“Rather than explain what happens, it’s important to understand why it happens and the impact it has on the person’s life”

How I see psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is an authentic relationship between two people, based on dialogue, which sets out to explore the client’s world, in a safe and trusting environment.

Rather than just explaining what happens, what matters is understanding why it happens and the impact it has on people’s lives: the emotions it awakens, what it says about them, the meaning it has and what they do with this.


We exist in the world in relation to others and the things in the world. This constant inter-relation always takes place in specific contexts, with specific limitations and possibilities, which awaken emotions and can generate conflict and distress.

This distress is not a bad thing, it’s part of our existence: it may cause us psychological suffering, but it holds out the possibility of personal transformation.

If we look at ourselves now, we are our own body, our circumstances and our history and we have the opportunity and the responsibility to build a life project based on what we are, which will reflect what we choose.

Therapeutic relationship

The therapeutic relationship grows out of the inter-relational dynamic between client and therapist, seeking to increase our self-awareness and awareness of interpersonal processes; to identify and deal with the limitations of existence and the need for permanent choice; to facilitate a more authentic attitude to ourselves; to take responsibility for our existential project.

Who is psychotherapy for?

Psychotherapy can be helpful for anyone seeking to be more aware of who they are, how they can live their life more authentically and how to take control of their life project.

Psychotherapy helps us to understand psychological suffering and how it affects us, and is a safe and proven way of achieving relief and change.

Psychological distress is normally associated with a number of causes, some of which are listed below.

  • Depression – lack of self-esteem, self-destructive behaviour, moodiness;
  • Anxiety – panic attacks, specific fears;
  • Sadness – caused by grief, loss, difficult situations in life;
  • Relationships – loneliness, jealousy, sexual problems, separations;
  • Existential crisis – when life ceases to have meaning, lack of plans for the future;
  • Sexual identity – uncertainty, when acceptance is difficult;
  • Addictions – abuse of alcohol and other substances, gambling and other additions;
  • Body image – dissatisfaction with reality, misperception.

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© Dr Paulo Coelho - Psicoterapia e Psicologia

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