“The quieter you become the more you can hear “ Ram Dass
Being able to slow down and allow the time to explore and become curious about our lives and our bodies, gives space for healing to occur. I have always had a passion for living an active life and the importance of a healthy body and healthy mind. Further study and explorations into meditation, movement and trauma resolution has opened my eyes to the real possibilities, that we all have the capacity to heal ourselves. Recent research into the brain, the nervous system and the gut, have shown how they are connected and in order to help nurture our mental health, we need to treat the entire human body. In my therapy practice, I place the emphasis on regulating the nervous system and providing you with tools to help you feel better.
Qualified and Accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist (IACP)
BSc Counselling & Psychotherapy
Certified Clinical Living Somatic Educator
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP)
What I Can help with
Below are some of the more common mental and physical issues I work with. As everyone is different, there are a wide range of conditions and symptoms that I can help people with, so it is best to make an appointment and we can discuss what will work best for you.
Anxiety & Panic Attacks
“ Every time I left the house to go shopping, I had the feeling of being overwhelmed, I would find it difficult breathing and I felt sick “
Anxiety is diagnosed when a person displays chronic exaggeration to worry and tension, in situations that do not warrant that level of reaction. Allot of other symptoms can appear as a result of this increase tension in the body, like sleep disorders and difficulty concentrating.
Panic attacks are characterised by heightened sense of sensations in the body, like a fast beating heart, difficulties breathing and a feeling of getting sick.
Both conditions are the result of a disruption in the nervous system by a traumatic event or series of events. Having some level of fear and anxiety is normal , as we need to respond to danger, but an extreme level of fear can lead to the list of symptoms outlined above. Fear is triggered by the amygdala in our brain. The amygdala which plays a vital role in warning us of danger starts to randomly fire, warning us of danger. If the fear response is continually activated the connection between the brain and the nervous system can get wired together and so increasing frequency and duration, making the symptoms worse.
"I just couldn't get back into my car and drive after the accident and it led to me getting sick and loosing my job"
“ Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the event itself. They are when residual energy from the experience is discharged from the body. This energy remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreck havoc on our bodies and minds.” Peter Levine
Stress & Muscular pain
“I have been to lots of medical consultants and they cant find anything wrong with me , but I’m in pain most of the time “
In many situations, Trauma and high levels of stress can lead to pain and illness. The ACE (Adverse childhood event) study showed the link between child hood trauma and chronic illness in later life and there has been a significant amount of medical research showing the link between stress and heart disease. If we suffer pain on a frequent basis and it isn’t eliminated or reduced immediately, our brains can get wired to the pain and we can suffer further medical problems, leading to anxiety, depression and avoidant behaviour.
Sedentary lifestyle also contributes to poor posture and movement. Our bodies slouch and the muscles that support us forget how to work, leading to muscular pains , back and neck problems. Becoming more aware of our movement and posture can greatly improve our health and in turn our mindset.
Reversing the symptoms of chronic pain is possible with counselling , pain education and gentle movement and sensitivity training.
*Counselling and Somatic Therapies are not a replacement for proper medical advice. Please see your doctor about any medical problems prior to appointment.
“ Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes “ Carl Jung
I am accredited counsellor with the IACP. I trained in an integrated approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy (BSc) and with my experience in Somatic Education, I have a focus on working with the mind and body within Counselling & Psychotherapy. I use a wide range of counselling and psychotherapeutic interventions in therapy, depending on the circumstances and the needs of the client. I believe most human suffering both mental and physical is the result of some sort of trauma that has happened over the course of our lifetime. I encourage clients to become self aware and to undertake a journey of learning and self improvement. I can help with a wide range of problems from anxiety & stress, to depression and trauma.
Counselling sessions last 50 minutes to an hour.
The term Somatic comes from the word “Soma”, which means to “perceive the body from within”. It describes a whole field of study that incorporates a wide range of body oriented practices from bodywork, movement disciplines, through to psychological & psychotherapy practices. The emphasis on Somatic therapy is to heal the entire person by focusing on the human physiology. I have trained in Somatic Education in the tradition of Thomas Hanna, as well as Somatic Experiencing. Details can be found below as well as the Resource section of the website.
