Foto Leonor Irarrazaval

I am a clinical psychologist from Chile. I am an experienced psychotherapist. I started my practice as a psychotherapist more than 20 years ago. I worked as a full time psychotherapist until I started my doctoral studies in 2009, since then I have worked both as a psychotherapist and a researcher. I completed my dissertation in 2013.

I studied psychology in Santiago de Chile and started my practice as a psychotherapist in 1995. I completed my training as a psychotherapist in Barcelona, ​​Spain, where I was a resident from 1999 until 2007. In 2001 I obtained a Masters in Social-Cognitive Therapy from University of Barcelona, and I worked as a psychotherapist in different public and private health centers. When I returned to Chile, in 2008 I attended a 1-year postgraduate programme of Buddhist Psychology in Santiago de Chile. In 2009 I started my doctoral studies at the Medical Faculty of University of Chile, which was a Doctoral Programme in Psychotherapy with a joint degree from Heidelberg University. My dissertation, aiming at improving diagnosis, was a phenomenological study of self-disorders and narratives in schizophrenia.

From 2007 until 2010 I worked as a training supervisor for clinical psychologists in a post-graduate Cognitive-Constructivist Programme in Santiago de Chile. From 2009 to 2013 I worked as a psychotherapist and researcher at the Psychiatric Clinic of University of Chile, and in 2012 I gave a 1-year Seminar on Cognitive Constructivist Perspectives at the Faculty of Psychology of Diego Portales University, Santiago de Chile.

From 2008 until 2017, I worked as a psychotherapist at the Phillips Medical-Psychological Health Center in Plaza de Armas, Santiago de Chile. From 2013 to 2017, I worked as Academic Coordinator and researcher at Psychiatric Unit, Medical Faculty, Diego Portales University, Santiago de Chile.

From March 2018 until February 2020, I was a visiting postdoctoral researcher (CONICYT- PFCHA / Becas CHILE postdoctorado en el extranjero/2017 – FOLIO 74180011) at the section Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy, Department of General Psychiatry, Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany. My postdoctoral research was focused on human vulnerability and its relation with ethical aspects of human co-existence (recognition, values, and empathy), in the context of mental health.

Currently, since April 2020, I am the Head of the Psychological Health Care Center (acronym in Spanish CAPSI), Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Autonomous University of Chile, which has the academic objective of being a center for teaching, psychological assistance, and research.

I am interested in developing interdisciplinary research bridging philosophical phenomenology and clinical practice in psychiatry and psychology.  This includes the development of conceptual and empirical research projects in the field of mental health, using both qualitative and quantitative study designs. Ultimately, my research projects aim to make a contribution to psychotherapy for persons with severe mental illness, in particular schizophrenia and melancholia.