José Manuel Martínez, M.D., is a Psychiatrist, International Integrative Psychotherapy Trainer and Supervisor (IIPA), Trainer and Supervisor Transactional Analyst (EATA-ITAA) and Psychodramatist. He has served many years as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Psychiatry Department at the School of Medicine of the Valladolid University. He works with children, adolescents and adults and is the Director of the Institute of Transactional Analysis and Integrative Psychotherapy (IATPI) in Valladolid, Spain. He has published 45 articles in Professional Journals and 65 chapters in different books about Medicine, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.
How did you come into this career?
I appreciate the nomination as Member of the Month of the IIPA. It is an honor for me to receive this recognition at this time of life, in a moment after my retirement, in which I look back and recount my life.
I started studying Medicine in Valladolid, still being a teenager excited to know the mysteries of life, death, soul and human behavior. After 40 years of professional life, I contemplate with love the curious teenager, full of vitality and enthusiasm, who wanted to find teachers to fill his needs. During my medical studies I was impacted by my professors of Psychology and Psychiatry, who had an unconventional view of life.
During my training as a psychiatrist, my need for personal definition I became an active defense of psychotherapy in a world dominated by biological psychiatry. My doctoral thesis had introduced me to the world of science and scientific methodology. My first teachers and my readings, on the other hand, discovered the world of psychotherapy and the unconscious. I felt that I could see the strengths and weaknesses of the two worlds, that of biological psychiatry and that of psychotherapy. A difficult position since I felt I had one foot on each shore. I experienced this position, in a sense as if someone who is invited to take part in some side of a conflict and does not want to do so with the risk of losing the sense of belonging. It was not easy, however, to defend the usefulness of psychotherapy, based more on my convictions and my faith than on experience.
The presence of teachers such as Fernando Leal, Fernando Colina, Concha de Diego, Roberto de Inocencio, Marco Mazzetti, Rosemary Napper and Richard Erskine, among others, allowed me to explore my own path in the world of psychotherapy and integrate my theoretical knowledge with the Experience with many clients session after session, hour after hour. There were many moments of hesitation and fatigue at this time, which I now understand was due to the lack of the need to have the support that I was gradually getting.
What’s the most valuable aspect of being a relational integrative psychotherapist?
I feel grateful to all the people with whom I have been fortunate to work in the shared hope of a better and happier life. Looking back, I realize that I have spent a good part of my life listening and sharing experiences of all kinds. In the intimate atmosphere that is created in the encounter between two human beings open to each other. In that unique situation in which hope and honesty meet. That I think has made me better in several ways. I feel grateful for the trust my clients placed in me, I feel privileged for that, rich in concern and mutual contact. I am now able to appreciate the shades and colors in those situations that insist on being presented as a black and white film. I thank my clients for the opportunity they have given me to be better, to know me better, to be more patient and more realistic, to conform to what I have and to be able to say goodbye to the grandiose fantasies aimed to compensate my feeling of fragility and vulnerability .
Tell me one thing most people wouldn’t know about you.
I really enjoy with the art, painting, the theater, and especially music. Throughout these years, thanks to my professional practice and my personal therapy I have managed to give myself enough time and space, in my life, and in my relationships, to be able to feel myself, and connect with the desires and needs that arise at my current age. Art is now part of my daily activities. I play the piano almost daily and also the classical and electric guitar. Life has now for me colors and textures that make me thanks the nature, my friends and my family, my wife and my children, my dog, my colleagues, and the community of integrative psychotherapists, to the IIPA for exist and to be there, where I needed them and where I still need them.
Translation: Arantza Arrillaga