MEET THE TEAM – SOPHIE FERNANDEZ
What is your favourite thing about being a therapist?
One of my favourite things is to provide a safe space for my clients as a way to facilitate a process of sharing and disclosing what is truly significant to them. Listening carefully to the client’s choice of words and observing their presentation while noticing what is happening non-verbally for the client and for myself is a creative process, which I enjoy. Each therapeutic relationship is unique and draws my curiosity and my involvement in different ways. One other favourite thing being a therapist is about holding the clients in their own process of giving themselves permission to trust the therapeutic relationship and to explore their sexuality in ways that they were not necessarily prepared to or thought to do initially. This facilitates a process of not jumping to conclusions and staying in the moment, noticing their feelings and responding intuitively, while trusting their core emotional needs.
What is the most common/frequent issue people are bringing to therapy?
People experience difficult emotional situations, which impact their well-being and relationship quite deeply. Their emotional struggle and despair become very painful and isolating over the years. Working with people with psychosexual and relationship difficulties is about temporarily holding a unique place in their lives, whereby trust and care become essential in my working relationship with them. The most frequent issues that people come forward with are about feeling stuck with relational difficulties and needing clarity and understanding to open up to intimacy again. The other most common issues are premature ejaculation and erectile difficulties, lack of desire, vaginismus (DSM-5 “Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder”). Each therapeutic situation within each of these frequent issues is unique.
Is therapy an art or a science?
To me, therapy is a science and an art. The trust established within each therapeutic relationship is essential for functioning therapeutic work to unfold. Each intimate relationship needs sensitivity, trust, care and love to unfold. Over the years, in different ways, my therapeutic approach has been influenced by pioneers in the field and wonderful therapists: Freud, Reich, Lowen, Cyrulnic, Bowlby and Ainsworth, Masters & Johnson, Perel and Basson and many others.
What is the book/movie that comforts you?
Early on one of my old favourite books is “Swimming the Channel” by Sally Friedman, an autobiography, a testimony to love and internal resilience, and of course all romantic comedies by Nora Ephron and the movie Bridges of Madison County.
What do you do for your own self-care?
Physical exercise is essential, a balanced diet, friends, a joy for life and more…!