Interview with Anne Bourgaux-De Gradi
How did you become interested in your profession?
When I was 13, I read a story about a psychiatrist who treated a schizophrenic woman. I was fascinated about the, for me, new ways to communicate and help a person in this situation. And I thought, well I need to know more about this. And since then no other experience could raise my curiosity more than human behavior. I have always new questions about human individuals and human systems.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Each therapy, each counselling, is like exploring a new country, it is allways a new experience. There is no repetition in this work. And I find it a privilege to be testimony of the way how people search and find their own individual solutions.
What was your first year like?
Exciting and exhausting. I was working in Guinea, Afrika, in a diamond and goldmine, in the human resource department. I had to learn limits: how much do you involve yourself and how much distance you need.
What were/are some of the obstacles you have encountered (overcome)
Moving from a country to another had always the effect that I could not work immediately in my profession ( the process of recognising titles is still today in Europe a long bureauratic journey that challenges the (professional) identity). The other part of course is that it takes time after moving to the new country to recreate a network, to find a new position, and the right one!
What is the most unique aspect of your business?
In terms of business I can say, my being, my behavior conscious and unconscious is my product. I am my own product. But I find it difficult to see it as a business. It is a service, and an exchange.
From where do you draw inspiration?
From enjoying the world in all its manifestation (human beings, nature, art, politic,…), from working with people in different kinds of settings: counselling, conferences, seminars and supervision. From continuous supervision and training (congress, workshops, seminars).
What significant partnerships have played a role in your success?
I got my first job through the university in Brussels where I studied and I made the experience in Germany as well that lot’s of useful contacts where born during psychotherapy formations and trainings. Then being employed by REFUGIO in Munich, a psycho-social treatment center for traumatised refugees gave me the occasion to start making conferences and training in the trauma field. Here in Milano, the contact with several expats institutions like Milan Acceuil, the German Protestant Church , PWA,etc. And the contact with psychotherapy schools in Milano.
Being partner of the Milanostarter a network for german speaking professionals with intercultural competences. Teaching systemic counselling at ISKON Milano.
Through the contacts with English-speaking women in the village where I live here in Italy , I could get a position of process-consultant for the creation of a day-care center for elder persons with mobility problems.
What would you say is your “claim to Fame”?
I definitely enjoy the recognition of my work, that I see when more clients are coming to me. But I would not like to be a public person. I am much to attached to my privacy and my secret garden to search this kind of contact with the outside world.
If you could only offer one piece of advice about the internet/ecommerce/websites to our readers, what would that be?
Use it for information and contacts! It is indispensable today!
What are some of the trends you are noticing in your industry?
In this service: psychotherapy, I am glad to see two tendencies: a movement of integration from theories, methods and techniques. Some schools try to work with others and learn from each others. And do not remain in this classical rivality dynamic.
The other, in clinical hypnosis is a movement of efficency research for this approach.
And an increasing interest for intercultural matters.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
A simple and modest way to enjoy life a bit more every day, and a way to recognise if our basic psychological needs are satisfied enough: ask yourself at the end of each day and make it a quiet moment: what have I done and experienced today that pleased me?
You can learn more about Anne Bourgaux-De Gradi at www.milanostarter.com or www.iskon.it