SONAS Counselling Newry
SONAS is a local counselling service based in Newry. Sonas aims to promote the personal and social development of adolescents, adults, and families in the Newry community by providing a safe and healing talking therapy service.
We aim to provide a service that is effective, preventative, affordable and one that meets the needs of the community.
We aim to help individuals set and achieve goals that are realistic and obtainable and transfer valuable skills that the client can use to continue promoting their own mental health
SONAS means happiness and contentment. Feeling a range of emotions is healthy, but sometimes it can feel as if happiness, contentment, or peace, has been out of reach for quite some time. We are here to explore how you can reach a place of mental and emotional health by offering confidential one-to-one listening support, and tools to cope better with life’s stresses.
Our therapists are trained in an integrative approach. This means we use a variety of different techniques depending on what you would like to get out of therapy. We offer both short- and longer-term therapy.
We can assist you with a range of issues such as:
Anxiety, anger, depression, unwanted thoughts, family issues, Inner conflict, emotional wellness, grief and bereavement, significant loss, infidelity, emotional abuse, suicidal ideation, low self-esteem, self-confidence, stress, helplessness, workplace struggles and bullying, and personal growth.
Training, qualifications & experience
Meet the SONAS team:
Name: Barry Shields (MBACP)
Qualifications: Ulster Foundation Degree in Counselling/ Certificate in Counselling. Working towards Accreditation with BACP.
- Registered member of BACP
- Certificate of proficiency (BACP)
Areas of work: Age 16 – Adults, Anxiety, depression, Inner conflict, emotional wellness/ Significant Loss, Emotional abuse, Dealing with loss, Suicidal ideation, low self-esteem, Self-confidence, stress, Helplessness etc.
Experience: Undertook over two years working in Samaritans Newry as listening volunteer, Worked as an individual counsellor in Sosad Drogheda/ Dundalk from 2016 to early 2019. At present working in Oakdene Dundalk Counselling Centre Dundalk as an individual counsellor for adults.
Name: Yvonne Middleton (MBACP)
Qualifications: Foundation Degree in Counselling/Certificate in Counselling/ Accredited Member of NCS/ Working towards Accreditation with BACP
Areas of work: Age 16 – Adults, Anxiety, depression, Solution-focused, CBT, Suicidal ideation, Currently undertaking Level 5 CBT. low self-esteem, self-confidence, stress etc.
Experience: Undertook over two years working in PIPS Newry,
Empolyed at PIPS Counselling Newry. Currently completing level 5 CBT.
Name: Sinead Finnegan (MBACP) (NCS)
Qualifications: Foundation Degree in Counselling/ Level 4 Certificate in Counselling Accredited Member of NCS/ Working towards Accreditation with BACP
Areas of work: Age 16 – Adults, Anxiety, depression, Bereavement, emotional wellness/ Suicidal ideation, low self-esteem, self-confidence, Complex grief, stress etc.
Experience: Undertook over two years working in Cruse Bereavement, Women’s Aid, Sosad Dundalk and Cruse Bereavement Post qualification.
Member organisations *
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling we deal with
The fee per individual counselling session is £35. Each session is scheduled for 50 minutes.
There is a fee of £50 per session as an Employee Assistance Programme client payable by the employee’s company should they agree to sponsor their employee’s therapy. Each session is scheduled for 50 minutes.
Low-cost counselling will also be offered to populations within the community as and when external funding allows.
Sonas therapists deliver an individual counselling service offering an initial assessment and subsequent 6-8 sessions with a review process upon completion; there is the option upon review of additional sessions if necessary. There is also the possibility of a longer-term therapy depending on the needs and wishes of the client. Sonas provides a safe, accepting, non-judgmental space that facilitates the secure base needed to help people in the community regain a sense of peace and contentment in their time of need. We provide the community with an opportunity to increase their self-awareness through gaining insight into their struggles, with the aim of further developing their personal resources.
We offer our services to self-referred clients, and clients referred to us by external services and organisations. As and when funding becomes available, we will offer sections of the community a free or low-cost service; in this way, we aim to maximize our potential for social change and development. We also offer the opportunity for companies to avail of our Employee Assistance Programme as part of their staff care policy; we believe that the more mentally and emotionally healthy an employee is, the more content and productive they are likely to be in their place of work.
Our core strength comes from the integrative approaches we apply. We draw upon Person-Centered and Humanistic approaches, Cognitive behavioural therapy, and Psychodynamic therapy to create a bespoke therapeutic approach for each client. Therefore providing the motivational, educational and evaluative tools and techniques that allow for growth and positive change, whilst not being tied down to any singular therapeutic approach.
We are aware of the sensitivities involved with individuals seeking therapy, and that some clients may not wish to see a male, or female, counsellor for their own reasons. Here we are at the advantage of having an initial team of three counsellors, one male, two female, and endeavour to match the client with the counsellor they feel is the right fit for them.