Different Views: Biba Rebolj
SHE’S THE FIRST SLOVENIAN TO ACQUIRE A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE IN SOLUTION FOCUSED BRIEF THERAPY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.
SHE ESTABLISHED THE FIRST INDEPENDENT RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE SOLUTION FOCUSED APPROACH IN SLOVENIA – INSTITUTE RIBALON.
SHE HELPED MORE THAN A THOUSAND PEOPLE IN ACHIEVING THEIR DESIRED LIFE GOALS.
SHE WORKED AND CONTINUES WORKING WITH YOUNG DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE, ADOLESCENTS AND THEIR PARENTS, YOUNG GRADUATES, YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS, AND MOST RECENTLY, TEAMS AND ORGANIZATIONS.
What do you think emotions are?
Emotions? Such a simple yet very difficult question. Emotions are for me a way of expressing what words cannot say and what the mind cannot comprehend.
How do you navigate them and interpret them correctly?
It’s funny that you ask that. I’ve never thought of that. I always thought that I had to deal with my thoughts, not my emotions. We don’t always believe what we think which leads me to the question: should we believe our emotions? Can emotions be changed according to our current state?
How do you change your emotional state if you’re not feeling well?
When I’m feeling blue I try to go out in the nature, maybe walk or run. The movement improves my mood.
How can you learn to be emotionally honest?
I think when you reach a point when you have nothing to prove to anybody you’re able to show the integrity towards yourself and what you’re feeling. You allow yourself to feel certain emotions that aren’t socially acceptable when you stop bothering yourself with what others think.
ON SELF-ESTEEM & CONFIDENCE
Self-esteem – can it be self-taught?
I think it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. No matter what happened when you were younger it can be changed in your adult life. Those experiences don’t necessarily have to influence your future. I think you can teach yourself to be more self-confident.
How does self-confidence feel?
It’s like a feeling of calmness. A feeling that whatever happens I won’t take it personally. You could be totally rude to me but if I’m confident, I understand that this is your pain and has nothing to do with me.
What would be your advice for someone who wants to be more confident?
I’d tell them to play around with the question: what would be different if I had self-confidence? Eventually when you make it very vivid in your imagination it has a bigger chance to become reality.
What does independence mean to you?
Since we were talking about emotions, I’d say not relying on other people’s moods would mean being independent. If my partner is feeling down and I’m depending on him, he’d drag me down. If I’m independent, then I could be the one raising him up.
What makes someone independent?
I don’t think I could answer that. I could only pose a question. I’d ask: When was the last time you felt a little more independent? How did that look and what got you to experience that? Personally, it takes some experience to dare to be independent. When you’re young, life is complicated; you’re not taught in school how to live and maintain your relationships, and that’s the hardest thing to do so it takes some time to feel ok with yourself.
What does success mean to you?
To see the results of my work in someone so that they say, “Thank you, I don’t need you anymore”. It feels awesome knowing that my work has some meaning and being alive on Earth is not a waste.
What’s the difference between someone who’s successful and someone who isn’t?
It’s impossible to answer because we’re talking about two different people. It’s important to find out first what success means to them. For example – if I have two students and one is procrastinating, not doing his homework, he’s late to classes etc. and the other is very keen on coming on time, doing all the seminars and coursework, you might think the second student is successful and the first one isn’t. But if the first one is happy and satisfied with what they do, then there’s really no problem.
What is money in your opinion?
It’s a means of exchange. I think it was supposed to be meant for that but now we attach emotions and social values to it so instead of wanting to have a meaningful relationship, you see people wanting more money. I, however, think that money is losing the value it once had. I’m happy to observe these changes. It’s nonsense to be buying things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.
What should it mean to not stress people?
If you’re good at something I’m happy to pay you or we can even exchange favors, but it’s good to remember that you can always earn more money. But time…you can never get it back.
What’s the difference between someone who lives paycheck to paycheck and someone who always has enough?
What comes to mind is that maybe one person needs a lot so they spend a lot, and the other person is more modest and can live with less. It could also be about the context of where someone is from. If I was raised in a poor family and didn’t have access to knowledge, it would affect my education and later job opportunities. So it’s not fair and it’s also not fair for other people to say that it’s your fault. It’s easy to say to someone that they could start their own business. Some people are just not in the position to even start thinking about what that means. It’s very easy to say that in terms of poverty – it’s your own fault. So if I were born into a rich family and I’d have someone to pay everything for me, like my education, I couldn’t say I earned that. I was just lucky to be in that position.
What makes people start something creative?
The connection with who they really are, what they really feel, what they want to do. It’s a cliche phrase but “they follow their dreams”.
What makes someone want to pursue what they want while others give up?
There could be many reasons. I think it’s great to have a network of people who support you, people that are doing similar things to you so you have that support when you need it.
Can you describe your creative process?
When I was in front of something demanding, I used to ask myself: How am I going to get there? It’s huge and I don’t have enough of this and that…I noticed that I don’t think about how I’m going to get there anymore. Instead, I only concentrate on the next step and eventually the path creates itself.
What makes someone master their creativity?
Any rituals to invoke great ideas?
When it’s crucial for me to have a great idea I try to fast for one day – I don’t eat. When I go to sleep, my body is not busy with digestive processes so it clears my mind completely. At around 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning the ideas start to come and I just start collecting them without judgment.
Do you have a daily ritual?
After I get up, I do some warm up exercises and then I run for about 10 to 20 minutes. It clears my mind and sets me up for the challenges of the day.
What’s the best thing about your work?
Seeing the results. Some people think it’s hard cause I listen to some person’s tragic stories and worst case scenarios, but it’s so empowering to see that person creating themselves anew. I love that.
When did you know what you really wanted to do?
When I was in England on my study visit, I “accidently” found myself in one workshop. This person came to therapy and we were allowed to observe so we could potentially do something like that. That was the moment when I knew I wanted to help people like the therapist was able to help her.
What would you like to be remembered by when you’re no longer here?
Maybe that I was that person who simply wanted to make a difference.
Photos: Matjaž Rebolj
If you want to follow Biba’s work or try the Solution Focused Brief Therapy head over to www.ribalon.org for more info.
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