I’m 63 years old and arrived in Barcelona in 1968 from the Basque country, to study psychology at the University of Barcelona; this was one of only two places in Spain, the other being Madrid, which then offered the chance to study this subject. I graduated in June 1971.
Since finishing my university degree, I have spent many years becoming specialised in clinical psychology through my own personal analysis, seminars, supervision, etc.
I was one of the founders of the Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Cataluña (COPC, oficial organisation of psychologists in Catalunya) and have been a member of its governing body on various occasions. For several years, I was vice-dean of the Colegio, from which role I sought to promote the public dimension and social responsibility of my profession.
From my start at the Hospital San Juan de Dios in Barcelona, I have been working for 40 years as an attending clinical psychologist in the field of mental health, as well as dealing with educational and social issues. For the past 20 years, I have dedicated myself exclusively to private practice.
I always knew that I wanted to do this job: I’m interested in the world of emotions and also helping people to overcome their problems. In addition, I have always liked foreign languages and English was the first one that I learned; for that reason, it holds a special place in my heart.
Having worked many years in various public services (mental health, social services, schools) has given me a wide viewpoint regarding the field of psychology. Working in teams with other professionals (teachers, social workers, social educators, etc.) helps me to contextualise individual emotional problems, relating them to cultural, social and employment aspects. Each person is a distinct world, but the place, era and circumstances in which they live and have lived have a lot of influence over their psychological characteristics.
As a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, I have worked with children, adolescents and adults. My perspective regarding pyschological development covers, as a result, very divergent ages and issues.
My orientation has always been psychodynamic and that means taking into account the unconscious aspects that play a role in the emotional problems of each person, and very often determine them. We are much more than conscience and rationality, but it’s not easy to gain access to our unconscious. Often, especially at times of crisis, it can be a great help to us to have the help of an experienced professional who can act as a ‘mirror’ and serves as a guide to explore those hidden areas that we are unaware of.
The crisis times and significant social changes that we are living through can easily change our psyche and, on occasion, make us suffer and become deeply distressed. I am sure that dedicating time and energy to looking after our own emotions is one of the best ‘investments’ that one can make to achieve a fuller life.