How I Work

In practice the therapy room is like a mini-laboratory, where clients learn to express their emotions and thoughts, treat themselves with respect, interact in a positive, franc and open way with me. When they learn how to do it in a protected environment, later on they learn how to apply it in the “outside world”, with family, friends and colleagues.

The work is emotion-oriented, not intellectual.

Unlike the famous scene of a therapist sitting behind a client, analyzing what they say, in Gestalt, the therapist is sitting in front of the client, paying attention to the full message, conveyed in a verbal and non-verbal way. Because I look at the client as a whole person, the way a client speaks, their tone, volume, gestures, postures, are as important as the words they use, and many times more revealing in terms of unconscious information.

And so, unlike the famous “why” psychoanalysts use, I ask “how” – how are you?” “how do you feel?” “how would you like to be?” ” How would you like to feel?”.

Emotions are our most authentic part. Unlike thoughts, which are tainted by others such as: parents, teachers, friends or books, our emotions are solely ours. So being in touch with our emotions helps us connect to our most genuine part.

We all think that a feeling simply comes and there’s nothing we can do about it. But actually, a thought can affect our emotions, just as our body affects our emotions and thoughts: when I got the flu, I might lie in bed, feel miserable, think that nobody cares about me and this will make me feel sad and lonely, all because of a little virus 🙂

I help people understand that they can actually decide how they want to feel. This is a very optimistic notion because it helps you open the door to a better future, where you can decide how you want to be and feel.

I concentrate on the here, in now, since this is where life is.

Stream of Life photo by pen3ya

We all have a past that made us who we are, and we all look towards a future, where our hopes, dreams and plans reside. But we live in the present. This is the only place where we feel, experience and act. Running away from the present, whether it’s towards the past (in the form of nostalgia, regrets, “if only”s) or the future (fantasizing, building towers in the air, “what if”s) it is like running away from life. In this present we can relate to what happened or what we think and hope is going to happen, but this is our base, our anchor. From here we can explore, and most important, we can experience.

I help my clients  identify the patterns that might be holding them back. It can be negativity in their self-perception (I am lazy, silly, incompetent), in their view of the world (everybody is so happy, so “together”, has successful relationship and career except for me. Everybody is looking down on me), the way they treat themselves (“silly me”, “what I’m saying is just nonsense”) or their general approach towards life (looking at the half full or half empty glass).

Through the work I help the client to start recognizing their emotions, at first the sensation, then the ability to give it a name, a definition and then I show them how to express it in an adequate way, both inward and outward.

By “inward” I refer to a person who can talk about something very sad, but with a smile on their face, some in order to play down the importance of what they say, or in order not to burden their listeners, or not to allow what they say affect their feelings. So an adequate way will be to feel and show sadness when experiencing that emotion, such as looking sad, shedding tears or simply say “I’m very sad”.

By “outward” I refer to a behavior that is socially accepted. For instance, a person who is very angry, who throws objects around, hit people, lie on the ground and kick and scream. This behavior would be less acceptable than a person using a harsh voice, and mainly using their words:” I’m very angry/disappointed with you”.

At the same time the constructive work of improving the client’s self-esteem begins. Helping them to recognize their strengths and more important, to teach them how to respect these aspects. This latter part isn’t as trivial as it seems, since most people do know they have good traits, they just believe that their qualities are less important or strong than their faults.

Empowering the client means pointing out all their achievements, skills and virtues. Focusing on something means enlarging it. So, the client will learn how to focus on the positive aspects within themselves and in their life (what they have, not what they don’t have).

Speaking of  “have” – too many people give special weight to what they have in their life instead of who they are. Teaching my clients self-esteem means, teaching them to love themselves unconditionally, for who they are and not for what they have achieved. People who love and respects themselves, can achieve more. But part of the process is let them find out what is important for them to achieve, listening to their inner voice instead of what society is telling them they “should” have or be.

The key word is “awareness” – this is the tool that I believe in, in order to live life fully. At first the client learns how to pay attention to the way they breath, making sure they breath in a natural way with a deep breathing, and not shallowly. Then they pay attention to the way they sit, their choice of words, the tone they’re using, the opinions and views they express and then they become aware of their emotions. For instance, paying attention to people and situations that make them feel bad about themselves and how to avoid it, before they get an anger fit or burst into tears. The client will learn how to pay attention when they feel lonely and scared, and also learn how to give themselves support. But we’ll also pay attention to positive aspects: many people recognize their happiness only in hindsight. It is extremely important to acknowledge happiness while we experience it.

Prices

A session (in English or Spanish) last 1 whole hour and cost 50€

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