'Do you want to be happy' asked a Slovakian priest during the marriage preparation one of the men. 'Of course!' he replied. 'So don't get married!' responded the priest immediately. 'But I need her to become my wife, because after that I will become happy!' uttered the man. The priest continued: 'First, be happy, and then get married so that your claim won't become a burden to your marriage, which can't never be fulfilled by it anyway,' he added.
I'll be happy, when... How often do we hear this, how often do we tell this to ourselves. Many people today live in un-happiness, stress, which they aren’t often aware no sooner than its physical manifestations arise. They suffer from low self-esteem, low self-love, they do not have time for themselves, because of those things they ‘have to’, those things they ‘should not’ and the things they ‘cannot, because…’ Often these people don’t realize the real reason for this way of life – deep wounds from their childhood, wound from their former partners, and wounds that have sometimes been caused by themselves. Instead, they keep seeking happiness and fulfillment in yet another new relationship, new work accomplishment, newer and more expensive stuff. That's pretty exhausting.
What I do is that I help these people to change this. I help them to achieve what they really want in life, to overcome the fear of change, whether those changes were chosen by them or whether they’ve been brought by life itself. I help them to find the happiness that comes from inside of them, despite or thanks to what they’ve been through their lives. Because ‘change is always possible,’ as the famous Canadian psychiatrist Eric Berne said. And because, as Carl Ransom Rogers, the co-founder of humanistic psychotherapy, in which I had the honor of to be trained at, ‘all the resources we need to change are already within us.’ I believe both of them.
So therefore I help people and businesses to find and mobilize these resources they already have. I help them to better manage changes - both at the passive level - when there’s necessary to accept a change and to learn how to exist in a new unknown situation – and at the active level – when it is necessary to take the situation into one's hands and pursue it to a successful finish. To take a step aside and step out of that ‘vicious circle’ of our unconscious patterns and programs.
I aim for people to become happier in their lives to gain the necessary self-confidence and to learn to live from their center. I work on this by writing my blog, publishing articles in the Czech edition of Marianne magazine and Psychologie dnes, offering individual counseling and organizing variety of lectures and seminars. I’ve also dedicated my own company to this. It now focuses on helping companies to make their employees happier at work and increasing their productivity and customer satisfaction because of this change. It’s been proven that happy employees do pay off to their employers.
My Czech written blog can be found at www.jecasnazmenu.cz
Who am I
Answering to this question - who the person actually is – is not as easy as it may seem at the first glance. Many people will never find their answer during their entire lives. People often ask me how did I get to what I’m doing today. What was the initial impulse to move from the world of telecommunication technology and later marketing communications to a helping profession.
When I was a little boy I just loved the world of technology. I was a geek long before this word started to be used. Originally, I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but then I had been overwhelmed by the world of computers to later, around the age of 18, got to the amazing world of telecommunications. Few years later, strategy management has become my secret love. Implementing it, supporting marketing departments and helping to sell key products, all of this I could experience by myself to encounter that many things and hidden processes in business follow strict yet logical rules and orders. But then something has changed. On one of my journeys across Europe, all of this suddenly didn’t make sense to me anymore.
I discovered that I hadn’t lived my own life. I'd lived the one from magazines instead. I’d played even golf and had been flying to ‘business trips’ abroad. All of this despite the fact that during my studies and my career there were always visible signs of my future, at this time current, path. Both during high school and my first university I really loved taking psychology classes. At my second university I just fell in love with the world of HR, management and coaching. During my work in marketing communications for large corporations I got to know closely over 300 companies and listened to their stories and stories of their owners, managers and employees. And these stories were far from being just about the work. And when I was introduced to science, the structure and processes inside human brain and organisms during my master and doctoral studies in the field of bionanomedicine, the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle leading to my current field of work was complete. Only one piece was missing. But I've been looking for it for many years.
