Member Spotlight: Jesus Gonzales-Monreal

Jesus Gonzales-Monreal
SDPC Adult Psychoanalytic Program Candidate

Hometown: Tijuana, Baja California, México

What was your pathway toward entering the mental health field?
I was always interested in human behavior. After finishing the B.A. in General Psychology in Tijuana, Mexico, I began working in neuropsychology and evaluating cognitive development in children. After treating children in the autistic spectrum I began to see patients in psychotherapy. This work was in the city of Tijuana. However, at the same time I was working in SDSU in the Public Health Department in the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health (C-BEACH) in research of health behavior regarding habits of smoking, tuberculosis, physical activity in adolescents, specifically in the immigration community. In doing research questionnaires in bicultural communities I saw the need of treating the individual as a way of understanding the motivation behind certain behaviors related to health in general.  

And what drew you to psychoanalysis/psychoanalytic psychotherapy? My interest in psychoanalysis began when I was in High School. Reading philosophical thought, I saw many authors that spoke about the importance of psychoanalysis to comprehend the reality of the other. When choosing a degree, philosophy was my main interest, however because psychoanalysis was my main attraction to mental health, I decided to first study the clinical experience of treating the other, leaving philosophy for a future day. Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy are an essential theory of mind that takes a complicated path to understanding how unconscious thought creeps up behind our behavior and choices.

Tell us about your educational experience thus far at SDPC: Particular courses, experiences, teachers, supervisors/consultants that have been most formative? The experience at SDPC has been very enriching; the instructors are very knowledgeable, patient, and humble in the way of describing their own experience. I felt a sense of community and even family, at the end of my training in the psychoanalytic psychotherapy program. In my current training in the psychoanalytic program the stakes are even higher, with a more intense and rigorous but also rewarding training. It is an experience I will not forget.

How has your training in psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy affected a) your practice, and b) your professional development? Other areas of life? I believe because of my training in the SDPC I engage with patients early on in the treatment, the respect and patience I feel for the patient is sincere. The interest in theory and supervision are essential to work as a mental health professional and the training I have received has been the most important in all of my academic training. As far as in my own personal life, it is impossible not to work with your mind, to understand clients, the vicissitudes of conscious thought seriously enough, and not question yourself and your choices.

How else have you applied your analytic knowledge? I have a strong interest in philosophy and literature; I can say with certainty that psychoanalysis has complimented greatly those fields, in understanding via a different lens the complexity of thought.

What is something very few people know about you?  I am passionate about two other things besides psychoanalysis: American professional football and Opera. This may sound strange but they actually compliment each other in a way. Both deal with strong emotions and both are very entertaining and fun.

Tell us about your practice and who you are most interested in working with. I am interested in working in analysis and psychotherapy with adults. The majority of my patients I work with are diagnosed with a personality disorder, with difficulties of impulse control; however I also see high functioning patients.

Where is your practice, and how can potential patients contact you? In Tijuana Mexico, my contact info is at my email: