“The decision to start therapy is not an admission of failure; it is the first positive step into a better and happier future. It helped me to understand why my marriage broke down, and it taught me how to put my life back onto the right track. I am now more self-aware, I can recognise negative ways of thinking, and take simple but effective steps to correct them. I am a much happier and confident person now, happier even than before my crisis.” (Man, 54 years)
“Therapy has changed my life. I would not be alive without it. Even my hairdresser has noticed I am calmer. If you have enough courage to talk about things that are embarrassing or painful, it is very rewarding. It’s not magic, it doesn’t happen in two or three weeks, but you achieve a pain free life and better understanding.” (Woman, 42 years)
“In just three visits, during my study abroad period, my stress has gone down, I have identified negative thoughts that made me depressed, not go out, not study, made me anxious, foggy, and disconnected. I realized my marijuana use is contributing significantly to my situation and I no longer need it to relax.” (Man, 21 years)
Going to therapy has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life, it has enabled me to lead a happier, healthier life that up until a couple of months ago I didn´t think possible.” (Man, 38 years)
“It’s like one day a week that helps you to take things you have kept inside. You lift a weight. You lighten up. With therapy, I have learned to change habits and behaviors. Before, when something did not go well, I closed up. Now I see this is not good for me and I take it out. I feel closer to myself than ever before, I have wellbeing and peace.” (Woman, 20 years)
“I was a very negative person, worrisome, stressed and tired all the time before I started therapy. I disliked social occasions as I was very shy and I would do anything to avoid them. Life’s past events had weighed me down and I hadn´t realized how much it was affecting me. I had truly underestimated how much bereavement, family break ups and general life’s ups and downs had piled on top of me. I had not truly dealt with passed bad experiences and not released the pent up anger, frustration and guilt I had held onto for so long.
After only two months in therapy I took up jogging, started to feel more energetic and less stressed. I started to question my negative thoughts about myself and others and began to look for the evidence for these negative thoughts. This made me realize that there was no basis for these negative thoughts. Doing this has got me out of the habit of being negative and thus having a positive thought first, instead of vice versa.
My relationship with my girlfriend has improved immensely and I have been able to express my needs to her more clearly than before. I have also gone to two big social gatherings which I enjoyed a lot and put a lot of things I learned in therapy into action.
Connie has always made me feel relaxed when dealing with serious issues and I am surprised when her intuitive questions make me uncover and dispose of some buried thought or memory which I had long ago suppressed.
“Connie helped me to identify the source and meaning behind my anxiety and phobias, through therapy as well as reading materials. In just a few weeks we had not only identified but started work on learning coping mechanisms in dealing with these issues, through exploring their nature as well as through relaxation techniques. I knew I could rely on Connie to check in on with my existing, as well as any new problems that arose. Her patience and knowledge helped me achieve the goals I had set out to achieve in bettering myself.” (Man, 29 years)
“When I came abroad for the semester, I thought a new place with new faces would help me put my rough childhood and relationship history further behind me. Instead, I found that being in a completely unfamiliar place forced the trauma of these experiences to the surface, as I could no longer use the familiar roles I played with the friends, school, workplace, and family I knew so well to hide behind. Being abroad stripped me of all these roles so that I had to define myself from within instead of using external factors. While this should have been liberating, it instead gave me extreme anxiety and I kept getting myself into dangerous situations. At the time, I had no idea why I let this frustrating cycle keep happening, and I blamed myself, thinking I had some inherent flaw that could not be fixed. When I started seeing Dr. Capdevila, however, she helped me gain insight into why I unconsciously was seeking out these experiences; it was what I was familiar and comfortable with. She helped me to realize that just because I was used to ignoring my needs and being in a vulnerable position, it did not mean I had to stay trapped in that cycle forever. Together, we identified the emotions that led to the destructive behaviors so that I could be empowered to recognize them and make changes instead of feeling helpless. She put in extra time and effort to ensure that by the end of my semester, I finally did feel liberated at the idea of being completely responsible for myself, instead of feeling anxious and scared.” (Woman, 20 years)
“Deciding to book my first appointment with Connie was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After only 2 sessions I was already starting to remove many of the negative thoughts I had. Over the period of a few weeks attending therapy I noticed a significant improvement in my happiness and my relationships with other people. I cannot speak highly enough of the service and support Connie and her team have offered me. The hardest part of the whole process was picking up the phone to book my first appointment. Don’t let this daunting first step put you off seeking the help you deserve.” (Man, 30 years)
“I started seeing Dr. Capdevila on a weekly basis after my first month of studying abroad in Barcelona had left me anxious, frustrated, and probably depressed. I felt guilty for squandering my time in Barcelona. During our talks, Dr. Capdevila helped me to realize that my self-blaming was exacerbating my poor mood, which in turn was causing me to blame myself more. I became more aware of my self-talk, and in doing so realized that many of my problems had solutions, and that my mental energy was better expended finding those solutions than feeling sorry for myself.
