"Spontaneity and creativity are the propelling forces in human progress."

J. L. Moreno, founder of Psychodrama & Sociodrama.

 


 

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Nadjla

Life coaching individuals and mental health programs

 

First, a little bit of history...

My interest in helping people to overcome limits and achieve quality of life started when I was still deciding what to pursue in college.  I really wanted to work with health, but I could not see myself working on body or organs, studying anatomy, going to surgery rooms, or even having a private office dedicated to any medical services.  Talking to one of my sisters, who was in the middle of her college experience in physical therapy, she said: "why don't you read this book?" and she gave me a General Psychology book.  This worked as a blue light bulb for me: "Eureka", I thought.  From there and until today, I have worked in what I prefer to call the mental health field.

In 1997, I graduated with a BS in Psychology with focus on Clinical Competence from UFBA (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil), with a clear interest in how to offer Clinical Psychology as a tool of freedom and not as a tool of labeling.  During my college studies, I also enjoyed the Psychodrama Society of Bahia, in which (a) I went through a psychotherapy process, both individual and group psychotherapy; and (b) I received training and supervision in Psychodrama Methodology and Sociometry for individual and group interventions.  In 1998, I went to Trieste, Italy, to pursue a 6-months internship at the Department of Mental Health, particularly focusing on the delivery and access of psychosocial rehabilitation services.  Besides, it was also in Trieste that I started my first life coaching interventions, contributing to people with mental disorders in recognizing their potentials, building goals, and ultimately achieving important steps for more autonomy and quality of life.  Back in my home country, Brazil, I was invited and accepted to coordinate a psychosocial rehabilitation program at a not-for-profit organization, ACEP Nise da Silveira, an outpatient mental health center delivering services for people with severe and persistent mental disorders.  In the meantime, I also developed my own private practice based on Life Coaching and Individual and Group Psychotherapy, all incorporated into a range of therapeutic resources offered by an interdisciplinary team. 

In 2003, I decided to move to the US and in 2008 I graduated from an interdisciplinary Masters Degree in LAS with minor in Public Policy and focus on Public Health.  I also published my thesis titled "Understanding Mental Health Policies: How Do Stakeholders Address the Implementation Gap?”  Thesis is also available in the Articles page of this website.  In the US, I also have been practicing Life Coaching since 2004, incorporating cultural competency to my other skills.  Considering language an important tool for a more comprehensive understanding of cultures and individuals' expressions, I have been interested to speak various languages.  For now and other than English, I speak Portuguese (my native language), Spanish and Italian.

The majority of my clients are young adults or adults that are feeling stressed, blue, with little focus and lack of discipline for daily activities, and with difficulties to find out what to do to make life at their own satisfaction.  They know life could be different, they want life to be different, but they have not found the resources to make changes.  I commonly see that life coaching immensely contributes to their ability to identify (a) what they like and would potentially motivate them, (b) goals of life, (c) ways to feel grounded and motivated for actions, and (d) ways to achieve long-held dreams.

 

Based on my professional background, I would like to say that:

- I believe that any human being can overcome limits when they are committed to do it and also have the right support when necessary.

- Every person, group of people, or program is unique and that my knowledge and methodologies should honor it and be individualized.

- Life is diverse and when we honor this fact, we achieve quality of life.  Instead, we tend to focus on few areas or aspects of our lives, what per se will cause imbalance.  Stress, mental illness, lack of energy and focus, superficial happiness - just to say a few - follow this imbalance.

- A life with no goals is repetitive and brings stagnation; a life with no action toward goals seems to have no color!  It is important to identify what you want in your life-style; then, believe in your goals and reach for action.

- Even when we think about a program or policy, we must consider they involve people.  It is fundamental to take into account how they affect people and how people relate to them.

- There is no better reward than to be good with yourself, to be good with others, to be good with what surrounds us...it simply makes us feel good!