Eventually, I ‘traveled through’ to him. I remember the first step like today - I walked across Gellért (the hill above the town) in Budapest and met there a girl who told me her whole life story within few hours talk. She worked for one big corporation, but her heart was lying in a quite different area than in financial controlling. And this girl was only the first in a long line of people who suddenly turned to me. Since then it kept happening to me all the time. And in most cases those people describing me all of a sudden their deepest believes and sorrows were complete strangers to me. In café, restaurant, on the street, in sauna, even in the elevator and, of course, during my travels across Europe – they were just openly confiding to me. All these people, who suddenly opened their hearts to me had one thing in common – they felt they could not stand their lives the way they were living them. That it was a time for a change! They were people who were urgently looking for someone who would understand them and help them to take the first step. Someone who would support and encourage them. Someone they could finally trust and who would become their guide through the change. They were looking for someone to provide them with the right environment that would enable them to get closer to themselves. And for some reason they’ve all picked me. The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle was eventually hidden in the middle of Austrian Alps, where I totally coincidentally wenth through the initiation to an ancient technique of meditation - Kriya Yoga.
When the jigsaw puzzle was folded and I came to see what had been hidden before, there was only one last, and the most important, thing left - to gain the necessary skills because I wanted to help people not to hurt them. On the recommendation of a friend who graduated from psychology in London, I started a four-year self-experience training in Person-Centered Approach by Carl Ransom Rogers, and a year later I started to study at the Prague Psychotherapeutic Faculty. It seemed to me as a safer choice for my future clients than to undergo just a 40- or 100-hour coaching course. Those hundreds of hours of self-experience training and seminars (so far 943 hours) and hundreds of theory hours (so far 535 hours) were ultimately the best investments in life. In addition, I met dozens of top psychotherapists, psychologists and other great people, many of whom I consider being my friends today.
How do I work
I’m not a coach. ‘Everyone is a coach today,’ I keep hearing that all the time around me for past few years. And I must admit there’s something to it. But I’m not a coach and I’m not a psychologist. I do not have an ICF certification and I do not have a university degree in psychology.
But what I do have is a four-year self-experience training in a human-centered approach (PCA), in so-called Rogerian psychotherapy. In addition, every year I undergo several self-experience seminars in various psychotherapeutic approaches. I intrinsically believe that it is absolutely necessary to respect the individual world of every single person. If I’m honored by someone’s invitation to his inner world to become her or his guide and consultant, then I want to tiptoe through this world and definitely not intend to change it to my own picture. I also regularly go to supervisions to make sure I keep following this intention. And this also applies to the inner world of participants in the workshops and workshops I am leading. The inner world of every single person is sacred to me.
In my head I’m a scientist and a I follow so-called science-based and evidence-based approach, an approach based on scientifically verified and published findings. During my doctoral studies and my own research activities, the world of science simply enchanted me. I work with data from the latest scientific studies, spending hundreds of hours every year studying them – apart from spending tens of hours by institutional education.
In my heart though, I’m a spiritual person. I’ve gone through a series of interesting and enriching experiences, from clinical death, to the various experiences from my later life and my travels. Meditation is very close to me as well as Buddhism and Christianity are. My friends include even a few Catholic and Evangelical priests. I am not a believer, but I consider myself agnostic.
In my work and life I perceive science and spirituality as communicating vessels, as well as many famous psychotherapists and psychiatrists of the 20th and 21st centuries. After all, a number of psychotherapeutic approaches today build on so-called mindfulness – a fully aware experience of here and now. Yes, even this is one aspect of human spirituality. Being far from an institutional religion.
I originally graduated from telecommunication engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague. At the same faculty, I continued with my Ph. D. studies focusing on bionanomedicine. I did not finish the doctorate though. In parallel, I have studied and graduated from Business and Management in Industry at the Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Here I have come across the less tangible part – human psyché – in human resources, management, leadership and coaching. But the critical in the field of education has come much later.
