Testimonials

I think we really benefited from having a couple of sessions with you which helped provide another perspective that is not always available when there are just two of us.  Thanks again.

Scott, 54

 

Thank you for your support, time and guidance, which have invaluably changed my life.  I am deeply grateful to you.

Y, 32

Lauren facilitated a Psych-K process for me which worked on my beliefs around having a loving and fully accepting partner and  that my daughter was supportive and accepting of me being in a relationship.  For years, I’ve held myself back as I believed my daughter would have difficulty sharing me with someone.

Within a month of my Psych-K session, I met someone who adores and accepts me fully and to top it off, my daughter really likes him!  I still cannot believe the ease I have in this budding relationship and the gift of acceptance from all involved.

Thank you Lauren for helping me to allow this into my life.

Erica, 48

Thank you very much for your help – we both thought our sessions with you were very valuable and helpful to us in re-establishing our relationship.

AB, 53 & DC, 55

Thank you so much for all of your help these past few months.  You have been such a great support during this difficult time . You have added some much needed structure and objectiveness to a very difficult and delicate situation and we will always be grateful. I doubt I would have battled through it for so long otherwise.

 

 

 

CM, 30

Lauren has literally helped transform my life. I went to see her at a time of incredible vulnerability, and under her care I blossomed into someone who is confident, thriving and happy.

Lauren gave me hope during a very unpredictable time in my life. Amidst all the uncertainty however, I was sure of one thing: Lauren’s professional support. This knowledge afforded me a lot of peace of mind. Lauren was someone I could rely on. She was always kind to me and fostered a very safe counselling environment. Within this environment, she challenged me to examine and evaluate my thoughts and beliefs, encouraged me to celebrate my triumphs and learn from my losses.

Lauren helped me take away meaning from the turbulence. By making me aware of my strengths and capabilities, she helped me empower myself. I enjoyed my counselling sessions with her- often they were fun. She built a wonderful rapport with me, and never judged me. She also demonstrated great cultural awareness and sensitivity, as I am not originally from Australia, which makes her quite different and unique from other counsellors I have encountered. I think Lauren is an excellent mental health professional and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

 

AK, 23

We both want to thank you for your guidance and support and feel our sessions have really improved our relationship and the way we communicate with each other.

S, 31 & A, 33

My husband and I had a difficult time adjusting to a new way of life. As a result of all the changes that come with being recently married, setting up a new business and immigrating to a different country, our relationship suffered. Not only did I struggle being so far away from loved ones, I felt unappreciated in all my new roles and was challenged by his family all at the same time.

We decided to seek some external help and find a safe platform for us to air our concerns and talk about our problems. For this, Lauren was a perfect choice. She is an incredible listener who makes sound judgments without bias.

Often confronted and challenged by my husband, Lauren was not afraid to give her expert opinion at all times. She is sensitive with intervention and provides techniques that enable her clients to practise these skills even outside the sessions. Lauren was adaptable to both our personalities and was able to provide clarity on fundamentally flawed issues in our marriage with great sensitivity.

Although the sessions have been difficult for me personally, I could not thank Lauren enough for providing me with a sounding board and reality check that was otherwise missing in my life. Our relationship is in a better place now thanks to Lauren. We have used some of the techniques she taught us to better our communication and foster respect in our marriage. We are now more aware of the dynamics of our relationship and are conscious of the language we use towards each other.

Personally, Lauren’s intervention and experience has changed my view on my situation dramatically. Lauren has empowered me and as a result of our sessions, I have finally regained my confidence.

Thank you for everything.

 

JV, 29

I came to see you when my relationship had just broken up.  I needed to work on my self- esteem, assertiveness and being more in control of my emotions.  I found the sessions life-changing in the most positive way.  I have definitely improved in all of those areas and am amazed how quickly your techniques worked.  I am very grateful to have taken the step to contact you and get counselling and I will be forever thankful for the positive effect you have had on my life.  I will definitely be back in future if I need to and it is a comfort knowing that I can call on you if I need some sessions.

 

Paula, 31

When we first came to see Lauren we were having significant communication problems and having major arguments without either of us understanding what was happening to us or why. It got to the point where one of us was threatening to leave and the other agreeing that it might be the best thing. In desperation we decided to get some external help as we weren’t able to fix things ourselves and in fact, things were only getting worse.

From our very first appointment, Lauren was open and non-judgemental and made us both feel comfortable to share our stories and issues. Lauren gave us the tools to understand each other better and she was able to help us see why we were having problems.

