Episode 3 of the #unlockingthelockdown series is here. Again, a small, but needed reminder: this is not meant to be a textbook or to additionally stress you, but for us to support each other in any way possible and learn something in the process.
You know by now, and if you don´t I am telling you, I value specialists, in every field :). I especially value psychologists, for basically saving my life, in a way, and for playing such an essential role in this messy thing called life.
I think that inspiration can be found virtually anywhere, but in this very complex field of mental health, emotions, trauma and anxiety things can get tricky. Trusting professionals is very important. In this age of “we know it all after doing our research on Google”, it is easy for many to consider themselves therapists after reading an article about what sparks joy.
While sharing our stories, talking about emotions, being open with our struggles, asking for help is of course something very important, I have to say it again: therapy has to be done by specialists.
This being said, there are luckily many specialists who try to disseminate their wisdom and knowledge and given the situation we are facing these days, which most likely will deeply impact our souls and minds in ways so complex that are still to be fully evaluated, they are essential.
I discovered Silvia Pueo on Instagram, as I was trying to surround myself with useful content, which could support me during a really rough patch. We have discussed about the symbolism of cemeteries and the fear of death, I read her short meaningful stories which made me understand complex concepts while investing little time, I enjoyed her calm voice and I was impressed by her unambiguous manner of describing emotions.
All in all, I think she is that valuable type of professional who can adapt the speech to the plain talk that the general public can relate to and that is awesome for a therapist, right?
Silvia, @psicologayhumana, specialized in neuropsychology and believes psychological assistance is of great value in diseases like epilepsy or dementia. Being always keen on learning more, she felt that her spontaneous self needed more light and thus started psychotherapy training. She then studied grief, couples therapy and many other fascinating topics.
She was kind enough to answer some of my questions and I am convinced that her answers can help us all, now and always.
Regarding her own professional project and her activity on Instagram, she thinks it is a good way of sharing her thoughts and ideas. Her current situation allows her to sometimes work from home, attending her patients online and like this she can allow herself more time for what she always valued: writing more and having a more balanced family life.
The additional help that she provides through sharing her ideas on social media fulfills her, apart from the “official” therapy sessions. She values what she is doing. And she wants to share things of value.
She believes that with patience, effort and self-confidence almost everything can be possible.
Trying to briefly explain how can a psychologist help us, she explains:
- To know ourselves
- To understand our needs
- To learn how to attend our needs and values
- To manage our emotions, thoughts, attitude and how we relate to others
- To believe more in ourselves, heal our wounds, overcome fears and, generally, broaden our view on life
*I would like to stress that I asked how a psychologist can help us. We are still the ones that need to do the actual work. Therapists are there to partner with us. And the road is not always easy, nor short, or fun 🙂
I also inquired on the challenges on attending people with all sorts of difficult traumatic issues, within a difficult context etc. I understand that this is the job, but I was curious how it could be handled, because it seemed to me that this was not an easy task in any way.
Silvia mentioned that the key was finding moments of self-care for herself. We should actually all aim for that. Something in the lines of taking walks (when possible), physical activity, meditation, listening to music, good food, yoga…Whatever is suitable.
She tries to find balance and does not force herself in any direction.
Therapeutic writing has made a great difference for her. Also, connecting with the nature and allowing herself to feel and release the emotions which appear during therapy sessions. This is why she tries to squeeze in some breaks between her session.
Obviously, she found that her own therapy and the guidance she received were mandatory.
On the emotional aftermath of the pandemics, she thinks that the consequences will be very different for each of us.
For the anxious ones, it could be sometimes more difficult not to get out of the house, but on the other side this situation can help the anxiety management. For others, the isolation can seem fine, but the return to the “normal” life might trigger panic
The are people connecting very much with sadness, but there are others experiencing grief or remembering and re-opening past wounds.
There are persons giving this a very rational approach, with a lesser importance than the real one and this can prove difficult to handle on the long run.
Silvia thinks that the majority of issues will be linked with anxiety, grief and trauma, especially in persons touched directly by the virus. But then there will be many others who were able to better process their emotion and their return to the “normal” life will be smooth.
She wanted to finish with a positive note. This forced us to stop, to slow down. Maybe this helped us review our routine, our values, connect with our inner selves and maybe it could lead to very beautiful and much-need changes in our lives.
Silvia also launched an e-book on Emotions (in Spanish, you can download it here). It is a nice, useful and practical read. Most of us are in a constant battle with our emotions and we understand so little about listening to what they are telling us.
Mental health is very, very, very important, so, please, start loving your mind and soul more, start therapy if you can, follow specialists and don’t ignore your emotions. There is hope. Hidden, faded, difficult to reach, maybe. But it exists, I promise.