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Brave Therapy™ is a blog site created by Andrea Szasz, a Psychotherapist and Counsellor living and practicing in Sydney, Australia.

Loneliness can kill you.

Loneliness can kill you.

Great article about the connection between isolation, loneliness and mental and other illnesses. Love to hear what you think.

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10 of my favorite books for healing


The 6 Quantum Secrets to an Amazing LIFE  by Maureen Kitchur 

  This book is my current favorite. It is a self-help book that takes a slightly satirical look at self-help books J The ideas and techniques are clearly presented, and the explanations with short case studies are really useful and flexible. Maureen Kitchur has a very approachable style, and she takes a very holistic look at wellbeing, involving mind, body, and spirit. I read it in one day, and since then it has been circulated in the hands of many family members and friends, especially the ladies.

 The Art of Happiness, A Handbook of Living by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

  The title of this book explains exactly what you will find inside. It is a handbook for living…. His Holiness’s way of writing meant that you can’t help your self feel compassion; for yourself, and everyone and everything around you. I pick this book up often and just read a few paragraphs, and I find myself grounded. You should try it J

 The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck 

 I can thank M. Scott Peck for being able to understand statistics in psychology. I used to tell myself that I am bad at math and I just can’t do it! In this book, the author says something along the lines of ‘there is nothing you can’t do if you spend enough time on it trying’. He was right – I spent more time than others learning complicated statistical methods, but I did it, and that enabled me to finish a psychology degree. I have this book on audio file, and listen to it when I need some motivation.

 Daring Greatly by Dr Brene Brown 

 Some of you might be familiar with Dr Brene Brown’s work and her famous TED talks. If not, just google her now J  I am a massive fan of her work. This book talks about vulnerability and how we need to take our masks off. She shares her research findings, and generously relates the things that she has learnt about herself. This book is a must have!

 Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell 

I believe that the whole world would change if parents-to-be were made to read this book. It is a beautiful book incorporating contemporary research findings, and presenting them in a very approachable and ready-to-use way. It explains how our neurobiology affects our children and our relationship with them. It also offers very handy ideas on how to be the best parents that we can be.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson 

This book is another amazing one that helps with parenting. It explains how children’s emotional development progresses, and what happens in the brain during maturation. It also offers very practical advice on how to nurture healthy emotional and brain development.

 Mindsight by Daniel S. Siegel 

Mindsight is one of the most important books of the 21st century. Daniel J. Siegel shares his discovery about how our neurobiology affects our relationships. It is a very insightful book, and you get to learn so much about your own brain and nervous system.

 Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine 

I am very passionate about Peter Levine’s work, as much that I currently finishing my 1st year in his 3 years Somatic Experiencing Training. In this book, the result of his life’s work, Peter A. Levine draws on his eclectic and in-depth experience as a clinician, a student of brain research and an observer of the naturalistic animal world to explain the nature and transformation of trauma in the body, brain and psyche. This book is based on the idea that trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder, but rather an injury caused by life threatening experiences that can be healed by engaging our body’s innate capacity to self-regulate high states of arousal and intense emotions. The book smoothly blends the latest findings in biology, neuroscience and body-oriented psychotherapy and shows that we can align our animal instincts and our cognitive reasoning to heal the affects of traumatic experiences.

 Freedom from Pain by Peter Levine and Maggie Phillips 

Peter Levine and Maggie Phillips created a very practical book for people suffering from chronic or enduring pain who are searching for relief. Incorporating their wild-range of knowledge of biology, stress research and somatic psychotherapy, they have developed easy to learn exercises to learn for sufferers.

 Dance Me to the End of Love by Leonard Cohen 

I included this book just as an example because I think for emotional well being, everyone needs to read poetry once in a while J I choose Leonard Cohen’s book because his writing is very close to my heart. I also could have chosen many others especially in my mother tongue of Hungarian J Try to pick a book of poetry and just sit under a tree and see how you feel after a little while J



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FAQ: What is EMDR? And how can it help me?


FAQ: What is EMDR? And how can it help me?



EMDR is short for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR is a simple, well-researched technique that has been proven to help many people overcome the barriers associated with certain fears or traumatic experiences. For example, a professional golfer with the ‘yips’ can benefit greatly from a few sessions of EMDR.

EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress. Whether you are a martial artists suffering from a freeze response in competition, a bicyclist unable to ride because of a freak accident, or a traumatized adult unable to take control of your life due to serious abuse during childhood, EMDR may offer you some relief.

Because clients are not required to go into details of their life, EMDR is the preferred treatment to improve performance in elite sports.

The treatment consist of 8 phases:

  1. History and treatment plan. In this phase the therapist takes the life history of the client and together they develop a treatment plan. Working together, they decide what they will be working on, and how many sessions this might take. It is a gentle and safe approach because the client does not have to discuss distressing memories in detail.
  2. Preparation. During the Preparation Phase, the therapist will explain the theory and practice of EMDR, and what the person can expect during and after treatment. The therapist and the client together work on to develop a variety of relaxation techniques for calming the client in the face of any emotional disturbance that may arise during or after a session. Learning these tools is an important aid for anyone. One goal of EMDR therapy is to make sure that the clients can take care of themselves.
  3. Assessment. This is the phase where the therapist and client work on exploring the negative belief that is attached to the stressful memory. They also identify and locate the emotion in the body that is connected to that memory. This can be very helpful and rewarding for the clients. Sometimes we are not even aware of why we feel certain emotions. Then, the therapist helps the client to discover a positive belief that can replace the negative, during the processing phase (steps 4,5,&6).
  4. Desensitization. Whilst the client is safely present, the distressing memory is held in focus, and the client is stimulated biolaterally. This occurs by either listening to a calming sound through headphones, or following the therapist’s hand with their eyes. This stimulation continues until the memory evokes no disturbance in the body. Sounds good, right?
  5. Installation. In this phase, the positive belief is integrated into the clients’ system with either repeating eye movements or sound.
  6. Body scan. The client performs a body scan to investigate whether any stresses, traumas or other feelings associated with the distressing memory remain. If there is, then therapist and client assess the nature of these association and decide whether they want to work on it further. If nothing comes up, and the client feels entirely relaxed, they can continue to the closing phases.
  7. Closure. Every session ends with this phase, to make sure that the client feels better than when they arrived, and to ensure they have all the necessary information and calming skills available, should anything arise between sessions.
  8. Re-evaluation. All new sessions start with this phase. It is a check in about the last treatment, and a re-assessment of the treatment plan if necessary.

Clients report that after EMDR, they can’t even recall why they were distressed before treatment began. Whilst describing EMDR treatment can sound very technical, a key ingredient here is the connection and safety that is created between client and therapist.





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Psychotherapist, counsellor, social worker, life-coach, psychologist, psychiatrist – what’s the difference? by Jodie Gale

Psychotherapist, counsellor, social worker, life-coach, psychologist, psychiatrist – what’s the difference? by Jodie Gale

Great information about the different services out there to help with mental health issues.

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Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Being willing is not enough. We must do. - Leonardo Di Vinci

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