Learning to use the tools, skills & strategies Lauren gave us has been a whole new way of thinking for us both and has required significant effort and practice on both our parts. Lauren has been there to support and encourage us as we’ve worked to better communicate our thoughts and feelings with each other.

Lauren helped us to realise that our relationship was actually very strong and based on mutual respect. Our life is much better today and the tools we have learnt have helped keep our relationship strong. We’re both really glad we went to see Lauren and are grateful for the help and support she has given us to get our relationship back on track.

C, 41 & G, 50

Thank you for all you have done for me. When I think back I can see just how far I have come with many things in the past year, and that’s thanks to you.

Female, 25

D:  When I first went to see Lauren, I was very angry, frustrated and feeling quite bitter towards M.  I felt embarrassed about getting professional help and that we couldn’t sort things out ourselves.  I was feeling desperate.

M:  I was feeling pretty low and thought I was going to have to move out.  I thought our marriage was over.  I thought counselling would be a waste of time and didn’t think anyone could help us. 

D&M:  Lauren helped us learn how to talk to each other and how to resolve things.  We became aware of the underlying issues that were there and that we’d been afraid to approach.

D:  I feel a lot calmer and I don’t feel angry.  I have a better understanding of M than I had before.  We’ve learned how important it is to keep communicating no matter what.  Things aren’t perfect but they are calmer.  I feel optimistic about our relationship.  We can work things out much better than we ever have.  We’re more together in terms of our parenting and we now make sure we spend time together as a couple.  The counselling has been really invaluable.  If we hadn’t come, we would have remained really unhappy but stayed together for the sake of our children, or we would have split up.  We couldn’t see how to create a third alternative.

D, 47 & M, 53

When I started counselling, I was at a low point emotionally and our marriage was at a point where we didn’t want to part company but it seemed like we were heading in that direction.

My husband and I were seeing a different counsellor together and I was a bit cross that my husband felt that I needed individual counselling, like it was my big problem.  I felt like I was really putting myself out there and was a bit resentful about it all.

The counselling benefitted us enormously.  After two sessions, everything changed around.  I started to look at problems differently and more positively.  I was able to be realistic about what I needed to do.  I felt like Lauren gave me permission to think about and approach things differently; that I wasn’t letting myself down by changing my perspective and acting differently.  I could see making changes as something positive rather than the negative way I’d been thinking about it.

Lauren was able to give me lots of strategies to deal with different situations that have been really helpful.  Having the opportunity to verbalize and discuss issues with someone independent from my husband and me was really useful.  Our relationship is back on track.

Mandy, 51

“Before I had counselling, I was feeling very lost and getting anxious for long periods of time. Everything just seemed really bad and complicated and like they couldn’t be fixed. I couldn’t see things clearly.

When I first went to see Lauren, I was a bit apprehensive. I’d had counselling before when I was younger and I didn’t feel like it helped me at all. The counsellor just sat and listened but didn’t give me any guidance. I was feeling pretty skeptical about it all but knew I needed to give it a try.

Lauren was an absolute life-saver for me.

For a start, things are so much clearer. Lauren has helped me to develop a broader perspective on life. I am more aware of my inner world as well as of what’s happening around me. I’m more accepting of who I am and I’m not afraid to express myself to others.

I’ve discovered that I get anxious because of what is happening around me and now that I can identify this, I don’t blame myself. As a result, my anxiety has lessened considerably and when it does appear, I feel like I can manage it and not be overwhelmed by it.

I feel like I can deal with what’s going on in my life so much better. Lauren has shown me techniques I now use to help me deal with my issues. Things are much easier in my relationship with my partner whereas before, nothing seemed clear and it all felt like one big mess.

I am now making better choices for myself. It is easier for me to tackle and take on things that would have felt over-whelming in the past. Everything is a whole lot better.

I wouldn’t be where I am now without the work Lauren and I have been doing together.”

Student, 23

Before I went to see Lauren, I was in a state of mind where I really didn’t know where I was at or what I wanted. My values weren’t quite right and my priorities were all over the place. I got caught having an affair which was just the tip of the iceberg. My wife and I started seeing a counsellor to help us work through the impact of the affair and this counsellor suggested I see Lauren to work through my own issues.

Each time I came to see Lauren, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was able to get things off my chest that I couldn’t talk about with others. Lauren is really easy to talk to and things just flowed in our sessions. I didn’t have to come prepared with what I was going to talk about. Lauren was able to take whatever was going on for me at the time and explore this in a way that was always of benefit to me. She is a good listener and asks questions and guides you in a way that gives you a lot to think about. She was great at hitting the right chords and seemed to have a deep understanding of what I was talking about.

