By working with people, I learnt that we have enormous resources to heal and that what makes us unique is how we live (bodily, emotionally, mentally, behaviourally, spiritually) the experiences we have at individual level, in our couple and in our family. Perceiving oneself at a turning point in life, a moment of losing balance, a loss, provide us the opportunity of inner growth.
To respond with sufferance, pain, fear, deperssion or helplessness to situations we are faced with, which we perceive as overwhelming are in fact natural reactions, even if they bring us and our dear ones much discomfort. The symptoms accompanying a problem-situation are (conscious or unconscious) methods we use to resolve or reach a compromise in a difficult situation, irrespective if it is about a relation, an inner conflict, an interational pattern, an early experience or even a significant event lived by someone from a past generation. What these situations bear in common may be the fact that they remained unresolved and provoke us to find a resolution by exposing us to similar experiences. In this respect, one of the purposes of psychotherapy is finding the meaning of these situations as well as their role in maintaining the indiviual or family in a that particular status quo.
The family, through its legacy of events, rules, beliefs and relations works as a system. It can be seen as an emotional unit in which members maintain complex relations and are strongly interconnected, even though at times members may feel closeness or distance. Families influence in a profound manner the thoughts, feelings and actions of their members, as if they lived under the same skin. Individuals need affection, support, ask for approval and need family members to react to their demands, expectations and griefs. Such ties as well as need of response from others keep family members permanently interconnected, this also occurring when they are at distance or even cut off from other members. A change in the functioning of a person (such as the symptom) brings alterations at the level of functioning of the entire family while the purpose of the family is to preserve its balance, its status quo.
Relational patterns are established between family members, patterns individuals tend to apply to other life contexts, in interactions with others and this is most evidently observable in couple relations. From this perspective, the couple may be an interaction between two sets of relational patterns, the choice over a partner being strongly influenced by the beliefs, messages and rules formulated in the origin family. The messages and rules are agreements which influence the behaviour of a person and set boundaries to it. The rules are rarely directly (explicitly) expressed but act to distribute power in the family, set examples or induce guilt.
Psychotherapy is a process unfolding between the psychotherapist and the client, variable in duration, which can be stopped, unilaterally or by common agreement and continued upon need. It is based on an authentic interaction, built on trust, equality and mutual respect, in which both the psychotherapist and client bear responsibility to create a working alliance able to foster the exploration of the situation brought by the client and attain the objectives of the intervention. Thus, psychotherapy is suitable for all age categories, for individuals, as well as couples, families and groups.
The systemic approach is a relational one and tackles the challenges the clients are confronted with (anxiety, depression, addictions, dissatisfactions or feelings of inadequacy, existential blocks, losses/bereavements, psychosomatic symptoms, psychiatric diagnostics) from the point of view of the social environments in which they activate and their relations – with parents, couple partner and significant others. The symptoms or difficult situations clients experience play a role in their families, usually that of maintaining homeostasy, through a rigid status quo (symptoms may be metaphors of a problem faced by another family member; may follow a multigenerational pattern or may unfold interaction patterns of significant family members). From this perspective, psychotherapy is useful to improve relations and achieve more constructive ways to cope with conflicts and challenges and also offers the possibility to inner growth and better use of potential.
Therefore, the method I use is suitable to individuals, couples and families who experience various difficulties or challenges.
In the process, to attain psychotherapeutic objectives, both talking and expressive-creative techniques - role play, sculpture, genogram, may be used, fostering awareness of important aspects, insight and change.
The sessions last in average an hour and may be prolonged in case more family members attend. The sessions are confidential; it remains at your latitude if and what details of the process you may share with the others.