My Story, Journey & Learnings
I believe that our Mental Health is determined by the quality of our relationships, starting with the relationship with ourselves.
YOU PROBABLY INVESTED IN YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH ALREADY
√ You took university courses and professional training
√ You read self-help books and followed others people’s advice
√ You attended seminars and workshop
√ You followed (social media) influencers and podcasts
√ You browsed the internet for information and guidance
√ You tried coaching or therapy or both
AN INVITATION TO EXPANSION
Your guided self-exploration process
TO TAKE YOU FROM WHERE YOU ARE TODAY TO WHERE YOU REALISTICALLY WISH TO BE
Ready for your 360ᶱ LIFE MAKEOVER?
It feels embarassing to share that I went through 30 years of formal education (15 studying psychology and psychotherapy at undergraduate and postgraduate level) and I still struggled in life. The truth is education does not prepare us for life!
Strangely as it sounds, psychology and psychotherapy have not been sufficient to help me know myself, to heal and to grow into the person I wanted to be. I still struggled to understand why I was hurt in my childhood, why my relationships were so challenging and why I was trapped in perfectionism and workaholism.
Suffering forced me to search outside of the “conventional”, to tap into transpersonal psychology and integrate my previous learnings with eastern spirituality traditions, logotherapy, anthropology, epigenetics and quantum physics.
When I created a bridge between psychology and these other 6 disciplines I opened my eyes to an expansive psychotherapy perspective that revealed a completely new dimension of life to me.
I’ve come to learn that at the core of most human suffering is the stuckness in our programmed tunnel mind and I was reminded that the only real power we have in life is CHOICE. With that sense of clarity and direction I finally felt free to embrace conscious awareness, heal my past and open to happiness.
These days I guide happiness seekers like you in their journey of self-discovery, healing and personal growth using the learnings I put together over the years into the 7 Steps of Real Transformation framework:
Understand so you can accept.
Accept so you can let go.
Let go so you can learn.
Learn so you can forgive.
Forgive so you can heal.
Heal so you cand transform.
Transform so you can open to happiness.
Now, let’s turn the lenses on you: Are you ready to let go of that pain? Are you ready to open to happiness?
Because what I will be offering you is not a mainstream coaching and therapy programme. It is more than dealing with today’s symptoms, it is going straight to the roots of your problems. It is more than support and education, it is a life reconstruction. It is personal development taken to the next level.
It is a complete 360ᶱ Life Makeover!
It is your pass towards a balanced and happy life!
Week 1 – What are you made of
◘ Your body – a community of 50 trillion very intelligent cells.
◘ Your mind – a programme installed on your pure brain. Your 3 entangled minds. Neuroplasticity.
◘ Your soul – the energy fuelling your life. The power of presence and consciousness.
Week 2 – What is happening inside of you
◘ How your body, mind and spirit interact with one another.
◘ How the 3 parts of you interact with the outer environment.
◘ Why your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing is dependent on them.
Week 3 – Where are you coming from
◘ The Universe surrounding you. The Earth. The Nature. The Ecosystem.
◘ The impact of the history of humanity on your life.
◘ How your ancestry continues to live through you.
Week 4 – Who wrote your life script
◘ How science and religion have influenced your life.
◘ The truth and lies about your life script.
◘ Why you struggle to come to terms with your inheritance.
Week 5 – How did you get here
◘ Unpacking your past history from birth to date.
◘ Family dynamic and (trans-generational) trauma.
◘ Attachment, intimacy, boundaries and current relational style.
Week 6 – How can you reframe your origins
◘ Myths, phantasies, fiction, folklore stories, imagination.
◘ Culture, similarity, difference, diversity and hybridity.
◘ How to re-write your life story and escape the negative self-narrative.
Week 7 – Who are you really
◘ Sense of confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
◘ Conditioning, values and personality formation.
◘ Perception, cognition and limiting beliefs.
Week 8 – What is your real identity
◘ Social persona and the false sense of identity.
◘ How identity is shaped by family, others and the world.
◘ Reconnect with disowned parts and embrace your real Self.
Week 9 – Why are you here
◘ Why you struggle to live on purpose.
◘ What fires you up, what gives you pleasure, what brings you joy.
