Psychotherapy is a very personal experience. Because of the nature of the therapeutic relationship, your therapist gets to know a great deal about you, while you usually know nothing much about him or her. I would like to share a little about myself as I am sure this would give a better understanding of who I am to my clients and would make them more comfortable.
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Despite living the better part of my childhood through the Lebanese civil war I recall my early days as being happy, full of love and affection.
Of the thousands of days we spend going back and forth to school, one or two days always stand out in our memory. For me, one such memorable day was when my history instructor looked at the class and said: “When someone tells you something always ask: “why”? Don’t just sit there and listen and take it as a fact, always ask: “Why”?” And this is exactly what I did. I always insisted on occupying the first row in the classrooms, always had one too many questions. While I disliked numbers, I was in love with words, languages, history and poetry. My curiosity, hunger for knowledge and passion for understanding the human mind was a natural stepping stone to the field of psychology.
Throughout my college years I was an honors student. My passion was to listen to people, understand their problems, help, support, and guide them to the right path. However life had hidden a different path for me than that which I had been dreaming of. I met and married my loving husband Alexis in 1994. In 1995, I graduated from Haigazian University with a BA in Psychology. Following my marriage were the two most important events in my life. The first, having my wonderful son Eddy with whom I matured, learned and lived all the sensations that accompany motherhood. The next wonder was my beautiful daughter Christina who made me realize how special each and every day could be. I could not be any happier or more fulfilled. However, I always felt that there was something more I needed to do, that I had an old dream not yet achieved. It is through the encouragement and full support of my husband that I went back to college in 2003.
I graduated in 2005, with an M.A. in clinical psychology. Subsequently, I spent two years doing benevolent work, working side by side with psychiatrists, mental health practitioners and social workers. I loved and enjoyed my work. I started my own private practice in 2007. I realized I was making a big difference in so many people’s lives, helping them find ways to use their personal strengths, to bolster their weaker areas and to always look at the positive in their lives. It felt amazingly wonderful to be able to turn lives around. The number of clients I could treat in a given week was limited. This is where I decided I needed to reach to more people, turn around more lives, let more and more people see the positive aspects in their lives. This for me was only possible through writing a book.
In 2009, my first book “The Positive You!” was published. I was the first Lebanese psychologist to have published a self- help book. It occupied best-selling lists in all major bookstores in Lebanon. Following the tremendous success of my first book, I wrote a sequel “The Positive Us!” which similarly enjoyed a huge recognition. In 2012, my third title “Go for it!” was published, and once again it was loved, appreciated and favored by ardent readers. Due to the huge demand of the public, my books have been translated to Arabic under the titles: “Anta Al Ijabi!” and “Hayya Entalek!”. I measure the success of these books by the amount of homes they entered and the tremendous impact they had on so many lives.
The publishing of my three books allowed me to reach out to so many people through my repeated appearances in the media, as well as the special presentations I held in schools, universities, women’s organizations and social gatherings.
I believe life is the most beautiful gift given to us. We have to learn to give the best that we can to ourselves and those around. No matter how difficult circumstances seem to be, there is always a ray of hope out there. I, myself, like anyone have had my share of personal challenges . However, every tough situation has helped me become a better person and a better therapist, by giving me insight into my own vulnerabilities but most importantly my strengths.
Nothing is as good as getting to know someone in person; but I hope the little I shared will give you an idea of the person behind the image.