Valérie Grumelin-Halimi (born 1961 at Lille) is a French psychologist, psychotherapist and writer, living and practising in Paris. She writes on subjects that are part of her domain expertise as a psychologist/psychotherapist, but her works are intended for the general public. She believes that psychoanalytical theories should be simplified and be made accessible to the public at large so that they can derive practical use from them for resolution of their problems even without the intervention of a specialist. She has published three books to date and her second one Mon corps me dit (French version) published by Éditions Guy Trèdaniel has been a great success. The English version My body tells no lie will soon be available on her website.
Valérie Grumelin-Halimi has studied human and social psychology and special education. On her return to Paris after pursuing her studies in psychology at the University of Jerusalem, she joined CESI for a course as a professional coach. She has never stopped learning and has undertaken at various points in her career, courses in waking dream technique, fasciatherapy and EMDR, to continuously help her customize her treatment techniques to suit her patients.
She initially created an association called Naître ensemble which helped conduct group therapies for future mothers to deal with their anxieties and questions, an endeavor rather revolutionary for those times. She was also involved in the creation of the association Tiens bon à tes rêves along with Charlotte Rampling, which was approved by the National Education ministry under the framework of APAC classes. The association worked with more than 7000 children aged between 4 and 12, from more than 100 schools using art therapy to help them express themselves. This phase saw her writing her first book À tes rêves! T’es toi quand tu peins published by Les portes du monde. The work, a companion book and CD for children, helps them discover their own creativity.
As her practice grew, she became more convinced that psychotherapy was not only for those seriously ill but for everyone. She realized that every person has been through some trauma or the other which definitely has left its imprint on them. She was convinced that the body mirrors the state of mind of the person and that even seemingly normal people were definitely victims of some form of trauma or the other. This led her to write her first book Mon corps me dit, aimed at informing the general public in simple and easily understandable fashion on how to interpret bodily signals to decode the underlying psychological cause. The book published by Editeur Guy Trèdaniel in 2011 has been a grand success and following that her next work Je suis timide et je m'en sers, published by the same house, has just hit the bookstores in September 2013. She has a blog on Psychologies.com called "Les maux pour le dire".
Valérie has a deep interest in music, art and sports too and lives in Paris with her husband, a plastic surgeon and three children.
Valérie customizes her therapy to suit individual needs and does not follow a standard therapy protocol for her patients. Broadly however, she uses the following techniques:
Energy and fasciatherapy: Fascia are fine membranes which surround the conjunctive tissue of the body. Fascia therapy is a manual therapy which addresses a person in his totality – physically and psychically – and seeks the auto-regulation forces of the body. The therapists place their hands on the body of the subject and “listen” to the natural movement of the fascia – movement which is extremely subtle and can be compared to breathing. From the information gleaned from the superficial fascia, an evaluation of the vitality of the tissues can be made and blocks which are contained within can be determined. Given the network like structure of the fascia, its touch sensitive nature is trusted to detect trauma throughout the fascial system, to the zones where the fingers cannot reach.
Waking dream technique: A waking dream is a level of consciousness, an original imaginative creation and a method of analysis and psychotherapy – all at the same time. A waking dream starts as a day dream and very quickly develops into a real dream. Comfortably lying down on a couch, the patient narrates his/her dream to the therapist while the therapist sits nearby noting it down. Soon, with the therapist's expert guidance it becomes a real dream, for the patient is not in control of what is going to appear, he/she cannot change images, and the dream can't be stopped by exercising will.
Art therapy: Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy which uses artistic creation (drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, etc.) to establish contact with a person’s inner self, give expression to it and transform the person. Without being concerned about the quality or appearance of the final work, therapeutic approach consists of allowing internal images to be expressed progressively, which could be as much a reflection of the person’s past experiences, as it could be the dreams to which he aspires.
Rebirth: It is a therapy aimed at making the patient live through his/her birth a second time. The therapist takes the patient back to the intrauterine period allowing the patient to relive the gestation period either month by month or as whole, with the therapist's intervention and guidance. Any traumas that have been accumulated during this period are dealt with and the patient is reborn a second time but this time, the traumas have been explained and reoriented towards a positive direction.
EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy technique developed by Francine Shapiro. It is a technique which designates disturbing memories as the cause of psychopathology and alleviates symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder through the employment of ocular movements. EMDR is used for individuals who have experienced severe trauma which remains unresolved. This is done in an 8 step protocol that includes having clients recall distressing images while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input including side to side eye movements. The use of EMDR was originally developed to treat adults suffering from PTSD. However, it is also used to treat other conditions and children.
You can read more on the techniques here.
- À tes rêves! T'es toi quand tu peins, 2002
- Mon corps me dit, 2011
- Je suis timide et je m'en sers, 2013
- My body tells no lie, 2013