Areas of Expertise

Crises intervention
Aerial Forest

"The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis'. One brush stroke stands for danger, the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognise the opportunity. "

(John F. Kennedy)

Throughout our lives we all may come to having to face critical situations in which we feel that our physical, emotional intactness, our intimate relationships, or financial background is threatened (for example in cases of serious sudden illnesses, accidents, breakups, divorces, death, becoming a victim of some violent crime, ect.). In such cases, though one's total focus and energies are concentrated and united in order to overcome the crisis, one's coping techniques may not be enough. As a result, one's may lose stability and become upset so greatly that it keeps him/her from fulfilling his/her own tasks; and in a sudden rush of despair s/he may even harbor thoughts of suicide.

In crisis situations we often feel as if we were surrounded by thick mist, and no matter how much we stretch our arms to find our way out, we cannot find it, neither can we find our otherwise self-confident "good-old" self. Therefore, we need to experience and learn something new. And if we manage to do that, we may come out of the mist stronger than we have ever been. But without a helping hand we do not always manage to climb out of deep pits, and a critical situation may easily lead to our lives being stuck, the appearance of chronic illnesses or states of depression.

If you feel that the mist is too thick, the pit is too deep - it may be that a few sittings of psychotherapeutic counselling may help. In case of crisis counselling a professional psychologist offers a helping hand in finding outer and inner sources, reserves. At first we may even aim at finding specific advices in order to ease the weight of the tension; then we try to enrich the client's array of coping methods in order to help him/her to regain balance.

 

On the long run, it is our common goal to help the client retrieve his/her strength and hope that is necessary for him/her to continue her everyday life. It is also important to try to understand what has lead to the crisis situation, with what new coping techniques was the client enriched, what did s/he learn about him/herself that s/he may consider important in the future. These long-term goals may be reached in a supportive therapy that may follow the (shorter) crisis counselling.

Couple's Counselling
Heart Shape Cookie Cutter

“All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love.

Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel.

Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership.”

(Ann Landers)

Most of our relationships, including marriages and friendships and family relationships aren't perfect. Each person brings his or her own ideas, values, opinions and personal  history into a relationship, and they often differ from the ’package’ the other has brought with him or her. But these differences don't necessarily mean your relationship  is bound for escalating conflicts which threaten with the loss of the relationship. To the contrary, differences can be seen and lived as a source of energy and happiness; differences can be -and often are- complementary.  

But relationships can be tested and there may be times in any couple’s lives when old habits become unnerving or obstructive, or when a specific issue arises and triggers problems in the relationship. It makes no difference if it is a sudden even or the gradual disintegration of communication and caring, distress experienced within the couple’s lives can create undue stress, tension, sadness, worry, and fear.

Couples therapy helps couples (married or not) better understand and resolve their conflicts Couples therapy helps to improve your relationship, giving you the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, solve your problems.

Couples therapy can help if you are struggling with:

  • Anger and temper problems

  • Changing roles, such as becoming parents or retirement

  • Communication problems

  • Conflicts about child rearing

  • Cultural clashes

  • Divorce

  • Extramarital relationships, Infidelity

  • Finances

  • Infertility

  • Patchwork family issues

  • Physical or mental conditions

  • Same-sex relationship issues

  • Sexual difficulties

  • Substance abuse

  • Unemployment

Integrative Couple Therapy is ’integrative’ in two senses:

  1. it integrates the two main goals: acceptance and change as positive outcomes for couples in therapy

  2. it integrates a variety of treatment strategies under a consistent behavioral theoretical framework (that is a framework that aims at behavioral changes)

Couples therapy can be short term as you may only need a few sessions to help you over a critical period; or you may need couples therapy for a number of months, in order to better your deteriorated relationship. Couples who succeed in therapy usually make some concrete changes to accommodate the needs of the other (let it be something as little as a morning kiss, it may make all the difference on the long run) and they also show greater emotional acceptance of each other.

Tale Therapy 
Holding Books

"The land of tales invites us to a miraculous journey that flatters us with the promise of change.”
(Maria Varano)

Tales, poems but even prose and drama accompanies us during many hours of silent solitude. The written stories may help us realize the bittersweet truth that whatever we are struggling with we are not the first to be in that situation, there have been many - just like us – who had to go through the maze of life before. The sheer realization that we are therefore not alone with our problems lightens its weight and guides our steps.

Many have said that tales are the most perfect tool to help our children discover their capacities, find their strength or even the meaning of their lives. Tale therapists claim that the same is true when it comes to helping adults (all of whom carry within a hidden child with its own experiences and memories of childhood).

Tales can help us to:

  • put together the pieces of our lives

  • gain insight into the workings of our soul

  • discover long-lost or new resources that help us along the way

  • set sail, move on from a standstill

Tales can be used effectively at every field of our lives, but they are especially useful in healing, helping, guiding through the times of changes (adolescence, young adulthood, becoming a parent ect.) or through the maze of our adult life as the stories are always about something that threatens the course of life. All tales start with a harmony that is tipped over, a change that forces the hero to start his journey in order to find a way out of the problem. Often the person seeking psychological help does so because the balance present in his/her life until now has been upset and s/he is forced to set sail and discover something new about him/herself in order to find a new balance.

In tale therapy the therapist may ask the client to make a tale (relaxation techniques may be used in order to facilitate the tale-telling) after which the therapeutic work is based on discovering and understanding different aspects, characters of the tale all of which symbolize a piece of the client’s actual reality.

The therapist may also suggest the client to tell his favorite or least liked tale after which the therapeutic work concentrates on finding out where and in what way does the client feel stuck in the labyrinth of the tale (symbolizing his present situation) and aim at finding a way out of it.

Tale therapy might be combined with creative techniques or art therapy elements as the therapist encourages the client to externalize one or many aspects of the tale in the form of artworks. While some sessions will be dedicated to exploring (the characters, places ect.) of the tale, others may be spent talking and listening to the stories brought to the surface.

 

"Fairy tales are more than true - not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten."      (G. K. Chesterton)

In life, just like in the tales, the way out may only be found as a result of a series brave struggles; therefore it is important that the hero does not fear the possibility of change, but sets out to find the change he can base his life on henceforth, hopefully at a higher developmental stage. As Arnica Esterl said:"Tales are as lively as life itself, as ancient as the elderly, as fresh as the youngsters, as cruel as our own foolishness, and as wise as the truth we seek. Whoever would truly like to understand them, as to dare leave behind his personal equation, and be carried away by the tale.„

Applied methods include
  • cognitive therapy elements

  • relaxation techniques 

  • guided imagination

  • autogenic training

  • creative and art therapy methods

  • somato (body) focused techniques

  • assertive communication techniques

 
A portrait of a young person with a ring in the nose
Brainstorming
Meditation
Painters Palette