The Conscious Counselor
By the time he was beginning his journey through psychology, Marcelo was volunteering in a local NGO ran by people dedicated to cave exploring and environment protection actions among the community. With them, he took his first steps in meditation, benefiting from astonishing landscapes as inspiration to create a deep connection with nature and the senses.
His academic path was always followed by an interest in spirituality and ancient knowledge. While doing his master's degree, he was introduced to mindfulness and psychoneuroimmunology, deepening his understanding of the mind-body relationship and how lifestyle can profoundly affect our bodies and health. The master thesis was solely dedicated to studying the phenomenon of posttraumatic growth among cancer patients and the underlying cognitive and emotional processes. This line of research gave him the knowledge of how a sudden shift in someone's perspective can trigger a whole process of self-restructuring, where the willingness to live can lead to a much more fulfilling life.
In parallel, he was taking his first steps in the clinical settings, always fascinated by the establishing of a deep bond with the person seeking support. This human to human contact and its potential for healing and growth were always the source of his devotion. This was also the moment where's practice of health counseling started.
Later he took the challenge of working with people with physical and intellectual disabilities, both in social care and clinical settings. This very special population highlighted the importance of compassion and acceptance, concepts that he was developing in his meditation and yoga practices. The need to stay balanced and healthy in such a challenging career motivated a lot the inclusion of these practices as the foundation of his daily life. Over the time, it converged together into a lifestyle where being balanced is the source of health promotion in others.
A short career hiatus then served the purpose of taking this concept into another level, with techniques like breathworks and conscious movement being learned from other therapists and time spent in sustainable communities, where everything is done in a more conscious way. Now, undergoing his training in body psychotherapy and mindfulness, the conscious counselor is integrating it all together in his practice.
The Conscious Approach
The conscious approach is highly client-focused and every intervention is tailored accordingly to the person's needs, values and goals. Rather than protocols, techniques are selected from a vast set of psychological and body approaches and adapted to the person.
Mostly, the techniques employed aim to promote inner awareness and balance. Meditation practices might be addressed and practiced together as a form of connection, both to the person's inner space, and to the therapist. Breathworks and conscious movement might also be used to work body awareness and expression, energy management, self-esteem, emotional regulation and other health-related issues. Regular counseling and talking therapy are always present to explore and integrate the inner phenomena.
Health counseling and lifestyle management are another component, as the health of the mind strongly relies on the health of the body, and the other way around. Breathing techniques and emotional expression, for instance, can improve immunity and sleep quality. The relationship with food and other habits can be broken down to a basic understanding of how a person deals with inner pain by consuming or acting out.
More than having a perspective on the clients as being ill or disturbed, there's a thorough concept of them as part of the environments and situations they're into. Common labels such as anxiety and depression are vague concepts that could involve many features and the aim of therapy is to identify which of them are at play, while also identifying strengths, goals, values and dreams, to then intervene.
During the course of the therapy, clients naturally grow a relationship with their internal processes and underlying difficulties. They gradually walk towards the direction they wish to walk and become more and more who they really want to be. Intervention is always planned together and it continues outside the sessions. As they learn more about themselves and master their lifestyles, an inner sense of happiness and meaning grows with them.
This process of self-redefinition is the door the and independent life, where the therapist won't be needed even though the door will always remain open. The ultimate aim of this approach is to live a conscious life, redefine the way of facing challenges and unlock all human potential.
A glimpse on the career
2020 - The Conscious Counselor
Holistic approach in psychotherapy. Mindfulness, breathwork and body psychotherapy. Online services.
2017-2019 - Health Psychology
Individual therapy, health management and relaxation group facilitation in a centre for people with physical and intellectual disabilities or social difficulties.
2015-2017 - Social Care Work
Health management and psychological support in a care home for people with physical and intellectual disabilities (England, UK).
2015 - Research
Research on posttraumatic growth and related cognitive processes.
2012-2014 - Master's Degree
Master in Health Psychology. Placement in primary health care. Thesis on posttraumatic growth.
2010-2011 - ERASMUS
Maastricht University (Netherlands). Body and behaviour, personality, neuroscience. Assistant researcher.
2010-2011 - NGO Volunteer Work
Environmental protection actions among schools and the local community. Field work. Guided tours in protected natural areas.
2007-2010 - Bachelor's Degree
Bachelor in Psychological Sciences. Placement in a centre for young people with psychosocial difficulties.