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Wisdom of Serenity: Notes from the Therapy Journey

(By guest author Louise)


It came upon me unexpectedly. Well, not wholly unexpectedly.

I found myself burnout. A combination of mental and physical exhaustion built up over five and half months.

The foremost feeling was one of loosing myself. I felt lost and confused. In a mist, I had lost track of who I was; not centred and unlike my usual self.

The last time I felt like this was around five years ago when a friend passed away. I had hidden my pain from that in the immediate period and it did not do me any good.

Again, during this burnout, I had kept my feelings deep inside, fearful of rocking anyone else’s boat around me. I could see who was struggling around me, and my priority had been to keep them afloat. To keep the ship assail, moving, and with happy sailors.

But your feelings creep up on you. If you don’t address your needs at the time, and make them front and centre, they will continue to remind you, physically or mentally, of their existence.

Talking with someone helped me resurface my needs; reminding me of what they were, how and when they needed to be met, and how I needed to continue to evolve my leadership.

I realised that I could hold the pain of those I lead in my hands, without fully absorbing it, allowing me to better support them – using my rational thinking, strategic side to tackle the issues.

This talking and reflection also helped me see that whilst sometimes it may not feel like it serenity is always there. Serenity is in the control of our own decisions, helping us hold all opportunity facing us in our hands.

We cannot control what happens to us, but we can have the wisdom to decide how to tackle it.

And behaving in the best way possible, with peaceful and kind hearts is defining in itself. Indeed, the ways are more important than the ends.

This serene leadership is in my heart forever.


Notes from the Therapy Journey is a dedicated rubric in my blog where people I work with can share thoughts and insights about their experience of therapy and beyond.

You may want to read the earlier posts here:

From the therapy room: Freeing the inner child

From the therapy room: Asking for help

Can therapy really help to change your life? For anyone out there who is suffering and feeling hopeless

Read, enjoy and share your thoughts and comments! There is space for comments below. You can also email me.

Look forward to hearing from you. Stay connected!



Depression Therapy Online

Depression Therapy Online


Depression is like a twilight of a soul when lights are dimmed and colours are muted. Alongside with anxiety, depression is a very common mental health problem. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways and in some cases can be extremely debilitating. Depression Therapy Online makes counseling for depression more accessible than ever from the comfort of your home.

Working with a therapist can help you explore the underlying causes, address current issues and develop coping mechanism for overcoming depression and preventing it from recurring in future.

Depression can undermine your ability to work and enjoy a fulfilling life. It can also have a detrimental impact on your relationships. It is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of depression and to seek help.

Symptoms of depression

Depression  can manifest in different ways. Sometimes we may experience intense feelings of sadness either ongoing or triggered by seemingly minor events. Often people tend to loose interest in doing things they normally enjoy. They may feel exhausted and have little energy to engage and socialize.

During the episodes of major depression a person may feel exhausted and lethargic to such an extent that it may be difficult to get out of bed, have a shower and get on with mundane life. Poor appetite or overeating can often be signs of depression.

Cognitive symptoms of depression include difficulties concentrating and processing information as well as memory problems.

People struggling with depression may feel increasingly irritable, unable to unwind and relax. Sleeping problems often go hand in hand with depression. Difficulty falling or staying asleep as well as sleeping much longer than usual may be indicators of depression.

When we are depressed we tend to withdraw within our own shell and feel very isolated. We may feel very alone, like nobody understands us, and we can be hurt easily even by casual remarks.

Depression therapy online can help you relieve the symptoms, identify the causes of depression and create better coping mechanisms.

Causes of depression

Depression can have multiple causes. Roughly they can be divided into two categories:

  • The lack of something
  • The excess of something

Among the things that may be lacking could be things that

  • provide emotional nourishment (e.g. love, care, meaningful relationships);
  • ensure stability and security (e.g. home, job, money);
  • promote physical health (e.g. healthy diet, physical activity, relaxation).

Things found in excess may include

  • stress (either work-related or home-related)
  • worry and overthinking;
  • demands on your time and energy.

Both lack and excess create a disbalance in our system and it becomes either depleted or overloaded. Both of these states preclude our system from functioning at the optimal level and this may lead to depression.

Depression Therapy Online

Counselling, especially in combination with mind-body therapy can be very helpful in treating depression without drugs. First of all, counseling helps you to overcome the feeling of isolation. Many people find it easier to communicate their feelings to a professional than to a friend or a family member who may judge you or be adversely affected. Finding understanding and support can both produce relief and give you more energy to deal with daily challenges.

Depression therapy online can help you explore and understand the nature and the roots of your depression from the comfort of your home. It may help you identify whether your depression is circumstantial (depending on the set of recent or current events) or has its origins in the past (for example, childhood trauma). Addressing the underlying causes of depression allows both to heal the old wounds and to create strategies and coping mechanisms for maintaining better mental health in future.

In certain cases antidepressants can also help regulate the chemical balance in our brain and facilitate recovery. Although treating depression without drugs is successful in many cases sometimes it is recommended to take antidepressants alongside counseling.

