Dr Alexandra De Fazio
Native English speaking Psychologist in Florence
English-speaking Psychologist in Florence
I am an English-speaking psychologist and a psychotherapist practicing in Florence using a relational and family approach and, for many years, I have been dealing with psychological problems regarding the mental health and distress of people at risk. These appear in many degrees of intensity, overwhelming, pervading and enchaining the individual. The years I spent working at the Centro di Terapia Familiare of Camerata in Florence dell’Azienda Sanitaria Locale (The centre for Family Therapy of the Local Branch of the National Health Service), and at the Istituto di Terapia Familare in Siena have broadened and consolidated my knowledge, competence and ability to intervene in cases of psychic and relational issues in adults (individuals and couples), in adolescents and children, particularly in the areas of eating disorders, mood disorders and anxiety.
Over the last ten years I have been a curious and interested participant in many training seminars and experience-based workshops (mindfulness, lightwork), where mind, body and feelings interact on the same plane and, which, today, integrate and complete the way I carry out my therapeutic process. These three dimensions are not in conflict; on the contrary there is a deeper consistency which involves a natural connection between body, mind and emotions. This means that they are continually in interaction. The individual, for many reasons, finds himself/herself unable to express these elements both freely and in a connected way. The growth process together with the development of self-value (how the individual sees himself/herself with regard to the other(s) are blocked: obstacles and limitations interrupt the flow. My intention is to bring this block to the surface so that he/she is able to appreciate and to search for the reaction of ‘the inner child’.
Growing up with an Anglo-Italian family background, the presence of the two diverse, and at times opposing, cultures has shaped and enriched my experience both as a human being and as a professional working at giving support. I find it enables me to have an innate ability to meet the individual, to understand the ‘different’ point of view, to place things in a broader context.
The relational-family approach I refer to takes into consideration the symptoms and the situation of the individual as the result of a complex combination of the subjective experience, the quality of the most significant personal relationships and the cognitive ability to personally evaluate one’s situation. Consequently, when meeting with a family I try to focus not just on the interactions and exchanges between the family members, but also on ‘the world view’ they bring and that each one has. By ‘world view’, I mean what emerges as the premise for ideas, fantasies, values, emotions, affections, which clearly carry considerable weight when trying to build up a picture of each family. And it is on this picture, this history that I intervene – obviously not with the intention of transforming it, but of bringing it to the surface, to a level of awareness so that we can then have a different look at it and at the family unit in a different way, from a different perspective. The idea of involving the whole family is the starting point to achieving positive results and a wider improvement: parents have great power to confirm or otherwise their children’s self perception of their adequacy and ability. The sense of self-esteem is usually determined in fairly early stages of development.
I believe in dreams and that dreams can come true. At the age of twenty I wanted to be a psychologist; I tried the entry test but didn’t succeed. I did many other things in the following years, including working as export manager for a high fashion jewellery company. But by the time I was thirty I went back to my original project and, having passed the entrance test, I got my degree in Psychology with top marks and then continued my studies in Psychotherapy. Today I still believe in dreams.
I believe that one of the first premises to change part of oneself is to believe it possible. I can do this: I accompany people along this path of personal and inner growth. It frequently happens that people are unaware and unconsciously put their ‘issues’ on what they can do best, even their illness. Together we remove the disguise and uncover a project to pick up again and/or to take up. I have understood that asking for help is the first step on the way to recovery (feeling better).
My work is to accompany the individual, the couple and the family. A path we travel together sharing.
I am a Private English-speaking Psychologist and Psychotherapist in Florence specialized in psychological therapies for adults, children, families and couples.