SONAS Institute provides clinical training and consultation for mental health professionals from an integrative framework that draws from the following perspectives:
Incidentally, in old Scottish Gaelic, sonas means well-being. The goal of SONAS therapy is not to simply reduce symptoms or “fix” what went wrong, but to restore our intrinsic capacity to experience aliveness and well-being.
The body keeps the score – and an individual’s cumulative lived experiences leave imprints in the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. Working with the body and integrating somatic interventions within a more traditional psychotherapeutic framework is an important component of SONAS therapy.
Early relational experiences with caregivers become templates that get activated unconsciously later in life and could lead to certain relational patterns getting re-enacted again and again. SONAS therapy draws from object relations theory and works with these relational templates as part of healing and changing current functioning.
As neuroscientists learn more about the intricate workings of the brain and nervous system, it is important for psychotherapists to integrate the latest scientific findings into their clinical work. SONAS therapy intends to incorporate these findings into neuroscience-informed therapeutic principles without reducing human experience to only electro-chemical signals.
The experience of overwhelm often comes with a sense of helplessness. Supporting client’s sense of personal agency restores an intrinsic sense of empowerment. SONAS therapy comes from a strength-based and resilience-based philosophy that focuses on accenting the hopes and resources clients bring to sessions.
SONAS therapy adopts a non-linear, non-deterministic, non-pathologizing approach in the tradition of family systems therapy. In addition, larger systems including race/ethnicity, affectional orientation and gender identities, socio-economic status, religion and spirituality, migration, and other factors significantly influence an individual’s experience of self and the world. Systemic interventions increase therapeutic effectiveness by working with the individuals and the whole environment that the individual is embedded in, highlighting the theme of interconnectedness.