes to working with a therapist, you want to know it is someone you feel comfortable with and trust. That’s why speaking to each other first is so important. The most important questions on my list are “What are your goals for the work we do together? What would your life look like if we achieved those goals?” I keep your goals in mind every single session. If we feel like we’re going to work well together, we book in a session as soon as possible to keep the momentum going.
You can start this process right now! Click on the button below.
Our first session
Our first session
Our first counselling session is all about getting to know eachother and giving you some simple tools for self-soothing. First, I’ll get you to fill in a consent form to give me some information about you and make sure that you are aware of what our therapy journey is going to consist of. I get a snapshot of your life such as what you do for work, your relationships with the important people in your life, what your childhood was like and so on.
As part of this therapy session, I want to help you learn how to self-soothe and self-regulate. This first session is all about noticing the sensations in the body and doing some easy exercises to learn how to calm and soothe yourself.
I’ll help you see that you have all these tools within you already, like resilience and the ability to ‘manually override’ your nervous system by changing your breathing or posture. We’ll start to practice somatic techniques to look after yourself and reduce your symptoms that you can use in your daily life between sessions too.
Each session builds upon the next and strengthens the work we’ve already done. In each session, you will gain more tools and techniques. You’ll practice those techniques, so you can confidently do them by yourself. You’ll also love having someone to offload and talk to.
A typical flow through therapy might look like this:
Month 1: Initially see me weekly for 4 weeks to build up our relationship and trust (or whilst you’re going through a crisis)
Month 2 and 3: See me fortnightly
Months 4+: See me either fortnightly or monthly – depends on your budget and availability
We usually do sessions every fortnight unless you are going through a crisis and feel like you need weekly sessions for a while. The amount of sessions you need is entirely up to you, and I never lock you into a certain number of sessions. I will say that to get lasting results, having 1-3 sessions is probably not going get to the depth you desire. You’ll want to consider your budget and the amount of time you have to spend and we can work it out from there. We do not have ‘homework’ between sessions that will take a lot of your time, though I encourage you to practice the breathing exercises you learn in your sessions when you need it.
I follow a 3-stage trauma-informed approach to working with clients:
- Establishing safety and stabilization – teaching you tools for self-soothing and self-regulation so that you feel calmer and in control.
- (When you feel ready) processing past hurts, exploring what’s behind limiting self-beliefs and unhelpful patterns of behaviour.
- Integrating your new way of being in the world into your life.
We may dive further into something we were discussing in the last session or you may come to me with an “OMG, this thing just happened to me this week and I need to tell someone about it.”
When you’re starting to feel emotional about something we’re discussing you have the choice to pause or dive into it. We’ll look at where you’re experiencing the emotion in your body and I’ll start to get you to use your imagination to visualise it — If you have a knot in your stomach or a heavy weight in your chest, what size does it feel like? What colour does it feel like? What texture does it feel like?
When you feel comfortable, we will start to incorporate changes to posture, movement and breathing. How are you moving? How are you not moving? What would feel ‘good’ to you right now.
Ready to get started with a free 15-minute discovery call?
A commitment-free way to learn how I can help you
My approach combines:
Compassion-focused Therapy (counselling)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (counselling)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (counselling)
Frequently asked questions
Where are you located?
I work from a dedicated therapy studio at Stringybark Cottage, 2/35 Victoria Street, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059.
The studio is in a quiet, private location, surrounded by bamboo and a relaxing water feature. It feels a million miles away from the city, even though it is only 3km from Brisbane CBD.
Where can I park?
You can park for free for up to 2 hours in Victoria Street.
What are your fees for counselling and psychotherapy?
My fee for individual psychotherapy and counselling sessions is $175 including GST (1 hour)
Can I get a Medicare Rebate? Can I get a referral from my GP for the Mental Health Treatment Plan?
Can I get a rebate from my health insurance?
Yes. I am a provider for BUPA, Medibank Private, Ahm, Australian Regional Health Group (Police Health, St Luke’s Health, CUA Health, Phoenix Health Fund, and Emergency Services Health). The other health funds don’t cover counselling yet.
I will provide you with a receipt with my provider number and item code so that you can claim back from your health fund.
The amount of rebate depends on your cover/policy. Please speak to your health insurance fund about cover for ‘Counselling’.
Do you offer discounts for students/pensioners/unemployed?
