Amanda Dounis is a Client /Solution Focused Strategic Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner, Professional Counsellor, and Early Childhood Proficient Teacher.
Following, are areas that Amanda Dounis at the Positive Thinking Clinic will be treating, via Counselling and Hypnotherapy:
If you need to improve your focus, therapy can help channel your attention where it’s needed. The body can do what the mind tells it to. Actions are limited to what the mind believes in. Amanda will be able to teach you to focus, set your goals and develop tools to access them.
It is not you or your lack of ability to perform or to study effectively, or that you just cannot do it. It is a mindset, a belief and behavioural pattern that needs improvement. Amanda can help develop strategies and direct focus of attention productively.
Sports performance. Counselling and Hypnotherapy can help sports-people build powerful theories inside their minds. By doing this you can easily develop a sense of achieving and this will help you react with the right thing at the right moment.
Amanda’s Therapy directs individuals to:
Imagining yourself with winning success before an event or performance is important. By doing this, you will work hard and be confident. Keeping your schedule strict with daily training (and good food) and bringing the motivation from inside is what you need.
One more important thing is to believe in yourself.
You can get in the Zone without even knowing that you are there. It’s just like something unnatural that brings in positive energy and makes you do things so perfectly without any special effort. Anything you do in this state is unlikely to go wrong.
Amanda’s Therapy assists individuals to:
Improve Performance in sports using Mental Imagery Techniques. Imagination, physical training, and good food, will help improve performance.
Hypnosis is a great tool for mental rehearsal:
The mind becomes open to suggestions during therapy, and thus it becomes easier to work on self-esteem and personality development. This is a great opportunity to overcome personal fears, as positive thinking is embedded.
When struggling with relationships, learn what you can control, and what you cannot control. Learn limits and new ways of communicating, not just with others but with yourself too. Work on a better “you”. Therapy can also help you feel more secure in your current relationship.
Stop Seeking Approval. Whilst it is important and very healthy to have good relationships and social networks in life, it is not important (or healthy) to care excessively about what others think about you.
Amanda’s Therapy aims to:
As with any loss, losing a loved one, or a relationship break-up leads to grief and sadness. But there comes a time when you need to get on with your life and move forward from the past. This does not need to be accompanied by guilt.
Amanda’s therapy aims to assist individuals in:
It’s difficult to understand why people don’t leave an abusive relationship immediately (until you are in one yourself). Abusive partners typically do not own up to their manipulative, controlling, bullying, and punishing behaviour.
Leaving an Abusive Relationship is difficult to do without help. There is hope. If your partner has escalated to physical violence and you make excuses for it, then you must get out for your own safety. Now is the time to create an escape plan, which should include getting your finances in order and finding a place to live.
Be sure to let other people know of your plans to leave, and have a few people close by to call on if needed. You should never try to leave when you are home alone with your abusive partner, otherwise make sure someone else is with you when you start removing your belongings.
Amanda’s Therapy aims to:
Job skills. Being a great Leader takes time and dedication. A confident leader has the ability and emotional capacity to lead a team. They are not afraid of making mistakes or taking responsibility for the team’s shortfalls. They are able to assign tasks and trust others to fulfil tasks. They also understand the importance of team work, and rarely seek individual credit for work that has been collectively done. Amanda’s techniques aim to work on inner confidence and sharpen leadership instincts.
There are some common fears when it comes to business networking. Amanda works with individuals to:
Confidence in the workplace is essential to working life. When you are confident around your boss, you start to enjoy the work you do and develop a healthy sense of self-respect. Confidence through Counselling and Hypnosis helps the mind to be at ease and secure, and develop mechanisms for Public Speaking.
Amanda’s therapeutic techniques assist individuals to:
Weight-loss. Accessing the unconscious mind and providing suggestions that are absorbed as new ‘strategies’ are used as a pathway to achieving and maintaining a more desirable figure. Amanda’s Therapy will aim for individuals to:
Making lasting changes to your weight, does not rely entirely on finding the right weight loss program. It has to do with lining up mental, emotional and psychological behaviour so that together, they keep you focused on goals, through a strong mindset.
Emotional eating does nothing to satisfy hunger, but provides temporary respite from painful emotions. It is this pattern of emotional eating that leads to bad eating habits and subsequent weight-gain. Typical triggers for emotional eating include guilt, low self-esteem, the feeling of repeated failure, loneliness, sadness, and frustration.
Amanda’s Therapy aims for positive changes:
As mentioned, weight loss programs can be successful, when the appropriate mindset is developed. Amanda will aim for her clients to develop the discipline and the appropriate mind-set to be successful. Exploring and eliminating poor lifestyle habits, nutrition, exercise, health and medical issues, are all important when using a holistic approach to better health.
