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Coronavirus Update: Should I See My Therapist Face-to-Face?

In March 2020 when the country went into lockdown, I stopped seeing clients face to face and promptly moved all of my client sessions online using Zoom.  Complying with government policies and health & safety guidelines for the COVID-19 crisis. 

To date most of my clients have found it easy and convenient using a secure video platform and it is working very well.  Whilst there are a few disadvantages over seeing clients in person, it is a very good alternative. Some of my clients have even told me that they now prefer online and a few clients feel they prefer a more personal approach.

Why Telehealth might be the best way for social-distancing practices for now.

I have been asked when I will be going back to face to face work and as it is a complex situation, so I really do not know yet.  The government has not provided any guidance specific to mental health, or therapists using hypnotherapy, counselling or psychotherapy.  The accredited bodies are still recommending that we use Telehealth video or phone calls and continue to urge caution before returning to face to face work. I continue to actively follow updates from the government and also my four professional associations and my insurer.  

Why is it so complex?

It will require a detailed risk assessment, the implementation of some new health & safety procedures, all of which will have a considerable impact on my practice and client work.  Some examples:

  • Temperature taken and hand sanitiser at the entrance.
  • We will be required to use PPE (such as face masks), face shields etc.
  • Issues of ventilation (including noise pollution) vs confidentiality. 
  • Length of time in a session of a minimum of 60 minutes (increases viral load concerns).
  • Implement a robust cleaning schedule at the start of each day, in between sessions in the clinic room, hallway and toilet.  
  • The Therapy Clinic and room has the capacity to keep a social distance of 2 metres at all times.
  • Issues relating to clients getting upset, tearful, angry and wants to remove their face covering.
  • Tissues… weather to bring your own tissues, disposal of tissues, use of tissues in session.

I also have to consider the increased risk of contracting the virus myself, or passing it on to others.  I am self-employed and will not receive any sick pay, or receive any income if I need to take time off or self isolate for weeks.  

I do apologise to those clients who especially would like to come and see me in person. I am safeguarding both myself, my clients and particularly as my clinic setting is part of a home shared with my family.  However, for the time being I am taking the current advice for my profession. I am keeping a watching brief and commit to update my clients on my decisions about returning to face to face work.

Please do contact me with any queries.

Take care and stay safe,



CoronaVirus COVID-19 Advice

Safeguarding my Therapy Clients

Updated on 24th March, 2020

Unfortunately both my clinics are now closed for face to face work the foreseeable future.  

However, whilst I am well I am able to offer therapy services online by Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or phone calls only.  This may impact the types of therapies I can offer as they are not all suitable for this platform. BrainWorking Recursive therapy (BWRT), Havening Technique, Counselling and some types of Hypnotherapy are available.  I am offering a discounted C-19 fee of £40 per session available to all.  Payment options by Credit Card, Debit Cards and Bank Transfers.  Please do contact me by email or text me on 07734 104421 if you would like to discuss any aspect of my safeguarding plan. 

I am suspending my 24 hour cancellation policy during this time, if you are feeling unwell then please cancel at no charge. The rest of my Standard Terms and Conditions will still apply.

There is plenty of advice available:


  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards

  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

  • If you have any symptoms to protect yourself and others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital non-urgent see website NHS 111 or call 111 or for urgent cases call 999.

Thank you in advance for your co-operation whilst we are experiencing such challenging times.  

Best wishes,

Sarah Brambleby

New Testimonial

“After struggling for many years about coming forward with certain problems with previous councillors, I had essentially thrown in the towel and had a downer on Therapy. This only hindered me more until I was at the point of mercy with my own emotions. I finally reached out to Sarah in desperation and for the first time I had a clear understanding of what Therapy really is about. I was apprehensive at first, but over the next few months Sarah helped me in ways I didn’t even consider before. Using BWRT amongst other techniques and she explained how exactly the mind itself works and building from there.

Fast forward a little while later and I feel like a fresh version of myself, who has come an enormous length in terms of emotional well-being and general life improvement. I am very happy to have found Sarah Brambleby and would definitely recommend her services. Thank you Sarah.” JC Nr Reading

Goal setting & Remove your old blocks

This time of year many people suffer from Seasonal Depression (see SAD below) or low moods, lack of energy. Maybe waiting for longer days and signs that Spring has arrived.  But what we miss is the opportunity to reflect on the past year and build our future.  By taking control, each little step can help you towards your life goals (Personal and Business) and can give your life purpose and direction, boost your motivation, focus, energy and self- confidence.  So if you lacking energy, feeling depressed or just not sure how to boost your motivation I’ve got some suggestions…

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter. The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter. If you think you suffer from SAD you can take a test at

Between October and March, the sunlight in Britain is not strong enough to make enough vitamin D (Vitamin D3) and up to a quarter of the population has low levels of it in their blood.  Vitamin D is naturally found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, eggs, fortified fat spreads, fortified breakfast cereals and powdered milk. However, it is hard to get enough of it just from food alone.

