“THE WORLD IS A TERRIBLE PLACE FOR SENSITIVE PEOPLE, BUT THE CLOSER WE COME TO LOSING OUR MINDS, THE HARDER WE’LL WORK TO KEEP THEM”
Kate Tempest, Hold Your Own
Counseling for Individuals, Couples and Groups
Cologne Counseling was founded to offer Community Counseling to individuals seeking support as they find their way with the hand they have been dealt.
The origins of modern Counseling stem from a time when the United States was still recovering from the Industrial Revolution and beginning to implement social welfare reform in response to the demographic fluxuations associated with continual waves of new immigration. At the time, the fledgling profession of Professional Counseling began to offer a more holistic approach to individuals and their occupations.
Over the past century, the counseling profession has steadily expanded to consider the wider context of the individual: personal abilities, education and experiences, privilege and empowerment, cultural backgrounds and identities, interpersonal and societal relationships, hierarchies and structures, social justice and human rights, with mental health largely mediating the intersectional interactions between the self and the environment.
Your mental health is the reactant, the catalyst and the product of the interactions between you and your environment.
Cologne Counseling offers the space you need to take a breath, evaluate what you have, identify what you want & plan how to use what you have to get what you want.
- PTSD & CPTSD, Anxiety & Depression
- Identities & Transitions
- Movers and Shakers: Refugees, Migrants, Expats, Artists, Activists
INDIVIDUALS & COUPLES
In the Practice, Walk & Talks or E-Counseling (Counsol Encrypted Portal)
Evenings after 6pm and Weekends:
Weekend Intensive Retreats:
The first session is free.
Let us meet and get a feel for each other and what you need to develop your counseling plan.
Every counseling plan is tailored specifically to each individual and couple. Some want once or twice a week for a few months, some want twice a month for years, while others want weekend intensives to address a current topic head on.
Cologne Counseling offers a place to dump all the concerns swirling around in your mind, stealing your sleep at night. We will work together to sort through the mess and develop a plan to get you on your way to where you want to go.
We can do this in many ways.
Classic: A structured counseling setting in the practice. You come to the practice conveniently situated between Rudolfplatz and Friesenplatz in Cologne. You walk in, receive a glass of water, sit or lie down, and speak your needs.
Walk & Talk: We walk together through the setting of your choice and process together in motion. Some people do not heal best sitting still. We can walk through the park or go to an exhibition or event together and process live.
Electronic: You can sit on your couch in your pajamas from anywhere in the world and do the work with me, video or audio via an encrypted counseling portal.
Intensive: You (and perhaps your partner) can come to Cologne for a weekend. We have 3-4 sessions a day in the practice or walking about. You spend your evenings processing the days work and enjoying the city. I can also come to your city (within 6 hour train ride) if you additionally cover my expenses.
Groups of 4-10 individuals in a round circle
The most dynamic way to heal and grow is to process with others. You will be connected to the others in your group by a singular topic.
Past topics have included:
Addiction. Queer Life. Trauma. Grief. Social Isolation. Job dissatisfaction. Pet Loss. Caring for an aging parent.
Come sit in a round and get to know others with similar thought on their minds. You will watch that singular topic evolve into numerous commonalities.
Humans connecting with humans over human experiences.
Practice speaking your truth while in community.
Psychological trauma are wounds that cannot be easily seen from the outside. Experiences in life that mark us, often leaving us scarred and forever changed.
We were shot. We could have died. Should we have died? Some bullets go clean through. Others remain trapped inside. There is blood loss. Infection develops. We try everything we can to treat our pain and clean these wounds in secret. But the bullet inside needs to be removed. We need surgery.
And for most, the shots just keep coming. There are bullets trapped deep inside our guts, our limbs. We are in pain, trying not to show it. Walking without limping, but silently wincing.
But others see it. They try to get close, but their contact, their prodding and poking, is painful. It reopens the wounds.
So we human animals try to hide our wounds, carrying on as though nothing happened. The pain comes in and out, dull and aching to sharp and stabbing, but always there. Or in quiet moments, those memories come flooding back uninvited. What starts as a few drops abruptly switches to a floodgate that cannot seem to be closed. It is easier to just never turn on the faucet.
We numb ourselves. We try to numb out. We try to feel good. To feel happy. To have fun. Why does it seems so easy to the others? Vacillating between numb powerlessness and manic performance, our power fades gradually over time. Slowly the performance becomes impossible. We forget our script and our stage makeup begins to smear, revealing the actor under the act.
But there is infection. We grow hot with fever, our memory is cloudy. Disoriented in time and space, we feel our hearts race and our skin soak with sweat. We tremble and quiver. We are afraid but do not have the words to explain the fear. We long for connection but grow more disconnected. We believe something is wrong with us. We believe we have no future. The world is better without us.
First we have to operate. Remove the bullets one by one. The surgery is risky and painful. The cleaning and suturing burn and sting more than the original injuries. You have to trust that your counselor is an experienced and qualified surgeon who has done this procedure hundreds of times before. It will hurt, but you will heal and be more whole afterwards.
The operation at Cologne Counseling is Narrative Exposure Therapy. We examine every bullet. We organize them and you tell the tale of how each one hit you. I write transcribe your story. You have a book of your story to do with as you please. Store on your library shelf for future reference. Burn and start over. You decide.
The bullets have been removed. The wounds have been cleaned and sutured and bandaged. Now is a time of rest and healing.
The Narrative has been collected. You are now sitting in control of what happened to you. You are getting stronger every day. You mind clears and you feel your power coming back. Slowly your creative energy begins to surge. You feel ready to run, but first you need to relearn how to walk.
In this phase we work together to piece together all the other parts of your story that were not classically traumatic. The characters in your story, how they interacted, what they taught you, what you learned. Who you loved, who you hated. Who you hurt, who hurt you. What patterns do you see? What patterns do you want to never see again? You are now getting to the stage of starting the process of being like the others who were not injured as often or as deeply as you. You reflect on your past and slowly start imagining a new future.
You feel a relatively confident mastery over your past. You feel stable in your present. You want to make goals. You want to connect with others. You want to focus on happiness, joy and fun. We work together to draw up the life you want and how to achieve that. Any time you feel yourself sliding back into older, damaged paradigms of thinking, we work together to challenge them and push forward.