Each month we proudly present one of our Coaches and let ourselves be inspired by them. This week we give the floor to Guido d'Acuti, a psychologist and psychotherapist from Padova, Italy. Guido decribes his approach as "Strategic Therapy." In this interview we ask him about these paradoxical but effective interventions.
This interview was originally taken in Italian, read the original here >
Could you tell us a bit more about your experience so far?
I like to describe myself as a multidisciplinary psychologist, and as an effective and flexible psychotherapist. I could never settle on one single psychological approach: I think as a clinician, but simultaneously I feel a coach and a problem-solver, a social and work psychologist. My approach to any work-related situation consists in suggesting appropriate interventions, in order to give the most effective and efficient contribution.
I believe in the importance of communication, both in the professional and in the private spheres, and I believe in different ways of relating with people, groups, institutions and society at large. A citation from my master:
Communication, attention to the relationship’s dynamics, and strategic and specific interventions identify my practice as a professional Coach.
What is the most significant thing you have achieved in your life? And how did you achieve it?
It may seem strange, but one of the most important things life has taught me are my limits. Some years ago, while I was working in an addiction rehabilitation centre, I felt the need to ask my team for help. This was because one patient was putting me in an emotionally and relationally difficult situation. As a consequence, instead of being vulnerable, I received the approval and support form colleagues. Recognising my limits, in different occasion throughout my life, offered me the opportunity to transform these limits in a new and positive source of energy.
You talk about an approach to therapy that is short and strategic. Could you explain us how this works?
Imagine being scared about leaving the house. Just the thought of exiting the main door induces anxiety and panic attacks: you can’t breathe, your heart beats faster and you feel cold sweat. As a consequence, you will start avoiding any situation that may require you to leave the house alone. If you need to leave, you ask for help from a family member and you keep talking with everybody about your problem.
Strategic therapy starts by tackling the main symptoms. In a short period of time (about 4 meetings spread over 2 months) we work towards reducing the ways in which you express the panic (that is: the anxiety and panic attacks). Working on both anxiety and fear simultaneously, we try to bring them back to a normal level. Afterwards, strategic therapy works towards strengthening the results achieved so far and creating a new reality that is different from the pathological one. There is a period (from 4 to 6 months, with meetings once a month) dedicated to the building of a new equilibrium, where one’s quality of life is not influenced by a pathological fear.
Key features of the strategic approach to therapy is the combination of three factors: 1) Paradoxical and contradictory intervention strategies; 2) Relational and 3) communicational aspects. These are all factors that make therapy effective and efficient.
Would you like to share one particular Tip & Trick for Coachademy's users?
Whenever you feel discouraged, you can’t wait for the end of a day, you wake up in a bad mood, or you are too stressed, try to ask yourself:
“If you would like to worsen your condition, instead of improving it, what is it that you should (not) think or (avoid to) do in order to feel worse? The (perhaps paradoxical) logic behind this questioni is that, in order to get things straight again, sometimes we first need to know how to bend them even more."