In Conversation with Soul Centred Psychotherapist Anita Bentata…
Anita Bentata is a Melbourne Psychotherapist and Health Coach who helps her clients recognise blocks and triggers so they can respond powerfully and effectively to obstructions/life events/limited beliefs and/or ‘bad’ habits. Her holistic approach works with the mind and the body, the conscious and the unconscious to support her clients with stress and overwhelm and towards being as capable, clear, healthy and fulfilled as possible.
Here’s what she had to say…
– About your practice: Where it is, who do you work with and the services you offer?
I work from home and create a space that I feel creates a comfortable place for people to be in. My practice is in East St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia. I have been working in private practice since 2003 however previously I worked in a Community Counselling Agency. I am a qualified Soul Centred Psychotherapist. I am also qualified as a Health Coach. The training as a Health Coach encompassed food and movement as well as the other areas of life which impact our health: work, relationships, spirituality, sense of self and more. I provide Psychotherapy and Counselling to adults of all ages. I work short term and long term, the process suits the individual. I also offer Supervision to Counsellors. Health Coaching may be part of the Psychotherapy session or in an individual session to focus on health issues.
– What is Soul Centred Psychotherapy? How does SCP help people change?
I could go on and on about what is Soul Centred Psychotherapy! It is an experience that is felt rather then understood through words but I will attempt to give a description. Soul Centred Psychotherapy is highly sophisticated and complex and yet it is simple. It is about the mind and the body. It is about everything that is in between. It is about the conscious and the unconscious. It is about the personal, the familial and the collective. It is the experience of being with at a very deep level. It is unique with each client and even in each session. It is ‘talk therapy’ and also experiential in a wide variety of ways. It is a way of engaging with the self and experience which transforms. It is an art of being and connection to instinct on how to be with your unique self and your experience with curiosity, resources and more. Soul Centred Psychotherapy allows resolution rather than mastery and coping. It provides tools for life. It is life changing. Soul Centred Psychotherapy fits to you rather than you fit to it. Within Soul Centred Psychotherapy there is in-depth theory about child and adult development as well as trauma; the brain, body and energy system as a whole unit, as well as the impact of the self, mind and body; so each person is seen for their unique life events which have shaped them and their process is shaped to respond to their characterlogical structure and psyche. Soul Centred Psychotherapy does not ‘help people change’, nor does it ‘fix’ people more coming from the approach that people are not broken nor are they wrong in how they are; but are needing something to move the person beyond the ‘stuck’ place. That the ‘change’ is more about progression from a more limited way of responding rather than fixing. Assisting a client to move from the ‘stuck’ place to a natural resourced state.
– How do you think people change and what supports long lasting change?
Soul Centred Psychotherapy does not use ‘will power’ or positive thinking to create change in someone’s life as both of these run out; rather it helps find the blocks that are locked in consciously and unconsciously and resolves what is needed; whilst also supporting what is positively needed to develop once these blocks have been removed. In this way, the sense of self, flow of energy, clarity of experience and being can flourish feeling satisfied and capable.In a more scientific explanation, I would say Soul Centred Psychotherapy not only works with the unconscious and conscious, but also with developing the neural pathways and re-aligning the energy system which is involved with the different patterns of responding.We all know we lose our energy when we feel overwhelmed or stuck. Energy is behind all thoughts and actions. Energy and choices is closely tied with the unconscious as well as the unconscious. Working in this in-depth, structured and efficient way, with the conscious, unconscious, the brain and the body creates sustainable change as well as a flexible responsiveness that is available moving forward in life. Within the trust, safety and space which develops between the client and therapist; a sacred relationship grows which combined with profound tools reaches in to the unconscious limiting beliefs and behaviours and works to resolve and support those beliefs and behaviours to progress into their natural, creative and functional actions. This process can develop in a short space of time because of the skills and ways of attending which are so present to the depth of what is coming into the room. The client generally feels understood, sometimes for the first time; and is given a map to understand their process in a far more helpful way than they often have being relating to.
