Marcela Amaral

Marcela is an Integrative Psychotherapist with a unique background in psychology as well as education. She has higher degrees in both psychology and special education, and possesses a wealth of experience working with adults, adolescents, and children. Her work history spans across private practices, public health institutions, and international schools. She moved to Hong Kong from Paris, France, two years ago to work at Hong Kong International School before transitioning to Alive Wellness. 

What is Integrative Psychotherapy? Integrative Psychotherapy offers an individualized, dynamic, and holistic approach to therapy. It integrates different aspects of yourself; emotional, physiological, cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual. This approach works with multiple psychological practices by carefully choosing and integrating specific techniques to meet the client’s individual needs in a safe, affectionate, and non-judgmental space. As with other talk therapy approaches, integrative therapy is based on conversation and it can be in person or online. Marcela meets with clients individually, however, she might discuss the possibility of inviting family members or close friends to be part of a few sessions. 

Marcela specifically uses assimilative integration, meaning she chooses one approach as a primary method and pulls in various elements of different approaches. Her primary method is contemporary psychoanalysis. She believes that everyone possesses unconscious desires, feelings, thoughts, and memories, but we constantly use defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from information contained in the unconscious. Psychoanalysis helps clients access the unconscious content by having them relax and speak freely, also called free association. By attaining a deeper understanding of how the unconscious influences your thoughts, behavior, and how you perceive yourself, you can embark on a journey of self-knowledge that leads to powerful personal development. 

Some examples of how Marcela might integrate other techniques include: If a client is experiencing a high level of anxiety, psychodynamic therapeutic practices are proven research-based treatments that help individuals with anxiety disorders manage their mental health. 

When addressing behavioral issues, Marcela might utilize a behavioral strategy, such as role-playing.

Marcela also frequently uses mindfulness of the body to help a client ground his/her attention to enhance the practice of awakening.

Lastly, Marcela is specialized in anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  She helps clients develop a better understanding of their behavior, build resilience, and more deeply draw upon their strengths and internal resources. Marcela also provides individualized strategies and skill building tools to help clients cope with symptoms of ADHD and anxiety that can make everyday life overwhelming, especially in a school setting or work environment. Through this work, clients gain control of both their emotions and behavior and ultimately are empowered to achieve their full potential.

Marcela Amaral

Marcelas’s Training:

  • BA in Psychology (Brazil)
  • MA in Special Education with Specialization in ADHD and Anxiety (USA)
  • Previously a member of Psychoanalysis Society (Brazil)
  • Training in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)