I address my therapeutic approach primarily to all persons who are interested in getting to know themselves better through an analytically oriented psychotherapeutic process. Therefore, I am happy about every contact, which can be used to find out whether a therapeutic cooperation might spur positive personal processes for both sides.
Since I started dealing with psychosocial needs and challenges about 7 years ago, I have focused my therapeutic work mainly on psychiatric illnesses. As a psychotherapist under supervision, I worked two and a half years in voluntary internships for psychiatric institutions.
I believe that analytically-oriented psychotherapeutic methods, through their focus on unconscious processes and their emphasis on psychodynamic models of structural disorders, are a prerequisite for professional work with clients with early-onset disorders.
As a psychotherapist in training under supervision, I work with clients who suffer from early disorders only in close coordination with the client's psychosocial network. The supervision takes place with experts in the field of psychiatry.
In my previous experience in the psychosocial field, I experienced that this important group, relatives of mentally ill people, is not given enough attention. Here I refer to the challenge of these persons’ own suffering brought about by the illness of a loved one, which is very specific and hard to understand by those who are not affected by it. Since "significant others" and stable relationships are particularly important for the recovery of mentally ill people, I consider the counseling and psychotherapeutic support for persons close to the mentally ill to be just as important a psychosocial challenge as the support of the mentally ill themselves.
For relatives, this concerns elementary topics like having a loved person and knowing of the possibility of always losing this person again. What is asked of relatives in these relationships can set off a struggle between setting boundaries and offering support. The two different poles circle around the question, where can I begin to be ”just me” but also still love? Even after periods of calm where the hope that "things are finally good again" might arise, these questions can repeatedly emerge, plunging relatives from one day to the next into chaos again and again, creating personal, and even material, instability. In these situations, relatives are required to be particularly strong and to be there for the instable relative, while they are left alone to handle their disappointment just when they need help themselves the most.
Since mental illness often involves the question of one’s existence and the right to one’s own life, it can be important for relatives to find their own answers for their lives. In times of crisis, mentally ill people hope to find in others the strength and independence that they can not find in themselves. For this reason, working on oneself to find it's one inner strenth and independence can be important for relatives when dealing with these difficult challenges, helping them to maintain a fruitful and sustainable relationship.
Analytical Psychology in particular does not shy away from therapeutic cooperation in looking together at the great questions of life, and this includes considering existential questions and figuring out one’s own life purpose. It can be easier not to have to answer these questions alone. Therefore, I am pleased to be able to accompany you while you seek your own individual answer to these questions.
In Austria, relatives confronted with the problems mentioned also can contact HPE - Counselling for Relatives of mentally challenged people.
I was already over 40 when I began my professional engagement with psychotherapy. I spent the first half of my life in a professional environment that was very much geared towards social processes and performance-based standards, and I still pursue part of my professional career in this environment. Through both this professional career, as well as my courage to let out other parts of my personality that would have been neglected in just one professional world, I have learned for myself that it is not always the case that one way is right and the other is wrong.
In life, it can also be about finding synergies that can be very fruitful in complementing your own personality. The aim is to work out which paths you might have taken because they reflect an imprint of one’s environment and society, but do not yet encompass the whole personality. The more one can accept and live out one’s various, personalities, which might even seem contradictory at first, the more one can individually contribute to one's personal environment and society, often with great joy, thereby doing more than just one’s "duty".
Through my own professional experiences, I like to offer support in questions of professional or private (re)orientation, in respect to the clarification of possible unexpressed talents and resources that strive for realization. Analytical Psychology, with its therapeutic orientation based on compensation and individuation and its creative means of harnessing the potential of the unconscious, offers excellent therapeutic approaches that can help to point out new ways for finding more meaning and personal wholeness.
When confronting oneself, the key personal and therapeutic goal is to become who one really is. At the same time, the existential question of being is necessary for the individual recognition of one’s own challenges. Individuality in the Jungian sense, however, does not imply an "ego trip", as it is often understood today, but rather an anchoring in the whole. That is, I can only find my individual path if I recognize and locate myself within the larger context of my relationships with others and within society.
Analytical Psychology is based on the assumption that every period of life involves its own tasks. In this way, the first half of life is seen as an expansion phase in the developmental, i.e. individuating, path of humans. The second half of life, which begins at a different time for each person, is seen as a slow phase of introversion, i.e. of returning to oneself.
In between are the very important tasks of mid-life, "the mental midday revolution" (CW. Vol. 8 § 778, 781) as Jung calls this period in life, which prepare us with their questions and challenges for the second half of life. Analytical Psychology considers the best prevention of mental disorders in old age to be a middle age that is appropriately aligned with these tasks rather than trying to hold on to one’s youth and its challenges.
Jungian developmental psychology, which assigns individual development opportunities to each life phase and which is not primarily focused on childhood, can assist in understanding the problems and challenges that arise when moving from one phase of life to another. In this respect, internal changes are not seen as unpleasant disruptions of one’s chosen path, but as an opportunity for personality development to prepare one to meet the needs of the new phase of life.
In considering the "little meanings"; what is the meaning of the individual mental phenomena, the way to a "greater meanings"; seeking to find which meaning there is in my existence and how to respond to the new challenges with which life confronts us.
We live in a society where there seems to be a collective denial of aging. This may have to do with the unexpected collapse of existential issues that break into the life of the individual from the middle of life on.
Analytical Development Psychology according to C.G. Jung is characterized by an enormous appreciation of the second half of life and old age. This fundamentally differentiates them from childhood-focused psychoanalysis. Jung saw the age close to death as the “wedding” in a life of spiritual confrontation:
In 1950 he wrote in a letter: "This sight of old age would be unbearable if we did not know that our soul reaches into a region that is neither bound by the change in time nor the limitation of the place. In that form of being, our birth is a death and our death a birth. In balance, the scales of the whole hang.“ (Jung, Jaffé, 1973)
This positive view and Jung’s suggestions for "successful aging" make the concepts of analytic psychology useful for therapeutic work dealing with with the challenges of aging.
I did my training to become gerontopsychosocial consultant at agenetwork in Vienna, and working with elderly people is very important to me.
For elderly clients, I also offer home visits.
"Aging is perhaps the time we need to patiently discover day by day from the beginning of our life to its end, the expression we can give to the love whose existence we intuitively grasped in one second of eternity."
– Danielle Quinodoz, 2010