– For what types of issues is Soul Centred Psychotherapy particularly effective?
Whatever issue a person wants to bring in to therapy can generally be applied to Soul Centred Psychotherapy. Relationships with the Self or with others, Work, Life Stages, Confidence, Stress, Death, Separation, Anxiety, Depression, Spirituality, Parenting, a past issue which is unresolved, Trauma or something else. Even if you do not have a clear issue and would like to just explore and feel curious. Soul Centred Psychotherapy can be an avenue to connect to your Creative Self, your dream life and your unconscious. It can be a ‘treat’ in connecting with oneself similar to going for a massage.
– How did you become interested in working as a psychotherapist?
I first studied a Bachelor of Human Services (Human Behaviour) at Monash University. I loved this course however when I was employed in a Community Counselling agency I found I wanted more skills and ways of understanding and making a difference to the clients I was working with. They had extreme trauma and I felt inadequate that ’empathy’ and ‘logical words / talking’ were not enough to make a difference to their pain and life challenges. I also knew this to be true personally as I had previously been to see a number of Counsellors and had been disappointed in their limited ways of helping or getting to the core of my issues. I had previously worked in book-keeping and accounts and went into therapy myself when I left a violent relationship. It was when I discovered a Soul Centred Psychotherapist that I felt understood and deep change happened in my life. I then felt called to change careers.
– What can a client expect to experience in an initial therapy session with you?
I always tell people that a good fit in therapy is not only the skills and experience a therapist has, but also their personality. So the initial phone call, as well as the first session is an opportunity to meet each other and for me to take in your situation. It also gives you an opportunity to experience how I work and for you to see if you like me, as well as if you feel or sense that we connect and I ‘get’ you and your situation. A new client coming for an initial session can expect me to help them to become as comfortable as they can be, so they can speak about what has brought them to contact me. I will ask questions to understand and determine their situation and what they will need to resolve their issue as well as to understand how their mind body system has developed its unique coping style. I will share my thoughts and understandings for us to come to shared point of reference. In the context of what is shared, I will share and illustrate models of being with their situation from a Soul Centred approach. I check in with the client as we go along, so I make sure you are staying in an optimal arousal zone and not becoming overwhelmed or stressed by any part of the process. I will share ways of taking care of yourself if required so you stay in a comfortable zone. I will do my best to attend to your verbal and non verbal communications. You will leave with a tool to help their brain and body connect and relax.
– What differences do you see in the outcomes of your clients between regular “talk therapies” and Soul Centred Psychotherapy?
A number of clients come to me after trying different therapies and they report that the regular ‘talk’ therapies would only go so far and could not resolve what they really needed. They speak of understanding on a rational or logical level what was going on for them, but were not helped to be with how to get from their circumstance to the desired outcome. The logical way of thinking or behaving that they wanted for themselves was only shown through using will power or rational forced thinking however they found they could tell themselves something but not be convinced by it or feeling in their bones or the cells of their body – so they were left feeling like they were going through the motions or failing the process. This is also what I commonly find, that most people know that they want to think or do things differently but the challenge is in making the change.
Unfortunately sometimes people are left feeling inadequate instead of the therapy mode not being able to provide what they needed. People leave Soul Centred Psychotherapy with resources and ways of attending to their whole experience with a greater emotional muscle to notice more of their experience and take care of themselves through their process. They feel capable and resourced and often have me ‘whispering’ support and encouragement in their ear.
– On a personal note, what you’re passionate about or love to do in your spare time?
When I am not working I love spending time with my gorgeous family including my 3 grand children as well as my dear friends. I love keeping active and love walking in nature. A big passion of mine is street Latin dancing: Salsa and Bachata. Being healthy and fit is really important to me so I spend time cooking, fermenting food and making Kombucha. I also like to keep strong and flexible. I am always trying new ways of moving and feeling alive. I love continuing to engage in my own personal self development journey, reading and watching art house and European movies.