I discovered therapy in my early twenties. At the time, I made the conscious decision to chose the therapist who was going to accompany me in this journey. For this, I met three professionals, and, very quickly knew who was going to be my helper. The process of choosing a therapist was crucial for me although I wasn't aware of the underlying reasons at the time. This is not a rule, sometimes we don't know who could be good for us. This my personal experience but, when it is possible to do so, and allow yourself to have a choice, then your "gut feeling" will respond and you'll know. This person was inspiring to me and passed away a few years ago. After a long reflection on a pilgrimage, I realized I needed a deep change. I was working as a team leader with adults with learning difficulties and autism at the time. This long walk led me to become aware that I wanted to become a psychotherapist.
Psychotherapy is comprehensive in covering many aspects of the development. Personal therapy is compulsory throughout all psychotherapy training, and I started mine, long before my training. I consider my personal therapy, both in individual sessions and group work, to be fully part of my learning/training in becoming a psychotherapist. The group work, as scary as it may seem for most people, is an efficient way to feel less lonely and reconnect both with the self and others. Being witnessed in the depth of one's emotional pain is crucial to build trust and confidence. In a group work, there are many opportunities to "repair" the wounded and vulnerable parts of us.
I am acutely sensitive to cultural differences and what identity means on a broader level (sexuality, social, cultural, ways of being with the world). The question of identity has been a recurrent theme in my life. When I was 7, as I met the person who was going to be a life-long friend. She was a Cambodian refugee who couldn't speak my language when I first met her. This didn't prevent us from being mutually curious about each other, build trust and understand each other ! Thanks to our empathy and will to learn, my friend could speak French quickly enough. At different times of my life I have been confronted to the feeling of being different in a group or witnessing others struggling and being marginalised...This particular friendship made me "travel" and discover a whole different world solidarity was a way of life. I felt welcome and included in her family where Cambodian was the tongue, their food and home was radically different than a common French home, etc, etc..
This experience is printed in me and makes me believe that, as different and lonely and one might feel, the healing is possible through connection.
A little bit about my professional path :
I have worked in helping roles for about 15 years.
I supported individuals (children and adults) with Learning Difficulties, Autism and Asperger's syndrome, for about 15 years. I practiced this profession in three European countries such as, Switzerland, France and England.
I also used to work with foreign children in France to facilitate their integration/adaptation to the French School System. It was a special program to help them feel welcome in the French School. There was a great variety of backgrounds (European, gipsy, African, Asian and some were alliterate). The learning was based on play and oral language (non-verbal as much as verbal). Again, this has shown me how to build bridges between differences, yet, value each person's specific ways of being.
"The Foyer Michael": This is an anthroposophical course on Art and Educational skills based on Rudolph Steiner philosophy (otherwise called Waldorf Education) that I did in my late twenties and that changed my life considerably. Living in the community and learning about biodynamic gardening, art & craft work like copper, stone carving, painting, clay modelling, theatre and singing. The learning in this course was connecting the cognitive, emotional and physical aspects of the human, valuing the uniqueness of each person.
I have a strong interest in Creativity, and I believe everyone is creative. It is not about expectations or aims, but rather, about creating moments and making space within