Man never thinks of himself without thinking of the Other; he perceives the world under the sign of duality. (Simone de Beauvoir, The second sex)
Whenever I have to write or say something about myself, two types of meetings come to my mind: the one with the first psychiatrist I met and the sessions with the dozens of teenagers who have been in therapy so far with me. It seems as if I could take a part from each meeting that would define me as a person. The psychiatrist made me understand that more important than the disease itself are the people with so many traumas and sufferings; the adolescents remind me how fascinating the formation of human personality is. Pascal, my favourite philosopher, is also present, on the shelves of my library, to remind me of God, in case I would be tempted to pretend that I forget about Him; Meryl Streep, my favourite actress, appears in my mind even now, whenever I feel I do something wrong or I have doubts.
My first vocational choice, the Faculty of Letters, helped me feel fulfilled as a person. I don’t know what or who I would be today without literature. Between 20 and 30 years I wanted to read everything that could be read about man and wisdom; I had started from the writers before Socrates and ended up with Patapievici, the Romanian philosopher. I was proud of my intellectual achievements and everything I had written. I was regarded with admiration by colleagues and teachers, but I noticed that people were looking for me more for my science and not for my company. And then I asked myself for the first time the question of personal value. I then attended the Faculty of Psychology, looking somehow for the answer there; and there I met people who, like myself, were concerned about finding their own answers and understanding in more detail how the human mind works.
Between 30 and 40 years, I continued to study, still about people and the whole human mind, but not only intellectually, as until then, because my children, who were born during this period, raised all my unresolved emotional problems for analysis. And so I started my own analysis … starting with raising my own children. I specialized in growing up children, leaving out the modern solutions with bones and nurseries; I also wrote books about their education and emotional intelligence, still working along with them, at my personality. Whether or not I am a good mother, I always ask my children. Whether or not I am a good therapist I always check with my clients, directly or indirectly, through the feedback sheets that clients fill out, at the end of the therapy sessions. From these I find out how empathetic I was, how warm, how close to them, how connected to their problems.
The years of training in psychotherapy continue even now and make me understand that working with ourselves is a work in progress. I chose to become a therapist driven not by personal misfortunes, but by the desire to share with others what I have learned so far. I do not know if it is a lot or less, I do not know if the people who enter the therapy room have chosen me or it is I who have chosen them (I never asked them how they found me), but I know that from the moment the therapy session begins, there is nothing more important than my relationship with them. Yes, it is true that the flipchart in always there in the cabinet, I continue to make schemas and give explanations, even homework, but I’ve come to understand that the therapeutic relationship is the most important for the success of a therapy. I have learned to value even more the person in front of me, to know that we always have something to receive in return from the other and that sometimes all we have to do as therapists is to get the light out the other’s soul and mind. Sometimes it may be wrapped in forgetfulness, sadness, pain, illness or other suffering; sometimes it lies in his shadow (Jung).
The most important lesson that life, more than studies, did taught me, was the following: the true healer lies inside yourself, but sometimes the wound is so deep that you do not get to understand it alone; and then all you need is a helping hand..
- Vlaicu C., Psihologia vârstelor, Ed. Bibliotheca, Târgovişte, 2011
- Vlaicu C., Psihopedagogia elevilor cu cerinţe educative speciale , Ed. Bibliotheca, Târgovişte, 2011
- Vlaicu C., Literatura pentru adolescenţi. Implicaţii psiho-educaţionale, Ed. Bibliotheca, Târgovişte, 2011
- Vlaicu C., Inteligenţa emoţională şi ierarhia valorilor în adolescenţă, Ed. Bibliotheca, Târgovişte, 2011
- Vlaicu C., Literatura pentru copii și metodica predării acesteia, Ed.ProUniversitaria, București, 2012
- Vlaicu C., Lecţii de engleză juridică, Ed.Bren, 2004, Bucuresti
- Vlaicu C., Manual de engleza juridică, Ed. Universitară, 2008, Bucureşti
- Vlaicu C., Zlate Ş., Psihopedagogia jocului, Ed. ProUniversitaria, 2012, Bucureşti
- Vlaicu C., Și tu poți fi un părinte mai bun, Ed.Semne, București, 2019