There is no underestimating the impact COVID has had on people’s mental health across the globe. And while it is becoming (slowly) easier to talk openly about the subject, it is a topic that largely remains taboo in Malta. We had a chat with Sophie Bonello Dupuis, who began her practice as a Gestalt psychotherapist a little less than a year ago, and it was an eye-opener in more ways than one.
Spreading the message
“After graduating, it was supposed to be the start of something special, and look towards setting up my own clinic”, Sophie explained. “It was extremely difficult and deflating, as I had to come to terms with what was happening and change my plans”.
I started writing these blogs as a way to show people that it’s OK to feel down, stressed and/or sad, whether there’s a pandemic or not. At some point, everyone should explore themselves on a deeper level.
A therapist on social media and running a blog is pretty much unheard of on our shores. In fact, there’s still a pretty big taboo around mental health in general, in Malta. Sophie, however, has high hopes. “I’m hoping that being young and having an Instagram presence, this blog can help break the stigma, normalise it somehow”. The good thing is that once the pandemic dies down, people will have a sense of who she is and what she has to offer.
About social media…
It’s also worth noting that seeing such a local presence on social media is a welcome change. Negativity on Instagram and Facebook is nothing new, whether it’s bullying, fake realities, or other inappropriate behaviour. However, these platforms allow us to reach new people in ways that we couldn’t before, so that’s the positive flipside to it. “Some people won’t even be aware of what they’re going through. It’s a difficult experience at any time, let alone right now.”
In her blog, Sophie tackles various aspects. She looks at how the pandemic may have affected your outlook on life, time-sensitive as it is, as well as how she copes with living with OCPD. It makes for great reading in terms of how OCPD differs from OCD, but it also shows that as a therapist, she’s human too.
While the wait to set up her own clinic goes on, for now, you can get in touch with Sophie via e-mail at email@example.com. You can find her at Lantern Pharmacy in St Venera, or Anici pharmacy in Qormi.
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