Interview with Laura Mateu | How to achieve your personal and professional goals | What's Up!

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Interview with Laura Mateu | How to achieve your personal and professional goals


What’s Up! Rambla Catalunya hosted guest speaker Laura Mateu at an event called “The Science of Happiness!” Laura graduated with a Psychology degree from Barcelona University. She complemented her education with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at ISEP. After working in New York supervising and helping groups of disabled people, she moved to San Francisco. It was there where she obtained her Certification of Integral Therapist. Laura is currently the owner of her own integral therapy consultation enterprise. We spoke to her about her experience in this amazing field.

Hello Laura! Why did you decide to go abroad when you graduated? 

I decided to study and work abroad because I wanted to get access to the latest research findings in the field of psychology, and California is leading some of the most powerful psychology studies nowadays. I had the chance to get educated from a holistic perspective that integrates various aspects of human experience (psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, social…) and diverse psychotherapeutic approaches in the clinical practice.

What was your professional experience in a foreign culture like?

It was amazing to study and work in San Francisco, which is a boiling pot of so many cultures around the world. I worked with people from different nationalities and backgrounds, which was extremely enriching since it allowed us to have a more complete perspective and understanding of the complexities of human behavior.

Interview with Laura Mateu

How can we communicate more assertively and more effectively with our colleagues?

Assertiveness is a “win-win” approach that describes the ability to communicate our opinions, feelings and attitudes in ways that respect the rights of others. Assertive communication involves showing empathy to others’ feelings, stating your difficulty or problem, and expressing your need or desire. Some tips to increase your assertiveness include using the word “I” instead of “you” (ex. I feel that we should try X… vs You shouldn’t do Y…), maintaining eye contact, avoiding ambiguity, being mindful of your tone and voice, being a good listener and using consistent and expressive body language.

It’s well known that today’s society is very competitive. Is stress the epidemic of the 21st century?

Indeed, stress is known as the health epidemic of the 21st century since more than half of the population in our modern-day society has suffered or will suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorders, and almost everyone has experienced stress in their lives. We are surrounded by constant sources of stress (ex. fear of losing our jobs, relationship problems, health issues, exams…) and often this can become overwhelming and hard to handle. Being able to manage stress in our daily lives is essential to living a healthy and balanced life.  

Interview with Laura Mateu

How do mindfulness and meditation techniques help in reducing stress? 

During the last decade there has been numerous groundbreaking studies showing the effects of mindfulness and meditation techniques in stress reduction. Mindfulness and meditation practices have the power of counteracting the effects of stress in the body by producing the opposite reactions, such as lower blood pressure and higher immunity response. For this reason, these mind-body practices have been effectively used in the treatment of not only anxiety,but also cardiovascular diseases or any other disease that may be affected by stress. 

Interview with Laura Mateu

What is your best tip for somebody who wants to start working on their personal growth?

The first and necessary step to work on your personal growth is increasing your self-awareness, which means being able to identify and acknowledge your own emotions, fears, desires, limitations, strengths, habits… It is only when we are aware of our own self and our current situation that we can start working towards a more empowered and improved version of our self. Once you decide what you want to change or work on, you must set a goal that is “SMART” (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) and commit to it. Since it will often involve getting out of your comfort zone and overcoming challenging obstacles it might be interesting to seek a mentor or coach to help you along the path. What is certain is that there is no end to self-improvement because the human potential is limitless and it is impossible to reach a point of no growth. 

Thank you very much Laura! 

The What’s up! Team

¡Click here for more information about her work!

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