- Education at Prague Psychotherapist Faculty (2016-2019)
- PCA Self-experience training (Rogerian Psychotherapy), 660 hours, Diakonie CČE (2015-2018)
- Self-experience Seminar Transactional Analysis, 17 hours, PhDr. Jiří Libra (2018)
- Self-experience Seminar Psychotherapy and Shamanism, 17 hours, Mgr. Pavla Štěpničková (2018)
- Self-experience Seminar Help in crisis, 17 hours, Mgr. Alexandra Černá Lammelová (2018)
- Seminar Diagnostics and Treatment of Addictions, 12 hours, Petr Popov MD MHA (2018)
- Self-experience Seminar Dance and Movement Therapy, 17 hours, Radana Syrovátková MD (2017)
- Self-experience Seminar Dramatization Methods in Psychotherapy, 17 hours, associate prof. PhDr. Karel Balcar, CSc. (2017)
- Self-experience Seminar Existential Therapy, 17 hours, associate prof. PhDr. Karel Balcar, CSc. (2017)
- Self-experience Seminar Art Therapy, 17 hours, PhDr. Ingrid Hanušová, Ph. D. (2017)
- Self-experience Seminare Daseinsanalysis, 51 hours, Mgr. Jakub Zlámaný, Ph. D. (2016-2017)
- Self-experience Seminare Hagiotherapy, 49 hours, Prokop Remeš MD (2016-2017)
- Seminar Dream Interpretation, 15 hours, associate prof. PhDr. Jiří Růžička, Ph. D. (2016-2017)
- Self-experience Seminar Gestalt Therapy, 17 hours, Marie Štefanová MD (2016)
- Seminar Cognitive Behavioral Therapy of Anxiety Disorders, 12 hours, Mgr. Katarína Durecová (2016)
Self-Experiential Online Courses
- Existential Well-being Counseling: A Person-centered Experiential Approach, 89 hours, KU Leuven, Prof. Mia Leijssen, associate prof. Siebrecht Vanhooren (2018)
- De-Mystifying Mindfulness (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), 35 hours, Universiteit Leiden, Prof. Dr. Chris Goto-Jones (2018)
- Science of Happiness, 47 hours, UC Berkeley, Dacher Keltner, Ph. D., Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph. D. (2017)
- Science and Practice of Yoga, 27 hours, University of Texas, Arlington, Stacy Dockins, Catherine Spann, Ph. D., prof. George Siemens, Ph. D. (2017)
- Everyday Parenting: The ABC's of Child Rearing, 19 hours, Yale University, Prof. Alan Kazdin (2018)
- Positive Psychology, 12 hours, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph. D. (2017)
- Buddhism and Modern Psychology, 18 hours, Princeton University, Robert Wright (2017)
Educational Online Courses
If you wish, I will become your guide through your life moments and changes by which you feel you’d welcomed such a guide. I offer you a safe environment where you can be who you really are without being judged nor sentenced. If you know that something needs to be changed in your life and you are ready to work on this change, I’m the one who can help you find the right way how to succeed.
I will listen to you, become your mentor, your guide, and the one who motivates you to complete the change you want to achieve. I will offer you my unbiased perspective, my knowledge and my experience, and I’ll help you to think your situation and the things around you over. The solution to your problems is often within reach, the only step needed is to open your eyes and focus in the right direction. And I’ll be the one who would help you to find this direction.
But I’m not omnipotent. In addition, capabilities of counselling are limited. Sometimes it may happen that I won’t be the right person to help you with your problem. In that case, I’m in contact with great male and female psychotherapists with whom I’d be happy to connect you. I’m also in contact with nutrition therapists, physiotherapists, psychiatrists and other health professionals.
How does it work?
Everything starts with a phone (or email) conversation, when we arrange an introductory approximately one-hour ‘getting to know each other’ meeting. It can take place in your favorite café or in another place that is pleasant to you, if you’d like to. At this meeting, we will try to define the issue you would like to address, and we will discover whether we can and want work together to resolve it or not.
Then we will start to meet regularly (usually once a week for 60 minutes) and work together to resolve your problem. Exceptionally, Skype and Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) can be used as a substitute for personal meetings. The initial meeting should, however, be personal if possible. Individual sessions are tailored for your specific needs. You will also often receive a ‘homework’ during the session to have something to think about in between the sessions.
