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Your journey towards healing

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Lounette Els

Specialist Wellness Counsellor

TESTIMONIALS

"Highly recommend Lounette Els.

Such a wonderful counsellor, does a great job holding space in a session. I loved my sessions with her, very informative, effective and empowering."

"We had the best couple session with Lounette Els who gave us so much insight which helped us understand each other better both as a couple and individually. Much appreciated Lounette, we are slowly getting better everyday."

"Lounette is very understanding, she is a great listener that makes you feel heard. She is warm and makes you feel comfortable. Definitely worth it."

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As a Counsellor

 

Since I was a child, I had this instinctive desire to make people around me happy. Early on, I knew that whatever I set out to do as a career, it would be within the helping and serving profession. During my Bachelor of Science degree, wanting to become a human genetics counsellor, I accidentally came about Psychology as an elective module. Soon thereafter, I pursued a career in the field of Humanities. Fast forward a couple of years, I graduated with a BA Psychology (Honours) from the University of Johannesburg and later a Masters in Social and Psychological Research from the University of the Witwatersrand. Thereafter, I completed a counselling course and my practical hours to register with the ASCHP.

My method of counselling is rooted in the person-centered approach. It allows my clients the space to establish their own direction and goals for counselling. It also allows individuals and couples the opportunity to go wherever they feel comfortable-within their own minds and bodies-by providing a safe, non-judgemental space.  My role as a counsellor is to facilitate growth and healing. Counselling is not advice giving, but a collaboration between parties to reach certain outcomes (therapeutic goals). Additionally, I provide a more directive approach to help clients reach these goals. Therefore, homework between sessions is very important to facilitate continued growth and healing.

 

More importantly, counselling is not a template that can be replicated from client to client. As a unique individual, your counselling journey will be tailored to suit your needs.

 

The nature of counselling I assist with, include:

  • Individual

  • Relationship/Marriage

  • Trauma

  • Grief and bereavement

  • Career guidance

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SPECIAL INTERESTS

Sexual wellness

 

The professional field of sexual health is not recognised, nor formally regulated in South Africa. Formal training does not exist in our country and many professionals seek international qualifications. My level of knowledge and understanding of sexual wellness is attributed to the guidance of mentors in the field, research and literature, as well as continued relevant workshops, international training and local memberships. It is therefore important to note that I do not proclaim to be a "sexologist or sex therapist". However, I offer my knowledge and guidance on the subject as a trained and registered wellness counsellor.

This passion and interest of mine, has raised a few eyebrows along the way, even among those closest to me. However, I came to realize that not everyone in your life will understand or feel as passionate about your dreams as you do. As an individual, you need to do what you love, love what you do… and do it fiercely. People tend to judge what they do not understand… and often, what they do not understand, they fear. And that is okay! Because by doing what you love, you might just inspire and awaken the hearts of others to be fearless. I believe this field is still widely met with resistance and controversy, yet it is NEEDED.

 

Sexual health remains a topic that is shunned and often swept under the proverbial rug when it comes to open and honest conversation between partners, friends, and our children. Even our own dialect when it comes to our sexuality and bodies remain an area of confusion and shame. As a counsellor, I want to create a safe space that is free of judgement and prejudice that will allow clients- from all walks of life- the courage to speak about their holiest of hollies. If talking and sharing information is all we do when it comes to sexual well-being, then I believe we are already taking a step in the right direction.

My approach with sexual wellness is systemic. Often we find that the cause of the concern isn't related to one particular thing. Therefore, I rely on a strong referral basis to assist you within a holistic framework.

Some of the topics we look at in our sessions (individual and/or couples), may include:

  • Sexual history

  • Negative sex messages

  • Present sexual functioning

  • Sexual problems

  • Shame and fear

  • Intimacy

  • Desire and arousal

  • Communication

  • Sex education

Reproductive health

 

Perinatal loss and infertility battles effect women and couples around the world, yet is a topic that also painted as "taboo" in society. Pregnancy loss or more commonly referred to as miscarriage, is a devastating event that can happen in approximately 25% of pregnancies. Moreover, recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), which refers to two pregnancy losses prior to 20 weeks, occurs in one to three percent of all couples trying to conceive (van Dijk et al., 2020).

At any gestational stage, perinatal loss is a devastating experience and has been cited as a major source of stress for many women (and men) which can lead to psychological concerns such as intense grief, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sense of failure, and long-term feelings of guilt and shame (Köneş & Yıldız, 2020) Moreover, waiting to become parents can be a long, heartbreaking journey — especially when it’s due to struggles with infertility. Approximately 12% of women between 15-44 years of age have experienced fertility difficulties or have seeked infertility services in the United States. Challenges around conception can also bring major strain to any relationship.

 

As a counsellor and trying to conceive as an individual, my own miscarriage has prompted and encouraged me to delve into this unspoken reality that affects a lot of men and women who suffer in silence. Talking about my own loss has helped immensely with my healing, and I feel passionate about offering a safe space to those who deal with this silent battle and heartbreaking reality.

Some of the topics we look at in our sessions (individual and/or couples), may include:

  • Pregnancy loss

  • Infantile loss

  • Voluntary termination of pregnancy

  • Infertility
     

We offer online counselling

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Whatsapp: +27 66 257 5160

Email: lounette@mindfulconnections.org.za