Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit

February 2012

Case study – Sally

All of the case studies you will read here are the experiences of real Anam Cara clients. They have asked for their real names not to be used to protect their privacy but all of them wanted others to know that problems can be overcome, whatever they are.


I’ve suffered from anxiety, stress and I have ulcerative colitis. I have also lost all my hair.

I am quite a resilient person though, and have fought back from mental health issues in the past. I’ve had therapy in the past too, but those therapists have never really been able to dig down to the roots of it all. When I first met Sonia, though, I knew she was the right person to help me. She digs deep and finds out what the real problems are.

I was in a desperate state when I first started seeing her. I’d been under real pressure at work for 18 months and hadn’t been getting any support there. I went off work with stress, tried to go back but I just wasn’t functioning properly.

Peeling back the layers with Sonia, I can see that many of my problems stem from how I was looked after as a child. As a consequence I have lived my life in fear, and have always had an underlying anxiety. All of my worries have made me physically worse, especially my colitis, which in turn has made me worry more, and so on in a vicious circle. It’s only recently that I have learned about the powerful connection between mind and body. Now when the colitis returns, it’s time for me to listen to my body and manage the situation – whereas before it was just time to panic.

Learning how to deal with things

I am definitely getting better at handling my physical challenges and I function now at a calmer level. It’s still early days but I feel as if I’ve turned a corner. I’m seeing things more clearly, seeing the bigger picture. I’ve also discovered that I have a very addictive and compulsive side to my personality, and I get comfort from hoarding, from food and other things. So there’s lots of work to do on that, and on establishing boundaries of behaviour. I was never really given boundaries when I was young.

While I am certainly making progress, it has also been very difficult at times, learning things about myself that maybe I didn’t want to know. But I know it’s part of the process and the process is working. We discuss problems or issues, then I go out into the world and try new ways of addressing them. I also feel like I can stand back and observe my own behaviour now, start to see patterns and danger signs. This helps me to make better choices and to try not to let old feelings spiral out of control.

I do feel slightly lost and a bit raw at the moment because it’s hard to know who I am and who I’m going to be. I’ve stripped away so many things that used to define me. But a lot of it was bullshit anyway, so I’m glad it’s gone. Sonia is very good and the work she does is very valuable. I’m glad I’m doing this work and I won’t walk away from it. I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of my life as a more grounded, resilient, whole person.