About Astrid

My Path

Psychoanalytic ideas have always been intriguing as they have been interesting to me. Yet, I initially got into contact with Psychoanalysis out of personal necessity as well as a profound curiosity.  After, or more precisely, during this personal process, the wish to become a psychoanalyst myself, became prominent.  My Psychoanalytic Formation at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research (CFAR), has been preceded not only by studies but most importantly, by work with a wide variety of people in contrasting environments and roles.  I have worked individually and in groups with young children, their parents, with adolescents and adults; privately and in institutions for around 15 years.  (I only work privately on a one-to-one basis at present).

The latest work I have conducted in London has been both private and on an honorary basis at MIND Westminster (2012) with men and women. Difficulties treated have involved obsessive thought, marital or sexual problems, work-related problems.  Sometimes these issues went away quickly, as a man said: ‘I came here to treat my depression and inability to have sex with my wife and have ended up speaking so much about my father’.  Many men have been surprised of how much they actually like speaking even if on a day-to-day reality they believed: ‘I thought I hated talking to other people, never enjoyed sharing my feelings with others’, as one of them recounted.

Work in therapy for some men has involved talking of the questions and worries they have in relation to their wives or close relatives. They feel preoccupied with their depression or constant mood swings and genuinely want to be able to understand what goes on and how to help them; as a man stated ‘I would do anything for my sister, anything she needs, she can have from me; I just want her to get better’.

Work with women comprised elaboration around change, some of them suffering from depression, a recent loss or even a new gain which had impacted them greatly. For example, becoming a mother: as a woman put it ‘I cannot understand why I feel low like this if I just got what I have always dreamt of!’  Or as another woman said ‘I have always surrounded myself with children, other people’s children, but only realised I wanted to be a mum until I spoke of all this’.

In Mexico, where freedom of contact and space for intuition can still be found and valued, my first therapeutic work was with a group of girls who had been living in an incestuous situation, some of them were pregnant. A very careful and fecund therapy was conducted in weekly sessions where profound questions on the ambivalence in love and broken trust were raised as well as the power and hope emergent within maternal desire and love.

The memorable work with these girls initiated me in the arduous and fulfilling work that has continued to shape itself through my path as a psychoanalyst.  It was followed by work with primary school children suffering a range of psychosomatic problems triggered by separation anxiety, for example after a divorce or a death in the family. Individual therapy with adolescents was my main activity as a young Psychology student in Mexico.

Supporting children with Autism/Aspergers or other emotional needs at the International Community School in Central London was part of my day job for over seven years until end of 2015.  Emotional change may arise in children when something that needs symbolisation emerges in their life i.e. a new sibling is born, starting school, nightmares appear, a family support changes or is gone; all of this can be treated through the work I do as a psychoanalyst.

Style

My work as a psychoanalyst is significantly linked to my personal analyses (yes, in the plural form- four so far) as well as the theoretical study of psychoanalytic literature, starting with Freud and continuing with the work of French (and polemic!) psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan who further developed the great Freudian discovery and  delicate practice of the psychoanalytic method.  I am enormously thankful to Darian Leader, whose teachings have made the Lacanian theory & technique accessible as well as vibrant in today’s world. (If you watched 20,00 Days on Earth, then you know Darian is the brilliant psychoanalyst visited by Nick Cave on the fabulous documentary film).

Practitioners of Psychoanalysis know that their person is at stake in the work they do collaboratively with their patients/analysands.  And this personal work the analyst does is in fact, a continuing process rather than a training or degree that starts and ends during a predetermined and fixed period of time.  Each analyst takes as long as they need to in order to complete an analysis and will most probably undergo several analyses in their lives. This is the reason why anyone who wants to practice as a psychoanalyst, must firstly go themselves through this and undertake their own analysis.  It is hopefully less to do with learning formulas or set ways of working, but rather more to do with gradually discovering the analyst’s own history- and prehistory- as well as their most intimate formulas precisely so not to impose them back on their patients.  Given the nature of each subjectivity, every analysis is different and involves diversity in their length and duration, including that of the sessions in themselves (at least in the Lacanian tradition where it is not only significant to respect this but perhaps even to highlight it!)  Subjectivity is at the core of my practice as is in the Freudian and Lacanian Psychoanalytic traditions.

My private practice is currently based in Northwest, London where I work with adults as well as with adolescents and children.  My consulting room used to be a few meters from Freud’s very first address in London on 39 Elsworthy Road and before that, nearby his last address which has now become the Freud Museum. It is accessible by tube on the Northern Line through Chalk Farm station.  By car there is easy access from Regent’s Park, Marylebone, Fitzrovia; anywhere in Central London, Hampstead or Belsize Park.
Alternatively, I do also conduct Skype sessions when required.
P.D.
If you are interested in getting to know a little more about me, then you can take a look at my YouTube videos.  I can also say that I sometimes like writing spontaneous poems for the pleasure of playfully handling language and for creating something out of nonsense. Within the arts, it is Film I enjoy the most.  I also enjoy spending time with my little girl and husband.

 

 

 

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