Life happens to everyone. And often the difficult, life-changing events cause us to stumble and even fall completely off balance. But imagine if we could equip ourselves to cope with stress and challenges even before they happen?
Founder of The Living Practice, Tyne Potgieter, is passionate about empowering people with the skills required to cope with everyday life and the trials and tribulations that come with modern day living.
With her extensive training in mental health and counselling, including a Master’s degree in counselling psychology and years of international counselling experience, Umdloti-based Tyne believes the keys to living a well-balanced life are coping skills and social support. She says, ultimately, prevention is better than intervention.
“Why should we allow an individual to fall apart before providing the necessary help and support? There is very little attention given to the work that needs to take place before an ‘all fall down’.”
As a former competitive swimmer, Tyne knows a thing or two about stress management. After completing matric at The Wykeham in Pietermaritzburg, Tyne went to Florida on a swimming scholarship. She ended up spending the next eight years of her life in the USA, where she completed her B.Sc in Psychology and Masters in Counselling Psychology.
While living overseas, Tyne worked at the Center for Child Counselling in Florida. She worked with children and families who were navigating challenges in their lives, ranging from normal life stress to severe trauma, abuse and neglect.
On her return to South Africa, Tyne reassessed her work and life experiences and all her training and her passion project – The Living Practice – was born.
“It’s a skill-building practice that aims to support self-development in both individuals and groups of people. I’ve used all my therapy and counselling skills to create a programme that will equip people with the tools they need to deal with the inevitable stress, trauma and difficulties that life holds, before they actually need them.”
Tyne says by learning to manage stress everyone, from young children to adults, can change their own biochemistry and ultimately live a longer, healthier life. “Why wait until you actively need to look for help when you can learn to understand and ultimately better yourself on an emotional, social and professional level?”
Passionate about helping young professionals reach their full potential, Tyne says her corporate workshops offer businesses the chance to help upskill their staff so they can manage their stress better. “Life is incredibly busy and work doesn’t stop anymore. It’s unrealistic to expect people to take significant time out every day to manage their stress, so I teach them easy, practical tips to help lower cortisol levels, that they can implement even when they are driving or sitting at their desk.”
She is also determined to see stress management programmes implemented in schools. “If we can give children a good foundation, it will set them up for successful relationships in their futures.”
The Living Practice offers a selection of programmes for both individuals and groups, using a variety of holistic therapy methods, including play therapy, art therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction – and each component is tailored to the individual’s age, experiences and desired outcomes.
“Looking after your mental health is as important as eating correctly and exercising. You need a holistic outlook, so that your mind and body can connect. We all deserve to have the right coping skills to be able to handle the curveballs life throws at us.”
Details: [email protected]; 082 801 4248; www.thelivingpractice.co.za
Text: Leah Shone