María Muñoz-Grandes

///María Muñoz-Grandes
María Muñoz-Grandes 2019-08-09T11:40:53+02:00

Maria Muñoz-Grandes, M.A., M.Ed., M.Sc.

• Emphasize and study how “radical love” and the quality of our presence in relationships are critical factors in facilitating therapeutic change processes;
• Create trainings and research projects for relational professionals where interdisciplinarity, transmodality and critical thinking are encouraged, and ‘group think’ avoided;
• Create ‘learning communities’ in class with my students, and communities of practice with other professionals, where appreciation of diversity, open-mindedness, cognitive flexibility, and creativity are core constituents, and where issues-oriented confrontation and debate are enabled as part of the community-building processes;
• Continue learning dialogical practices and reflecting on the ‘dialogicity of life’ and on the participation of humans, animals and ‘nature’ (e.g. trees and forests) in this dialogicity; continue to study not only how humans communicate, but also how interspecies communication occurs;
• Continue working in deconstructing racism, aporophobia, social class, phobias related to gender orientations or sex-related identities, and other oppressive biases; enable processes where people can not only become aware of their conditionings move beyond their biases through practices of interconnectedness.

• Individual, Couples and Family Therapist (bilingual), working with refugees and immigrants at La Puerta Abierta (LPA) / The Open Door, Philadelphia, Pa. (since 2018)

• Psychologist and Psychotherapist (since 2000), Counselor (since 1993), and Coach (since 2015), private practice in Madrid (Spain), and in Philadelphia, Pa. (ongoing)

• Founder and Executive Director of Unoymas Relational Development (since 2014)

• Lead Researcher in the Quantum Leadership Project, Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (2016-18)

• Professor of Psychology, IE University, Madrid (2012-16), UNED University, Madrid (2001-2003), and Comillas University (1998-99), Spain

• Philosophy Teacher, American School of Madrid (ASM), high-school seniors (1990-96)

• M.Sc. in Positive Organizational Development. Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA (2015)

• Leadership Development Certification. Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA, (2015)

• M.A. in Individual and Group Psychotherapy. Laureano Cuesta Psychotherapy Association, Madrid, Spain (2014)

• Specialist in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for adults (2003) and for children and their family (2005), Comillas University, Spain

• B.A. in Psychology. Autónoma University of Madrid, Spain (2000)

• Specialist in Psychodynamic Counseling and Group Dynamic. Comillas University, Spain (1998)

• M. Ed. in Guidance Counseling. Pontifical University of Madrid, Spain (1998)

• Psychodramatic Director Certification. Spanish Association of Psychodrama (1994)

• Certification in Advanced Gestalt Therapy and Gestalt Supervision. C.I.P.A.R.H., Spain & Esalen Institute, Calif., USA (1994-98). Pre-practicum in Gestalt Therapy. Pontifical University of Madrid, Spain (1993)

• Pre-practicum in Person-Centered Therapy. Pontifical University of Madrid, Spain (1993)

• B.A. in Philosophy (Pontifical University of Madrid, Spain (1989)

I am the founder and director of Unoymas Relational Development (since 2014), a project always in the making, the main purpose of which is to generate learning communities and communities of practice that are transformative, co-creative, interdisciplinary and transmodal, and that contribute to the personal development of their people, flourishing of their communities and regenesis of their natural environments.

I understand the mission of director as being an inspirational designer of new projects, taking care of the interconnectedness between projects, leaders and participants; coordinating teams which work in a project-oriented manner, and through distributed responsibilities.
One of the core projects at Unoymas is the design and delivery of trainings that can be refreshing, inspirational and transformational for relational professionals. All our trainings aim to promote encounter and dialogues between

-Professionals of (mental) health, social care, organizational/community development and education arenas, inviting also the social and natural sciences, philosophy and arts professionals to participate in the dialogues, as we firmly believe that innovation comes from diversity, and that solutions to old and new complex challenges come from the crisscrossing of traditions— Interdisciplinarity

– Professionals trained in different modalities within each of the practices (e.g., psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, consultancy, etc.). We believe that continuing dialogues with professionals of other professions and other modalities of training produce cognitive flexibility, open-mindedness, appreciation of diversity, and creativity: core attitudes for facilitating generative relational practices and making relational professionals more resourceful and competent in dealing with uncertainty, complexity, multiculturality and diversity.

