In my practice, I pay a particular attention to the uniqueness of each person, beyond a diagnosis. I strive to hear the uniqueness of each story and its unconscious repetitions.
By supporting your journey, we will work together on a progressive appeasement of psychic conflicts.
Adolescence, a pivotal period in life
My work in perinatal care: why and for whom?
From the period of desire for a child, through pregnancy, birth and infancy
Perinatal care encompasses the period of desire for a child, pregnancy, birth and infancy. Because, having a child... What a journey! It is an important decision that involves psychological, physical, physiological and even social changes.
Becoming a parent is indeed a dizzying psychological journey that brings us face to face with the child we were and that is still present in us. We will become someone's parent, while being someone's child ourselves. A child who remains present in us, sometimes bruised and nestled deep in our psyche. This child in us reappears unmasked at the time of the pregnancy, opening the door to what is called "psychic transparency." The veil is lifted from the most deeply rooted memories.
If the desire to conceive a child brings joy and happiness, the access to parenthood also brings many doubts and uncertainties.
"What kind of parent will I be?"
"Will I be like my mother/father?"
"Will I love my child even if I feel I have not been truly loved?"
"Have I received enough love to be able to give it back?"
When the pregnancy has generated many questions and a great deal of anxiety, the first bonds of attachment between parent and baby can be more difficult to establish.
Faced with such physiological, physical and psychological upheavals, consultation may be necessary so that you feel supported and less guilty about your difficulties as a new parent. The couple, faced with the arrival of a child, can experience trouble in their dynamics, their compatibility, their communication or their sexuality and could benefit from support sessions.
With over five years experience in a maternity ward as well as in perinatal consultation, I can confidently support you in your entry into parenthood as well as being an extremely attentive and empathetic listener.
My approach with children
Play-based sessions where parents are valuable allies
During their development, children may exhibit behaviors that are inconsistent with their previous years. These behaviors confuse and question the family and school environment. In some cases, these behaviors are temporary and are part of a period of psychological changes that contribute to the child's development. As an example, every parent will undergo the "no" phase which appears around the age of two.
In other cases, these behaviors seem to be linked to external events that destabilise the child (divorce of the parents, bereavement, moving, school harassment, birth of a new child in the family, etc.) and that force the child to adapt, which can be complicated.
Finally, in other cases, the behavioral problems seem to be long-term and are rooted in more archaic internal conflicts and anxieties.
Why does the child develop behavioral problems?
Children, with a formative psycho-somatic development still under construction, have in their repertoire of communication other tools than those of adults to express their emotions. For lack of being able to say "I am sad" or "I am angry," children will often resort to body language, which is a privileged means of expression. Some parents may label these children as "a little too much" whether it is "a little too agitated/hyperactive" or "a little too shy. It is through these behaviors that children unintentionally place a psychological burden on their parents in the hopes of drawing their attention to their own discomfort.
Sessions with children
During a consultation with a child, through mediation such as playing or drawing, the child will share some of his/her suffering and psychological conflicts with us, by projecting them. This opens the possibility to put meaning and words to their pain.
The purpose of the sessions is to allow the child to be less hindered by their internal conflicts in order to develop in a healthy way, to put their skills to practice in learning as well as in socialisation.
I would then use my creativity as a clinician to bring out the child's creativity.
Through their drawing or playing, the child opens a door to their internal world. A lot of patience is required to access this precious door! This trust takes time and must be earned in a slow, methodical process, even if the child chooses to simply look out the window for several sessions. Since this access is so precious, everything that is discovered there will, of course, remain strictly confidential! The principle of confidentiality implies that it is up to the child to decide whether they want to reveal the content of their sessions to parents or peers.
Governed by an empathic approach, I respect the space that the children will create at first to shield their pain. The right amount of space is indeed a very important basis of my approach. As a clinician, it is in no way a question of "explaining better" or "doing better" than the parents, but of impartially listening to the emotions of the child, whereas the parents can sometimes be "too close" to the situation.
