During my professional career, especially during my time at the insurance company Sanitas, I was able to accompany people in all age ranges, from childhood to old age, and with multiple problems such as anxiety, depression, obsessions, compulsions, bulimia, anorexia, binge eating disorder, addictions, adjustment disorder, grief or post-traumatic stress disorder. This period was a real Master’s degree, I spent the whole day with my books under my arm and supervising cases all the time.
Anxiety is about something being too much. Sometimes it has to do with taking on more than my Autonomic Nervous System can handle calmly. Without realising it, over time, different emotional fronts present themselves as overflowing our system. This being too much often comes hand in hand with fear, guilt or shame of being. Sometimes we are haunted by what we did, by the fear of what is to come, or by the outcome of my decisions vis-à-vis others. Fear, in anxiety, is often relational. Usually the fear that affects us intensely has to do with the look that other people may have on us, the fear of being judged and rejected takes away our security and, therefore, the possibility of feeling calm and safe.
When fear becomes too intense and the nervous system can no longer tolerate it, we could say that the system shuts down and enters what we know as the “fear of fear”. depressionwhere the impulses towards others, towards life, towards doing things or towards curiosity are blocked and the person lives in a state of “shutdown” in which interest is cancelled and the physical strength for movement is no longer fully available.
Trauma,is a dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System caused by a situation or situations from which we could not escape or in which we did not have sufficient resources to confront and elaborate it. This generates a state of alertness, avoidance or shutdown of the system, which in an attempt to survive, stops metabolising the emotional experience and ends up deregulating the entire nervous system, causing multiple psychological, somatic and relational disorders.
Theduels they are natural parts of life that is in motion and constantly changing, where what is today, tomorrow ceases to be. The impermanence of life is something that in our Western culture and in our way of understanding reality is not integrated. This leads us on multiple occasions to develop a lot of suffering in the fight to maintain situations, including people who are no longer there or who want to leave our lives. The anguish generated by the loss of a job, a partner or a family member, often lead to multiple problems of anxiety and depression.
Eating disorders, like anxiety or depression, are survival measures where the person is trying to solve their vital anguish. At some point in life this was a functional strategy, but which, maintained over time without updating, has been encapsulated as a compensatory method that no longer adjusts to the new needs of emotional, relational and vital reality. Under eating disorders there is a powerful need to calm the anguish, sometimes not even felt, that remains dissociated, but the body, in its binge, restriction or purge, desperately tells a story.
At the beginning of the therapy, the most important thing is to build the therapeutic bond, for which listening, connection and a deep understanding of the suffering of the person in front are fundamental. There is an exquisite care in that the listening is clean, with an absolute absence of judgments, of own evaluations or of my own criteria as a person. Respect for the experience and experience towards who I have in front of me are essential for me.
My listening is made up of six fundamental legs, the story itself, what the body simultaneously tells in physical sensations, the emotional tone that exists when telling the story itself, if any thought or meaning appears, some images or memories and if any behavior arises. . All this makes sense and we develop it together during therapy. My observation is multi-channel and attends to words, but also and especially to the body and emotions, since the deep story that sometimes words cannot tell is stored in them. My training in the regulation of the Nervous System and in how our brain works both at the subcortical level, in its deepest layers, and at the level of cognitive processing, in its most recent part, evolutionarily speaking, make everything that happens in a session of therapy is full of meaning.
As I understand therapy, it has to provide a safe place where each person feels calm, respected and cared for in their story and in their own process. A space to offer something different from what has been experienced up to now and a listening full of presence and validation. This will make it possible to metabolize what is pending and make the changes that are necessary at this vital moment.
Together and together we are building the therapeutic rhythm. Somehow, my function is to accompany people to the places they can go and at the pace at which they can do it at this moment in their lives.
Little by little, listening and observing oneself with honesty and courage allow a kind look at oneself that facilitates change and self-care.