Two international settings in which I’ve developed my psychotherapy practice

1. On a continuous basis, in center city Philadelphia (USA), where I proudly commit half of my working time to work for the mental health of refugees and immigrants who are survivors of human trafficking and sexual abuse at work, for La Puerta Abierta (LPA)/ The Open Door, https://lpa-theopendoor.org in collaboration with Justice at Work (JAW), where I offer individual, couple and family therapy. The other half of my psychotherapy-devoted time is dedicated to seeing individuals and couples in private practice, in my center city office in Philadelphia.

2. I travel periodically to Madrid, Spain (every two or three months), where I continue to see clients, combining in-person sessions with online therapy.

With the years I have developed an Transmodal Approach to Psychotherapy, in which I use the different theories and techniques from the modalities in psychotherapy in which I am trained, as inspirational resources and in a responsive way, to each client’s unique needs, as expressed in the therapeutic process.

I use all my inspirational models and life experience to enrich the reflective conversations and collaborative relationships with my clients, so that new possibilities for change can emerge, that enable their flourishing in the different dimensions of their lives.
My way of doing therapy focuses on together making new meaning for their life’s most important events (reconstruction of life narratives) and on the experiential learning of new ways of relating through the interiorization of new experiences in the therapeutic relationship, in group therapy, workshops and most importantly in life outside the therapy room, that enhance the roles repertory, strengths, resources, resiliency factors and creativity of each person.

I have completed trainings in a wide range of modalities of psychotherapy: Person-Centered Therapy (1991-93), Bioenergetics (1994-98), Psychodrama (1992-95), Gestalt (1992-2004) and Modular-Transformational Psychoanalysis (2004-12). I also have extensive graduate training in Constructivism, and Social Constructionist practices and epistemology (2009-19). And what is most important, I am a lifelong learner and through the trainings I design and to provide from Unoymas, and my constant collaboration with multiple and diverse professionals I continue recycling myself and renewing.

Relational: I use the therapeutic relationship as support, as a corrective relational experience where clients can live reparatory experiences in relationship, and as a laboratory, where clients are invited to express how they feel in the moment-by-moment flow of the therapeutic relationship, and reflect with the therapist about their ways of relating with the therapist and with others.
I consider that the quality of the presence of the therapist is a healing factor in the therapeutic process, and also that therapy is a human process that provides a privileged opportunity to reflect openly about the mistakes and flaws that unavoidably happen in any human communication, but where “radical love” has the opportunity to manifest, meaning by this deep compassion, respect, empathetic comprehension of the other, empowering client strengths and resiliency factors, and commitment to helping clients in the release of distress, alleviating of suffering and with the achievement of well-being and happiness, related with the realization of the clients’ life projects, goals, aspirations and their most genuine longings.

Dialogical: The therapeutic relationship–based on mutuality, respect, trust and confidentiality–creates a safe space for clients to put into words their troubling experiences, encounter their suppressed voices, own unacknowledged aspects of their identity, express and release their pain, and rehearse ways of relating and being that will open new life possibilities.
This is done by creating a safe therapy setting, protected by confidentiality, and granted by mutuality, where reflective dialogues and collaborative conversations can take place, where I as a therapist share how I am understanding the client, giving the client opportunities to correct and modify how they are being understood, and advancing together in the co-construction of shared understandings and narratives that make better meaning and wider sense of the clients experiences; dialogues, where the participants in the conversation–I, the therapist, and the client(s)–share our different perspectives, points of views and thinking-in-the-making, in ways that become generative of new understandings, inspirations and enlightenments.

