I am a qualified psychotherapist specialized in trauma and member of the Norwegian Trauma Therapists Association (Norsk Traumeterapeutforening). I have trained in Identity-Oriented Psychotrauma Theory (IoPT) at the Institutt for Traumearbeid (Institute for Trauma Work) in Oslo, Norway. Find out more about my approach.
I am Cristina, I am in my forties, and I got into psychotherapy because I wanted to help myself and others. Originally from Italy, I have lived most of my life abroad, largely in the UK, but I also spent time in Switzerland, Germany and the US. I have now been living for 8 years in Oslo, Norway.
I am a researcher, teacher and mentor by training. I thought I had a fairly happy and successful life until I was diagnosed with “unexplained infertility.” Although my husband and I embarked on assisted reproduction, we ended our medical journey without a child. Not being able to have the family I had dreamed of was the beginning for me of an existential crisis that made me question who I was, the purpose of life, the very meaning of “happiness” and “realization.” I wrote about what involuntary childlessness means and feels like, and how it affects every fiber of one’s being in Childlessness in the Age of Communication: Deconstructing Silence (Routledge, 2020).
Although working on that book had somehow a soothing effect on my grief, I still felt I was carrying, deep inside myself, the injury of an unhealed wound. This cut at my core was both unmistakably present in my everyday life, weighing like a cover of lead on it, at the same time hidden, somehow unreachable, as if haunting my every thought and my every gesture from a parallel dimension. I wanted to find a way to make sense of it. That is what drove an initial fascination with “trauma”—whose Greek root, not by chance, means “wound”—and later led me to train as Identity-Oriented Psychotrauma Theory (IoPT) therapist. I am now working on a new book on infertility as trauma.
Undergoing psychotherapy myself as part of the training has helped me heal, not only from the trauma of infertility, but also from other traumas I had been thus far unaware of. It made me realize the devastating extent to which hidden trauma from our past limits and painfully distorts our present, draining us of joy and life-energy. This happens even if we think nothing remarkable has occurred to us in our life—that is, in fact, an illusion our unconscious has fabricated for us to be able to survive.
Having experienced myself the benefits of psychotherapy, I want to bring them to others. My mission is to help people develop into all they can be and live life to the full. Are you willing to start the journey back to yourself?
‘You were the first person I have ever spoken to about childlessness who did not have judgment or advice, or a story about a friend of a friend…you know. To whom I could talk about what I was really going through and how I felt…who met me exactly where I was, in my body and my soul’ (Marianne, Kristiansand, Norway)
‘In the therapy with you I could truly be me. I could go into myself and was allowed, in this space, to feel my feelings. That moved something in me’ (Inger, Trondheim, Norway)
‘I have realized that I am not going to stay in a place of hurt and pain forever…I feel there is movement’ (Nora, Oslo, Norway).