My last three months in Barcelona were markedly better, and although therapy was not a miracle cure, I think it made a big, positive impact on my time abroad. Now that I’m home, I can look back on my time in Spain fondly, and I think it’s in great part due to Dr. Capdevila, who was insightful, understanding, and supportive during our sessions. I would definitely recommend her to any students having a rough time in Barcelona.” (Man, 20 years)
“To receive the diagnosis of ADHD has marked a before and after in my life. I am taking Concerta but I do not notice the effects much. The most important change is due to the therapy sessions with Connie Capdevila, my Psychologist: she has known me, opened the doors to the awareness of the disorder, and, above all, she has given me new perspectives and methods that help me find an emotional equilibrium without giving up being myself. She has provided me the tools to educate my character. I say sincerely, that very quickly, I exceeded all expectations I had to get out of the downward spiral where I had sunk. I could say I received 250%. However, a very important factor has been to meet with someone really capable, because unfortunately this is not always the case. Trusting your life to a stranger is an extremely difficult decision and too transcendental to take it lightly. My gratitude is immense: the luck of having met Dr. Connie Capdevila, and Connie (who immediately asked me why I was biting my nails, if I felt nervous or if I did it as a habit).” (Woman, 19 years)
“Not too long ago, I wasn’t the same; I did not think, acted or talked as usual. I knew something was happening to me but I couldn’t put an end to it. I had developed fibromyalgia. It was then when I asked for help. A friend took me to see Dr. Capdevila. It was not easy. I know that if I had to go on my own, I would not have gone. At the beginning, my partner drove me there. The hour drive was hell because I did not want to talk to the woman that I did not know, like, or trust. Lots of things would emerge in the hour drive. I know remember it and it seems incredible. I never thought that my recovery would be so fast. I started to wish to be the positive, living, happy person that I had always been, to talk to my friends. I thank Dr. Capdevila because she guided me with a smile. In the middle of my therapy, I started to drive on my own and I was looking forward to our sessions and I saw her as a fantastic woman who helped me trust myself and be stronger. Without that help, I don’t think I could have survived the death of my father three months later. Being alive is the most marvellous! And I am now expecting my first baby.” (Woman, 33 years)
“I am a success story. I made an initial appointment with Dr. Capdevila after my multinational company made some changes including a change in my direct chief who took over all my areas of interest. I thought my career as executive was dead; I felt useless and worried that I wouldn’t be able to have an opportunity in the future. I am sleeping better, feel less tired, more rested, more in control. I learned strategies to use at work. I even feel more social than ever before as I feel more self confident.” (Man, 41 years)
“I was going through a severe break up after six years in a relationship. When I got to Barcelona to do my masters, I started having severe anxiety attacks. I looked up English speaking therapist in Barcelona and Doctor Connie’s name came in first. I was very skeptical at first because I feared that my problem was not deemed worthy of medical intervention. As a student, I wanted a healthy solution that would allow me to enjoy my year in Barcelona. Doctor Connie helped me dissect the root of my anxiety and with every session I learnt something new about myself and the reasons behind my anxious state. The thing I liked most about our sessions is that she helped me understand the reality of what was going on rather than relying on what my mind was making me believe. My anxiety attacks started diminishing after the third session and I would always leave the session with a sense of relief. Doctor Connie helped me change the way I viewed the situation and taught me techniques that would benefit me in the long run and not just as a short term solution. I recommend her for anyone who needs support no matter how big or small the problem is.” (Woman, 26 years)
“When I arrived in therapy, I didn’t really know how to name my issues. All I knew is that my coping mechanisms weren’t working for me. During our sessions, Dr. Capdevila mostly focused on my struggles with anxiety and my struggles with assertiveness. Turns out, at least in my case, the two often go together! Yet, while I had no idea how to name my issues, much less tackle them, I now feel like everything I learned from therapy is so obvious that I can’t believe I didn’t realize I struggled with anxiety and assertiveness sooner. A lot of the suggestions Dr. Capdevila made about how to handle my issues were so simple, and made so much sense, that they have rapidly become second nature.
I always thought of myself as a good communicator, so I was surprised when Dr. Capdevila started talking about assertiveness. I tended to hide my own needs and prioritize other people’s well-being over mine. I avoided confrontation. I did this because it’s often more important for me to be liked than for me to listen to my own needs. I did this, also, because it’s a challenge for me to express anger in assertive ways. This doesn’t mean I didn’t get angry. I did, and when I did, I tended not to allow myself to express it. This lead me to question myself and the persons involved in the situation that makes me angry. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to figuring out if I’m right to be angry, if the person is out of line or if I’m the one who’s in the wrong.
I learned, thanks to therapy, that I can, instead, express my needs in assertive ways. With the encouragement of Dr. Capdevila, I started doing it, and, so far, am surprised at the results. Everyone in my life seems to appreciate it, after some initial surprise. By speaking up, I actually have a better chance of being taken into consideration. As Dr. Capdevila pointed out, keeping my frustrations to myself also creates distance between me and my loved ones. Speaking up allows them to know another side of me, allows them to engage with me, to know how I feel. I no longer spend hours brewing over who is right and who is wrong in such and such scenario.
