Meet the Therapist: Kristina Matej
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I’ve always liked helping people and once I experienced the benefits of person-centred integrative NLP/hypnotherapy for myself, I knew that becoming a therapist was a good way to pay it forward. Therapy has been life-changing for me on so many levels.
Where did you train?
At the Salus academy and Complex Trauma Institute.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
I practise person-centred integrative NLP/hypnotherapy (PCINH), which is a combination of NLP and hypnotherapy informed by cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), transactional analysis (TA), life coaching, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), mindfulness and many other therapies, giving the therapist a variety of tools they can apply with their client according to their specific needs at any time.
I chose to practice this therapy, because as a client, after trying many other more traditional approaches, this was the one approach that I found most effective in my life.
I love that I tailor each session for each of my clients and meet them where they are instead of following a structured prescribed approach or trying to for people into a box.
How does this therapy help with symptoms of postnatal depression or anxiety?
Because of the flexibility and variety of therapeutic tools PCINH offers, it is really well suited to people with postnatal depression or anxiety, which is my specialist area.
With this therapy, I am able to offer flexibility in frequency and length of sessions, something that new parents find particularly helpful. I am also able to help them address their current symptoms, whether they are coming from their present environment or deep past trauma, while it enables me to assist my clients with finding their own resources and solution that work for them and empower them to find joy in every day life.
What sort of people do you usually see?
Currently, most of my clients are women, who are expecting children, have just given birth or have young kids. The age range is 25-45 years.
Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?
Societal, economical and technological developments have brought a lot of positive changes in our lives, but also many new challenges.
Postnatal depression has become not only more recognised but also more prevalent. We have evolved to raise our children in a close knit community, not alone. Society puts unreasonable pressure and has impossible expectations of parents – mothers in particular – leading to poor mental health not only in parents, but children too.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I love when my clients realise they don’t need me anymore, that they’ve learned how to understand and look after themselves. Seeing them becoming empowered, self-aware and courageous, makes me feel really happy. My clients' breakthrough moments are just such a joy, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What is less pleasant?
I find it hard to deal with when people are stuck in unhealthy environments through no fault of their own and finding it hard to get the support they need due to lack of economic resources.
How long have you been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I am fairly new to Welldoing and still finding my way around, but the Welldoing team has been amazing and really friendly.
I love the articles section as that is such a great resource for clients and therapists alike.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
There are many amazing books out there, some of my favourites are Hold on to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, Mindfulness for Life by Martine Batchelor, all books by Sarah Ockwell-Smith, all books by Brene Brown and pieces written by myself.
What you do for your own mental health?
I have a two minute cold shower every morning. I make sure I spend some time outside each day no matter the weather, preferably in nature.
I do my best to focus on one task at a time and, most importantly, I take rest seriously. I speak to my therapist once a month, but it used to be weekly few years back.
You are an online therapist. What can you share with us about working online?
I work solely online and currently have clients from the UK, Germany and Australia. The issues my clients are dealing with seem to be universal across the world.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
I wish people realised how important therapy is nowadays and how much it can improve our quality of life.
I also wish they knew that there are many therapies and many therapists and the trick is to find what and who works for you as we all have different needs.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
I found my inner strength and courage. I learned that I am in charge of my life no matter what happened in my past and that my childhood does not need to inform my present life.
I also learned that I possess all the resources I need.