◘ Embrace your gifts and talents and contribute to the humanity and the world.
Week 10 – What is your purpose in life
◘ Get clear on your mission and purpose in this life.
◘ Align with your path and mission and find your place in the world.
◘ Complete work and carrer review. Connect with what gives your life meaning and scope.
Week 11 – What is your real power
◘ Your true needs, values, wishes. Your real power.
◘ When to say “no” to others and “yes” to yourself.
◘ Complete relationship review, attunement and repair.
Week 12 – Where are you heading to
◘ Why the future is your history in the making.
◘ How to fulfil your own dreams and aspirations.
◘ How to open to happiness and create the life of your dreams.
What to expect From an expansive psychotherapy programme
Expect to embark on a revealing journey of self-discovery, healing and personal growth.
Expect to be guided through an original and flexible therapeutic approach.
Expect to be explained all along the theory behing each concept, notion, therapeutic instrument and method of implementation.
Expect to be left with some tools you can use on your own if needed in the future.
Expect to make sense of your life experience.
Expect to reconnect with your inner world (body, mind, soul) and your outer environment (family, others, world).
Expect a complete relationship makeover across your 4 relationship circles.
Expect a cleansing of your 3 entangled minds.
Expect to re-evaluate your essential values for a meaningful life.
Expect to refresh your identity and return to your wholeness.
Expect to become familiar with my 7 Steps of Real Transformation System:
- UNDERSTAND what happened before your were born (your life script) and what happened after you came to life (your personal history).
- ACCEPT what cannot be changed and stop resisting what is. Change what you can actually control.
- LET GO of the attachment to past events that do you no good. Release the emotional tension and keep the memories alive.
- INTEGRATE your life experiences into your present life. Find their meaning and learn the lessons they brought into your life.
- FORGIVE all those that have wrong you and forgive yourself, too. Make amends and earn other people’s forgiveness as well.
- HEAL your heart and soul. Set free the pain and suffering trapped in your body, mind and soul to create space for renewal and liberation.
- TRANSFORM your life and welcome your real self. Become the person you want to be and create the life you dream of living.
Most importantly, expect to go through the core essentials of personal development and be able to find your own answers to the 6 most fundamental existential questions:
- What are you made of? Know your body, mind and soul.
- Where are you coming from? Take a sharp look into your human history.
- How did you get here? Explore who and what made you who you are today.
- Who are you really? Find and connect with your true self.
- Why are you here? Clarify and reaffirm your purpose in life.
- Where are you heading to? Time to plan and act on your dreams and aspirations.
My life in bullet points
- I was raised by my wise grandfather and mystical grandmother at the countryside for my first 7 years of life. They inspired me to become a psychologist.
- My first job in the helping profession was a clinical psychologist role in a palliative care hospital. Within the space of my first year I saw most of my patients die, many of them unhappy, unfulfilled and unclear what their purpose in life was.
- I started training in psychotherapy and counselling frustrated with the limitations of the medical model. In time, I spent 15 years in universities studying psychology and associated disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
- Living in London for the past 15 years has strengthened my interests in culture, minority and diversity. This cemented my passion for practitioner research that overall taught me 4 times more than all formal studies.
- Alongside my therapy private practice, I worked for many years in the mental health corporate world in London. This has deepened my workaholic and perfectionist tendencies and has significantly affected my wellbeing.
- It took me more than 2 decades in the world of psychology to understand what I stand by. The most difficult step was to allow myself to step out of the mainstream profession and to permit myself to create my own therapeutic paradigm.
- My therapeutic modality has changed names 5 times over the past 8 years. These days I call it the “expansive psychotherapy”, firstly because it fosters your “expansion”, and secondly because it expands on the traditional psychology schools of thought. And since it works with the totality of the person and at a multidimensional level I regard it as a “wholeness therapy practice”.
- I developed the concept of the “3 entangled minds” in my own self-reflection and personal therapy process. This theory has helped me and many other people to escape the tunnel mind and start the process of healing and real personal development, moving towards a sense of personal freedom and liberation.
- It took me many years of introspection to create the “4 relationship circles roadmap”. It was inspired exclusively by my own relationship struggles.