Experiential: I invite my clients to pay attention to their ‘felt sensations’ (embodied) and to find words to describe their unique experiences that are not over-adaptive to the expectations of others (avoiding introject of dominant narratives), and therefore to find genuine ways of expressing one’s own experience. I also invite clients to follow the flow of their awareness (or embodied/felt stream of consciousness) and occasionally to do active and creative exercises in order to enhance their perceptions, feelings and insights.

I work best with clients struggling with a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress; low self-esteem, conflicts with identity, or issues related to culture, race, gender, sexual orientation; problems in relationships, low levels of life-satisfaction; existential crises related to life transitions, relocations, separations, losses or other life disruptions; and persons searching to know themselves better, own their experiences, do more inspiring meaning-making, create more inclusive narratives for their lives, and increase their overall resiliency.

I have a great passion for collaborative and experiential learning and for the co-creation of learning communities and communities of practice. I am a dedicated educator who creates learning communities in which both teacher and students are active agents in the learning process, developed through collaborative relationships and experiential exercises, involving the emotional, embodied, cognitive, and social dimensions of the person. As a professor, in all
my classes I co-construct with my students relational and creative qualitative research projects that create feedback loops between practice, research and theory.

I have been working in Education since 1991, first as a high school philosophy teacher at the American School of Madrid (1992-96), then as a professor of psychodrama at Pontifical Comillas University, Madrid, Spain (1997-98), Social Psychology at the Long Distance University of Spain (U.N.E.D., 2001-03), Professional Deontology, Epistemology, Personality Theory, Psychology as a Profession, Decision-Making, Organizational Development, Design-Thinking Lab and Final Degree Research Projects Advisory at IE University (Segovia 2012-16).

I am a guest professor and trainer of psychotherapists, relational professionals in general, and volunteers. I give lectures and facilitate workshops, seminars and professional trainings in the sectors of mental health, social care, education and organizations (since 2000), collaborating with various institutions in the United States, Europe, and China.

I have designed (and continue conducting) lectures and courses, and facilitating workshops on the topics listed below. Lectures are presentations designed to invite reflective dialogue, and last from 1-3 hours. Workshops and courses combine short theoretical presentations with experiential learning, and last from 6-25 hours workshops; 25 hours-on courses. If you are interested in any of these topics–or in developing an ad hoc program for your organization or place of work–please contact me at mmunozgrandes@gmail.com

Methodology: Significant learning, combining short lectures followed by reflective dialogues with experiential exercises.Through short lectures and experiential exercises we will study

A. Personal Development

1. Theater of Life
2. Creativity Development and Expressive Arts
3. Coaching with compassion for life

B. For Relational Professionals

1. The help relationship and how to hold therapeutic spaces
2. Multidimensional self-esteem, multiple being and transcending the self
3. Ethics of Compassion & Coaching with Compassion
4. Practices of connectedness for relational professionals: cultivating our presence for better sense-making
5. Community Building: through group dynamics and appreciative inquiry
6. Appreciative Inquiry and design thinking for relational professionals

C. For Psychotherapists

1. Self-disclosure in psychotherapy
2. Trauma-informed therapy and the co-creation of new memories
3. Transmodal Psychotherapy
4. New directions in therapeutic research
5. Models of maturity implicit in our practice(s) as psychotherapists
6. Introduction to Psychodrama
7. Appreciative Inquiry for psychotherapists

Lead Researcher on a Leadership Development Project

I have been lead researcher in the Quantum Leadership Project (QLP), at the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent for World Benefit, CWRU, designing, developing and leading research projects (on the ‘new consciousness of connectedness in leaders of flourishing organizations’) that are committed to the flourishing of their people, social thriving and environmental regenesis, through ‘presencing and sense-making practices’ that provide a sense of connectedness (with self, others, society, and the natural environment), increase the quality of our presence, and align our meaning-making processes with our pursuit of ‘the greater good.’ The results of our research are published in the book Xxx (in press).