Another thing I learned is that I can’t expect people to respect my needs if they don’t know what they are.
I also learned ways to deal with my anxiety. My anxieties are mostly family or work-related right now. I will have obsessive thoughts about being a failure or being socially cast out of my current field of work. So far, in the short time we did therapy together, less than three months, I have learned to identify when I was lapsing into obsessive thoughts and to distinguish those thoughts from reality.
My thoughts about the general feeling of failure have improved. Turns out, there is little evidence of that, and, much evidence that I have what it takes to succeed in my field. It’s nice to finally allow myself to think: I have what it takes!
Really, therapy has made me realize that I could be quite hard on myself.
The things I appreciated the most about Dr Capdevila is that I felt she didn’t dramatize my situation. While I felt there was something wrong with me, she always treated me with dignity and respect, as someone fully competent and capable of managing my own life. She never once made overt assumptions about me, as had happened with a past therapist. Instead, she suggested scenarios and interpretative frames, and allowed me to decide which I felt applied to me. She took an observant role and offered alternative interpretations to my own. I often felt amazed and liberated by the alternatives she proposed. I was often stunned by her suggestions: “what do you mean I keep people at a distance if I don’t communicate my needs? I never thought about it like that!” She suggested these alternatives to me and we discussed them together. Throughout, she guided me and offered helpful tips and advice. She did this while enabling me to take responsibility for my own needs and myself.” (Woman, 34 years)
“For me, one of the most frustrating aspects of my infertility diagnosis was advice from friends and family that I should stop getting stressed as it would only make things worse. But, how could I relax when having a family was my greatest desire and ambition? After a disastrous IVF attempt and months of becoming increasingly distressed at even the mention of a friend’s pregnancy, it was clear I had to confront my feelings. I felt as though I was losing my mind. Why did I feel such pain and envy when a friend became pregnant? It was not her fault I could not conceive so why could I not be happy for her? As a result, I decided to get help from a therapist to work through these feelings. Through therapy, I came to understand the roots of my overpowering anxiety and learned techniques to diffuse these feelings. I also learned how to overcome my occasional lack of assertiveness, which improved my relationship with my work colleagues, husband, and family greatly. By the end of the treatment, I had come to accept that I cannot control my fertility and to accept the path I was on. Working with Dr Connie was just one part of my ‘program’, though. I made other changes such as working less, cutting back on exercise, practicing yoga and following the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, while continuing to attend a fertility clinic. I am certain that therapy, along with the lifestyle changes, acupuncture and Chinese herbs played a role in the positive pregnancy result we received after our first attempt at intrauterine insemination. Infertility touches a very primal need: the desire to become a mother. I could not ‘just relax’ because it would be better for me. I needed Dr Connie’s help to learn how.” (Woman, 30 years)
“I came in contact in Connie after a long period of various and undiagnosed physical problems which I believed to be a result of long working hours and various important changes in my life. However, after many physical tests without any outcome and some personal events I came to realise I needed psychological help. From the beginning, the help of Connie has been very good. I soon felt better psychically with the help of some very basic yet very powerful relaxation techniques. Almost immediately, it became clear to me the value of being able to talk to someone who is not personally involved yet professional trained to help. I did not really know what to expect but I almost immediately liked the methodical and rational approach to emotional problems especially when I was no longer able myself. I quickly started looking forward to the weekly session. It relaxed me and I felt progress was made each week, step by step. During the session, I often felt I was looking in a mirror at myself yet seeing things I had not seen before. Even though it is not possible that each session is 100% productive, I took away at least one or two important learning each time sometime realising this later on. During the sessions, I was obliged to talk about feelings, my fears and myself and not about my job, my latest vacation, the news or other such things. Whereas in the beginning this gave me a very uncomfortable feeling, over time I became more used to it. The result was that I started to feel that the bad period was behind me. A number of personal things went my way and I felt good most of the time, and I finished treatment. However, about one year and half later a combination of events if my life set me back again. I went back to Connie and this time I did some visits together with my partner. We both experienced the help of an independent person as very important. In addition, these visits felt very different as another dimension was added. Going to the sessions myself was somehow intimate, but going there with my partner I felt as I was really opening up in a different way. This was very important. This time I really learned that it had not gone away and that it was part of me. Realizing this changed my way of thinking. Overall, the experience has been great. Help from an independent trained person, learning about emotions and feeling in general, learning new things about myself, and more will stay with me for the rest of my life. Emotions are a very important part of life.” (Man, 35 years)
“Before coming to therapy with Dr. Capdevila, I was feeling stuck, lacking initiative and motivation in my life. I felt negative about myself and put this negativity onto my wife or I ignored it, hide it, push it away. The moment I made the phone call, I was 80% done. I cannot lie to myself anymore. I am now enjoying the present, much more comfortable with myself. I realized that being raised in an alcoholic family had been studied and I learned how people felt similar to me in that situation. I know that it is better not waiting until the problem worsens before picking up the phone and calling.” (Man, 37 years)