- The “essential values” for a meaningful life are the values instilled in me by my grandparents in my first 7 years of life. They have proven in time to be at the core of any happy, positive and successful relationship in life, and I cherish their wisdom.
- I am working on a self-therapy digital course. This is designed for all people that have never been through a formal therapy process and want to know themselves better. It will also aid those that have been through therapy sessions and are now ready to go the next level in healing their traumatic past and starting their real personal development journey.
- I had my first spiritual awakening at 8. The greatest learning from my spiritual journey has been the “surrender”.
- I am a survivor of childhood trauma and TNBC. These experiences helped me learn many of the lessons I missed when I was young including the self-love, self-care and self-compassion.
- The mental health charity I founded, The Significant You, was inspired by the charities I volunteered for as a honorary counsellor, also by those that have helped me through my hardship in life. TSY is dedicated to help people reconnect with their value and worth and regain “response ability” over their mental health.
- The podcast “Open To Happiness” has started as a personal challenge to get the experience of coming out in front of an audience. It ended up becoming one of the best resources I found to help me organise my thoughts for my first book now in writing.
- All my work whas been inspired by my own journey in life and the transgenerational trauma I carried through life. What continues to drive me is my passion to help my family and as many other people as possible to heal and create healthier and happier lives.
Read the FAQ
Follow my 7 STEPS OF REAL TRANSFORMATION process to completely renew your life:
- UNDERSTAND! It is essential to understand what has happened, what is happening and what is about to happen to make even the slightest change in your life.
- ACCEPT! The understanding will allow you to accept what has happened and to stop resisting what is. The sooner you accept what cannot be changed, the quicker you will start changing what you can actually control.
- LET GO! With the acceptance you surrender and leave the old events in the past. To revisit the memories whenever you wish, but without feeling the emotional charge.
- INTEGRATE! The letting go will enable you to integrate those experiences into your current life. You will extract meaning from them and learn the lessons you need for the future.
- FORGIVE! When you integrate the past into your present you connect with the power to forgive yourself and all those that have wrong you. You also make amends and behave in ways that make others grant you forgiveness.
- HEAL! As soon as you allow yourself to forgive you will start healing. The healing is releasing you from the residual pain and tension you carry within your body, mind and soul.
- TRANSFORM! With healing you enter a new stage in your life. You transform into the person you want to be. And you create the life of your dreams.
Use the 7 steps of REAL transformation to explore:
YOUR LIFE SCRIPT. The luggage that has been given to you as part of your ancestry until birth.
YOUR PERSONAL HISTORY. How your life unfolded since birth until this very moment.
YOUR 3 ENTANGLED MINDS BLUEPRINT. How your brilliant brain has been programmed to function in a tunnel mind and how to escape that darkness and shift your life into light, freedom and liberation by rewiring your brain through neuroplasticity.
YOUR 4 RELATIONSHIP CIRCLES ROADMAP. To teach you everything you need to know about the dynamic between your inner world (the relationship with yourself) and your outer world (the relationship with your family, other people and the world).
YOUR ESSENTIAL VALUES and goals in life. To guide you find meaning in life and align with your life purpose.
Our first years of life are essential for our development
The question I am always asked is how I ended up working in mental health. I believe it was meant to be. For my first 7 years of life I was brought up by my wise grandfather and mystical grandmother at the countryside. They introduced me early in life to the power of knowledge and spiritual connection, and to the human need for freedom and space for exploration.
My mindset has been shaped in a social, altruistic and caring environment, watching people seek advice from my grandfather and relief from my grandmother. They were considered the “sage” and the “healer” in the village and thanks to them I grew up curious about people and thinking I will too be touching people’s lives one day.
The relationship with our caregivers is vital for our development and my story is the proof. My grandparents cemented my safety and stability in life. They surrounded me with pure human kindness, unconditional love and affection, and that sense of attachment gave me the strength to face the years of domestic abuse and the inherent challenges that followed in life, and have informed my journey and work ever since.
Tense unfulfilled and broken relationships has been the theme in my work
Three decades later I was indeed taking care of others as a clinical psychologist in a palliative care hospital. Full of excitement at the end of a five years university course, yet too young to work with the dying, I started to watch my patients voice out their upsets and regrets for the first time in their lives. Their stories were rich and sad. Born during or in the aftermath of the Second World War, my patients spoke about poverty and hunger, land disputes, arguments with family members and neighbours, controlling parents and many losses on the way. The common theme was the tense and broken relationships with themselves, others and the world. There was hurt in their hearts, little forgiveness and healing, so much time wasted following others and too many dreams left unfulfilled.
That experience moved me deeply and brought sleepless nights and many existential questions which triggered a series of deep spiritual awakenings. Intrigued by the similarity and difference I saw in people and the impact the outer world seemed to have in our lives, I felt even more determined to teach others heal and build happy and fulfilling lives. This is why I enrolled in two psychotherapy courses, CBT and Hypnotherapy, I started working with private clients and I became a passionate practitioner researcher. Yet, the same result: people spoke mostly about their unfulfilled relationships. And, naturally, I asked myself: Is this a cultural thing?
There was only one way to find out: to get the experience of a multicultural environment so I decided to move to London. Over the following 14 years I thrived in London: I completed three more postgraduate courses (in psychology, counselling and psychotherapy) plus further training in NLP and Coaching; I registered with reputable professional bodies; I managed mental health services in various communities across six boroughs; I volunteered as a honorary counsellor for One in Four, the London’s leading charity supporting survivors of childhood trauma; I developed the framework for my Expansive Psychotherapy method; and I grew a small international therapy practice.
Living and working with varied people has been challenging on many levels and stirred my interest in culture, minority and diversity. THIS gradually helped me see a LARGER theme emerging:
“whether we go for the big dreams or a simple life, we come from the East or the West, we are men or women, young or more mature, most of our struggles are rooted in our relationships and it is the quality of our relationships that determines our mental wellbeing”.
So hard to break free from the corporate world…
Four decades later I was still in London, still working in mental health and still taking care of others. My diary stayed busy, handling a full time demanding mental health corporate job, a therapy/counselling private practice in two different locations, a last (research) year in my second Masters course, volunteering for a charity, as well as having a family and social life. It felt tiring, but I kept postponing making a change because, like many people in our modern times, I struggled to leave the “stability” and “safety” of the corporate world. I could sense the strong and unbalanced power dynamic in the relationship with the outer world, but at the same time it felt like I was part of a modern vibrant world and I kept pushing until I was not able to push anymore. Because one day everything changed.
One day my body said: STOP. My body could not take it anymore. I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer and a genetic mutation that brought back the sleepless nights and the existential questions from my palliative care patients. Was it biological, was it the stress, the childhood trauma or the emotional suppression? Why did I live my life with such intensity? What was I trying to run away from? It is in these times when the deep awareness returns and we acknowledge we focus too much on the outside world and we lose sight of ourselves.
I too mistaken intensity with vitality and aliveness and my sense of duty integrated so insidiously into my identity that led my life to the point where I neglected the most important relationship: the relationship with myself.
Many of you will know that the awakening is sometimes unpleasant, but it can shed light on many fundamental existential questions. Faced with the threat of such challenging illness, I got to the point where I transcended the pain and I surrendered. The awakening that followed when I stopped resiting what was brought me some very helpful insights. In my consistent drive to overachieve in work and studies I was looking for tools to be able to help others, but also to make sense of my own journey in life. Throughout the years relationships have been challenging for me too: I became mother to my son at an early age and I lived feeling a huge responsibility and pressure to give him the best chances in life; I had seen my mother dying into my arms after a long illness; the distance has cooled the relationship with my dear friends; I went through separation and divorce; and I had continuously stretched my awareness to adapt to a new culture.
Trauma extends through generations and disconnects us from our real self
When I explored my roots with a more mature eye a completely new picture emerged. My grandparents were wise and social because they had a story to tell, same as my dying patients in the past. I heard my family story many times in the childhood, but it never spoke so clearly to me. My grandmother never met her father who died in the First World War, and, as the youngest of nine children she never left her mother’s home, marrying late in life a man that agreed to come into her land. My grandfather was a Second World War prisoner and spent 3 years in a concentration camp in Ukraine. A gifted musician, he often entertained the officers and this helped him escape one night during a party when all guards got drunk, swimming across a 400 m wide river and walking mostly by feet 900 km to get back home.
