Frances Ward Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a few more things you want to know? Here are some of the frequently asked questions people have. Please contact me if you have others!

Do I need therapy?

  • If you want to work out what's causing your stress, I can help you with this in a safe, calm space. If you experience body tension and stress symptoms you may need help from a mind body therapist like me.

  • If you have problems with self-defeating behaviours such as addictions or unresolved trauma, I can help you in resolving these and teach you methods to cope better.

Am I the therapist for you?

  • I am qualified and experienced within this field for almost 20 years.

  • I am registered with HPCSA-if you're in South Africa, you can claim from your medical aid savings (not PMB). This also means I offer ethical, professional practice and continue with regular trainings.

  • I incorporate various approaches: Somatic/Body work such as Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE ®), Emotional Freedom Technique - "tapping", Eye Movement Integration (EMI), Eye Position Integration (EPI) and other Eye Gaze techniques similar to Brain Spotting and BWRT; Hypnotherapy; Quantum Energy Coaching (QEC); Behavioural therapy- 12 step, motivational interviewing, family systems, psycho education, relapse prevention. Overall my treatment approach is Integrative connecting with you first and then bringing in the appropriate technique.

  • I charge a reasonable rate. I offer some pro bono work and am happy to negotiate on rates where necessary.

  • I am based in Capri (Cape Town) but I offer ONLINE sessions too.

  • My current hours are 08.00am - 16:00pm.

  • Others have found my approaches helpful

What is addiction? 

  • Addiction can be described as a pathological relationship to any mood altering substance/ behaviour. Although there are negative effects which impact your life, the usage is continued. It is not the substance that is the problem, it is the way you are relating to the substance/ behaviour.

  • Addiction is an organic brain disorder characterised by maladaptive patterns of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment in 3 or more of the following:

  • Increase in use of substance or time taken in acting out (behavioural addictions) – i.e. a loss of predictable control

  • Unsuccessful attempts to control reduce/ stop

  • Much time spent on sourcing, using and recovering

  • The falling away of other activities (social, recreational, occupational, familial)

  • Continued use although the person is aware of negative consequences

  • Increased tolerance

  • Withdrawal symptoms (physical/ psychological).

Adapted from: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fourth Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000

What is addiction treatment?

  • Inpatient therapy. Most private addiction clinics include detoxification, inpatient treatment, 12 step programmes and aftercare/ recommended outpatient therapy.

  • The South African state offers different inpatient and outpatient programmes. The Matrix model is an increasingly popular manualised outpatient programme (it includes cognitive behavioural therapy, relapse prevention, 12 steps, psycho-education and family work).

  • Outpatient addiction therapy is often provided through an integrative group of therapies – motivational interviewing, 12 step, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT is an evidence-based approach used by many therapists), relapse prevention, pharmacotherapy, family therapy). Generally an outpatient programme offers one to three sessions a week.

  • 12 step groups: This is a free network of self help support groups that use the 12 step approach in the community in order to maintain sobriety/ balance. These are online too.

  • Brain based therapy and Body oriented therapy: Many recovery programmes include classes in TRE ®, yoga, tai chi and other health oriented modalities along with tending to your dietary needs. Brain based therapy will help deal with the trauma underlying the addiction.

What is trauma? How do I know I'm traumatised?

  • Quite simply trauma comes from experiences that overwhelm one's normal coping mechanisms. The experience or perception of helplessness within the experience defines trauma.  The memory or imprint that remains in your nervous system is the trauma that needs to be resolved.

  • If you're far enough along the continuum of Stress, Anxiety, Trauma and finally Burnout, you're in a state of trauma. This can feel like you're not coping with daily stress, then getting triggered easily into anxiety/panic/ agitation, then experiencing flashbacks, hypervigilance and then finally feeling depression/ fatigued, numb.

What is trauma therapy?

  • Traumatic experiences disrupt the body’s natural equilibrium, freezing you in a state of hyperarousal and fear: your nervous system lives with unprocessed bits of data stuck in it, like a live wire. Successful trauma treatment must address this fallout and re-establish your physical sense of safety.

  • EMI (Eye Movement Integration): is an effective treatment using eye movement (not bilateral stimulation as in EMDR). The eye movements integrate distressing  trauma memories with resource memories connecting the sensory, emotional and physical memories altogether, facilitating healing. EMI can also be used for building resources for upcoming challenges. This needs to be done in person.

  • EPI (Eye Position Integration): is an effective treatment using eye position for recurrent trauma memories. The eyes are an extension of the brain's neural pathways, thus by using eye therapy you are rehabilitating your brain and therefore bringing about new behaviour.

  • Somatic Therapy/ Mindfulness/Breathwork: This approach prioritizes the Polyvagal mind-body connection to help address both physical and psychological symptoms that are leading to dysfunction. The goal is to help you notice bodily sensations via increasing your proprioception and use this awareness to find release of painful or distressing sensations, completing the looping trauma, bringing you into a preferred, safer present day reality.

  • TRE ® (Trauma Releasing Exercises): TRE ® is a simple technique that uses somatic mobilisation i.e. physical stretches to release tension from the body. Tension accumulates from everyday circumstances or from traumatic situations. The stretches help to release deep tension from the body by evoking a self-controlled muscular shaking from the psoas muscle in the body. These are called neurogenic tremors. TRE ®, when done safely, is a quick, often immediately effective method for learning emotional regulation.

  • Hypnotherapy:  There are many brain based routes I can offer to help you induce hypnosis, the specific brain wave state involving relaxation, wider selective thinking and bypassing of your conscious mind. Somnambulism- the altered perception can be a part of this state too.  Everyone can access this deep brain wave state- you are always conscious, in control and will only absorb ideas that resonate with you. You will always emerge safely and you can not get stuck in hypnosis.

  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique): The healing concepts that tapping is based upon have been in practice in Eastern medicine for over 5,000 years. Tapping is a set of techniques (such as acupressure/ acupuncture) which utilize the body’s energy meridian points. You can stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about a trauma.

Why do professionals in the care-giving field need regular supervision?

  • Working in the field of caring for others can lead to burn out, adrenal fatigue syndrome, depression, anxiety, loss of drive, relationship problems, relapse etc. With regular supervision, it is possible to prevent such conditions. Learning more about your own blind spots will teach you how to be a better, more resourced therapist and a healthier, more grounded person who takes care of yourself.

"It is good to have an end

to journey towards,

but ultimately it is the journey

that matters."