I am a psychologist, CBT psychotherapist, and social entrepreneur with 13 years experience of providing evidence-based psychological services for individuals, charities and companies. I am HCPC-registered in clinical, counselling, occupational and health psychology having had the chance to develop innovative award-winning solutions for both companies and charities. As a scientist practitioner, I engage in psychological research, leading to effective interventions and life-changing projects.
My top 5 character values: honesty, creativity, courage, perseverance, altruism.
A creative mindset for professional development
Creativity is a fulfilling way to express your potential. Everything we learn, proves to be much more valuable in the long run, when allowing our interests to unfold. Since psychology has broad applications, I decided to focus on a cross-disciplinary approach for promoting human development. After graduating with a dual bachelor degree in psychology and education sciences, I continued my education at the same pace, with two Masters programmes in Human Resources, and Clinical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Babes Bolyai University (Romania) and the Albert Ellis Institute (USA).
After graduation, I started working in private practice, at the same time collaborating on community projects with a number of NGOs. My roles were varied and complex, and became an opportunity to merge skills and learn through practice.
We are what we know, we become what we are doing
Pursuing a career in psychology was the best choice I ever made, as authentic motivation can emerge when doing what matters the most. I qualified in related fields such as training, career counselling, project management and innovation management. These same skills proved to be essential for developing a reliable mindset, advance complex projects and implement an innovative approach.
A meaningful calling for a purposeful life
There is no such thing as luck, we are meant to discover the opportunities that match our skills, values and potential. Some of my initiatives include ResponsivEbooks® an engagement platform for social development, The Self-Help Incubator® a social initiative for promoting the human potential, and Mindful Living Networking, an event which aims to educate critical thinking while promoting rewarding social interactions.
I have developed meaningful projects, social events, interactive online communities or reliable resources to fulfill meaningful social goals. To me, progress means change, rehearsing new ways of thinking or a range of strategies to iterate development safely. The result, a genuine approach for you to always find a better way forward.
Research not only informs my practice, but it also allows you to understand the scientific elements that promote health and enhance performance. Below you can find a list of abstracts, including selected research I conducted so far.
Enhancing Sexual Fantasy using Mindfulness: A Matter of Absorption or Hedonic Capacity?
Sexual fantasies play an important role in sexual desire disorders. At a cognitive level, they help us feel part of a vivid scenario, which can engage attention and trigger interest, in order to be developed further and explored.
Fantasies can only be maintained while the imaginary script triggers a desirable level of sexual arousal. At the same time, in order to be aware of the degree of change in sexual excitement, fantasies are dependent on the individual ability to perceive pleasure, as a positive subjective experience following arousal.
This study aims to observe the extent in which mastering mindfulness skills ensures a higher level of sexual satisfaction, as well as the contribution of pleasure capacity and imaginative absorption in fantasy enhancement following mindfulness processing.
Using a correlational design, n=120 participants involved in a couple relationship were selected and volunteered to participate in the study. Five questionnaires were administered: sexual fantasy questionnaire (SFQ), Kentucky Inventory for Mindfulness Skills (KIMS), Telegen Absorption Scale (TAS), Pleasure Capacity Scale (PCS) and the Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS).
Results show that mindfulness skills (observing and accepting in particular), are an important predictor for the development of sexual fantasies. Absorption has a higher contribution in the moderation model compared to pleasure capacity, which may be due to the overlapping effect of cognitive schemas and physiological sensitivity. Sexual fantasies play an important part in achieving sexual satisfaction, mindfulness skills training being an efficient intervention for enhancing sexual performance.
Perceived Vulnerability: Implication in Health, Safety and Performance (Book summary)
Perceived vulnerability is a central construct which allows self-regulation to guide the human behaviour between safe boundaries. It strongly correlates with several psychological processes such as self-perception, outcome expectancies, the Need for feedback and cognitive closure, flow, risk-taking behaviours or suicide ideation.
The five chapters emphasize the evidence for perceived vulnerability across environments (personal, educational, organisational) as well as in threatening environments such as the extreme sports, providing a set of conceptual instruments for designing psychological, educational or health management interventions.
Perceived Vulnerability to Disease - Between Real and Imagined: a Theoretical Review
This review advances a theoretical framework, describing the development of vulnerability perceptions in health and illness. The factors involved in both healthy and maladaptive behaviour patterns and dysfunctional cognitive or emotional beliefs were emphasized, taking into account conceptual differences between susceptibility, probability and risk.
Factors such as attention bias, cognitive distortions or positive illusions are relevant for both the frequency and intensity of a vulnerable state. In order to better determine whether risk factors can become relevant for a given individual, clinicians should use reliable, multifaceted instruments to accurately assess individual vulnerabilities in order to predict and prevent risk-taking behaviours.
Results advance a range of perceptual perspectives that shape individual vulnerability, a terminological conceptualization which can help clinicians better estimate the degree of risk faced by different vulnerable groups when maintaining illusory or distorted beliefs. This way, intervention strategies can better address the dimensions that could transform in risk factors for increased distress or disability in the long.
The Impact of Implicit Theories on the Need for Feedback in Educational Coaching
Personal development can be a long-term educational goal. As an instruction method, coaching provides motivational guidance for meaningful learning.
Since the instruction process involves unexpected obstacles that may always challenge understanding and recall, approaching a given learning challenge is dependent on one's personal beliefs for self-development.
Feedback is one of the core factors in self-regulated learning. Providing feedback may encourage the student's development, while requesting feedback is a way of showing commitment for one's development.
The objectives of this study are as follows:
(1) Observing the impact of implicit theories on the coaching relationship in an educational context;
(2) Investigating the dynamic process between need for feedback and coaching interaction, as a function of implicit theories involved in the learning process.
Using instruments with good psychometric properties, three hypotheses have been advanced; the results being relevant for learning and development settings.
Educational Coaching can always become an instruction alternative, where individual availability for learning is strongly influenced by incremental theories which shape the cognitive mindset involved in both achievement and mastery.
Perceived Vulnerability Theory - Explaining the Meaning of Extreme Risk-Taking for Indirect Suicide
This study aims to generate a death perception theory in those who practice extreme sports. We used a qualitative approach, based on the grounded theory methodology.
The study involved 10 individual, semi-structured interviews; all interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. After coding the transcripts, 23 conceptual categories have been extracted, which had a significant contribution to the development of the central category named “the moment of rebirth ”. It describes a unique instant, perceived as an opportunity for a pleasant experience which includes thrill, excitement and a powerful sensation that may undermine the risk of losing one’s life.
The data gathered provided sufficient evidence to advance the vulnerability theory, which consists of 4 stages: illusion, adaptation, acceptance and the extreme sensation-seeking stage; one's vulnerability being greater in the last stage, when the probability of losing one's life is traded for intense sensations which challenge survival boundaries.