My grandfather never complained and was grateful to be alive, but I now wondered if his nightmares were related to the horrors he faced in the war and if his daily drinking was only a cultural norm or a way of coping with his inner pain. If he would be alive today, based on our medical model he would most likely be diagnosed with alcohol addiction and PTSD. Like my patients and possibly your ancestors too, both my grandparents have lived through hardship and had been wounded. They found meaning in life by taking care of others and working hard, but they failed to take care of themselves and I wasn’t any different. Our life stories start to be written way before we are born, and we are all affected to an extent or another by the historic trauma that extends through generations in norms or subtle patterns of thinking and behaviour. Like my grandparents, I too lost sense of some painful parts of my self, coping with life like an workaholic and I ended up ill.
Always believe you can create your own story of success and good life on Earth
It was hard, but my treatment went well and I was cured. It felt to me like I was given a new lease of life with a redefined purpose and, thinking of my dying patients in palliative care, I felt grateful that it was not too late, that there was still time for me. That emerging realisation was healing and helped me repair the relationship with myself. It helped me reconnect with those parts of myself that I neglected and it helped me heal some of my inner wounds too. It also allowed me to rethink the relationship with myself, others and the outer world and explore how intertwined our relationships are. As a result I created the 4 Relationship Circles Roadmap and the 3 Entangled Minds Blueprint which I am now sharing with the world.
Empowered to develop a new life, in my own terms, I made changes in all aspects of my life and I finally broke free from the corporate world. I came out transformed and a bit enlightened, also very grateful this experience taught me more about self-love, self-care and self-compassion, lessons I missed when I was young. Then, I went back to look after the others and do what I do best: guide them through an eye-opening journey of self-discovery, healing and personal growth and help them repair their relationship. Devoted to reach out to more people and remind them that they are important and that there is support for them, I also founded The Significant You Mental Health Charity. Today, I’m in a good place. I am writing my first book and creating my first digital course, I am working on a new theory of personality and I host the Open to Happiness podcast.
My given name is Nicoleta and, like most human beings, I lived the highs and lows of life. My relationships have been one of the best teachers I’ve had and I continue to learn and grow within relationships every day. After two decades on both sides of the therapy process, I am today devoted to share my learnings with you and I leave you with a simple but life-changing message:
Relationships shape us and we shape our relationships.
Relationships can lift us up and relationships can put us down in the most devastating way.
Your beliefs, values, thinking and behaviours have been shaped by your relationships, but you can change them right now. You have the power to transform your life with the choices you make today.
It is not too late. There is still time for you.
There is still time to be healthy, successful and happy.
The key to your happiness and mental wellbeing is in the quality of your relationships, starting from the relationship with yourself. Figure out who you are and who you want to become and build bridges to grow positive, authentic and nurturing relationships with your family, friends, work mates, clients, people from your local community and the outer world around you. Reconnect with yourself, others and the outside world to heal your hurts, learn to make amends and grant forgiveness, then let go of the old to create space for the new.
WITHIN THAT RELATIONAL SAFETY, STABILITY AND CONNECTION YOU WILL THEN BE ABLE TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND ACHIEVE ANYTHING YOU WANT IN LIFE
And if you get stuck on the way, I will be here to guide you turn your relationships struggles into vitality and fulfillment. Because you are worthy and I already know the way.
Thank you for allowing me into your life!
To find out what underpins my work visit the Expansive Psychotherapy page.
MSc in CBT
BSc (Hons) Psychology
Graduate Diploma in Psychology
PgDip in Clinical Hypnosis & Ericksonian Psychotherapy
PgDip in Therapeutic Counselling
AdvDip in Hypno-Psychotherapy & Mindfulness
NLP Master Practitioner Certificate
Certified Empowerment Life Coach
Psychologist | Counsellor | Psychotherapist | NLP Master Practitioner | Coach
MSc, BSc Hons, GradDip Psy, PgDip ClinHyp, AdvDip, PgDip, MPNLP, CLC
BPS – British Psychological Society
BACP – British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
UKCP -United Kingdom of Counsellors and Psychotherapists
NSHPM – National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy & Mindfulness
CNHC – Complementary and Natural Health Council
CPR – Council of Romanian Psychologists
Professional Standards Authority – Accredited Register