I also feel that it gives you and unparallel sense of clarity because you just know who you are. When you know who you are and you get into a relationship with someone, you won’t allow anyone to disrespect you. You’re going to know your values. You’re going to know what your values are. You’re going to know what you need and you’ll absolutely know if those needs are not being met. On top of that, you will be able to communicate that your needs are not being met. Self esteem is the foundation for every decision you make. It’s how you allow people to treat you. It’s how you project yourself. Spending time in deep reflection is of the utmost importance.”
When you get into a relationship, a lot of times we try to be who we feel our partner needs without completely understanding that what your partner should need is the you that you are. I don’t think people know where to begin picking apart the pieces of who they are. How can someone start understanding who they are and accepting who they are? Where can someone pull courage from to make that first step? “I think one of the things is finding out what your qualities are. Again, that’s why self-reflection is so important. What are you really like? What are your values? What are your beliefs?—Not the ones that were imposed on you as a child, but now that you are an adult who are you? Even if it starts with the basics that’s fine. That’s where it starts. Are you comfortable with just being who you are? Are you doing things because you’re compelled to do them or do you actually enjoy them? Just start with the basics.
Another thing too is what are the things that make your heart sing? What can you do for hours on in and it doesn’t feel like a chore? Self-reflection does not have to be of judgment. It should be getting to know yourself for who you are. How are you fully living if you’re just going along? Are you an active participant in your life or are you a bystander?” Vladimire and I connected so well. I do my best to get you all to understand the importance of feeding your soul and doing things that make you truly happy. I hope that what she has so graciously shared with you confirms the message I’ve been trying to deliver.
Here’s another great example of why it’s so important to listen to your heart. “After I graduated from Hunter College with my Bachelor’s in Sociology, I entered the nursing program at NYU, however, two semesters into the program I realized that it just wasn’t for me because I’m terrified of blood. Then I realized that I was just doing it because my mother was a nurse. I was doing it for her more than for me. So therefore I took about 6 months off to really access what I really wanted and here I am today. That was the best decision I made, but I can honestly say that at that time, it was a distressing time for me because I was a still a people pleaser. I wanted to please my mom, I wanted to do what would make her proud of me, but I wasn’t proud of me. You have to do what makes you happy. That’s where the self-reflection, self-awareness, self-understanding… that’s where all of this comes back to.”
What do you find is a reoccurring cause of issue with the couples you have worked with? “When I meet couples for couples therapy, I always say “tell us what you brought from your childhood?” and they always ask ‘what do you mean by that’? It’s important for them to know what vulnerabilities from their childhood that they’ve brought into the relationship. What are the fears you brought? What are the insecurities, abandonment issues, anger issues—yes we do bring those things with us. I feel like once you come to terms with who you are, those things are—again– put into proper perspective.”
I would probably say one of the main things celebrities deal with is addiction. Would you say that’s true? “Addiction, yes, but also they deal with regular life issues. They come in and they have self-esteem issues. We think they have it all together, but that’s not true. That is one of the biggest misconceptions. They, too, deal with deep emotional wounds from their past. They do have self-esteem issues. They do have personal struggles. They do feel guilt from overworking and not spending as much time with their families. They do bring things from their childhoods into their present relationships.
With addiction, I’m finding with my every day clients as well as my celebrity clients that addiction is a big deal because what comes out of addiction is the same as that of shame, for whatever reason that leads them to their addiction.”
I can only imagine what causes the addiction for celebrities because I know as ‘regular’ people, for a lack of better words, even we feel like we have to be perfect. So, with the amount of stress that a celebrity deals with I understand how addiction could be so easy. What would you say is the process of bringing them back? “The first thing is to debunk the shame. All of the issues really have a lot to do with shame, guilt, and disconnection. You have to find out what the root of the addiction is, but in order to do that you have to get rid of that shame first. You have to let them know that recovery is possible. You have to give them hope to say that they can make it, but hope is a decision. A lot of times we forget that. When you come from a place where you are showing them that you understand their pain then you can move forward. Another thing is helping them to realize that nobody will hand them the healing. You have to let them know that work is required and necessary. It’s not about the courage to be perfect, but the courage to be vulnerable because you’re not perfect.”
I could tell just within the conversation that Vladimire and I had that she is so powerful in delivering healing and really helping individuals. Have you ever had to remove or insert your personal life in order to help a client? “Definitely. I have to disclose that pain I felt from my father all the time. We allow our wounds to change who we are. Put a name to that wound and address it. There is power in that. There is a transformative power to putting a name to a wound.”
I felt so much light in her spirit and I hope that you gained the same from reading this interview. Here’s to better days and self-reflection!