Sugar (e.g., chocolate) can be considered an obsession. When the urge for sugar emerges, it can become the most important thing at that given moment. The impact of high sugar consumption on health and happiness is high. It is not a cycle that is easy to break.
Amanda’s Therapy aims to provide individuals with:
Bad habits are difficult to break because they are associated with thoughts and emotions at a very unconscious level. Counselling and Hypnotherapy is an extremely effective way to re-program the mind to replace bad habits with good ones. At a very unconscious level where automatic thought patterns are developed, small adjustments can be made and new behaviours established – so that you start to react in a way that’s healthier and more rewarding.
Smoking is often used as a coping mechanism. Some form of low level stress or agitation is the most common driver. If you quit without dealing with the stress you are more likely to return to smoking one day, or turn to something else (e.g., sugar) to alleviate the agitation. Counselling and Hypnotherapy deals with whatever sits with the smoking "rituals" and offers you something to replace them with.
The same is true for other addictive behaviours. Binge drinking, marijuana, amphetamines, and other addictive substances /behaviours can all be dealt with once drivers are identified. All that’s needed is a commitment.
As a victim of gambling addiction, your life is not your own. Important aspects of life – relationships, family, health, well-being and financial security, suddenly become secondary to the driving force that controls the gambling habit.
Gambling addiction not only drains away money, in a very deceiving manner, it drains away the real you. When in a state of gambling ‘trance’, the gambler becomes helpless in stopping. The spiral of destruction, deceit and spending continues.
Counselling and Hypnotherapy sessions will help free you from your gambling addiction so that you can take back control of your life, re-build relationships, and get your finances and your life back on track.
Alcohol abuse causes physical problems and a negative effect on relationships, finances and work performance. Under the influence of alcohol addiction, the individual can be tricked into believing alcohol is the key to stop anxiety, have better sleep, and achieve relaxation – when in fact its effects are the total reverse of this.
The only way to effectively overcome alcohol addiction is to develop a change in mindset towards alcohol. Simply trying to resist it will, in most cases, is not successful. Those who are able to easily turn down the temptation of alcohol have altered their relationships with alcohol, so that it does not control their thinking any longer.
Withdrawal from any addiction is never pleasant. Therapy aims to dramatically improve withdrawal experience, so that you can be more positive during this time, and of course more relieved from the anxieties about the future.
Thought patterns such as “it’s only once” and “it won’t do any harm” are negative.
The only effective way of repeatedly overcoming negative thoughts, is by dismissing them as nothing more than unhelpful thoughts. Faced with situations where there are external pressures to drink alcohol and internal voices telling you there is no harm in one drink, a preventive strategy is required.
Amanda’s Therapy aims to:
Compulsive shoppers purchase much more than they need, spend more than they can afford, and spend money to make them feel better. They feel good for a short time, but then feel bad later on, they own a variety of items that are left in the bottom drawer, and have spiralling debt problems (but keep shopping anyway). They also usually feel depressed after a large spending spree.
Like all addictions, shopping is filling some sort of void. It is replacing what is missing, with something else that offers relief from sadness, even if this is only temporary. Amanda’s Therapy explores and deals with all of these issues.
When the body is tired from working hard, it can rejuvenate with sleep and rest. But the mind is more complex than this. To get rid of mental stress, you must be able to lower the mind’s activities. This can be achieved through effective therapy.
Stress is a significant factor in illness, chronic pain, poor decision making, relationship breakdowns and even early deaths. You can be taught better ways to cope with pressure and reduce stress. Stress is not something that will fully go away, however it can be managed. Stress management Counselling and Hypnotherapy offers a range of tools and techniques to help come to terms with the stressors in your life. This includes distinguishing between stress that cannot be controlled, and the stress that is generated through your own behaviour (and thus can be controlled.) Amanda’s Therapeutic techniques teach individuals how to relax in times of stress, for the present, and for the future.
Living with constant fear becomes emotionally draining, debilitating and very often leads to depression. Those that suffer from generalised anxiety have been known to compare the condition to being in a constant state of preparing to escape, similar to the feeling of being under attack by something or someone.
Amanda’s Therapy aims to assist individuals to;
Anxiety, panic and phobia-related problems are caused by thoughts that persons are not able to control. It is easier to overcome phobias when the mind is relaxed because the initial reaction of panic is set aside for a more rational way of responding to stimuli. Hence a benefit of hypnosis.
Anxiety stops you wanting to perform, or socialise, or enter relationships. For many, alcohol or drugs are the only real answer they have come up with, because they have not found a way to relax or escape. Some people have anxiety around particular situations like public speaking, management meetings, or social events. This almost falls into the "phobic" category of anxiety. Others have a more generalised anxiety where the world in general no longer seems safe.
