Meet Michelle Sabatini

michelle_sabatiniDie Psychologin und „Grinberg Method“-Praktikerin Michelle Sabatini bot beim Ferien(s)pass 2015 den vor Ort weilenden Vereinsmitgliedern sowohl Einzelbehandlungen als auch einen Workshop zum Thema „Silence & Creativity“ an. Die lebensfrohe Tessinerin lebt und arbeitet seit über sieben Jahren in Zürich (Interview auf Englisch).  

Michelle, some people describe the Grinberg Method® (GM) as „a body-based psychotherapy“. What is it really about?

The GM is a body work approach that aims to teach people to be more aware of their body: how we breathe (or not), the kind of tensions we create, and our posture. Those aspects translate also in the way we “look” at ourself and the world around us. When we can notice the way we respond to what happens around us, we can also notice that there are patterns of repetitive reactions.

For example, when I’m sitting in front of my computer I tense up my shoulders. I may also notice that I have headaches but fail to connect those headaches to the fact that my shoulders are tense. In this case the sessions with the GM practitioner would teach what the person is doing with her shoulders and learn to gain more control on the automatic reaction of contracting this area.

Another example: when I’m with people I feel uncomfortable and I tense my belly. I notice that I’m tense and not at ease with people – the interactions are actually not smooth or simple – but I believe it is because I’m shy and introverted. I don’t realise that because I’m so tense, the interactions with others become complicated.

Here the sessions would focus on learning to relax the belly area, and help the person experience the sensation of feeling uncomfortable with other people, without tensing up against this uncomfortable sensation.

You initially studied Psychology. How did you discover the Grinberg method?

I discovered the GM during my third university year in Psychology when I became a client myself. I have always been very interested in the connections between the body, emotions and mind.

When did you decide to start your own business?

At the end of my training as a Grinberg practitioner, 10 years ago.

What drives you as entrepreneur, what makes you tick?

There are two drivers. The first is intuition (actually quite a difficult sensation to describe with words), the feeling that this is my path. The second is the satisfaction and the results I get by working with my clients.

How do you ensure that you don’t take your clients‘ emotions or distress home with you?

The methodology is really good, also at this level. My job is to teach clients to recognise and change they repetitive reactions in order to be more free. It also means that whatever happens to us, even if extremely painful, is also an opportunity to learn. I believe that each and every one of us can learn and change. This helps me to trust and respect my clients and what they are experiencing.

Apart from individual sessions you are also offering the group workshop „Silence & Creativity“.

Indeed! The aim of this workshop is to focus on specific objectives which the participants bring to the table: Starting to paint, cleaning up the cellar or even preparing for a marathon. We train to create a state of silence in the body, through physical and breathing exercises and writing, and then we work together with the support of the group on what is needed in order to realise each project. In this context, silence means concentration, focus, space.

Being an experienced Grinberg practitioner, are you always as „Zen“ as you’d like to be?

No, absolutely not 🙂 Actually this is part of the beauty of my work: it asks me to continue to “develop” also on a personal level. We all have plenty of automatic reactions we learnt in our past. Then life brings us situations where it is possible to notice these patterns and to start working on them. I’m no different from my clients, I also need to learn! Even after all these years, to be more peaceful remains one of my personal objectives.

If a fairy offered you a free wish, what would it be?

Oo-là-là, this one is a such an interesting question! If I would ask the fairy to change some aspects of my life, I guess that I would probably deprive myself of the chance to learn from my difficulties… So maybe my wish would be to give a GM session … to a fairy 🙂

Mehr über Michelle Sabatini erfährst Du auf, einen vertieften Einblick in die Grinberg Methode bietet Dir die Website des Berufsverbands der GM-Praktiker.


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