Systemic Therapist (SG)
Welcome to my website!
I am Kristina Schlecht, psychologist and Systemic Therapist. I grew up in Russia, not far from the city Volgograd, and immigrated to Germany with my family when I was 17 years old. It took a while to find my new home as comfortable as I knew it before. But in the end I am happy to be attached to both cultures and have found my golden path. I mostly feel inspired by this diversity. On my way to where I am now I lived and followed my educational goals in Leipzig, Stuttgart and Heidelberg. Since 2009 I work and live with my husband and kids in Berlin.
I work mostly with couples, who want to change something in their relationship, as well as with individuals, who look for answers in their private life or work. I am convinced that our psychological well being is linked to our physical as well as emotional balance.
I was working a long time with families as well, in order to achieve more understanding between family members, parents and their children. Moreover I also worked with families in difficult economic situations in order to find the balance between the feasability in the day to day life and overcome crucial problems.
In my work as a couple therapist, I make a difference in the couple counselling and couple therapy. In the first case it is a rather quick intervention set to achieve a minimal improvement. It can take between one and three sessions to get first glimpses into the couple dynamics. In the second case, it can last around ten or twelve sessions. The main topics circle around deeper dynamics and the link between the stories, which partners carry with themselves. It can go deeper in emotional involvement in the process. Insecurity or fear can come up. I see my task to provide safe environment for such feelings to come up and being held. On the other hand it can be extremely releasing and make hope for a true change.
I work primarily with so called resources (strong sides) of my clients and relate to body signals at the same time. I am a convinced systemic therapist which means for me to see every client as an expert of his and her nature. I understand systemic method as one of those, which focuses on contextual influences which are alsways there. We as individuals still live and act in relation to the important ones next to us. It is parents, spouse, colleague or children. Also I emphasize the importance of body signals, via „Focusing“ method. Normally, we ignore our body sensations and only deal with them when it begins to hurt. If we learn to listen to ourselves earlier it can deliver many insights in our inner life.
Such values as acceptance of different life models as well as the attempt to balance different interests are highly relevant in my work, especially that with couples. I use constructive energy of acceptance and understang as well as the deconstructive and renewing energy of anger in my sessions. Every feeling and emotion is included and has ist place and relevance.
Moreover, I see one of the most important part of my philosophy in figuring out in which direction it is going to go with the counselling or therapy. It means, I take time in the beginning of our work to understand if the clients wish a change and what that would mean. It can still happen in the middle of a process, that clients do not want a change they set in the beginning, but want to preserve the status quo. I see my role in supporting a preserving way too.
- Psychology, Psychotherapy and Co.
- Systemic Therapy und Counselling
- Couple therapy
- Mediation and divorce counselling
As a psychologist I focused on the processes of decision making in uncertain environment in my diploma thesis in the University of Heidelberg (Germany). How do we make decisions? What is the most precise source of information for an accurate decision? What role do emotions, stereotypes and dissonance play? I was dealing with these questions and many others while getting my degree in psychology. I focused on communication and cognitive psychology while tutoring at the university.
At the moment I am in the end part of my psychotherapy studies at the ppt in Berlin. My focus is on psyhodynamic psychotherapy. This kind of psychotherapy is dealing with subconscious processes and is looking for the reasons of psychological disorders while examining hat erelationships and attachment types in the childhood and othere crucial life phases. I am fascinated of exactly this kind of understanding human psychology the most. While cognitive behavioural therapy is focusing on the observable aspects of our psyche, the psychodynamic therapy is trying to look behind the scenes. Originally the psychodynamic therapy developed out of psychoanalysis and became a separated therapy style.
I see Systemic Therapy as a method, which is related to the psychodynamic therapy. I completed the qualification of Systemic Therapy and Counselling in Berlin Institute – ISTand opened my practice in Berlin Kreuzberg. I was certified as a systemic therapist by German association, the Systemic Society (SG), which means that I am allowed to work as a systemic therapist and be listed in the Systemic Society.
