A Community of Heart Profile: Silvia Guz



Silvia Guz was born in the municipality of Santo André in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Brazil. Her father’s family emigrated from Poland during WWI and her mother’s came from Syria. Her parents, Icchok and Stela, grew up in the same town and went to the same synagogue. They fell in love in their 20’s and were married for 30 years. They had a very happy life. Silvia has an older brother and sister. Silvia’s secure beginnings helped form the dedication and focus she has brought to her life as a psychologist and EMDR practitioner. Silvia knew that she wanted to be a psychologist from the time that she was a teenager. She was motivated because she saw a great deal of suffering and bullying in her school. She wanted to help and although, at the time, she did not know what to do, she believed that she could do something to help and began to inquire about these situations. This led her to study psychology at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo in 1983. In Brazil, the degree is for 5 years and she graduated with a professional degree of psychology, after completing a practicum at Intermédica São Camilo Hospital for six months. She went on to work for Pirelli where she first did a practicum in Human Relations and was later hired to work there. After two years, she knew that this was not the path she wanted to follow and went into private practice. She was 24 years old and decided to study Jungian Analysis. As with anything that Silvia does, she became a specialist and received her certification in 1988. While she was working in her private practice, she met her husband through a mutual friend. Ari and Silvia met in Natal although they both grew up in Santo André, not far from each other, but had never met. Like her parents, they fell in love and have been together for 25 years. They have two daughters, Alice and Heloisa, and he has two children, Adriano and Carolina, from his first marriage. Ari was involved in Strategic Planning for the government as well as crisis management. Because of him, Silvia grew interested in this area. In 1995, she became a specialist in Situational Strategic Planning. Silvia began working for the Altadir Foundation in Chile, which was a pioneering organization in Latin America for the development of strategic planning and senior management techniques, and she also worked as a consultant with the government concerning the intervention and mediation of crises and conflicts. These are skills that have been an important part of her work since that time. Silvia furthered her clinical skills by becoming a student of Federico Navarro. He is the creator of “Somatopsicodinâmica,” a technique that is part of the systematization of character analysis originating with Wilhelm Reich. In 2000, she was certified as a specialist from Navarro’s school in Italy that trains in his approach to body psychotherapy. She worked with this method for 10 years and became more and more aware of how important the body is when working with clients in psychotherapy. In 2002, she became interested in Xavier Serrano’s work from Spain and became a specialist in Psychotherapy Brief Character (PBC). Silvia heard about EMDR at a conference for body therapists. She quickly read David Grand’s book, “Emotional Healing at Warp Speed: The power of EMDR” and was so intrigued that she went to Buenos Aires, Argentina to do Part I of the Basic EMDR training in 2004. Pablo Solvey worked with her during a practicum. She worked on her guilt over not being able to see her mother one more time before she died, missing her by only a few hours. For the first time since her mother had died eight months prior to this EMDR session, she was at peace with her mother and her death. When she returned to Brazil, she did not feel that she had learned how to do EMDR well enough. In 2006, she repeated the training in Brazil and felt more comfortable as the trainers explained how EMDR therapy works in the brain and how to do it. Since that time, she has not stopped using EMDR. She had another important experience with Esly Carvalho who did a 50-minute EMDR session based on Mark Grant’s pain protocol. After living with tendinitis in her elbow 24 hours a day for 1½ years, following the session, she could move her elbow and her pain was gone! She did have surgery afterwards and she did not experience any emotional pain at all. In fact, it was so exciting that Esly wrote about it in “Heal Your Brain, Heal Your Body.” It was not only her clients’ experiences with EMDR therapy that were so compelling for Silvia but her own as well. It reinforced her desire to be an EMDR therapist. She became an EMDR Institute facilitator as well as a facilitator for EMDR Iberoamerica (EMDR IBA) in 2010; an Approved Consultant (Supervisor) in 2010; an EMDR Institute/ EMDR IBA trainer in 2011; and a Trainer of Trainers in 2015 - Certified by both the EMDR Institute as well as EMDR Iberoamerica. She joined the EMDR Brasil Association and became its president in 2012 for two mandates. During her time on the board, the Association grew from 20 members to 300 and from 30,000 reais (approximately $5000) to 300,000 reais ($75,000)! From her work in strategic planning, just as it is with EMDR therapy, she learned that we need to look at the past and think about the present in order to move on to the future. The leaders of EMDR Brazil Association are engaged in this type of strategic planning. Their mission is to make sure that Brazil is not only known for Carnival and Rio, but for humanitarian work and EMDR therapy as well. A “Solidarity Network” has been recently formed and had its first planning meeting last February to help organize their actions throughout a huge country. They are working together to unite EMDR therapists in Brazil and abroad by promoting conferences, scientific meetings, as well as the role of Brazil in the international EMDR community. They are also interested in strengthening the structure of Iberoamerica (throughout South and Central Americas) as well as in Brazil. Silvia has recently been invited to participate as the head of the International Committee for EMDR IBA, and sits on the EMDR Global Alliance task force in representation. Since 2014, Silvia has done her own strategic planning for her life so that she no longer works 7 days a week! Silvia and Ari travel so much that their favorite hobby is to be home together with their children. He loves to cook and she loves to eat!

To the EMDR Community Silvia says:

“EMDR changed my life as a clinician and a client. It changed my personal life and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And my clients can do it, too. I am very thankful for it. Let’s do EMDR. Let’s do more research, and understand and plan our future. I can see the future of EMDR in the world. My future vision is very big. I see EMDR therapy in every country, and in every little city with clinicians. I think that at least all the clinicians need to know about EMDR. If they do it or not, they need to know. I read something about PTSD in Brazil. In the article, they said there was no way to treat it! This occurs in magazines, on television and in other places. It upsets me! I want to put EMDR out into the media so that when people are in pain they will say, ‘I need EMDR. I want my country to offer it to me. That is my vision!”

Silvia also said that she is known for not putting a project down until it is done correctly. It is clear that she is a woman who will actualize her vision and make it come to pass. She is working for it! Let’s all give her a hand!


“A Community of Heart Profile: Silvia Guz,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 15, 2024, https://francineshapirolibrary.omeka.net/items/show/24291.

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