Патрисия - engPatrícia Cardoso Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal)

Report Revisiting Guinea-Bissau’s psychotherapy practice: a cross-cultural dialogue with Biosynthesis

Guinea-Bissau is one of the world’s poorest and most fragile and unstable countries, and has a population of about 1.8 million. It is rich with diversity, but also with a range of stressors derived from ethnic conflicts and wars, immigration and refugee issues and problems with drugs.

In Guinea-Bissau the provision of mental health care in the country remains substantially inadequate to address the respective issues, partly caused by the scarcity of resources in Africa, i.e. human resources (psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and other mental health professionals), mental health resources (beds, etc.), but also inadequate financial resources.

Even where such services are available, it remains unclear that psychotherapeutic interventions designed for western countries are effective in African low- and middle-income countries. Relatively little is known about the specific forms psychotherapy takes in different countries and its efficacy, acceptability and feasibility in African societies.

In this sense, the purpose of my presentation is then to exhibit a framework for debating about the need for the “Africanization” of psychotherapy for African countries with Biosynthesis therapists. African psychotherapy should definitely be an holistic approach including the recognition that the cultural, social, spiritual, psychological and economic aspects of life are relevant to the person’s behaviour.

I was born in Estoril, Portugal (one of the most beautiful places in the world) but with my multicultural and multilingual heart and DNA all over the world, having lived in Germany. Have in my optimism my best ally. I love coffee and a good Portuguese wine, travelling, Africa and have an addiction - books. I love a good and profound talk losing the track of time, laughing, dancing, kisses and hugs, my family and my friends. I am happier in the autumn, and believe: from yesterday we bring who we are, and today we are exactly the same, we have only added experiences, laughs, tears, adventures, promises and dreams.

I am a Trainee Somatic Psychotherapist at Centro de Psicoterapia Somática em Biossíntese, Lisboa, Portugal and a student of the Post-graduation in Psychosomatics and Epigenetics at the same Centre.

Professional interests: Somatic Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, PTSD, Psychosomatics, Epigenetics.