We interview Catalina Fuster, a psychologist with 30 years of experience in personal development.
Many people have a very narrow conception about what Psychology is, both as an area of research and in terms of its applications to life. For example, it is common to assume that only those with psychopathology “go to the psychologist”.
However, this scientific field is much more diverse than that, and it also addresses the needs and problems of people who do not have any disorders. An example of this can be found in the Bienestar 10 program, promoted by the psychologist Catalina Fuster, whom we interviewed on this occasion.
Interview with Catalina Fuster: what is the Bienestar 10 program?
Catalina Fuster Bennasar is a psychologist with 30 years of experience offering psychological support and coaching services to adults and adolescents. Through his work it is clear that psychology is not limited to performing interventions in cases of psychopathologies, since it has developed a support program for patients specifically oriented to problems and needs that go beyond psychological disorders: the Well-Being 10 program. In this interview he tells us about him.
In summary, what is the Bienestar 10 program and why is it specifically aimed at people without diagnosed psychological disorders?
Bienestar 10 is a personal growth program, aimed at people who do not have any diagnosed pathology. The B10 program is aimed at all those who want to improve their well-being and satisfaction with life, from self-knowledge, since it allows us to promote healthy lifestyle habits and improve the ability to enjoy the things that surround us.
In the first sessions, a study is carried out of the current strengths that the person possesses and that can be the basis for channeling their goals and promoting positive thoughts, in order to increase satisfaction with life. In addition, at the end, we will measure the result and the progress obtained, and thus, be aware of the improvement achieved.
As a psychotherapy professional with more than 30 years of experience in this, do you think there are still many people who do not go to therapy unless they suspect they have psychopathology?
I think there is still a part of the population that is reluctant to go to psychotherapy. I am surprised to hear, in some situations, how someone explains that, for example, their husband or wife (or another close relative) say that they “do not believe” in the efficacy of psychological work, as if that was still something unscientific or of superstition.
Fortunately, these doubts are becoming less frequent and psychotherapy is more standardized as an effective care. Generally speaking, yes, I believe that intense discomfort and problems with the environment are the push for many people to seek psychotherapy.
What kind of scientific evidence supports these proposals based on positive psychology?
Positive psychology begins with authors like Seligman and is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. This theory is based on the belief that people want to lead fulfilling lives, promote what is best within themselves, and enhance their life experiences.
According to these authors, Positive Psychology is the scientific study of positive experiences, as well as positive individual traits and programs that help improve the quality of life of individuals, reducing the chances of developing psychopathologies. With this scientific basis, Seligman designed the PERMA model, from which the B10 is also used.
There are also previous antecedents in the classics of philosophy such as Plato or Aristotle, who referred to happiness as harmony between the individual and society; or as the final good itself.
From what you have seen so far, what phases does the process of change usually go through in people who go through the Bienestar 10 program?
The program is divided into 10 sessions, and may include an extra final session. They are highly structured sessions in which different aspects and themes are worked on to increase well-being. The tour covers both personal and individual aspects, as well as other aspects related to the environment.
It is a journey through self-knowledge, which aims to generate changes and provide lasting learning to face issues that may appear in the future of each person.
In the case of aspects of life that can be improved but are not limited to what happens to the person as an individual, but have to do with personal relationships, how does this program help?
First of all, it allows you to review and become aware of the relationships that are active in your current life, their quality and the influence they have on your decision-making or the need for support.
From that point on, it favors that especially significant relationships are more cared for and cared for and that they assume the level of importance that each person wants others to have in their process and in their life.
What role does self-knowledge play in the adoption of healthier habits psychologically? What’s more … is it possible to promote your own personal development without working on self-knowledge?
I believe that self-knowledge is a key element in personal development. Being able to ask ourselves what we feel, what scares us, what we really like and seek the balance of the personal with the environment that surrounds us is essential for well-being and happiness.
Without that self-knowledge, I consider that it is not possible to reach an optimal level of personal development that allows us to approach authentic and calm happiness, taking into account that these are specific moments that we need to know how to identify and enjoy.