No. I work in private practice. I try to keep my rates as low as possible so that they are affordable. If you are unable to afford my rates, I suggest you contact your GP about getting a referral to a psychologist or counsellor that is able to bulkbill.
I’ve just lost my job/been made redundant. I don’t think I can afford to pay your full fee – can I get a reduced fee?
Can I bring my daughter to see you?
Do you offer couples counselling?
No. I recommend Sarah Forman (based on the Gold Coast who also offers Zoom sessions) https://goldcoastpsychologists.com/sarah-forman-counsellor/
My colleagues Elena di Fabio and Dana Savage in Kallangur specialise in same-sex counselling – Somatic Studio
What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
In psychotherapy we’re taking the process deeper, looking at:
- Your patterns of behaviour (e.g. panic attacks or how you in self-sabotage relationships);
- Your beliefs and thought processes;
- How historical events in your life may have an impact on your behaviour now;
- How you behave and feel in relationship with others;
- Looking at the root causes of problems (and how you may have participated in them).
It takes time for these issues to form in you. So it will take time for us to link experiences together and form new patterns. So somewhere between 6 sessions and many.
Read more about this in my blog post: https://sarahtuckett.com.au/the-difference-between-counselling-and-psychotherapy/
How many sessions will I need?
Somewhere between a few and many. It depends on what’s going on for you, how much time and money you want to spend on your mental wellbeing.
It also depends on your personal viewpoint towards mental health. Do you just want to get support around a particular issue? (Like going the GP to get painkillers for an injury). Or do you want to work through things as they arise, develop deeper connections with those you care about, and generally improve your quality of life? (This is more like going to a gym or physio to work on your body to prevent future injuries and feel better in your body).
Read more in my blog: https://sarahtuckett.com.au/how-many-therapy-sessions-will-i-need/
How often should I come to see you?
Some clients come to see me every week at the beginning so that we get to know each other and I can support you in whatever you are going through.
The majority of clients come to see me once a fortnight. Keeping a regular session is key to your progression. If we leave it any longer than that it’s more difficult for me to support you through difficult times, and I find we spend most of the session catching up on your life rather than delving into the important feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
Here’s a handy guide: How often should I have a therapy session?
What should I wear?
Something comfortable you can move in without feeling restricted. In some postures you will be lying on the ground with your legs up in the air, so for that reason skinny jeans and short skirts are not ideal. There is private space for you to change if necessary.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
I have a 48-hour cancellation policy. The cancellation policy exists so that I have time to offer your vacated session to another client during these times of peak demand.
Cancellations within 48-24 hours may incur 50% of the session fee. Cancellations with 24 hours may incur the full session fee. Exemptions may be granted at my discretion under the circumstances listed in the emergency cancellation section below.
My online diary will send you an automated email reminder of your appointment 3 days prior. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment please use the button in the email to access the online diary, or contact me on 0450 22 00 59. Please note that you will not be able to reschedule your appointment online within 48 hours of the session time. In this instance, you will need to contact me on 0450 22 00 59.
Missed appointments without notice will incur the full session fee (except under the circumstances listed in the emergency cancellation section below).
If the reason for cancellation is due to illness, family emergency, or extreme weather event you will not be charged the cancellation fee. Please note that is left to personal judgment whether it is safe to travel during extreme weather events. In these circumstances, I request that you reschedule your appointment when possible so that we can continue your personal development.
What happens when I want to end therapy with you?
You are free to end your work with me at any time. However, if you are considering terminating your treatment with me, I request that you bring this up with me in a timely manner – at least 2 sessions before you plan to stop – so that we can explore the reasons behind this. Sometimes clients consider ending treatment when uncomfortable or painful emotions start coming to consciousness. My role is to help you navigate and integrate these emotions, rather than abandon your process at what may be a critical point in your treatment.
If either of us decide to end the therapeutic relationship, I will always offer you a session for closure. This is so that we can both end the relationship in a way that feels good to both of us. It’s a model for how you can end other relationships in your life in a pleasant way.
Do you ever talk about me to anyone else?
Everything you discuss with me is held in strict confidentiality. The only person I may discuss your case with will be my supervisor, and your identity will not be revealed. The reason I discuss cases with my supervisor is to check that my work is free from bias and that I am giving you the best possible treatment.
There are circumstances where I am required under Law to break this confidentiality:
- If you are a danger to yourself;
- If you are a danger to another person;
- If there is a reason to suspect that child or elder abuse is present;
- Under subpoena from a Court.