My approach: Mind-body treatment of depression

When I work with people struggling with depression I often use a variety of approaches and techniques. Each person is different and finding treatment that is effective for this particular individual is very important. Thus cognitive approach to treating depression facilitates greater awareness and understanding of different aspects of depression on the conscious level.

Sometimes, however, we need to access deeper strata of our psyche. Then mind-body techniques in combination with counseling prove to be very effective. Mind-body treatment of depression can help eliminate the long-lasting effects of past traumatic effects that can be stored in the body. It promotes relaxation and increases the sense of peace and calm. It can help unearth forgotten memories and heal them. It can also help reprogrammed our brain and engrain different responses and coping mechanisms.

Depression therapy online is just as effective as therapy received in person. This is also true for mind-body treatment of depression. Modern technology such as Zoom allow you to see and interact with your therapist as if you were in the same room. If you are struggling and travelling is not an option for you I would certainly encourage you to try depression therapy online.


Time to reconnect: Therapy online

Breezy spring greetings to everyone!

Hope you are keeping well and in good spirits in this time of uncertainty and new global and personal challenges. As it happens, the current adversity also brings with it some unique blessings. The abrupt slowing down of the grinding wheels of modern hectic life offers time and space for deeper reflection as well as the opportunity to reconnect with yourself and with your friends and family — even though it might be via emails, telephone calls or social media.

Personally, I am taking this opportunity to write and reconnect with you after a longish pause. As you may know, I have taken a break from my therapy work to recharge my batteries, attend to my health, spend time with my family and explore new paths and ideas. I am happy to let you know that I am resuming my work, albeit primarily in an online form, at least for now.

I have a lot of experience in counselling and body-mind therapy online and can say with confidence that it is no less effective than face-to-face sessions. It may feel slightly unusual to start with, but one quickly gets used to it and it also saves you time on travel.

Whether you are considering doing counselling for yourself or know somebody who is contemplating this route for personal growth I just wanted to touch base and let you know that I am back in practice. If you are unsure and want to try whether online counselling may be right for you I offer 20% discount off the first session to make it more affordable. I also have referrals discount scheme where both people — the one who refers and the one who is referred — can benefit from 50% off a session.

I offer therapy in three languages: English, Russian and Hebrew.

Once again, hope all is well with you and look forward to hearing from you.

With warm wishes,




From the therapy room: Asking for help

Cambridge April 2008 074a

Are you feeling more comfortable giving or receiving? Can you ask for help when you are struggling to complete a task by yourself or need support?

In these reflections shared by one of my clients she considers the inner obstacles that may prevent us from asking help and suggests some ways of overcoming them.


Asking for help

So many people find it hard to ask for help, whether it be at home, at work or to do with their physical and emotional wellbeing. We seem so worried about what other people might think: maybe we aren’t capable; maybe we can’t cope. What if they see that we aren’t as good as they thought or what if we see that we aren’t as good as we thought.

Recently I had a conversation about asking others for help. The overriding question that came out of that conversation was ‘Why do we find it so hard to ask?’ It got me thinking… I asked somebody to help me decorate my flat earlier this year, but it was several weeks after realising that I was not going to be able to do it on my own. Why did I wait so long? Maybe I was afraid to admit that I couldn’t do it on my own, maybe I was afraid to admit that I wasn’t good enough. I was afraid to ask.

Perhaps we all have areas of our lives where we find it easier to ask for help and areas where we are afraid to ask for help. Even though it took a while for me to ask for help it was important that I did because I didn’t have all the skills necessary to complete the work. Maybe I was afraid to admit that to myself and so I remained unhappy with where I was living for longer than I needed to and that affected my mood. I was living with a negative feeling for a long time and it led to other behaviours that caused pain, impacted on my productivity and prevented me from being happy.

How can we get out of this vicious circle?

Maybe asking for help isn’t just about us. Could we think more about the person we ask? Think about what happens when someone asks you for help. Do you think “Why are they asking me for help?  They are so useless anyone could do that” or do you think “They have asked for help, this is obviously important to them and they think I can help, I must do all that I can to help”.

How do we feel when someone asks us for help and what goes through our heads? I think the first thing that happens is that is makes us feel good. We often feel flattered because the person who asks for help obviously sees us as someone who is capable of helping. Whether it be our skills, our encouragement or/and our enthusiasm. Secondly we want to do all that we can, we want to do a good job and we want to live up to expectations. Lastly, it reminds us that it is ok to ask for help.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that you need help but, instead of thinking just about how you feel, think about how you can make that other person feel. The good feelings are contagious and maybe you can learn a new skill, so why not ask for help today. It will be worth it for both you and the person you ask.

Fear of change or dying to oneself



On one occasion I was working with a young woman (I will call her ‘Ella’) who was struggling with a lack of assertiveness. She found it very difficult to say ‘no’ to people and to stand up for herself. Consequently, she very often felt pushed around and not treated with respect.

