ABOUT

REBECA

LEA

BERGER

I was born in the country town of Guaratinguetá, located in São Paulo state, next to to Aparecida do Norte, the city of Brazil's patron saint. I was born into a religious family of Jewish immigrants from Poland.

 

My parents came to the Paraíba Valley (Vale do Paraíba) as soon as they got married, right after my mother arrived in Brazil, 16 years before I came into existence. I was born long after my two brothers, at a time when they were already teenagers, a circumstance that made me become a relatively lonely child.

 

I think of my childhood as one made up of rigorous Jewish rules at home, since my parents strictly adhered to their beliefs and practices while the life outside - at school and with my friends on the street -  was a completely Catholic environment. 

 

When I began to interpret the facts more analytically, I began to see in these cultural roots (by being a Jewish from the countryside living in a community that was as Catholic as my home was Jewish) the origin of both, my ambivalences and my endeavor to feel internally settled.

 

From these childhood mental troubles that I had to learn how to process by myself resulted my intense and eager way of thinking about human conflicts in general. From them also resulted a tremendous craving for dialogue and intellectual exchange with others. I also think it has provided me a taste for  integration of ideas, cultures, theories, tendencies. The interdisciplinarity that I ended up finding after so many years of professional psychotherapic practice and by returning to the University responds well to this form I have of solving internal conflicts: to consider the complexity of the facts of life.

 

Between the ages of 13 and 18, yet again, I was torn between the ideology of living in Israel on a Kibbutz or the family valorization of preparing myself for college.

 

I chose not to distance myself too much from my countryside origin, let alone from my Portuguese language that allowed me to speak a lot and speak well, which was one of the things that liked to do the most. I chose to give up on the Kibbutz idea and the whole effort of learning a new language to express myself and to understand the way others expressed themselves.

 

I chose to be a Brazilian Jew and to integrate myself into the global society through the role of Psychology.

 

In the following thirty years, I first completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of São Paulo, having studied between 1968 and 1974, at the height of the counterculture: the student revolution, the sexual revolution, the contestation of the values and morals of our parents and everything that had been established before.

 

I chose Wilhelm Reich's psychoanalytical theoretical framework in my professional practice. Reich was a theoretical disciple of Freud (a controversial one).

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