Featured Members, Positive Living Newsletter

Andreea Ursu, Ph.D.

I was born in the beautiful city of Iași, Romania, the North-Eastern city of the European Union. In the past six years I have been living in Turkey, Spain, Jordan and Greece. I am a Psychologist, traveling around the world, learning more about the ways people intentionally and authentically live and give meaning to their lives.

Currently, I am in Suceava, the capital of Bukovina region, where I have relocated as part of my professional journey, as an Assistant Professor at the Ștefan cel Mare, University of Suceava. This region is famous for the UNESCO registered painted monasteries and its amazing country-side views.

My career path started in 2013, when I applied for a bachelor psychology program with the excitement and interest of understanding why people behave in the way they do and how this influences their psychological functioning.

During my master, I had an abroad experience in Turkey within the Erasmus program, as a way of discovering new meanings to the student life. I was absolutely impressed by the kindness of the Turkish people and their ability to find positive meaning in their day to day activities.

Throughout my Ph.D studies, I had the opportunity of working in three international lab centers (Deusto Stress Research Lab, Spain; Centre for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Greece; Social Psychology Lab, Turkey). During this time, I was interested in how culture is influencing the emotional experience of romantic partners and the role played by different emotion regulation strategies in emerging couples’ functioning. This was then followed by my postdoc, where I was interested to examine how specific individual emotion regulation, such as acceptance and positive cognitive reappraisal, influence the romantic partners’ intimacy.

Nowadays, my research focuses on the protective and risk factors of personal growth, effects of intrapersonal and interpersonal emotion regulation strategies on personal experience and couple functioning, and ultimately the link between stress, coping and family functioning.

Another pining point in my professional journey is teaching. Everything started to make sense for me more than ever when I was preparing the class on Humanistic Psychology. I started to read more about Positive Psychology, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT; an existential therapy) and in 2021 I started my EFT psychotherapeutically training. When the COVID-19 pandemic started I realized the importance of interpersonal relationships and the importance of hope, self-compassion and gratitude. When the war started in Ukraine, close to our borders, once again I realized the importance of relationships and positive mindset.

Through all of the recent experiences, I can clearly say that working with Syrian children in Jordan and with Ukrainian refugees were the most challenging experiences of my life. The university where I teach, was one of the most involved institution from Suceava to accommodate and to distribute necessary products to the Ukrainian refugees at the border and in the city of Suceava. All the efforts were joined to help alleviate the needs, and to offer support were needed (in all terms, for instance: psychological support). The moments shared during those time were the ones who brought meaning to my life, hope for our world and appreciation for the people I have meet; for their strengths, their bravery and their capacity to find resources and to establish a purpose in this times of uncertainty.

I look forward to meaningfully and purposefully learning from you and growing along with you.

e-mail address: andreea.ursu@usm.ro