Ella was very distressed about it, to the extent that her whole body felt infused with a damp, murky feeling of impotence and hopelessness. I asked her what would happen if she could let these feelings go. She felt she would feel brighter and lighter, more energized and alive. However, when I suggested that she went ahead and released that dreary fog from her body she was not prepared to do so. She voiced her concern thus: ‘What if I then become a rude person and people don’t like me?’

You may find Ella’s response surprising, yet it is very common. We are paradoxical creatures for while with our conscious mind we may want one thing, at a deeper level we are often not ready to embrace the change. This happens even when we are suffering from physical pain.


Another of my clients (‘Jeff’) had been plagued by debilitating headaches that had severely impaired his life for a very long time. The headaches were a symptom of a deep trauma and its ensuing acute inner conflict – on multiple levels. When, after some months of work, the past wounds began to heal and Jeff began to feel the desire to engage more with the world around him, the headaches became less gripping in their quality and ‘almost ready to go.’ However, when we asked his ‘subconscious mind’ whether it was OK to release the headaches completely, his body responded with a strong panicky sensation, bubbling in his chest, stomach and arms, like a stormy sea threatening to sweep him away. “I guess I am scared to let go of headaches completely because then I won’t know what to do with my life.”


Familiar is safe

I have pondered a lot over the phenomenon of our deeply rooted fear of change. It seems to have neurological, psychological/cognitive as well as spiritual dimensions.

To begin with, our brain, just like the animal’s brain, is wired for safety. In order to feel safe we need to know the territory in which we operate, to know what to expect from it, to be familiar with the possible traps and emergency exits. We associate safety with the familiar, and therefore any encounter with the new and the unknown naturally brings about a certain amount of anxiety.

The instinct of self-preservation does not concern just our physical survival. As can be seen from the examples above, psychological changes may present just as big a challenge, if not an even bigger one.

Even though Ella suffered from being pushed around and ‘trampled upon’ by other people, her situation felt safe because it was familiar. She knew what to anticipate and was used to her pain. Although uncomfortable, it didn’t scare her as much as the unpredictable reactions from the part of others (friends, colleagues, managers) had she dared to assert herself.

Similarly, Jeff was used to his headaches. While they stopped him from doing things he might have enjoyed, they also shielded him from facing life’s challenges and assuming greater responsibility for his way of being. For both Ella and Jeff, the anxiety associated with stepping into the unknown was overriding their desire to heal, and it took a long time to shift that.


All of us, whether consciously or unconsciously, have in our minds a certain picture of ourselves. What we believe about ourselves becomes an integral part of our self-identity, which gives us a sense of presence in the world and helps to define our boundaries and our position vis-à-vis other people and events. When our self-perception is challenged we can be plunged into a state of uncertainty. We feel lost, unsure of who we are and how to relate to others. It is a very uncomfortable state to endure, and we instinctively avoid entering it, even if the change would be beneficial for our growth.

Ella feared that becoming more assertive might come at the expense of losing her gentleness and sensitivity. She was concerned that people would perceive her as ‘rude’ and would not like her anymore. It is certainly true that when we leave behind our old ‘skin’ and develop new qualities, some who were used to our old ways will not welcome the change. This is a risk to consider. But the question really to ask is whether these people truly cared for us in the first place? Did they genuinely want the best for us or did they find our meekness and inability to say ‘no’ convenient for them?

These fears are real and facing them requires a lot of courage. The first step is to admit that we have these fears. Then we can explore them, weigh the risks, assess our strength and find the support that we need to help us make changes.

Dying to one’s self

At the bottom of it, our fear of change is very much akin to the fear of dying. Indeed if we think about it, dying signifies the most final and permanent form of change. Even if we believe in reincarnation or some other form of the afterlife, our existence as we know it is going to change forever once we cross the threshold we call ‘death.’

And sometimes it can be easier to accept physical death than to give up our beliefs, e.g. when people say they are ready to die for the sake of an idea. This also explains why people who were fearless in battle can mentally crumble when the ‘gods’ who led them into that battle are revealed as hypocrites and tyrants. That happened to many a bona fide communist when the atrocities of Stalin’s regime were brought to light.

As I wrote above, we derive our sense of who we are from our self-identification with our beliefs (about ourselves and about the world and life in general). Thus we may resist acknowledging the betrayal of our partner, or the abusive behavior of our parents towards us as children. We may also avoid being exposed to new ideas through reading or listening to the members of a different faith community, or social group.

Letting go of our beliefs is the same as dying to our selves: our former ‘selves’, the ‘selves’ as we know them. The ‘selfies’. The challenge of this act cannot be overemphasized. Yet in dying there is a rebirth. As it is written in the Gospel of Matthew: he that loseth his life … shall find it.” I am not a Christian believer, but I find that this saying contains profound truth about our psychological and spiritual predicament. If we resist this change we will never evolve. We will just stagnate and continue to exist while not being truly alive.

For me, personal growth is about learning to see more clearly what I am grasping at and why, and learning to embrace change by letting go of the old props. I must admit to being a rather heavy-going student and appreciate that this is a life-long class. But I draw much inspiration from the people I work with and their admirable courage. I challenge them, they challenge me, and together we walk the path.