Doc. Vita Poštuvan, PhD, EuroPsy psychologist
Vita is involved in research and prevention of suicidal behaviour and promotion of mental health through implementation of large-scale preventive public-health projects as well as through clinical interventions with individuals and small groups. She helps therapeutically people in distress or in crisis situations,. Vita has worked professionally in Austria, Japan, China and India.
Doc. Vita Poštuvan, PhD in Psychology works as a researcher and Deputy Head of the Slovene Centre for Suicide Research (UP IAM) and Department of Psychology (FAMNIT) at the University of Primorska. She leads the work related to clinical-research and public-health interventions in suicidology, bereavement, crisis interventions and psychotherapy. She has participated in major European and Slovenian studies in the field of (public) mental health, suicidology and psychology, which were published in international journals.
Vita’s professional work covers the field of psychological counselling, psychotherapy and prevention. Currently she is finishing certification process to be recognised as a cognitive-behavioural therapist and is a working as a psychological counsellor within the Psychological Counseling Center ŠOUM, and in addition, she also implements mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT; completed all three teaching levels of education).
She is a member of the National unit for psychological support at crisis interventions within the Civil Protection of Republic of Slovenia and responsible for disaster relief programmes. She also initiated psychosocial interventions with cooperation of Slovene psychologists’ association and Slovene philanthropy for refugees crisis in 2015.
From 2009 she has been teaching at UM FF and UP FAMNIT. At UP FAMNIT she is cooperating at the subject Mental health, Public-health interventions and Cognitive-behavioural Psychotherapy, while at the Department of Psychology FF UM, she leads subject Mental Health.
Vita is an active member of Slovene Psychologists’ Association: she is involved in PR activities, is a member of the National Awarding Committee for the EuroPsy and the president of National Ethical Board. Besides the national engagement, she is Slovene representative in Ethical Board of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) as well as member of Board of Prevention and Interventions.
During the last decade, Vita contributed to a large number of professional papers, organised and participated at national and international conferences, and published articles and chapters in the most prestigious journals (such as Lancet) in field of psychology, medicine and suicidology. Her work is achieving high citation and is recognised in international community. She is the first psychologist in Slovenia, who obtained the EuroPsy – the European certificate in psychology.
She is currently the representative of Slovenia at the InternationalAssociation for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and co-leader of the Special Interest Group for Bereavement and Postvention in this organization.
Between 2011 and 2015 she was a Secretary General of the Slovene psychologists’ association and a representative in Operational Support Network (OSN, EFPA).
Vita’s first workplace in 2005 was related to health-related interventions for people living in slum areas in India (NGO The Association of People with Disability, Bangalore). Since then she was employed at the Institute of Public Health RS, and worked as an evaluator and a consultant in Counselling Association PU in Ljubljana. She has international professional experience also from working with migrants in China (NGO Hua Dan, Beijing) in 2007.
She has worked at the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP) in Tokyo, Japan, as a fellow researcher.
2015 she received the title of Prometheus of science for excellence in communication, while she also became a finalist of the national selection Communicator of science for the year 2014. She received the same award also three years later, becoming Communicator of science for the year 2017.
Slovene Psychologists’ Association awarded her in 2015 for her contribution to the association. In 2014 she received an Award for scientific excellence in the UP.
Her research was recognized as the most innovative one by Atlas.ti company in 2010.
Vita loves to enjoy a cup of Chinese tea, reading Murakami’s books, to wander around the world and to look the world from bottom up while doing headstands on yoga or capoeira.