Seventeen years ago, Swedish psychologist Fredrik Bengtsson invited me to participate in a pioneering and innovative program with Swedish banking clients who were affected by Depression, Stress and Burnout Syndrome.
The SEB Group of Banking in Sweden asked him if he could create a Rehabilitation program for people suffering from stress, fatigue problems, anxiety and life crises. Based on her personal and professional experiences, she developed a program called Life Planning. She understood that we lived in an era that required awareness of our own needs and values in order to chart their lives in a direction that would make sense.
At that time she had no idea that the group that was given the opportunity to be part of the program would become a pilot group for a work that has continued ever since without interruption. Life planning is not just a program, but a philosophy about life. It is based on the existential psychology that has as its starting point that we create meaning in our lives by living according to our needs and values and by learning to deal and relate to eternal existential issues such as life and death, freedom and security.
Crises and symptoms are seen as signs that balance has been disturbed and meaning has been lost. The task then is to listen and interpret the underlying message that contains information about what we need to restore the balance and feel good again.
This approach to mental health and well-being has always been as obvious as it is unusual in Sweden and many other countries in the Western world. The prevailing system with regard to mental illness is to alleviate symptoms with the help of drugs and therapies that enable one to become more rational and therefore function well in life and society. Basically, it is about the human vision that you have, where this program is based on the fact that each person is unique and must be treated accordingly, and that a private life of meaning inevitably gives symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety, not because you are weak, but perhaps on the contrary, because you are healthy and want to live a full life.
I personally contribute to the somatic part of the program, and have the same starting point as Fredrik Bengtsson, this has allowed me to teach many of the participants over the years about the causes of pain in the body, what it is due to and what the path to healing is like.
The decision to write a book about the program and our experiences, as well as to invite some of our previous participants to share their personal journey with us gradually grew and one day we decided that now was the time. The purpose is mainly to tell about an important work where during the 20 years that we have known thousands of people in our programs, we have experienced “miracles” that is; how people with quite difficult health conditions can find in such a fast way ways of healing and personal sustainability through this program.
It is a great privilege to be able to help those who come to us for help to regain their lives and recreate the meaning of life. That is why we want to tell our story and share our experiences to give hope to all those who feel bad and tell them that there is another way, and yes, a way to feel better.
For us every human being is a story and that is why we never get tired of our work but feel the same curiosity every time we meet a new person who seeks our help. By reading and interpreting the symptoms, we understand what the underlying problem is and can guide the person towards healing. In reality, it is very logical and “simple” but, of course, it is based on a solid knowledge and experience of the health conditions we work with.
The difference between this program and others is the way we treat each person as unique and that we seek above all to understand.
( Text translated from the Swedish from Fredrik Bengtsson’s Blog by Bibiana Badenes, and adapted)
Here we present you our book that is on sale for the next few days, at the moment in English.
We will continue working in this line and bringing this concept to more and more people, it is possible to take control of your life, DO NOT GIVE UP.
You can buy the book on Amazon
Thanks to the people who have made it possible for me to get here, there are many, I am excited, and thanks to Fredrik Bengtsson for inviting me to participate in this program giving the importance to the body with a somatic approach.