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Adriana Tribiño Martinez - Psycotherapy and Expert Assessments
With the strong commitment to continue questioning and reviewing various ways of helping people, I passed through various disciplines (classical psychoanalysis, cognitive mechanisms, neuroscience, developmental psychology and attachment theory), always integrating various types of work with a psychodynamic approach, given that it is my understanding, which best explains psychological complexity; that is how I consolidated my training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Why psychoanalytic psychotherapy?
Because through the relationship that is established with the therapist we relive the first relationships which allow us, to modify it. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy allows us to relate facts which are apparently not related.
An example will help to better understand this. A woman comes to therapy with a marked disability, a loss of vision that was getting worse, she comes to a consultation for the symptoms of iniquity which she has, she fears that they can cause problems for her.
Over time, she has been consolidating a "negative" identity with small "thefts". Being directly approached and taken as a transgression could have fixed the symptoms, however, only a more relational approach and understanding of the very symptom in the context of its past as a form of the subject of "stealing" from life what she felt that life was stealing from her (her sight), was what made her begin to question herself and as a result, to modify her behavior.
What happens with adolescents?
In my opinion, they are the ones who more forcefully seek out "their truth". They have a lot of psychological work to do, mourning for infancy and the search for other ideals distinct from those of their parents, which in turn helps them to separate themselves from these first bonds. The construction of their own identity. This is a whole process that they themselves desire but fear at the same time, which is what causes ambivalent feelings in them that are translated into oscillating behavior, where they sometimes orally demand freedom, but at the same time they can demonstrate childish behavior that generates more control on the part of the adult.
And if they don't want to go for a consultation?
In my opinion, psychotherapy cannot work if it is imposed. When the teenager doesn't want to come, I listen to them through their parents (I mean to say that I still have appointments with the parents so that they talk to me about him/her) and that way i am making a space for them, on several occasions this has ended up with them attending psychotherapy with me or with another professional, but they have been able to receive help.
And for children?
It is curious to note how many of them come to consultation with "fake smile ", and when one asks them how they are feeling, why are they coming to see me, they usually answer "i don't know, because my mom brought me", etc.
For this reason it is important to have a good clinical eye and perform a good interview, in order to "pull the thread". Many children say that there is nothing wrong and what is really happening to them is that they are disconnected from their emotions.
This is why sometimes the only thing that we get by asking directly is that they close themselves off. That is when "psychoanalytic tools" help me more. I'm going to give you an example to illustrate what I am trying to transmit.
Once a girl with a "fake smile" came in (she had learned to smile as a way to cover up her true feelings). I asked her how she felt to which she responded “great”, that her mother brought her, but she did not know the reason, she said that she didn’t have any problems.
We started to play and during her play she revealed an important part of her conflict. She arranged all the dolls according to her whims occupying almost all the space and creating a super house. She left me a little space and two "little things" so that I could put them in my house. Through her game she was "representing" what she could not say with words: she felt that she was left the "crumbs", while the new family that her father had built received all the energy and good times. This girl was very furious, and maintained her smile as a way to hide the anger that she didn’t allow herself to feel (or admit), thus generating hyperactive behavior at school.
Because couples go through various crises, and this is a privileged moment to make changes, to search for "another opportunity", to start a relationship, another contract, another place, in any case do something different.
Each couple has their own characteristics. To function properly, it is necessary that the couple, is well-defined compared to the outside, with borders flexible enough that they can be modified when faced with certain circumstances, but solid enough to clearly differentiate themselves from other friendships. At the same time, within the couple the spouses should continue to differentiate themselves from each other, each one having their own space. All of this will depend to a large extent on the culture in which both have internalized these ideas.
Hardly any other human relationship will require such a wide spectrum of variety: autonomy, protection, maturity, stability, understanding, encouragement, etc.
Becoming a parent is one of the more complex tasks and that which requires more versatility from the same person. In the family, the roles that are established become more fixed: "the good looking one", "the smart one", "the lazy one", etc. When these roles encroach upon the ability to grow or to produce variations, the intervention of a professional is required to help these "roles" to circulate and so that the members can be positioned and aligned differently.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Myths of childhood psychoanalytic psychotherapy
Many times parents are frightened when they think of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. They think that the professional will inundate their child with "strange issues" like: " oedipus", "the anguish of castration… ", not without reason!. While it is true that there was a time when "wild" interpretations were made, in the present, fortunately, psychoanalytic psychotherapy has evolved and a lot of work is done by observation, what the child shows with their speech, their behavior or their play.
And what role do the parents play?
The role of the parents is very "difficult and thankless" sometimes, because many times they are "excluded" from the session, but form a very important part of the process. I am very clear with the parents in regard to my view on what is happening to the child and what the best option is to help their child.
Many times I explain to them that they as parents can do certain things to help their children, but that I as a professional will do others. As when a child’s stomach hurts they take them to the doctor, they do not become their child's doctor, and they are not "bad parents" because of this, just admitting their limitations, going in search of the help of a professional. If I see that the parents are not heading down the road to success, I am going to intervene so that all of us are heading in the same direction. Parents who are "allies of the psychotherapy" help and do not hinder the process.
How does one work in child psychoanalytic psychotherapy?
Sometimes I suggest bonding therapies, I mean to say that I will work with the "dyad" or "triad" of parents and child. Depending on the type of problem and the possibilities that I have.
Or, within the process, I suggest bonding sessions. For example, i remember working with a child who used to deny all the emotions of rejection and sadness, in a session with the father I noted that the child had made him "a drawing," the father told him that everything stays in the office (it is a rule of the sessions, the father stuck to the norm, and had difficulty sympathizing with the feelings of the child at that time). The child without "a word of complaint" placed the drawing in the box but changed the look on "his face" without saying anything. What allows me to work this episode, to take it as an example and work on this and other situations in which the child has felt "rejected". It also allows me to work with the father, as with him sometimes because of tiredness, others unkowingly, others because of a lack of empathy he answered the child from the "coldness of the rule" instead of having a more empathic response that in turn would generate emotional contact with the child, even though you are saying: NO.
Does it seem that many problems in children are caused by emotional neediness?
Yes, indeed, many are the product of emotional neediness, but there are problems of diverse origins. For example there are many problems because of a lack of limits. Many parents want to give in to all their children’s desires and find difficulty saying NO.
Sometimes, saying no, represents the "role of being the bad one" and because of the family history of each father/mother, they can find it hard to play the bad role occasionally.
Sometimes it is possible that the cause is not having a good relationship with their partner, so they need to form an "alliance" with their child and they cannot say no to them. It can be for different reasons, it is their’s to investigate to find out what is generating this difficulty.
Is it the lack of communication which generates the problem with the children?
Sometimes, not always. To explain everything that happens in human relations as a lack of communication seems a bit simplistic to me. I think it is best to profoundly investigate in order to be able to make an accurate diagnosis and depending on this to plot a therapeutic intervention. Most of the time there is not a single cause but several variables that are having an impact. For example, a question that quite often helps is: Can this reaction or behavior be explained completely by what the professional has said or is there something else that has not been taken into account?
* Nota bene: the examples of the cases cited have been modified to preserve the privacy of individuals who have come and placed their trust in my professional work. Thank you for your understanding.
Adriana Tribiño Martinez - Psychotherapy and Expert Assessments
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