Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis
I think of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis as a developmental process that occurs in the space between two people. It is a pause in a difficult world that enables reflection, thinking, and questioning. I understand this process not only as an exploration of the inner world, the psyche, but also as an opportunity to unfold and rethink the world we live in and our place in it.
We all have something to work on - to understand better, solve or change - it could be a specific problem like a relationship; a job difficulty; immigration; illness or death; identity crisis; trying to fit in; an oppressive power relation regarding identity; a specific fear or a bothering thought that occupies too much space in our lives. Or it could be a general feeling of uneasiness- anxiety, depression, restlessness or emptiness; a blurred sense of meaning being lost or a discontent from our place in life, a yearning for change.
My experience - both as a patient and as an analyst - has taught me that these crises could also mean an opportunity from which we can develop ourselves and grow. In a non-judgemental reassuring environment, through an intimate relationship that becomes a witness of our lives, these difficulties could turn into a process of change: developing strong self-esteem, understanding our position in life - our goals and ambitions as well as our wounds and painful places and finding the power to heal ourselves.
My perception of the analytic work is one that does not apply only to our inner world and to the relation between the two people sitting in the room - the patient and the analyst. I situate our discourse in the broader social and cultural structure and understand the therapeutic process as an opportunity to rethink our position in the world. As I elaborate in the following sections - Feminist Therapy and Psychiatric Recovery - a practice that is informed by a political philosophy, that recognizes the importance of cultural and social environment in the formation of our emotional well-being, leads to an ethical position that goes hand in hand with therapeutic transformation.
What I offer
I have been seeing people from once a week to four times a week in an open ended therapy that varies from short term, intermediate and long term according to what is needed and what the person wants to achieve. In this setting, I offer different tools to explore the psyche through which I can listen, think with and witness the lives of my patients. I have been working with dreams as a method to dive deeper into unconscious layers of the inner world, in an attempt to examine the way our less known parts are communicating themselves to us. The ability to maintain an open channel to material that comes up in dreams generates a dialogue that is often transformative.
Psychoanalytic therapy could also be combined with Sandplay Therapy. This preverbal tool, used with both adults and children, is an activity in which boxes of wet and dry sand and a collection of miniatures are used to create a picture of the inner world, a reflection of our conflicts, fantasies and dreams. Through this method, as my experience has taught me, therapy can be reinforced, enabling the psyche to grow and develop in a way that many times becomes an essential dimension in the process of recovery.