Potential failure, rejection and a hypersensitivity regarding the opinions of others can contribute to anxiety. “Over-analysis" and excessive "thinking" is one of the main problems. Therapy aims to teach the difference between useful analysis and debilitating over-analyses. Anxiety is an extremely common condition. It can be quite debilitating, seriously affecting your life, both personally and professionally, (even if it doesn't extend into full blown panic attacks).
Anxiety is basically a form of fear. It can be caused by past experiences or limited ability in dealing with unknowns. Counselling and Hypnotherapy may be an effective treatment in helping individuals relax and not get overwhelmed by situations that do not present any real danger.
Panic attacks are very scary. People often sweat, shake and have trouble breathing. They may also have a rapid heartbeat or feel weak or dizzy. Many people think that they’re dying. Panic attacks are caused by a high release of stress and anxiety hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. Sometimes panic occurs over things that haven’t happened. Worrying about the future can trick the brain into thinking there is current and immediate danger. This can cause a panic attack.
The best remedy for panic attacks is learning how to relax. Counselling and Hypnotherapy is an easy way to promote ease, confidence and control. Hypnosis can help re-train the brain to trust that you are safe and in control.
Amanda’s Therapy aims for individuals to:
Depression. Antidepressants can be an effective way of "taking the edge off" depressive episodes, but they do not address the real issues.
If you have had life changing situations, grief, confidence issues, a strong leaning towards internally focusing, a tendency for going over the past, or have become isolated, your risk for depression increases. Depression is very difficult to live with. Effective diagnosis, attention and treatment is important in order to alleviate the symptoms and help the individual get back on track.
A phobia is defined as an irrational fear. The most common ones we deal with are fear of flying, heights, spiders, snakes, various other animals, and social phobias. Symptoms of fear include sweaty palms, increased heartbeat, anxiety during turbulence or any sudden noise or movement.
All phobias are rooted in a fear-based anxiety that can be dealt with easily, with some simple techniques. Some examples include (but are not limited to):
Sleep is important, and when sleep is disturbed for whatever reason, we may become irritated, our functioning may be impaired, and the rest of our body and mind may begin to suffer. Therapy can assist with sleep disorders.
Insomnia Counselling and hypnotherapy deals directly with the heart of the problem that causes insomnia in the first place; inability to relax.
Unfortunately, sleep is something that cannot be forced. We can create the ideal circumstances for it, but it has to happen on its own accord. ‘Waiting for sleep’ becomes contaminated with anxiety and lack of relaxation.
Everybody wakes up during the night for a short period. It is also very common, but most of the time we are not conscious that we have woken up, so we quickly fall back asleep after only a few seconds. This is a very natural part of everybody’s sleep cycle. For insomniacs however, it is very common to feel far too alert during the ‘awake’ spells.
Worrying is a very common cause of not being able to fall back to asleep. When we worry, the body releases a stimulant of stress hormones, and this stimulant works very hard to ensure that you cannot relax to the point of falling asleep.
Suicidal thoughts and ideations are very serious. Lifeline 13 11 14 is Australia’s national telephone crisis support centre. Counselling and Hypnosis may be used to treat compulsive thoughts and ideations of suicide. Person’s diagnosed with a mental illness should be treated by appropriate professionals and follow their treatment plan as recommended. They should be supervised by their doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Counselling and /or Hypnotherapy may be useful as complimentary treatments and to assist with cognitive and behavioural distortions /management.
Amanda works for Lifeline Australia and is also trained in suicide prevention.
Early childhood, primary school, teenage, and adolescent years can be rather complex and difficult to deal with. Friendship issues, academic stress, bullying, identity issues, family issues, academic pressures, conflict, culture and diversity issues, stress, anxiety, substance abuse, and many more, may contribute to critical moments. Safety and rights are the ultimate priority. Keeping children and young persons safe and protecting their rights is priority. For the success of assessment and treatment, it is important the individual wants to participate in therapy. Techniques such as sand play and creative play activities may be used for younger children. Other techniques revolve around inclusion, stimulation, guidance, behaviour management and cognition reframing. Some older children may also benefit by allowing them to speak with the therapist privately.
Amanda is a Proficient Early Childhood Teacher with Counselling Majors in Parenting, Children and Adolescents. She is Mental Health First Aid Trained for this age group, and has a current Working With Children Check Clearance.
Most medical treatment effects are maximised with the help of therapy (e.g., Hypnotherapy). In this situation, patients are relaxed and are in a condition where they will be able to follow instructions told by the doctors.
Clients may be seeing other professionals who may recommend Counselling or Hypnosis to complement their treatment plan. In this case, client consent ensures honest and open communication, and exchange of information to ensure therapy is delivered to the best complement of the client’s needs in respect of outcomes realistically desired.