I feel more relaxed in myself now that I don’t have the subconscious pressures that were weighing me down before. I have gained a greater awareness of what is going on within myself. I know how to deal with problems and issues a lot better. My family life has improved; my relationships with my wife and son are much better and so are my communication skills. My family also appreciates the change in me. What I’ve learned from counselling has helped me in all aspects of my life.

Ray, 51

“I had been feeling a sense of hopelessness about where I was in my life. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wasn’t sleeping well, was feeling anxious and had trouble being clear about things.

When I first started counselling, I was worried about where it was going to take me. What would I uncover? Would I find out that I was in an unhealthy relationship which was making me unhealthy? What if counselling couldn’t fix it?

Counselling gave me a sense of comfort and security. It was a relief to know I could share with Lauren what was going on inside me. I knew I only had to wait until the next session to be able to work things out and this helped me get through each week. Counselling was like a refuge for me and meant that I didn’t have to burden others around me.

Lauren helped me learn new strategies for dealing with situations and this enabled me to handle things differently. I also developed greater perspective about the relationship with my husband. My anxiety decreased. I still sometimes catch myself taking on responsibility for others but am able to take a step back and set clearer boundaries for myself.

I now feel happier and stronger in myself. I can parent with more confidence and have learned not to take everything so personally. I am less judgmental of myself and others and this has allowed me to accept my husband for who he is. Our relationship has improved because of this and I am now able to respond in ways that don’t automatically escalate into a fight.

I loved the privacy and confidentiality of the counselling sessions and the non-judgmental way Lauren would ask things. She gently challenged me in a way I could accept.”

Sue, 50

After being in an unhappy, abusive relationship for over 10 years, I went to see Lauren in a last-ditch attempt to save my marriage. My husband and I had, both separately and together, seen various counsellors over the years. From the first meeting, I was very impressed with Lauren. She laid very clear boundaries. She wouldn’t see either of us separately as she didn’t want to be perceived to take sides. This allowed for very open discussions as there were no secrets between either of us and Lauren.

Lauren has great recall and was always able to accurately reference back to previous discussions. She kept discussions flowing and on topic and never let situations denigrate. Through these interactions I was able to more clearly see how negatively I was being treated in my marriage and the lack of love and warmth that existed between us.

Counselling empowered me to finally make the decision to leave my husband. After a brief break, I have gone back to see Lauren in order for her to assist me in dealing with separation issues, particularly as there is a young child involved.

I find Lauren to be highly intelligent, her comments are well-considered and her advice is extremely beneficial and easily applied. In comparison to previous counsellors who only seem to question, Lauren helps find the answers. She has helped me regain my happiness and sense of self.

Karen, 38

H: Before we started counselling, I was confused about the state of our relationship. I felt quite unhappy and wasn’t sure why.

K: For me, I was quite depressed. I felt like I had no direction and didn’t feel much of a connection with H. I felt like we had lost our way in communicating with each other and was ready to give our marriage away.

H: When we decided to have counselling, I felt quite relieved to talk to someone neutral who would be able to interpret and understand why we were in the position we were in.

K: I started counselling feeling like there were a lot of things I needed to get off my chest about the relationship and my life in general. I was also relieved that we would be getting some help with this.

H & K: Counselling helped to clarify where we were going wrong. Lauren was able to support us in learning how to communicate with each other in a way that the other person could really hear. This helped us to understand each other’s experience of the relationship. It was really important to have a safe place to look at the really difficult aspects of our relationship.

H: Now, my relationship with K has improved, as has my relationship with my kids. Life is improving by using the skills that Lauren has taught us.

K: I feel more supported by H and that he has a better understanding of where we were at and how we got there. I feel more confident in myself.

H&K: Working with Lauren has enabled us not to judge each other immediately, to be more open to listening, less defensive with each other and more realistic about each other’s feelings and needs. We have a better understanding of each other’s feelings and a much greater acceptance of each other. Lauren was very caring, non-judgmental and extremely skillful in helping us to get clarity around our relationship dynamics as well as our own personal issues. Our relationship is much more solid now.

HB, 44 and KB, 43

Lauren Sokolski is a Melbourne therapist, couples counsellor and registered social worker who helps singles and couples with relationship problems and those struggling with issues of grief and loss, life transitions, depression and anxiety. She has offices in Bentleigh, South Yarra, and Caulfield North.

Lauren Sokolski

Lauren Sokolski

BA, BSW, MAASW, acc

Therapist/Counsellor

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