Joanna West, Psychologist
Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, depressed, moody, or otherwise emotionally taxed? Do you struggle to practice self-care because your life is too hectic or you are spending all of your time taking care of others and have no time or energy left for yourself?
My goal is to offer a safe, confidential place for you to pause, refocus on self, rediscover your strength and resiliency, and create more space in your heart, mind, and soul for the good in life.
Because each individual is unique, I use a variety of techniques to adapt to each person’s personality style, needs and goals. Most commonly used are techniques borrowed from the Positive Psychology , Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, meditation and virtual reality therapy. I follow a multi-disciplinary approach to suit each clients' individuality and to create a treatment program to suit their individual needs.
I work with adults and teenagers as well as organisations, advising how to incorporate mental health and wellbeing in a corporate culture. For clients who live outside Luxembourg or travel, I work via Skype, if the fit is right and issue appropriate.
What is positive psychology?
Put simply, it is the study of happiness. It is a call for psychological science and practice to be concerned with strengths as well as weaknesses; building the best things in life and learning from the worst.
The approaches of Positive Psychology are unique, because they are both scientifically validated and easily applicable in daily life and work, and they can be learned.
Positive Psychology reaches out to a wider audience. It is relatively new and now has a substantial evidence base of what helps people to flourish. Positive psychologists believe that broad-based happiness does more than make a person feel good and upbeat.
Happiness actually drives a person to be more creative, productive, successful and healthy. In that sense, positive emotions are building blocks and their benefits can be powerful and long-lasting.
& how can it help me?
This particular area of psychology focuses on how to help human beings prosper and lead healthy, happy lives. While many other branches of psychology tend to focus on dysfunction and abnormal behaviour, positive psychology is centered on helping people become happier.
Positive psychology can have a range of real-world applications in areas including education, therapy, selfhelp, stress management, and workplace issues.
Strategies from positive psychology can motivate others and help individuals understand and develop their personal strengths. From these strengths you will learn to develop behavioural strategies that will become self-enforcing positive habits.
but is it really possible to change?
New research in the field of neuroscience has revealed that the brain is a dynamic organ that changes almost constantly. The brain is not hardwired, but flexible. It rewires itself via experience and training, recent research showing in most cases in as little as 15-20 hours of dedicated training.
"Research, using positive psychological perspectives to drive brain plasticity in a positive direction, is increasingly encouraging. Improvements in brain chemistry, architecture and performance associated with lifestyle choices are now being documented in humans with increasing frequency." (Schaffer, 2012)
Research would suggest that we literally do create our reality, and we can change it, just as reality can change us. It means that with proper and intensive mind training it may be possible to change ourselves. By changing perceptions and perspective we can change the brain, which changes thinking and, by association, behaviour.
'happiness is the only thing that multiplies when it's shared'