Sonia has over 20 years experience working in various settings related to death, dying, grief, bereavement and associated trauma. She is a level 4 registered clinical counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association.
Sonia has professional qualifications in psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, thanatology and trauma support. She is a certified trainer and assessor. In addition, she has completed extensive training with international and national thanatologists such as Dianne and Mal McKissock, Robert Neimeyer, William Worden, Katherine Shear, Theresa Rando to name but a few. She has engaged in professional training and experiences with the United States military, the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Federal Police in the care of the deceased person and their family. Her experience extends into the mortuary/forensic medical context, including a deployment to Thailand following the 2004 Tsunami, assisting in the search, recovery and repatriation operations for international victims. Sonia has extensive experience supporting families and witnesses of sudden and traumatic death including support through the associated coronial and/or criminal proceedings.
Sonia is trained and experienced in supporting children coping with a dying family member/friend or grieving a death or other loss.
Sonia is a sessional academic lecturer on grief and loss at the University of Canberra. To support her role, she remains widely read and continuously engaged in professional development both as a counsellor and in the area of grief, loss and trauma.
In addition to be a clinical counsellor registered with the Australian Counselling Association (7895), she is a member of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement and the Association for Death Education and Counselling.
Sonia had dedicated her professional life to supporting grief and loss resulting from death but also other losses including health (diagnosis or end of life), loss of relationship, pet, opportunity, employment, home etc.
Qualifications: Master of Counselling, Master of Management (Human Resources), Bachelor of Health Science, Graduate Diploma of Psychology, Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Certified Thanatologist (death, dying and bereavement), Certified Disaster Counsellor, Certified Trainer and Assessor. Qualifications in trauma support (PTSD & complex trauma).
My approach to your care
Since 2000, I have been supporting grief, bereavement and trauma across a range of contexts. Yet every story remains different and unique. Consequently, a standardised approach to care is not in your best interest.
My approach to your care is to create a space where together we can be open and genuine with your particular experience of loss and grief: to be flexible to the changing experience of grief, responsive to your needs at any given time, centred on your wellbeing to enable you to live a purposeful life in the wake of loss.
You may ask ‘What’s the point of counselling? It won’t change what has happened. It won’t take away the pain’. This may be true. I can’t change what has happened to you and I cant magically take away the pain. The pain is what you have as a result of something or someone important and significant in your life, being taken from you. We don’t grieve that which we don’t care for. But what I can offer at this time is an objective, non-judgemental companion to guide and support you in navigating this often foreign, confusing, unfamiliar grief terrain. I can help you understand why you have pain, what it represents and healthy ways to accommodate and work with it.
When we are caught up in the entanglement of our experience, we may not be able to see a clear path through. But by working together we can bring clarity to the experience. We will identify ways to enable you to adjust to the loss and the change it brings so that the pain becomes something you can carry more lightly in the midst of living.
Respect | Compassion | Authenticity | Acceptance | Trust | Honesty