Sonya Hundley (Intern Therapist)
Sonya Hundley is a Clinical Mental Health Intern Therapist at The Center for Growth in Philadelphia. Her internship is from April 12, 2022, through April 12, 2023. She provides both virtual and in-person therapy. Sonya’s approach to therapy is client-centered. She believes that everyone can navigate their own life, however, sometimes we need assistance with clarifying the direction. Sonya believes that providing positive self-regard for all clients can help them feel heard, understood, and accepted. She has worked with clients from all walks of life, all races, and nationalities and understands that each person requires a unique approach to treatment and healing. Sensitivity and flexibility to cultural, religious, and sexual differences are top priorities.
Social Service Experience
In her previous line of work as an Income Maintenance Caseworker, Sonya worked with clients at some of their lowest points in life. Trying to figure out how they will feed their families, or if they would receive medical insurance for life-saving operations. Being able to provide services and resources for her clients during desperate times, has helped Sonya develop empathy and compassion for all people regardless of race, nationality, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
Sonya’s experience of working in her community has helped her build rapport with clients and show compassion during difficult times. Her goal is to provide an environment were all feel welcomed, received and heard regardless of their race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Sonya understands that each client is different with a unique background which requires an individualized approach geared to the client’s needs. She strives to meet the needs of the client by being an active listener so that she can understand the client’s experiences, to better help them set obtainable goals towards their path of healing.
Knowing that each client is different, Sonya understands that her approach to therapeutic counseling must be accommodating to meet her clients’ needs. Her humanistic approach of unconditional self-regard helps the client open up without fear of being judged or rejected. Sonya also believes that many maladaptive thinking stems from unrealistic or distorted beliefs/ belief systems that need to be challenged. Using techniques from Cognitive therapy such as ABCD analysis, and cognitive disputation will help her clients identify and challenge unproductive thoughts that are causing distress and limiting her clients’ ability to live their life to the fullest. Sonya also teaches her clients skills such as positive self-talk, thought stopping, reframing and anchoring to help her client take control of their cognitive health, arming them with skills that they can take and use wherever they are in life.
Sonya works to provide an environment where all individuals can feel heard. Whether you are a child, teen, or adult, Sonya will take the time to help each client reach their individual goals. She offers individual and couples counseling using theories and techniques geared to the client’s needs. Each client is different; therefore, each approach will be unique. However, all clients are included in the treatment planning and goal setting to ensure buy-in and commitment to achieving set goals.
Sonya provides counseling for children and teens. If you are looking for help for your child who is trying to figure out where their place is in the world or if your child is suffering from insecurities, depression, or identity issues, Sonya can provide a comfortable and safe space for children who are having a difficult time expressing their needs. Having six children of her own, ages ranging from ten to nineteen, she knows how difficult it can be for children. Peer pressure, bullying, and low self-esteem can rob children of their innocence and youth. Childhood is a time when children should be able to enjoy the freedom of being a child, instead some are suffering in silence feeling alone and lost. Sonya can help your child build their self-confidence and find happiness and inner peace by teaching them self-love, self-confidence and resilience.
Teen years can be difficult to navigate, especially in this time of technology when it seems that everyone is plugged into each other's lives. Dealing with depression as a teen can leave you feeling alone and hopeless. Parents may not understand what their teen is going through which can leave you feeling isolated and misunderstood. Sonya takes the time with her teen clients to get to know them on their own terms. She helps them identify their feelings and thoughts that are contributing to a depressed mood. Teens are in a unique place in life, no longer feeling like the little kid but not fully grown, somewhere stuck in the middle. Sonya allows a safe place for teens to be open about their insecurities, fears, goals and dreams, taking the time to allow them to be themselves free from judgment and ridicule. If you are a parent of a teen who is suffering from depression, anxiety or your teen is confused about their feelings, allow Sonya to help in the healing process.
Dealing with anxiety can be scary, leaving you feeling drained and disoriented. Anxiety can seem to come out of nowhere, attacking your sense of peace and security. Have you been told that there is nothing wrong with you, and you need to get over your anxiety? Sonya can help you identify the triggers that contribute to your anxiety. She can help you understand the connection between your thoughts and the physical sensations that your body experiences when you are feeling anxious. If you are suffering from anxiety, you do not have to suffer in silence. Anxiety can leave you feeling, stuck, afraid and confused. Identifying and processing maladaptive thinking can help start the process of uncovering the source of the anxiety. Sonya can provide techniques and resources to help you free yourself from a mental prison and start the healing process.
Depression can affect anyone at any age. Sometimes life experiences can contribute to a depressed mood. Living with depression can become unbearable and leave you feeling lost and hopeless. Sonya takes the time to work with clients to uncover their core beliefs that can place unrealistic expectations on themselves. Individuals dealing with depression may not know the root cause of their feelings. They may be confused about why they feel so unhappy when things in their life are going great. Depression is not only present during difficult times, but individuals can also suffer from depression during good times as well. Sonya can work with you to unlock the source of your depression and help you identify and incorporate interventions to help you manage your depression.
Childhood Trauma Therapy
Childhood trauma can have lasting effects, even in adulthood. Are you having difficulties trusting your own decisions? Do you suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of confidence? Sonya can help you heal your inner child so that you can began to see yourself as a worthy and loveable individual. She works with her clients to uncover their buried hurt and insecurities due to childhood trauma such as, physical, mental and/or sexual abuse. Sonya allows her clients to process their feelings while empowering them to choose to not be defined by their past trauma.
Losing a loved one can be very traumatic for some, especially if the lost is sudden and unexpected. However, anyone can suffer from grief regardless of how or when their loved one has passed away. If your grief is causing your daily life to be unbearable, it may be time to seek assistance in processing your emotions. Sonya can provide a comfortable environment for you to process your loss. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help your work through your emotions while also helping you regain your life back.
Sometimes being one half of a partnership can get complicated. Trying to save the relationship may seem hopeless and giving up may appear to be the best solution. If you and your loved one are not sure on what to do next, seeking guidance and support through couples counseling can be your next step. Sonya can teach effective interpersonal skills such as open communication, active listening and compromise. Not all relationships can be saved but learning effective communication skills can set you up for a successful and healthy interaction not just with your partner, but within any relationship with friends, family and co-workers.
Education and Experience
Sonya has a BA in Psychology and is working towards a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has worked as a Therapeutic Staff Support for children, as well as elementary school teacher in both public and private schools. Sonya currently works for the Commonwealth of PA with families who need financial and medical support.
Taking the steps to reach out for help can be both beneficial and daunting at the same time. Having an empathetic and compassionate therapist in your corner to help you get your life back on track is what Sonya provides for her clients. She would love to hear from you to discuss how she can provide the services you need.
- Pennsylvania: Pursuing her masters in mental health counseling, working under supervision
- New Jersey: Pursuing her masters in mental health counseling, working under supervision
Sonya Hundley (Intern Therapist)’s Latest TIPs:
Teens Need Positive Regard
Parenting can be one of the most difficult experiences for many families. However, parenting teenagers can sometimes make the most well-equipped parent want to hibernate until after their child …