Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit


We all need support sometimes. Counselling and psychotherapy are an opportunity to find an emotionally and psychologically clean space in which to talk through challenges and problems, receive non-judgemental support - or even change your whole life for the better. You may be suffering from emotional conflict, facing major unexpected changes or dealing with a crisis in your life - or perhaps you feel stuck or that you’re not living to your potential. Counselling and psychotherapy can help.

So what is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy? Counselling will generally look to offer support and clear, proven strategies to help you deal promptly with your situation or resolve your issue. Psychotherapy will explore issues more deeply and while focusing on your specific problems or symptoms, will also try to discover the real truth of the matter – exploring what is being held at a deeper level, often unconsciously, and how this may currently be holding you back in your life.

Here at Anam Cara we know that suffering and a search for meaning are inescapable aspects to our lives and although we can grow from them, they are often intensely painful experiences. Therefore we will work in a professional and considered manner to discover exactly what approach will work best for you. We offer care, support and space to understand whether new opportunities may be emerging through your more immediate thoughts, feelings or experiences. Our counselling and psychotherapy also offers you the opportunity to investigate your spiritual nature because we believe that only by finding out who you really are and what you really want can you reach genuine peace, your fuller potential and true freedom. All this will happen in a safe and nurturing environment, where confidentiality is guaranteed.

Anam Cara’s approach to psychosynthesis counselling & psychotherapy (psychospiritual)

As an approach to counselling and psychotherapy, psychosynthesis is particularly concerned with wholeness, and with exploring the individual's full potential. While it is useful and supportive in times of crisis, psychosynthesis is interested not only in the depths of despair and difficulty - though we do not shy away from such experiences - but also in the peaks of self-knowledge, joy and enjoyment of ordinary human life. Nothing is left out, and we bring full and caring attention to all aspects and areas of life.

Inspired by the work of the founder of psychosynthesis, Roberto Assagioli, we draw also on the theories and therapies that inspired him, so we work with awareness of the influence of such figures as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, amongst others.

We pay attention to past experience without becoming bogged down, and with an eye to the future, we ask the question, 'What is waiting to be born?'. Human suffering is inevitable, but it is also seldom meaningless. As well as simply being with you in your experience of pain or hardship, we attend carefully to the creative possibilities that might exist within your situation, and work with you to uncover the meaning and the opportunities that may be held within your current experience.

Anam Cara’s psychosynthesis counsellor & psychotherapist writes:

“I was born and grew up in South Africa, and moved to England in the mid-1990s. I trained initially as an art historian and completed an MA degree on contemporary sculpture. I taught art history at the University of South Africa for a couple of years and then worked as a teacher trainer. After relocating to England, I worked in various charities, first in Cambridge and then in Birmingham.

“I hold a Diploma in Integrative Psychosynthesis Counselling from Re-Vision, in London, a course accredited by the BACP and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

“I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP Accred.), the professional and regulatory body for counsellors. As a member, I adhere to the BACP’s ethical framework for good practice. I am a UKRCP Registered Independent Counsellor and Psychotherapist.

“The single statement about psychosynthesis that I find the most useful in understanding it as an approach comes from an interview with its founder, Robert Assagioli, quoting from a letter written by Sigmund Freud, the originator of psychoanalysis, in which Freud wrote, ’I am interested only in the basement of the human being.’

“By contrast, Assagioli says, ‘Psychosynthesis is interested in the whole building. We try to build an elevator which will allow a person access to every level of his personality. After all, a building with only a basement is very limited. We want to open up the terrace where you can sun-bathe or look at the stars. Our concern is the synthesis of all areas of the personality. That means psychosynthesis is holistic, global and inclusive.’

“I feel that this holistic approach to the mind and soul fits very well into the healing community at Anam Cara, so that therapy can work alongside other approaches.

“My practice as a counsellor and therapist is deeply conditioned by almost 25 years of Buddhist practice. I am deeply interested in meditation and the application of mindfulness practice in everyday life - which has been demonstrated to be very effective in working with anxiety, depression and a range of other conditions.”

Sonia Manning is also a psychosynthesis practitioner and healer.

Get to know Sonia:

Sonia qualified as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist at Keele University, before spending a further five years studying Psychosynthesis. She has studied continuously ever since. She has worked in a GP practice, for police and prison services, has supported youth and community projects, and also worked with both local and blue-chip companies, business leaders and government departments.

She has also developed many programmes of psychological support to help senior managers, directors and CEOs deal successfully with workplace issues and conflicts.

As a counsellor, psychospiritual psychotherapist and executive business coach she has taken countless clients – both individuals and couples – who have been suffering, stuck, confused or in crisis and helped them to reconnect with their true selves and rediscover what it is to be calm, confident and at peace.

Sonia says, "Although clients who come to me are often struggling profoundly, they have sensed an opportunity to rediscover themselves. For some, there is a clear need to take action, while for others they simply know deep down that something is not right but are unsure what steps to take.

"While it may be a difficult journey, the rewards are extraordinary. Individuals gain insights and a deeper wisdom that opens them up to a whole new reality where they are finally able to use new skills to realise their potential and purpose in all aspects of their lives."

She particularly relates to the following quotes...

“A new medicine is arising – one that embraces spirituality and consciousness as emphatically as conventional medicine has dismissed them.”

Larry Dossey

“Research is screaming at us with the urgent message that consciousness can harness the powerful healing forces of a quantum universe, forces far more potent than pills in a bottle.”

Norman Shealy and Dawson Church

“Man’s spiritual development is a long and arduous journey, an adventure through strange lands full of surprises, difficulties and even dangers. It involves a drastic transmutation of the ‘normal’ elements of the personality, an awakening of potentialities hitherto dormant, a raising of consciousness to new realms, and a functioning along a new inner dimension.”

Roberto Assagioli