My Professional journey
If you want to know more about my professional journey…
Here is the story:
I graduated in psychology and I developed my career in working with people who are physically very sick, but I also have experience with a range of issues in working with people dealing with stress, mood disorders, relationship conflicts or simply searching for a more fulfilling life. I like to work creatively to meet the needs of each person. In order to do that I sometimes combine to my psychotherapeutic approach the expertise in music therapy and mindfulness. Besides, I use some techniques from different psychological perspectives, as therapy is a lot more to do with connection, respect and understanding. My premisse is one of existential therapy, specially focused on the contributions of Viktor Frankl and search for meaning.
As soon as I started studying psychology at Mackenzie, I volunteered at GRAACC (Support Group for Children and Adolescents with Cancer in SP-Brazil), from 1992 to 1995. This experience taught me a lot about the practical experiences of pediatric patients and families in the process of cancer treatment. It was one thing to read it in books, another thing to be present, participating in the team's dynamics and being able to make simple contributions to alleviate, at least a little, the suffering of those people. It was around this time that I started my own therapy. It was there at GRAACC that I had my first experiences in supporting critically ill patients. After I graduated, I went to Boston University to take a summer course on family psychotherapy. There I volunteered at a school especially for children with emotional needs. Then I went to NY to do my master's degree in music therapy at NYU. It was an enriching 3 years of learning among professionals from all over the world. In my last year I did an internship at Beth Israel Hospital with music therapist Joanne Loewy who, when she met me, understood my passion for working with critically ill patients and in palliative care. I started attending pain and comfort care team meetings. At that time I did some volunteer work for the University Hospice, assisting adult patients in palliative care who were at home. At NYU I was able to experience several personal therapeutic processes of music therapy, drama therapy and GIM (Guided Imagery and Music), until then my therapy repertoire had been psychoanalysis. The new experiences and studies awoke me to learn more about humanist, existentialist and transpersonal approaches. After I finished my master's degree, I went to work at Mount Sinai Hospital in the pediatric oncology, ICU and semi-intensive units. It was a year of great learning where I ended up doing a specialization in Child Life Care.
I returned to Brazil in 2001. A year later I started working at Hospital Albert Einstein and at my private practice. At first I worked with neurological patients, but then I started to care for cancer patients and palliative care. At HIAE I was able to combine my music therapy skills with my psychotherapy approach. There I worked on bone marrow transplant, palliative care and oncology unit. I was able to certify on realistic simulation training. And it was there that I also learned about the importance of self-care for Burnout prevention. 8 years of much exchange and learning from colleagues in the psychology department, nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, etc. During this period, my personal therapy took place within the Gestalt approach and also within Buddhist psychotherapy. It was at HIAE that I met my partner in the adventure of founding the first non-profit organization focused on education and assistance in palliative care, Ana Claudia Quintana Arantes (MD). The friendship inside the hospital grew and the passion for palliative care that we shared boosted the realization of this dream that Ana had already written and planned in a project that she carried in her bag to and fro. It was in 2007 that Casa do Cuidar was born, also with the participation of Toshio Chiba (MD) and Francisco Carlos Gomes dos Santos (Psy). Throughout these years working with patients in processes of finitude, the importance of dedicating myself to learning more about existential psychotherapy and especially the work of Viktor Frankl became more evident to me. In 2010, I went to work at Hospital Sírio Libanês. There I spent 5 years within the Integrative Care team, coordinated by Plínio Cutait. I attended pediatrics weekly with music therapy groups for children and their parents and also attended especially adult patients in palliative care. At that same time, Casa do Cuidar's advanced courses were taking place annually, together with Caring for the Caregiver program sponsored by J&J and 2 books on the theme. A timid yet voluntary service project called Corrente do Cuidar (Chain of Care) began to take shape.
In 2015 I moved to London,UK and a new chapter in my professional life started. In London, I spent a sabbatical year dedicated to the family (It was lovely, but I missed my work… lol). A very important year in the adaptation process and looking for new opportunities in this phase of my life. A mindfulness course came in handy and contributed significantly to me as well as the Cicely Saunders Institute monthly lectures. In this process of understanding more the NHS system and how to develop my career working specially in palliative care, I was invited to work for a company dedicated to leadership development, Factor Humanus Scientia, where I spent 2 years working with professionals from different areas and on the boards of large companies. Since 2019, I volunteer at Trinity Hospice in London, where I visit patients in palliative care weekly.
Currently, I remain at Casa do Cuidar as vice-president and coordinator of the basic multiprofessional palliative care online course.
I am fully qualified, registered and insured to practice psychotherapy in the UK. I am a British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy registered member (MBACP), a British Psychological Society member (MBPsS).