July 26, 2012
|Monica Facusse ’99|
Between the time that she spent studying psychology at Rollins and then earning master’s degrees from Boston University, Harvard University and the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, Monica Facusse ’99 spent 11 years away from her home country of Honduras studying psychology and psychotherapy. When she completed her education in 2006, she headed straight home to share her expertise with her countrymen.
“I moved back to Honduras, my native country, to open my own private practice, where I offer couples therapy, children play-therapy and individual therapy,” Facusse said. “Today, I can truly say that I wake up enthusiastic every morning ready to start another day seeing my dream come true.”
Why did you decide to go back to Honduras to start your own therapy practice?
I come from Honduras, a third world country where not many professionals offer psychotherapy, but yet there is much demand for it. The fear of the unknown and the negative thoughts associated with mental health makes many individuals in Honduras resistant to seek help and find it easier to go to a doctor for medication, focusing on their symptoms and not on the primary sources of their problems.
I was always aware of the challenges I was going to face coming back after 11 years of study in the U.S., but in my desire to give something in return to my community, I can truly say that all my schooling provided me with the confidence I was going to need in order to extend my journey and be able to put theory into practice and provide hope to those in need of therapeutic treatment in my country.
What are some of the ways you have been able to use these skills to help underserved communities in your home country?
I love my work to such an extent that I often stay up late at night at my private practice receiving calls from people that live in the most remote towns and villages in my country.
Even though each case is different, so far the most challenging ones I have faced are those that involve child abuse. Parents use physical and emotional violence as a form of punishment without realizing the consequences these punishments have on the lives of their children. The anger, panic, impotence and severe frustrations make it difficult for the children to control their own behaviors and produce significant psychological effects such as low self esteem, anguish, anxiety, depression, and an increase risk of them resorting in violence as well.
What do you think drew you to the study of psychology initially?
I believe that every human being is born with a special gift called vocation. I remember that since I was young, I used to listen to my family members and friends who constantly had the habit of disclosing to me their personal problems in search for an advice. Gradually, I discovered the satisfaction of seeing how many of those tips worked in the lives of my loved ones. I can say that with absolute innocence that, from that point forward, my vocation is a psychologist began.
What has been the most satisfying aspect of your career?
Throughout my career experience, I have met the fears, difficulties, and concerns of many individuals who directly and/or indirectly have reached out to me in need of therapeutic treatment. I can truly say that it fills me with great satisfaction to be able to offer each individual the guidance in order to overcome all the obstacles that have contributed to his or her emotional welfare.
Are Honduran people dealing with the same sort of psychological challenges as American people?
In underdeveloped countries such as Honduras, issues such as extreme poverty, unemployment, marginalization, corruption and disorganization are just some of the psychological challenges that people have to face every day. These issue provide the framework for the formation of the each individual’s sense of worth (self-esteem), a fundamental problem that many seem to suffer from and is linked to many other disorders.