Are there any other possibilities?
In special cases, there is also an alternative approach that has proven to me as beneficial, especially for people who come to me at a time when changes are already urgent or when they can no longer continue in the old way. In this case, our meeting lasts for several hours at a time (max. 5 hours) and must be held in a quiet place. The exact length of the meeting depends mainly on your individual needs. During this time, the most urgent issues are usually identified and their solutions outlined. But here too, I do not always have to be the right person to help you.
This process requires from both you and me a considerable amount of time and energy and is not suitable for everyone. Its use depends on my consideration. After such a session, regular meetings in a standard format may follow, or, depending on the topic you are addressing, I may recommend you an expert (e. g. a psychotherapist) who would help you more effectively with the following process. Sometimes it happens that one long session is enough to solve the problem.
How much does it cost?
The price for one session is CZK 1,200 and the initial session for getting to know each other is CZK 500. But be sure that money is not the only thing that you’d need to invest. If you really want to achieve change, you will need to invest your time and effort, not only during those 60 minutes a week, but especially in between our sessions. But know that this is the type of investment that always pays off.
In the intensive format focusing on achieving the change faster - up to 5 hours session (see above) – the price is CZK 1,000 per hour, i.e. CZK 5,000 maximum.
But I do not want the price to become an obstacle for you when you really need help, while not being in a very good financial situation for instance. In this case, do not hesitate to contact me and we’ll try to find a solution.
We are a company, can we hire you for our employees?
Yes, I also provide my services to some companies. They are typically used by companies having variety of personal development programs for their key employees and managers. We usually address topics of coping with change and change management, stress management, communication skills and harmony in life or Work-life Balance if you want. Services for companies are provided by my company Nitana. Please feel free to contact the company. I’d be happy to help your employees personally.
How is it with confidentiality?
Just as in business, anything that happens during our sessions is considered to be strictly confidential. Absolute confidentiality is a matter of course , as well as absolute openness and non-judgemental environment. With me you can be who you really are. No one will judge you nor condemn you. And believe me that I’ve heard many different stories in my life.
The only partial exception to confidentiality is supervision. In supervision, I am anonymously discussing the outlines of the stories of some clients in case I need and advice from my supervisor or to assure that I do not bring anything personal into our mutual work. However, the supervisor never knows the identity or the exact story of the client.
Seminars and Workshops
In addition to individual work with clients, I also focus on lecturing and leading seminars and workshops with self-experience elements. I predominantly talk about the topics of change, stress and psychosomatics, communication, happiness and life harmony, and I also deal with issues of femininity and masculinity, respectively the art of being yourself. I speak only Czech and English. If you would be interested in my public lecture at your event, feel free to contact me. You can find a list of my public lectures and their topics here (in Czech only).
If you are from the corporate environment and are interested in my lecture or training for your employees on some of the above topics, please do not hesitate to contact my company Nitana. I will do everything to prepare a fully tailored workshop for your company. The standard trainings and workshops offer, including references, can be found here.
Services for Companies
I believe that happier and more content employees lead to happier and more content owners and shareholders. And because I have a scientific approach, I have verified that it is not just my belief, but a scientifically proven fact. Satisfied employees are on average 12 % more productive [Oswald, Proto, Sgroi; 2014] have better analytical capabilities [Gallagher; 2009], are better able to cope with difficulties and stress [Lyubomirsky; 2007], bring lower personnel costs for the company [Gallup; 2008] are more successful when contracting [Kopelman, Rosette, Thompson; 2006] and bring 5,500 CZK more sales per square meter of retail space [Gallup; 2008]. If you want to know more, you should definitely read this article (in Czech only), where you will find the basics of how to make your employees happier.
My company is glad to help you along this path. To achieve this difficult goal, we use a comprehensive suite of tools ranging from diagnostics, through consultations, workshops and seminars to individual development programs and managerial groups. For more information about services for companies, please visit the website of my company Nitana.
If you have any questions, you or your company want to use my services, or you think I could help you any further, please do not hesitate to contact me. My contact details can be found below.