This Christmas is extraordinarily significant to me – I earned one of my greatest gifts in the realm of professional life – the title of Beck Institute CBT Certified Clinician. I was hardworking, consistent and dedicated to the cause of providing quality mental health services in my country. The result – a recognition of success from the highest authority.

Unfortunately, I was not able to meet personally Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of Cognitive Therapy, who died this December, shortly after his 100th birthday. In the last three years I had the opportunity to study at Beck Institute, founded in 1994 by himself and his daughter, Dr. Judith Beck. I met many specialists, students of Dr. A. Beck, who led our training modules and acted as our direct supervisors. For me, the successful defense of my clinical practice is not only a personal achievement, but also a matter of national honor – for the first time a Bulgarian citizen completes the certification process and receives such a distinction.

My plan for the next five years, after which I will be re-evaluated, is to inspire my colleagues to challenge themselves, despite all the obstacles along the foggy path of a psychologist in our country. To promote counseling, which, although to a lesser extent in comparison to 10 years ago, is still stigmatized in our society. To continue working towards a community, holding a different way of thinking that leads to a richer, fuller and more meaningful life.

Thanks to all my clients who trusted me to explore their worlds together. Counseling is a contact between two universes. Just as I influence yours, you influence mine, and through that interaction we both come out richer, stronger, and more confident. I believe that development is the only way ahead of us and I hope that I have been able to share this belief with you.

I wish to express my gratitude to all my colleagues who helped me deal with myself in difficult times and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. To all my family for their constant support, even when they did not fully understand the nature of the challenges ahead of me. For all of you, I will continue to develop – both professionally and personally, hoping to be a good circumstance in your life.