In a mental health specialist’s mind

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Quite often some of my clients would ask how I manage to do a specific activity or how I am so good at something specific, while they often don’t manage to complete properly their daily tasks. Through their questions I realize some of their deeper thoughts: They probably think that things in my life come quite easy, fast and somewhat “magically”. Quite a few times they seem to expect from me to share with them a smart idea or an amazing trick that could automatically fix everything and make their lives happier, easier and more successful.

When I respond that I don’t have any magic tricks to suggest in order them to have super fast positive results in their lives, they look at me disappointed but at the same time relieved since they realize that they are talking to a normal person and not a weird superhuman being. As time passes I will be asked again about things that most of the times could not be done by human beings but by super-heroes. Each of these moments I should clarify that our expectations from psychotherapy should be realistic and not excessive.

After this reminding note I think I should talk about some misunderstandings that already some good colleagues have tried to resolve:Read More »

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What you are allowed to do in front of your psychologist?

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Often I have been asked by some clients what is allowed and alright to happen during a session or in other words how freely could someone express himself/herself in front of a psychologist? I always answer that a client should feel free to act and express without hesitation himself/herself because in this way he/she helps a psychologist to understand circumstances and emotions in a better, deeper way. On the other hand freedom without a borderline is something problematic. Someone can be true and honest with his/her psychologist but he/she should always try not to push things out of logical limits. But to be more specific here are some examples of what it is okay to do during a session with your psychologist:Read More »

Notes from Jorge Bucay’s book “From self-esteem to egotism”

20151106_193509Jorge Bucay is a really well-known psychotherapist but above all a really popular writer that his books are bought by millions of people around the world. A friend recently lent me a book by Bucay titled “From self-esteem to egotism”. He told me that it was a great book and I should definitely read it. I did and while I was “processing” book’s information I was writing down some notes. Here they are:

– Egotism means love for my ego. Some people believe that whether someone loves a lot himself/herself he/she cannot love enough other people. This cannot be true since nowadays we know that first we should learn loving ourselves and then others. The reasons vary why someone may not have strong emotions for others, but rarely is because of egotism. Love for other people comes from our ability and knowledge of love that we already have for ourselves.

– Someone who says that loves a lot other people but loves less himself/herself, he/she simply lies. None are capable to love other people when they don’t love themselves.

– Selfish is a person that prefers himself/herself than others. What is wrong with that?

– Adult love could come up when someone stops focusing on his/her own needs and starts giving with happiness to a person he/she loves.Read More »

When I should visit a mental health specialist and who should I choose?

20150728_113105The moment that anyone of us should visit a mental health specialist varies and has to do with many different factors. Additionally, a proper searching in order to find a proper professional for ourselves and our condition could seem difficult, but it is not as much complicated as many may think. Let’s see more analytically when someone should look for help by a mental health professional and which criteria should keep in mind in order to find him/her.

We need help by a mental health specialist when:

– Some problems remain and continue existing in our lives for some time and a possible solution cannot be found

– We feel that we cannot move further with our lives, we cannot move on

– We experience lack of our (physical, mental, emotional) functionality in our everyday life

– We have intense symptoms of sadness and anxiety

– We feel that no one of our close people can help us with the difficulties we experienceRead More »

A few words about “Mindfulness” therapeutic method

Stay mindful!
Stay mindful!

The term “Mindfulness” describes the state that someone has full consciousness or awareness of a situation. In psychology “Mindfulness” is a therapeutic technique which goals to provide us the skill to react as less as possible (so we are more receptive) to what is going on every single moment. Through Mindfulness state we are invited to be one with everything around us – any kind of element around us either positive or negative or neutral regarding to us – and in this way we decrease every kind of pain we experience and increase well-being in our everyday life (Germer, Siegel, Fulton, 2005).

Mindfulness therapeutic method (part of what we call nowadays “Positive Psychology”) is based ideologically and practically on Eastern philosophy and Meditation practice that has been practiced by millions of Buddhists in eastern countries for centuries. Nowadays, Meditation is practiced by people in the whole world either in order to deal with physical pain, or as an additional psychotherapeutic method, or as a way to increase well-being of every individual. Through a Meditation form Meditation coaches ask from those who are initiated in the technique to close their eyes and to sit by squatting on or to lie down (if there is a health problem that prevents them squatting on for a long time) and focus in the way they breath-in and breath-out. Through Meditation is aimed a full focus to breathing, to the current condition, to “now”. No matter how many times we lose the consciousness of “now”, we are asked to return our consciousness in what it takes place right now. Only if we live “now” we don’t get influenced of what had already happened or what will happen in the future. Our consciousness and not diversion makes our lives worthy to live them.Read More »

Can psychotherapy really help us?

Should I start psychotherapy?
Should I start psychotherapy?

That is what a girl asked me some days ago. Below I give in more words the answer that I gave to her.

Psychotherapy can help you if:

  • You believe that nobody else from your social environment could help and support you.
  • You are ready to talk as honestly as possible for yourself and your choices.
  • You are willing to think seriously about issues you were not thinking until now.
  • You believe that human beings can evolve. This is not going to happen by accident or by a miracle, but after personal conscious effort.
  • You are willing to commit that in the future you will try to change some behaviors, thoughts and emotions that were not good for you.
  • You understand that a psychotherapist will not provide you a magical recipe to change your life, but he/she will make you realize what are the best choices for you in order to go on with your life in a much better way.

Read More »

What a mental health professional should avoid during a session

We can start!
We can start!

Nowadays, career titles which determine mental health professionals have been increased. Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, life coaches and so many other titles are used from professionals who provide various kinds of sessions in their clinics/offices. However, the choice of a good specialist and also the decision of a visit to his/her office is not an easy case for many people yet. There are already enough people who have experienced or are afraid of having one undesirable/unpleasant experience in a specialist’s clinics/office. Unfortunately there are many who received an unusual/inappropriate behavior from a mental health professional and that is why they decide to prevent others to visit “These psychiatrists and psychologists who don’t help anyone”. In addition, it is really pity that even themselves will not easily trust again another mental health professional.

Two processes should apply at the same time in order unpleasant situations between mental health specialists and people who ask for help/advice to been avoided: Every client/patient should be well-informed of the curriculum vitae and the scientific approach of any professional that wants to visit, while every mental health specialist should follow some unwritten but important behavior rules in order to help anyone who visits his/her clinics/office to feel comfortable. Some behaviors that it would be better if they have been avoided are:Read More »

Psychotherapeutic sessions through the internet : when they do work and when they don’t?

On-line psychotherapy
On-line psychotherapy

During the last years more and more mental health specialists apply long-distance psychotherapeutic sessions. Previously, psychotherapy through a screen of a computer could be considered as something weird, crazy or with no results. However, there are many current studies and positive examples which prove that an on-line psychotherapeutic session could be equally effective with a classic type session. Let’s not forget that mini psychotherapeutic sessions are offered from the so-called telephone help centers where professionals with specific specialization help people who ask immediate emotional support. Of course psychotherapy through the internet is something more and much different from that and that’s why it is often preferred for many and different reasons. Some of them are:Read More »