Systemic therapy emphasizes a constructivist way of seeing human beings and their way of thinking and behaving. We are constrained as a product of the sum of our environmental influences. As a result, a symptom or a psychological disorder is seen from the perspective of a certain context. There is no such thing as a „disorder“ in a systemic way of thinking without a context. A symptom is seen as the best way to solve a difficulty in „disordered“ conditions. And clients are the experts of their lives, symptoms and disorders. The therapist is an empathetic companion, who is showing her perspective. This is my understanding of Systemic Therapy and the the therapy I am doing. I enjoy working with the systemic methods. Especially I feel dedicated to the narrative method and sculpture work.
As a couple therapist I dedicate myself to the systemic couple thrapy of A.Retzer or U.Clement (Couples in Movement, VPA, Vienna, 2016) as the leading method working with couples as well as to Emotionsfocusing of S.Johnson (Emotionsfocusing in Couple Therapy, EZI, Berlin, 2018).
Both of these therapeutic schools complement each other in a harmonious way. I set the focus and understand the context by means of systemic „glasses“ to figure out the starting and the turning point of the couple life. It is then possible to set the direction of the therapy or counselling. Both partners find out for themselves where they think their relationship is at the moment and what kind of wishes there are still. If the couple wants to stay together and change the stuck dynamics then it is time to dive deeper and see what kind of emotions there are and how these contribute to the overall dynamics and the comunicative space. The dynamics couple therapist are confronted with in their work are wide spread and show an astonishing similarity. Still it is the individual work with each couple which makes the experienced emotions being felt, understood and processed. The idea of a healthy and and nourishing relationship gets more clear while working with emotions.
I feel dedicated to both of these methods in my couple therapy and counselling.
While working with divorced couples I understood the value of neutrality and the focus on children’s well-being, physical as well as psychological. Often parents are involved in their grief and anger around the separation process. The conflicts and maladaptive dynamics in the couple were there long before separation and thus no quick solutions or good compromises can be easily achieved. New progressive mediation methods are being developed over time and I found it extremely powerful to follow new paths. For example „Kinder aus der Klemme“ – a program from Holland to teach divorced parents to feel how hard children deal with two different worlds and try to find peace within (Brandenburg, 2016)
Also such programs as how to address the divorced couples with humor and treat hard topics with a bit of lightness. (Potsdam, 2017)
In my studies I have been striving to understand what makes people content and their lives fulfilled. By the way I focused on sexuality and sexual orientation (University of Heidelberg, 2005). How does relaxation influence a healthy sexuality? How do both sexes differ from each other in respect of satisfaction?
Sexuality is one of most prominent topics, I work with in my couple therapy (Ressources and resistence in Sextherapy, IGST, Heidelberg, 2019). How is it possible to find the balance between adventurous and safe energy in long term relationships? What kind of sexual habits and phantasies do partners bring in the relationship? How are these influenced by the society and the norms? What is a sexual disorder? Does it have something to do with the sexual ability or resistence? What kind of sexual wishes do people suppress? I work on the basis of Ideal Sexual Scenario of U.Clement. I provide a safe space to let things evolve, talk difficult sides of sexual life and set realistic goals for the wishes both partners bring into the therapy. Opennes and trust are basic for the work on such a vulnerable topic as sexuality.
I have a chance to study and work in psychiatry and had a glimpse in healing processes of schizophrenia or depression (Bürgerhospital, Stuttgart, 2006; Potsdam, 2020). I have been dealing with psychoeducation, relaxation methods, group therapy and individual sessions as well as I got to know how medication impacts peoples’ well being and reduces symptoms in severe disorders, like severe depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. How do pills imfluence brain? How do people with schizophrenia focus on positive aspects in the remission phase to avoid a new episode?
While working with families in difficulties I have learned quite a progressive method of fmaily activations, which is aiming at activations of inner ressources of each of family member to let the family stay together.
Since the beginning of my work as couple therapist I am attending supervision. It is basically a professional discussion of cases with neutral third person in order to understand the process and see the idea of where to got further.
As a psychotherapist it is of great importance to develop further and further as new methods and insights allow us to better the therapy process. I am absolutely convinced in it and conceive it as extremely valuable.