Envision Psychology

Begin your journey to healing

Meet Sonya ...

I am a Registered Psychologist with over 20 years experience providing counselling support in education, private and not-for-profit sectors. Using a client-centred approach, I help clients draw on their motivation for change, which allows for growth in response to life’s challenges.

I work with children, adolescents and adults experiencing a range of difficulties such as education struggles, career transitions, relationship / family / parenting challenges, trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, addictions, ADHD and learning difficulties.

Having studied many evidence based approaches, I am able to offer a range of strategies, according to each client’s individual needs. Some of my therapeutic approaches include cognitive behaviour therapy, psycho-education, acceptance & commitment therapy, emotionally focussed, mindfulness, interpersonal psychotherapy, internal family systems, somatic, polyvagal, art and play therapies.

Clients are assisted to become aware of and 'befriend' their anxious responses to stress, in order to re-learn how to experience life through a calmer and more confident self.

Some more about Sonya's approach:

I work alongside clients to help them make sense of struggles, understand their difficult life circumstances and make positive changes. Types of issues clients seek help with include work burnout, family rifts, parenting, managing emotions, childhood trauma and self esteem issues, as well as addictions, empty-nest syndrome and mid-life challenges (for both men and women). I help clients find the growth potential in challenges (for example, through post-traumatic growth).

  • How Sonya works with you:

    I use a strengths based approach, to help clients foster a self compassionate relationship with themselves. The 'third wave' of Psychology involves use of the mind/body awareness to recognise patterns related to stress reactions. Polyvagal theory can help us understand anxiety patterns and triggers. Awareness of one’s unique stress reaction patterns can often alter patterns of reactivity, allowing clients to respond to stress with healthier coping tools. 

    My interest involves how to use awareness of the body and use of strategies to harness the power of the breath and gentle movement to induce a felt sense of calm within the body, which helps to access the problem solving part of the brain.

  • Other areas of experience includes providing career counselling, career transitions and work planning. I have worked with students leaving school through to mature aged workers, in exploring their interests and skills and helping them plan their next chapter of study or work.

Therapy is ...

Making time for therapy is brave but often surprisingly energising. As we unlock our previously hidden parts, we come to understand our relationship patterns and have the freedom to make new choices in our lives.

Mid-life - the jewel hidden in the mud

Find the hidden joys when we re-asses our roles at mid-life

At around age 40 to 60, consciously or unconsciously, many of us are in the ‘mid-life’ stage of life. We are re-assessing our identity. One day, we may feel energised, exhilarated and excited about the possibilities of retirement in the near (or far) future, or by our children no longer needing us 24/7. The next, we are forced to feel and acknowledge that our bodies can no longer achieve what we used to be able to do. The need to pace ourselves and slow down can be difficult and it can be uncomfortable to feel more aches and pains. Our sense of meaning, which we often place in the ‘roles’ we play in our family and at work, seem to have changed. 

We may find ourselves staring at the ceiling at night, wondering why our brains think it is the middle of the day, while our bodies are exhausted. Arguments with our spouse may be happening more. Annoyingly, these conflicts may be over seemingly trivial things such as whose turn it is to do the dishes. 

Midlife is a time to re-assess our roles

It is a time when we are forced to leave one identity and create a new one (similar to a migrant moving from one country to the next, as Robyn Vickers-Willis writes about in her book, Navigating Midlife: Women Becoming themselves). There is no turning back. When we are half way to our new destination, we can feel very de-stabilised. Who are we then?... if not a parent (a role many of us have invested a lot of love and energy into) or a worker, in a particular job we may be considering retiring from. Where can we pour our love and energy into now… ourselves? That may feel like an alien concept for many. 

We are no longer needed by our children, in fact they may be actively rejecting us, in their (healthy) need for independence. This may be very difficult to accept. 

Work may be changing, hours may be reduced, or financial pressures may be ever present, while less energy is available to fulfill expectations at work.

It really is a time to ask ourselves:

  • What are these unnerving feelings that are suddenly showing up? What can I do to invite curiosity around this new experience to understand where it is directing me … 

  • How can I make space to commit to re-invest my energy, time and resources back into myself? 

  • What did I used to enjoy doing before I had my children or my career? What type of creative dance, language, sport or yoga class would bring me a sense of fun?

  • What can bring me joy now (perhaps you haven’t asked yourself that for a while?) Maybe it’s time to ask it now and to just be quiet, and listen to the answer that arises from inside your heart and your intuition (which often knows the answers before our mind does).

Mid-life is a time for opportunities, for reflecting on all the wisdom you’ve gained over your lifetime and to re-invest time in yourself. However, there may be significant blocks in doing this, but there are answers, including booking in regular time with friends, deciding to be more creative (try reading Julie Cameron’s book: The Artist’s Way) or you might like to explore these issues more deeply, by talking to a therapist.

Helpful information:

I am a full member of the AAPI (Australian Association of Psychologists) and have been a Psychologist registered with AHPRA for over 15 years. I am passionate about supporting people through life transitions, providing evidence-based Psychological therapy in a collaborative way.

My approach is one based on evidence and empathy, working together collaboratively with clients, to approach areas of life when feeling stuck. Anxiety & depression are often learned responses to life challenges. Through insight and skill building, clients learn to feel more able to cope with stress, relationship challenges, anxiety & depression.

Sonya Bradford,
Registered Psychologist 

Located in Sutherland, NSW

Availability: Wednesday (day and evenings).
  Other times maybe available via Telehealth also.

Face to face and online appointments available

Medicare rebates may be claimable if referred by a GP with a gap fee payable at time of session. Private health insurance rebates may also be applicable.