About Dr. Joaquin F. Sousa-Poza


1. My name is Dr. Joaquin F. Sousa-Poza, of Galiano Island. I was born in Pontevedra, Spain. The town's name derives from the Latin; "ponte"; (bridge) and "veritas" (the truth) because it sits on the "Camino de Santiago", the route the pilgrims follow to reach Santiago de Compostela where, it is said, the apostle Saint James lays buried in its magnificent cathedral. Ernest Hemingway, a well-rounded traveler, proclaimed the square formed by the cathedral and three other buildings as "one of the most beautiful in the world". Interestingly, I make a living by helping people to recover their true self.

2. Befittingly, I obtained an MD from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 1961, a Diploma in Psychiatry from McGill University in 1968 and a Doctorate in Medical Sciences in 1975 from the State University of New York (DMC) under the direction of the master of cognitive styles, the late Doctor Herman Witkin PhD.  

Santiago de Compostela

3. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Pontevedra historic building

4. Pontevedra, Spain
Pontevedra main public square

5. Pontevedra, Spain
(Cesar Portela, Architect)
Pontevedra public square

6. Pontevedra, Spain
(Cesar Portela, Architect)


7. The coastline of Galicia is green and rugged, dotted with deserted, sandy coves. But this enticing landscape was the site of one of Spain's worst environmental disasters, the 2002 Prestige oil spill. Click here to find out more.

8. I taught psychiatry at McGill as a Teaching Fellow, at the State University of New York (DMC) as Assistant Professor, and full time, for 15 years, at the Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec as Professeur Agrégé. In 1989 I moved to beautiful British Columbia, where I practice psychotherapy primarily for abused women, exclusively, in my home office on Galiano Island. I also teach once a year as a Visiting Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid.

9. I have published, in what I believe to be, authoritative journals such as Human Communication and Research, Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, Psiquis and others. I also made a primitive effort at poetry. But the real love affair of my life has always been psychotherapy, it's the "via magna" to understanding the human self and its considerable suffering. Paraphrasing my friend, the American anthropologist Edward T. Hall, I specialize in treating "the psychopathology of every day life" – neuroses, that is – that are much more pathologic than we would like to think. In general, the emotional and spiritual development of humanity, compared at least with our techno/scientific achievements, is nothing to write home about. To deal with that glaring discrepancy we resort to keeping the sanity threshold insanely low because humanity would look too bad if it were placed where it belongs. I treat neuroses and, sometimes, severe forms of woundedness, those so-called personality disorders.

10. Early in my psychiatric training at McGill University in Montreal, I deemed it to be absolutely necessary to undergo psychotherapy myself, if ever I were to practice it seriously. In other words, I needed to ". . . eat from your own cooking," as Warren Buffet, the "Oracle of Omaha" is fond of saying. I began with classic psychoanalysis in the mid-1960s with a training analyst, and ended up undergoing and researching most of the major therapies up to Primal Therapy at Dr. Arthur Janov's Primal Center in Los Angeles, California.

11. I have also done hundreds of hours of so-called solitudinal research on the phenomena of regression to early emotionally traumatic experiences.

Footprints in the sand

12. Solitudinal Research
(Photo Courtesy of Stock.xchng)


13. Given the fact that infantile trauma happened in the past "regression," and not in its psychoanalytic meaning of "going back to earlier modes of ego functioning," but as that of reliving early traumatic experiences, is the sine qua non to practice emotional trauma theory.

14. As I was going to discover after traversing the narrow straights of Primal Therapy, nurturing, or retribution, has to be the other basic element of practicing trauma theory. Briefly, my over 30 years of research led me to develop a theory of neurosis based on Freud's early "seduction" theory (appropriately relabeled the "trauma" theory by Alice Miller) with attachment and information theory as its theoretical basis. Eventually, I devised an extremely simple and well-defined method.

15. In 2005, I published, in the International Journal of Psychotherapy two papers, “Theory” and “Method,” which are presented on this website. I am, at the moment, in the process of writing for publication a book on psychospirituality. Eventually, I intend to offer teaching/training and certification in the method, as well as doing consulting work in emotional conflict resolution for business and institutions.

16. My good friend and financial advisor, Tim Paziuk, of Victoria, follows a humane approach to his work (can you imagine a financial advisor with a heart?). He said of himself in an article in the Financial Post, "Like so many evolutionary creatures, I may become extinct before ever being discovered."

17. Really, who cares? I was already handsomely rewarded for my hardships by bringing myself, and many of my patients, into closer contact with the Divinity.

My Hobbies

18. As a sports orientated individual, I have been involved through the years in flying small aircraft, motorbiking, sailing, quarter horse training, cross country skiing, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities. My greatest achievement in this field has been to crash a Porsche 911 and a classic black, 1968 BMW motorcycle.

19. Existential DialogueJoaquin and Nico photos showing them having a conversation

Herd of buffaloes on the rampage

20. "Here they come again... "
Illustration by Michel Bourque

Jesus sitting thinking on the cross

21. This is the picture of Christ after the human
buffaloes trampled him underfoot before his time.

The Christ Child

22. Untitled

All symbols of religions

23. Pax tecum (May peace be with you), brothers and sisters!


the cross at sunset

24. "The Dusk of the Cross"
(...and at that time all suffering shall cease.)


Joaquin pondering the meaning of it all

25. A second "Furtiva Lacrima"
Yes, the child is still there...

26. Amazing Grace in Cherokee



"Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
and how you suffered for your sanity
and how you tried to set them free
they would not listen, they did not know how,
perhaps they never will... "

27. Adaptive lyrics from the song 'Starry, Starry Night' by Don McLean, sung by Julio Iglesias.


"The Good the Bad and the Ugly"
(cannot win them all!)

"It could have been much worse as it happened to DR. Alfonzo"

Thank you to these people for their contributions.
Joaquin F. Sousa-Poza, M.D., D.(M.)Sc, F.R.C.P.(C)

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