About Lauren Sokolski
Therapist / Counsellor / Social Worker
Relationships are Key in My Life
What I value most in my life are my relationships with my self and others. It is important to me to live with integrity and to maintain authentic relationships. I have always been a ‘people person,’ interested and curious about others and their lives. As a therapist, my life is continually enriched by the diverse people I meet and counsel, and my work is to help others know themselves better and improve their own relationships with self and others.
My Path of Therapy and Personal Growth
Over many years, I have had the opportunity to participate in therapy, counselling and self-development programs, both personal and professional. I participated in The Landmark Education Forum over 10 years ago which had a great impact on helping me change the stories and perceptions I had about myself and difficult experiences in my life. I also participated in a Psychodrama Training Program which complemented the journey I had begun towards accepting the ‘shadow side’ of myself – those parts that we usually don’t like and would rather ignore. All these experiences have supported me in living my own life with integrity.
My Life Journey
As a young adult I participated in a cultural exchange program where I lived for 3 months in a rural town in Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast and then another 3 months in a village in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. My experience with other cultures was enlightening, challenging and rewarding. My interest in other cultures was piqued and as a result, I studied Anthropology and Native Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. It was fascinating to learn so much about other cultures and particularly to meet some of Canada’s indigenous people.
After I graduated and worked for a year with a community development project, I spent a year in Israel, studying and working. Living in a country so different to Canada was an amazing experience. Learning the language helped me to feel part of the culture and living in a place of historical significance was a powerful experience that connected me even more to my roots. The year abroad proved to be a mix of challenge and delight. I discovered that I was really interested in working with people in a meaningful way. Influenced by my diverse life experiences, I decided to study social work because of its holistic and inclusive curriculum.
When I married an Australian and left my home in Canada to live in Melbourne in 1990, I learned first-hand about the experience of migration. I became familiar with the grief and loss associated with leaving one’s country of origin and family members. In addition I had the added burden of returning to university to meet the educational requirements for working as a social worker in Australia. The migration experience has been a process that has allowed me to understand that the grief associated with migration sometimes never completely goes away. It has brought strength and compassion into my relationships, both personally and as a therapist. This experience has given me an appreciation of the deeper aspects of the transitions we all pass through as human beings.
Counselling / Therapy Experience
My counselling career began when I was Assistant Coordinator of a cancer support program, which was part of the Oncology Department at The Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. I worked with patients, family members and volunteers and ran self-help groups for both adult and young adult patients. It was a challenging experience for someone in their 20s and opened my eyes to the world of illness, chronic pain, life threatening diagnoses and death. I was moved by the human capacity to endure suffering and lifted by the remarkable power of hope and resilience.
In Melbourne, I was very fortunate to work for 17 years for Centacare in Footscray, a non-profit organization where I counselled individuals, couples and families dealing with a wide range of issues. I supervised other counsellors, both individually and in groups. I also managed the counselling program for several years before I resigned to start my private therapy practice. I remained involved with the organization for a few years teaching a supervision course for other therapist professionals. My time at Centacare was one of great personal and professional growth and introduced me to the richness of the culturally diverse world of the western suburbs.
I started my counselling private practice at the end of 2008 and have enjoyed this transition enormously.
On Being a Therapist
Having had the experience of my own therapy and counselling over the years, I understand the sense of vulnerability that comes with revealing the deeper aspects of yourself to someone else. The extensive professional development I have undertaken has kept me up to date with current trends in the counselling field. It has rounded out my skills, providing a strong foundation for my naturally intuitive sense as a therapist. I am very mindful of the importance of your need to feel safe in the therapeutic process and therefore maintain strong client-therapist boundaries. I am honest and transparent in my work with you and always treat you with respect.
Counsellor / Therapist Qualifications
- Bachelor of Social Work, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
- Bachelor of Social Work, University of Melbourne
- Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology and Native Studies, Trent University
Professional Counselling Memberships
- Accredited member of the AASW (Australian Association of Social Workers)
- Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (Australian Association of Social Workers)
- PSYCH-K™ Health and Wellness Program, 2015
- Attachment Styles and Relationship Trauma Training, Diane Poole Heller, 2015
- PSYCH-K™ Advanced Workshop, 2014
- Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy, Stan Tatkin, 2013
- PSYCH-K™ Basic Foundation Facilitator Training, 2012
- The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, The Couples Institute, September 2009 – May 2010
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Training, 2009
- The Search for the Mythical Mate, Ellyn Bader & Peter Pearson, 2009
- Advanced Cognitive Therapy for the Emotional Disorders, Ross Menzies, 2008
- Becoming an Effective Supervisor, Michael Carroll, 2008
- Psychodrama Group Work Training, Max Clayton, 2008, 2007, 2006
- Child-Inclusive Practice, Jenn McIntosh, 2007
- Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, CA, USA, 2005
- Sandplay & Symbol Work, Mark Pearson, 2005
- Psychodrama Course, Australian College of Psychodrama, 2002-2003
- On-going Counselling with Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Assault, 2001
- Counselling Adolescents Workshop, David & Kathryn Geldard, 2000
- Creative Approaches to Connecting with Bereaved Children, 2000
- Psychotherapy in Australia Conference, 1999
- Counselling Children, David & Kathryn Geldard, 1998
- EMDR Level 1, Graham Taylor & Chris Lee, 1997
- Specialist Course in Couples Therapy, Relationships Australia, 1993
Are you ready to turn your life around?
If your answer is YES, please call me today on 0423 932 200 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a FREE confidential 10-minute phone consultation.