Signs you may have a vitamin D deficiency include: Being over 50, having darker skin, obesity, achy bones, feeling blue, head sweating, and gut trouble.  Increasing levels of vitamin D3 among the general population could prevent chronic diseases that claim nearly one million lives throughout the world each year.  By optimizing your vitamin D levels it may help you prevent cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, infections, mental health conditions, and so much more.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Feeling low, depressed?  Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure.
  • You’re 50 or Older?  As you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body and older adults tend to spend more time indoors.
  • You’re Overweight or Obese (or Have a Higher Muscle Mass)?  Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person — and the same holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass.
  • Your bones ache?  Aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, can end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Head Sweating?
  • You Have Gut Trouble?  Remember that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Quick Goal Setting Exercise

Reflect on what happened last year. How has your year been?

·      Did you achieve your goals?

·      What worked well & what do you need to repeat this year?

·      What didn’t go well & need to ditch this year?

·      What surprised you this year?

What were your last year’s biggest achievements?





To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be SMART:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

Want to do more?  There are many free templates for goal setting however I can recommend this website from Brain Mayne.

Sokalmia® Training-16/9/2017

Sokalmia® Training with Malika Stephenson in North London.

Stress and Trauma Resolution Therapist, Sokalmia® Trainer & Mindfulness Coach.

Co-hosted with Sarah Brambleby, Hypnotherapist, Counsellor & Coach.

Saturday 16th September, 2017
9.30am to 4.30pm
De Vere Theobalds Estate, Lieutenant Ellis Way
Chestnut, Hertfordshire, EN7 5HW.

Sokalmia® sounds like it’s “So Calm Here” – is an acronym for Sensory Overloaded Kinesthetic Auditory Linguistic Mindfulness In Action.
The process has been created by Malika who was seeking a technique that quickly and without re-traumatising, got straight to the root of any issue and resolved it.
Using a variety of methods that Malika evolved from over 16 years of professional experience of working with the most dissociated and traumatised, Sokalmia® has been specifically designed to deliver the full package including:
1. Defining the actual issue.
2. Brain activity and using metaphor
3. Harnessing this knowledge for “individually focused” solutions
4. Implementing the process to resolve
Deceptively easy to deliver and yet with an incredibly complex background, Sokalmia® Training gives Practitioners a sound, evidence based process to work with anxiety, trauma, dissociation, fear amongst many, many other issues. And it’s FUN!
Sokalmia® Training has been provided to GP’s, Psychologists, Social Workers, Independent Therapists and Coaches, Health Services workers and more. Details via Eventbrite or

Come and join us for an innovative day of learning a technique that is both useful for clients and self.

Early Bird Price £145 available until Friday 18th August 2017. Limited Early Bird tickets available so get yours now to avoid disappointment.  Price will then be £260 from Friday 18th August.

Testimonials and Feedback from Delegates

“I loved this training. I would like ALL therapists to have this skill.”
“Definitely a valuable toolkit for all”
“It was a very interesting and informative course. The simplicity of the Sokalmia technique belied its effectiveness. Thank you.”
​”A fantastic training opportunity; innovative, evidence-based, effective. Delivered with support and expertise”
“Malika has a huge talent in making complex ideas & information understandable and simple to put into practice – a very valuable learning experience.”
“Can’t tell you what an enjoyable process it was. Some of the best training I’ve attended. Thank you!!”
“Loved the explanations along with everything else – a great range / variety of content. Relevant & fun. Thank you very much Malika.”
​”Great day and looking forward to exploring this further and using with my young people. Have definitely learnt some very useful techniques.”
“Smoothly integrated with how I work. What did I find most useful? – Hmmmm ….. ALL OF IT.”
“Malika has a wealth of expertise and delivers the training in engaging and interactive ways. Fantastic!”
“Great set of tools and new ways of thinking to add to my practice.”
“AMAZING – from your inspirational set up to the quality of information & delivery. Thank You.”
“Great day. Fab delivery style. Very informative and thought provoking. Would have been happy to have had an extra day or two!”
“Malika is a wonderful trainer who knows her subject inside and out and generously shares her wealth of knowledge. I love her ability to connect with myself and others in a very authentic way and look forward to training with her again.”

Therapy Solutions


Therapy Solutions

This is so true…

“The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. “
Writer, George Bernard Shaw