Interview with Isabel Lemgruber. Brazilian psychoanalyst and Personal Coach

Isabel Lemgruber. Brazilian psychoanalyst and Personal Coach. (Photo: personal archive)

Translated from Portuguese with Google Translate; (automatic; not revised).

In this interview, Isabel Lemgruber, a Brazilian psychoanalyst and Personal Coach, discusses online mental health services sought out in this time of uncertainty and sensitivity. Basing it on the experience of professionals who have worked within the human development field for over 30 years, a clear message is conveyed that online therapy services are here to stay, because of their accessibility to all, including Brazilians living in Canada.

Wave – Why are people looking for psychological and / or coaching services, amidst these new current challenges?

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought us many uncertainties and we are all experiencing different emotions. We feel more sensitive and vulnerable: in our health, at work, in our family relationships, and in so many other areas. The sudden changes and unclear perspectives for the coming months have increased our anxieties and disrupted our routines. We have also developed more fears about enduring illness, inability to pay bills, losing relatives and friends, experiencing marriage crises, losing interest in studies, and very often, not knowing how to face the next day. My work via psychoanalysis or coaching is to help others overcome this feeling of uncertainty and weakness, and to create new routines that work in this new scenario.

Wave – How are people experiencing the challenges of quarantine? What paths and solutions can you point us to?

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What we are experiencing now is a difficult situation for everyone. Fortunately, psychological assistance and coaching services open up efficient ways for supporting those in need. Based on my clientele, I have observed that there are many people who have difficulties in maintaining their daily tasks because they are easily distracted, impacting the completion of their tasks. Our support helps them to create new daily routines to live in the moment and to control emotions. For example, knowing the time to activate the cell phone to watch a live tv show or read the news is as important as the behaviour involved in turning off the device to guarantee time for playing with their children, daily exercises, tidying up the room and bathing the dog. At that moment, every detail conquered in daily life, becomes a source of emotional strengthening. It promotes well-being.

Wave – Psychoanalysis or coach? What are the differences and what do you recommend?

I recommend psychoanalysis for those who are in emotional pain that directly impacts relationships with themselves or with others, on a daily basis. In coaching, work is about achieving goals – excellent for organizing routines and managing emotions. It is a short process, around 10 sessions. Currently, the most common demands in coaching are to manage anxiety and achieve goals of maintaining the routine of physical activities or a balanced diet and / or organizing personal and professional projects.

Wave – Who is looking for this type of service?

People from different places, ages and genders have been looking for my psychological support and coaching services. For many, the obligation to spend more time indoors creates anxiety: what to do? How to do it? What should come first? There are people who, are unable to deal with this alone. For others, the obligation of long and close coexistence, inside the home, is quite challenging. The consequences of this compromises the ability to successfully carry out your personal or professional projects.

Wave – In your experience, does online service have advantages over face-to-face service? How does it work?

Online service is an excellent option – imagine if we were isolated now, without counting on technology so that we can see each other, talk to each other, resolve professional matters, keep up our work, get help and everything. Some people preferred face-to-face service. But soon they get used to the online modality, and they like it. The platform technology for virtual meetings is very simple to use, even for those who are not familiar with computers and technology. It’s all very easy. And because of technology, I am able to access and serve people from Canada, and around the world, in their mother tongue. I can reach and assist many more people.

Wave – For Brazilians and Portuguese living in Canada, does it make a difference in the quality of care, whether they receive care in Portuguese, their native language?

Yes, it makes a difference. Emotions grow in fluidity and spontaneity when the conversation takes place in the native language. This is because there is a place inside you that already understood Portuguese, even before you spoke. The childhood language speaks directly to the heart and generates a feeling of well-being, familiarity and confidence in the sessions.

Wave – What message could you offer our reader, in this current challenging situation?

Seek help. You are not alone.

Isabel Lemgruber é psychoanalist and personal coach. Contact her via Instagram: