Dr Yury Shamis, PhD, MA
I aim to help my clients alter their thoughts and schemas, explore and resolve past traumas and anxieties, as well as meaningfully interpret and re-author their life narratives. I believe that everyone’s identity needs to be underwritten with well-established personal truths, ideas, values and that almost any of life’s obstacles can be overcome if a person is true to their purpose, morals and love. Contrary to the classic therapeutic outlook, in my opinion, self-disclosure is a must, as we learn from ourselves as much as from others. In my own experience as a client, I found that I developed significantly stronger connections with therapists who shared their relevant life experiences and struggles compared to those who only focused on my story. Therapeutic self-disclosure taught me to recognise that all people have struggles and unresolved matters in their lives; and that there are no essential differences between a therapist and client. In my view, a good therapist is somebody who continues to face and overcome a range of hardships throughout their life. It is someone who has been beaten down physically, emotionally and/or psychologically, and has stood up on countless occasions; learning and evolving from each experience. The best healers are those that have (and continue) to be healed themselves, not relying primarily on textbooks and statistics, but rather, use their personal journeys, learnt coping strategies and insights to help alleviate pain in others. While knowledge of psycho-therapeutic theories is mandatory, I believe that underneath all our apparent complexities, we are all alike, relatively simple and intelligible. My motto is that everything happens for a reason, even if the reason is not yet understood. Almost ANYTHING can be achieved both personally and professionally, and any trait, thought, emotion or behaviour can be shifted. I believe that our minds and hearts hold all the answers to the universe and learning to listen and appreciate our deeper selves is the ultimate goal of any form of self-growth and development.
Fundamentally, my personal experience in psychotherapy stems from my own self-analysis; the slow breakdown and re-authoring of past traumas, thoughts, and maladaptive beliefs by using learned cognitive-behavioral techniques, releasing emotional blocks, and pushing myself through fears via exposure work. I have battled severe anxiety, depression and drug addiction. I have felt the joy from being in love and the gut-wrenching agony from heartbreak; ridden the highs of social success and the lows of interpersonal isolation. As I’ve worked through many of these issues and have grown older (and hopefully wiser), I have come to realise that much of my life’s struggles are underlined by existential concerns and the search for a deeper meaning / purpose in life.