How and/or why did you become a therapist?
I remember that I loved to sit and observe people. I have images of me being 5 years old and 7, 8, or 15 years old, sitting on a bus or train or tram or anywhere and calmly observing other people, the way how they act, speak, not making any stories, just paying attention to everything about them. I was fascinated by humankind but happy to observe rather than be involved. I was a good listener as I was not tempted to help; I just listened. And on top of that I loved secrets and was never tempted to share them. My journey to become a therapist was a long one. First I was obsessed with philosophy, Far East religions and psychoanalysis. My father gave me a book “The Art of Loving” by Erich Fromm for my 16th or 17th birthday. I consider this book a milestone – the beginning of becoming a therapist. In this book Erich Fromm expressed and I got …that psychologists/therapists are in a state of becoming. It is a process of growing into it. Also he recommended studying law first as a good idea to get a basic knowledge about everything and also to learn how to think. So I did. I understood that being a therapist means having a variety of life experiences. I graduated from the law faculty and went into an international business so I learned a lot about different cultures and behavioral expressions. I hung out there for 8 years and after that I got involved in a divorce of my friend and was challenged by being a stepmother. At that time, I felt decently experienced in the “art of life” and submitted my application to become a therapist. I excelled and was hungry to do and try anything – clinical psychology in hospitals, work with schizophrenics, relationships, school psychology, etc. I tried it all, love it all, I was fascinated and passionate.
What are the most rewarding aspects of being a therapist?
The most rewarding moments for me are moments when me and my clients are attuned, when we surf on the same wave.
What’s unique or special in your background or approach to interpersonal relationships?
Probably experience with different cultures, work with systems, focus on process, goal and solution search.
What are some things about therapy that you want to increase public awareness about?
I often say that as a therapist I am a tool in clients’ hands – educated, experienced, fast-thinking, genuine, straightforward and honest and ask them to use me to learn, make a change, figure it out. Being forced to therapy does not work. We need clients who really want, are motivated to change or understand their life.
Eva Smidova, M.A., PhDr., LMFT is a warm, friendly, open-minded and mindful professional, dedicated to providing the highest quality psychotherapy with respect, passion, and mindfulness, tailored to my clients. Learn more about her at www.psychotherapyswflorida.com.