The place of the parents in consultations with children
Parents are valuable allies in consultations with children. Although the therapeutic space belongs primarily to the child, the parents are the ones who know their child best. They are therefore the ones who will be able to provide me with the most relevant information about their child. For a request for follow-up that concerns a child, the parents are always included in the first exploratory sessions.
Adolescence, a pivotal period in life
Providing a space where emotions can be expressed in order to soothe the torments
Adolescence and acting-out: what are we talking about?
"My teenager is rebelling, I can't take it anymore!” That's what I've been hearing a lot from parents of teenage children over the past five years.
Adolescence is an in-between period: no longer quite a child due to a body that is developing sexually, the teenager does not yet possess the psychological maturity of an adult. The teenager sees their body changing and developing sexually, which leads to a period of deep psychological adjustments. Pubertal transformations lead to a feeling of great powerlessness in the adolescent, who is put in a situation of complete passivity. This can lead to an impression of depersonalisation and "disturbing strangeness," with the feeling of having become a stranger to oneself. Acting-outs (drug use, scarifications, binge-drinking, etc.) offer them the illusion of an exit from passivity, a resumption of control by acting on the body. To maltreat a body that became foreign in order to reappropriate it through the actively provoked sensations. Also, these acting-outs momentarily ease the torments and psychological pain. Actions replace words, the capacity to think and to symbolise being hindered by emotions. If the acting-outs are part of a process of psychological reorganisation, some acting-out behaviors encompass a much more disturbing and lethal scope.
The adolescent and their parents: the time of psychic separation
Subject to pubertal transformations, the adolescent starts distancing himself/herself from parental proximity, which has become a source of embarrassment. What follows is a de-idealisation of their parents, who have become far too "normal" not to be disappointing. Eventually, dialogue with their parents becomes more complicated.
To counter the process of psychological separation from the parents, a displacement of idealization then transfers from their parents to their close circle of friends and even celebrities with whom the adolescents tend to identify. Their interests and sensibilities start to change and become more disparate from their parents – their own identity is gradually shaped.
The parents are rejected but the psychological immaturity does not yet allow for independence: "I feel too far away from everyone; I feel abandoned; I feel too close to everyone; I feel invaded." This process of separation-individuation leads to temporary depressive disorders, but for some adolescents, it can lead to a withdrawal that is more worrisome because of its intensity or duration. Adolescence thus, produces its share of powerful sensations and emotions due to a turbulent period of loss of childhood and ideals. A request for consultation can then allow for support during this period of major changes.
My work with adolescents
Having regularly worked with adolescents showing addictive behaviors (video games, eating disorders, illicit substances, etc.,) I am able to receive patients who are struggling with a troubled adolescence, regardless of the severity. During the sessions, the aim is to provide a space where emotions can be expressed in order to soothe the psychological torments experienced. Parents may be asked to participate in the first exploratory sessions.
Working with adults
Getting the help you need to get through difficult moments in life that can open up old wounds
What does it mean to be an adult?
For many people, being an adult means ceasing to be a child or at least, ceasing to act like one. But even as adults, we remain someone's child. A child is in us, sometimes with its challenges, wounds, and unresolved traumas. Various symptoms can then result: depressive affects, chronic anxiety, difficulties with peers, complicated love relationships or even self-sabotage with the feeling of having "one's feet in concrete."
If these old events have not had the opportunity to be resolved, they may reappear as a result of new life events (divorce, job loss, bereavement, pregnancy, etc.). The untreated past events will then affect our capacity for psychological processing and resilience in the face of these new life events.
Together, in a safe and confidential setting, we can revisit painful life events that you are going through. These life events may open the door to older events, which will allow us to have a better understanding of your current reactions and patterns. The sessions thus open the possibility of a movement in the psychological processes, with the aim of overcoming your mental obstacles.