Research Projects in the making in the field of Psychotherapy

The research projects that I have designed and am interested in developing are the following (professionals interested in collaborating, please contact me at mmunozgrandes@gmail.com):

(1) Models of maturity and multiple perspectives on ‘the good life’ in psychotherapy, an inquiry into the implicit proposals of what constitutes a ‘good life,’ a ‘life worth living,’ or the ideals of a mature person that the diverse schools of thought or communities of knowledge/practice in psychotherapy are actually making, in explicit and implicit ways through their practice in psychotherapy and training of psychotherapists. This is a project in the interface of anthropology, philosophy and psychology. (Project created in 2012 by Maria Muñoz-Grandes. Creative commons license)

(2) Transmodal psychotherapist – on the continuous process of identity reconstruction, and “fluidity”: cognitive flexibility, open-mindedness, and creativity of therapists who are resourced with more than one training and who use more than one school of thought in psychotherapy as inspirational resources to design unique processes with each client. (Project created in 2018 by Maria Muñoz-Grandes. Creative commons license)

I facilitate leadership development processes through coaching individually and in groups, privately and in companies. I combine the models of ‘coaching with compassion’ developed by Richard Boyatzis, and the Quantum leadership development model developed by Chris Laszlo and his research team (of which I was a member from 2016-18).

In 2015, I earned a Master’s degree in Positive Organizational Development at Case Western Reserve University (Weatherhead School of Management); as a result of these two years of scholarly study and research (2013-15), I have acquired theoretical and practical expertise in Appreciative Inquiry and Strengths-Based Approach (David Cooperrider and Ron Fry); Socio-Emotional Intelligence, Resonant Leadership, Coaching with Compassion and Complexity Theory of Behavioral Change (Richard Boyatzis); Learning Styles in Learning Communities (David Kölb); Strategy and Organizational Design (Harlow Cohen), and Multiculturality in Organizations (Ron Fry). My OD training has been complemented by courses in Design Thinking at the Hasso Platner Institute, Postdam, Federal Republic of Germany (2014-15).

From 2014 to 2016 I led a consultancy lab with my students at IE University, where we provided consultancy for organizational development to the companies Ferroatlántica, in Madrid, and Royal glass factory of La Granja, Segovia, Spain, with an approach to organizational development as a collaborative and participatory process that includes qualitative and appreciative inquiries for discovering the positive core of strengths of the organization and its people, and the process of dreaming ‘desired futures,’ and conducting humancentric design processes (including the generation of multiple and ‘wild’ ideas for innovation, prototyping with the client customized solutions to their challenges and implementing feasible and sustainable action plans).

In the past I have been the coordinator and board member of Taos Institute Europe Board (2014-16), and a member of the Taos Institute Associates Council, T.I.A.C. (2014-16). I have also performed the roles of External Relations Officer, Executive Committee and Board member of the European Association of Psychotherapy, E.A.P (2011/13); Board member and Chair of Training of the Spanish Federation of Psychotherapy (2010/13); Board member of the Spanish Association of Psychodrama (2010/13); and Vocal of the Laureano Cuesta Association of Psychotherapists (2010/13).

I am a member of the associations listed below

American Psychological Association, APA (2016)

Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (Div. 24, 2016)

Society for Humanistic Psychology (Div.32, 2016)

Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy (Div. 49, 2016)

Society for Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration, SEPI (2004)

Society for Psychotherapy Research, SPR (2004)

Taos Institute (2012); Spanish Narrative Psychotherapy Association, AETEN (2011)

“Forum” Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy”(2004)

Psychotherapists Association Laureano Cuesta—for humanistic psychology (1999)

Member of the Spanish Association of Psychodrama, AEP (1998).