Panic is also reduced in serious cases such as accidents and serious medical conditions. Other medical conditions such as bulimia, migraine, and impotency can be treated by self-hypnosis.
Counselling and Hypnosis can significantly reduce the "suffering" component of pain, even when there has been a significant trauma to the body, like operations or accidents.
You can experience less pain and greater mobility. Sometimes you will need to let go of the anger, sadness, or sense of injustice, that keeps the "suffering" alive before you can feel at ease again.
Perhaps individuals prefer to receive therapy in order to help them prepare (and best cope /deal) with an upcoming operation. Skills to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation may be necessary to deliver during therapy. Similarly, visualising a pain free and speedy recovery (accompanied by Doctor’s /Surgeon’s instructions) may aid healing, and place clients in a healthier state of mind.
SERVICES FOR TREATMENT
Just about any area which is treatable by conventional methods can be complimented through the use of Psychotherapy, Hypnosis and Counselling. Anyone suffering from emotional and /or physical dis - ease may benefit. The clients will and determination to get better is a great determinant of the success of treatment. The Positive Thinking Clinic focuses on modern indirective and solution oriented Ericksonian Hypnosis.
Consider the following explanation of why hypnosis may be beneficial:
Our conscious mind makes decisions and judgements with an extremely limited point of view. This means there are limits, resistance, barriers, obstacles and more. No wonder people feel stuck and cannot move forward. No wonder people learn habits that stop them from living an authentic life.
The other part of the mind, the unconscious part is responsible for determining most of what a person does. It also lacks the power to reason (it does not know the difference between reality and fantasy). It processes products of our imagination as reality. This is where the power of suggestion can benefit the client. Repeatedly making a purposeful suggestion, long enough, will be accepted by the unconscious mind as true.
Some areas that are usually considered for Therapy include:
Not every Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist or Counsellor covers each and every area above, this is just a list of what issues may be covered. Specific issues must be discussed with the therapist to ensure expertise and appropriateness of therapy delivered. In some cases, referrals are the best option.
Amanda Dounis uses hypnosis to assist the client into a relaxed mental, physical and emotional state. During hypnosis, the busy, critical, analytical, conscious mind can rest. Whilst resting, the unconscious mind is then attended to, and positive changes are made via interrupting thought patterns, habits or the effects of traumatic incidents which may be mentally or physically impacting the client in a negative way.
The process is as follows;
It brings out the best in you by leaving behind any patterns /habits you no longer need or want. You will become a stronger and happier person, uncovering your powerful positive qualities that you may never have even noticed.
Hypnosis creates a sense of mental, emotional and physical relaxation, similar to the feeling we experience just before we wake from sleep, or just as we drift off to sleep. It may even feel like daydreaming for some.
PROVIDING THERAPY AT THE POSITIVE THINKING CLINIC
COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
Amanda Dounis is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. She uses a professional and interpersonal relationship with her clients, in order to develop an understanding about them to help make changes in their lives.
There are many different styles of treatment. During initial consultation, Amanda will decide what is suitable for the client.
Therapy is usually offered face to face but can also be available by email, telephone, or video conferencing.
Amanda generally focuses on specific problems or life changes.
Amanda prefers to use brief therapy as it is strategic, exploratory, and solution based rather than problem oriented. It does not look for meaning into the past (so it doesn't explore WHY). This therapy assumes the client will change with insight. Amanda looks for patterns and processes in the “now” (and asks “HOW”) and shows the client where different choices can be made so that they can change. She focuses on the client’s current experience holistically (not just their internal state and thinking, but their external interactions with other people and the world around them). Sharing elements of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) by looking for ‘triggers’ of thoughts and behaviours, she seeks to challenge and disrupt the client’s usual patterns.
Counselling and Psychotherapy is helpful in treating any crisis situation, management of stress, grief and trauma, relationship or family problems and any emotional or psychological problems.
Therapy sessions may be for an individual, couple, group, family, or as needed.
Consultations are confidential, professional and may take up to an hour or more in duration. Times and amount of sessions will be discussed with clients.
Following are some tools that the Bachelor of Counselling has equipped Amanda Dounis with:
The Bachelor of Counselling provides a comprehensive grounding in counselling frameworks and skills, ethical practice and cultural diversity.
The Bachelor of Counselling provides training with a strong focus on contemporary techniques, counselling and psychology theory, research and practice.
THERE ARE A VARIETY OF APPROACHES TO PSYCHOTHERAPY AMANDA WILL USE INTEGRATIVE METHOD STYLES TO SUIT THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF EACH CLIENT
Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic therapy focuses on changing problem behaviours, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their unconscious meanings and motivations. Strategic psychotherapy also looks at the unconscious but looks at how to instead of why.