My name is Helena Brener, I am clinical psychologist and therapist of existential school. I live and work in Odessa, Ukraine. I offer long and short-term counseling and therapy in Russian and English languages to individuals and couples struggling with situations which are experienced as difficult and hard to be resolved. Living in these unresolved issues tends to accumulate its negative impact inhibiting personal and professional development and causing growing feeling of frustration and unhappiness. In this case counseling or therapy can be found effective in finding a way out of these hard internal experiences.
I specialize helping with such issues as:
Feeling of dissatisfaction with own life
Difficulties with self-esteem and realization
Anxiety and chronic fatigue
Search of life’s meaning
Abuse and trauma recovery
All of us face life difficulties and in most of the cases, therapy is not necessary and obligatory requested to overcome those and to improve our life’s quality. We turned out to be strong enough to be born and survive till our age coping with challenges more or less successfully. We can cope with a lot but is it really a best solution to cope all alone?
Psychotherapy is complementary and effective instrument for own life’s creation in accordance with our needs and intentions. Talking to therapist we can work with different issues including dissatisfaction of life, self-esteem and realization. This help ourselves in better understanding and knowing ourselves and developing our personality. Though it happens when we face even more complicated life challenges and than meeting a therapist can help to survive pain and crisis, to take in the situation and define required actions. For those of us suffering from depression and neurotic conditions psychological support will be essential for recovery.
Other essential information:
- first meeting can help to define client’s therapeutic request, to plan and to give some idea of needed number of sessions; as an option this first meeting can be held free of change and will last 30 minutes
- sessions are conducted both in the office and online
- any kind of discrimination is not supported in my practice, my service is gay-friendly
- discounts are offered to Ukrainian military servants and their family members, migrants suffering from war actions and to people with limited abilities and special needs
- being certified in clinical psychology I also practice therapy with psychiatric patients (in cooperation with attending psychiatrist)
- membership in professional associations: EASTERN-EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF EXISTENTIAL PSYCHOTHERAPY, UKRAINIAN UNION OF PSYCHOLOGISTS AND PSYCHOTHERAPISTS, ASSOCIATION OF DOCTORS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS FOR THERAPY AND PREVENTION OF EATING DISORDERS
- My work is practiced under supervision of the Institute if Humanitarian and Existential Psychotherapy (HEPI), Lithuania; one of the strongest European institute teaching and developing existential-phenomenological approach in psychotherapy for more than 20 years http://www.hepi.lt/ru/
Though this may sound paradoxical but main and only instrument of psychotherapy is therapeutic relations realized between a client and a therapist, primary idea of which is to build or regain person’s contact with oneself.
When life treats us favorably during our first years especially, than it makes it clear that it’s all fine, mother’s unconditional love translates this simple and invaluable message “I am loved” (I’m good, beautiful, clever). This understanding builds into our personality’s structure and influences our worldview directly. World’s expectations are filled with joy, we do not worry extremely how to cope with our tasks, how to remain safe or how good we are comparing to others, etc. We tend to annex this knowledge as this supports us a lot during adults years: since my mother loves me than I am worth living and loving, it’s enough to believe in myself, in my solidity and value.
And how it happens that others’ appraisals become more important that what we know about ourselves? And what if these internalized parental messages happened to be not so life-asserting at all? All these others’ opinions, which sometimes said in passing or not even seriously can become extremely bulky filling us inside completely. Often we do not realize that they start explaining us how to live and who to be. We collect those opinions thoroughly and carefully create precious libraries in our conscious and unconscious in order to make ourselves strongly believe that “I am not good enough for...”, “I can’t be loved as I am”, “my needs are not meaningful”, etc.
Living under this pressure of toxic ideas may lead to different forms of compensations: from full denial of oneself (one’s feelings) or some important part of personality to narcissistic obsessions and manic perverted concerns about one’s appearance. Psychotherapy helps us to get access to our oneself, to regain contacts with all our parts, to feel solid, to define what actually is important for us and how we actually want to live.
One of the most confusing stages of therapy is making a commitment about it. This may become difficult indeed: many of us believe that applying for psychological help reassures us in own incompetence and inability to control our life, it’s like giving our own remote control to other person without even knowing what’s on her or his mind. Being in pain we think, consider, doubt, sometimes we begin looking for a specialist and may even agree on a first meeting. Often at this point this desperate moment transforms into temporary relief, we breath out and it seems that it’s all not so bad as it seemed yesterday. We often back out than and devotedly continue going down the same road again and again - finding partners strikingly resembling one another (with whom healthy relationship is not possible by fact of who they are), quarreling with boss working at hated job, suffering from chronic somatic disorders, screaming at kids and hating ourselves for all this... Avoiding is always easier than facing our own internal truth. This can be painful but I doubt that there are any other ways to become better me and to live fulfilled life.
Sometimes people seeking for psychological help expect to get advises and ideas as to how to manage their difficulties. But the truth is that the wisest advise to be given to anyone in difficult situation is to truly meet oneself in order to understand what is really important for oneself and to learn to overcome it in most efficient way.
The actual goal of psychotherapy is to help client to meet with own feelings and experiences, different, which are definitely not always bright and good looking, but they are what they are and given to be integrated into personality’s core rather than to be forgotten or avoided. To understand and accept one’s abilities and limitations in order to consciously live our life i.e. the way we really want.
So do we really lose our competence when we ask for psychological help or maybe it’s opposite and we actually gain some?
Living through difficulties and crisises it’s often hard to stop in this stream of hard feelings and to ask for help. Even understanding that these hard feelings bring not only pain and dissatisfaction but also an opportunity to change it’s always really hard to live them all alone.
Relationship psychology one of the most complicated and vital themes for all of us. How to trust other? How to define and protect own borders? What to do with relationship in which you believe but find it extremely difficult to cope with them? How to find piece with values defined by family and society without losing your own desires and intentions? How to make right decision? How to build my life and not that which wanted for me by someone important and meaningful.. though this someone is not Me?
If you have these or other questions than I invite you to think over them together. In my office you can feel secure and calm, this territory is free of judgements and appraisals, you can count on confidentiality and work in your interest.