“ If you can sense it and feel it, you can change it" Thomas Hanna
Somatic Movement Education (SME) is a neuromuscular retraining programme that eliminates muscular tightness and pain by retraining the brain and restoring the nervous system control of muscles through slow guided exercises. It is a gentle therapy that empowers the client (student) to develop self awareness that allows for greater self control of muscle and improved movement.
The founder of Hanna Somatic Movement Education was Thomas Hanna PhD, who studied under Moshe Feldenkrais. He studied neurobiology and wanted to improve people's quality of movement by educating them to understand that habituated stress reflexes contribute to their poor patterns of movement and cause pain.
SME is targeted to reawaken muscle movement that may have been lost over time through a lack of movement or bad patterns of movement. called this Sensory Motor Amnesia. SME can help the following : Shoulder & neck , lower back , pelvis , TMJ (jaw) , Breathing and Walking, to name a few.
Personal movement sessions can help clients understand their movement patterns. The Educator guides the the practitioner through a range of movements with the emphasis on the functional integration of the entire body. Thomas Hanna developed a series of specific protocols ( movement series) that can be employed depending on the restricted movement pattern the student displays.
Individual 1-1 Sessions take place on a physio table and last for 1 hour. Clients ( students) are encouraged to take part in three sessions but this is entirely up to the student.
"Trauma is a fact of life. It does not have to be a life sentence" Peter Levine
Somatic Education (SE) is a body oriented approach to healing trauma and stress related conditions. It was developed by Dr Peter Levine , who recognised that people were developing trauma symptoms because of thwarted survival energy that was trapped in the body. SE works by quietly guiding clients to develop an increase tolerance of bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.
Trauma can happen from any situations that overwhelm us, from one off life threatening events to years of cumulative stress. Trauma can result from many situations: accidents, medical procedures, sexual ,physical or emotional abuse, assault, war, natural disasters or conflict. When a person is faced with trauma they can become stuck in flight, flight and freeze, SE provides tools to resolve these fixed states , discharge the survival energy and reset the nervous system. SE educates and trains people to become comfortable with sensation.
The diagram shows what happens the nervous system when it comes into contact with a traumatic event and doesn’t allow the system to discharge the survival energy.
On Line Counselling
I am in a position to offer Online counselling for anyone interested.
Online Counselling is proven to be as effective as Face to Face counselling.
Benefits of Online Counselling:
*Research on online therapy versus can be provided on request.
However in certain circumstances and for certain people, Online Counselling may not be suitable and this will be determined on the first online appointment.
Somatic therapy is also available online, that comprises of guided awareness and movement lessons (touch therapy is not possible).
If interested in Online Counselling please contact Stephen on Info@stephencooke.ie or phone 0857747279
A free 20 minutes consultation is available online if you are interested in seeing if online Counselling could work for you. This session is a general introduction and is not therapy.
Details on how to access the online Counselling session will be sent to you in an email following conformation that you are interested.
Same cancellation policy applies as F2F( see T&Cs in website) 24 hr cancellation required.
No refunds but every effort will be made to reschedule if there are technical issues.
Checklist for your first online session:
Times & Fee's
Counselling & Somatic Therapies
Monday - Friday 9am - 3pm
Wednesday 5pm- 8pm
Counselling 50min - 1hr €70
Initial assessment*- 1hr 15 min €90
Follow up sessions - 1 hr €70
*The assessment is a focus on posture and movement.
A basic medical history is taken.
With chronic pain all clients are advised to seek medical advice first to rule out any underlying conditions.
My therapy practice is located near Lunney’s Texaco Service Station on the Sligo road outside Carrick-on-Shannon. More detailed directions are available on appointment.
“The brain is a far more open system than we ever imagined, and nature has gone very far to help us perceive and take in the world around us. It has given us a brain that survives in a changing world by changing itself." Norman Doidge
Counselling & Somatic Therapy
Books & online
“Waking The Tiger” Peter Levine
“The Body Keeps The Score” Bessel Van Der Kolk
“Focusing” Eugene T Gendlin
“Somatics” Thomas Hanna
“The Body of Life” Thomas Hanna
“Awareness Through Movement” Moshe Feldenkrais