I have had my own private clinic since 2007 where I work with a wide range of psychological problems, ranging from pain and stress management to supervision, debriefing and emergency crisis help in a larger and smaller context in Denmark and abroad. I also run courses and give lectures on mindfulness and the mind/body connection viewed from a scientific perspective. I have a valuable working relationship with doctors, most Danish insurance companies, schools and local councils in Horsens and Djursland. I often find my English background useful when treating clients with English as first or second language and with Danish clients who sometimes find it more beneficial to speak English in therapy sessions. I also hold sessions over the Internet (Skype, FaceTime, Teams, etc.) with clients in other countries.
My path to becoming a psychologist has been a developmental and seasoning process over many years, which has taken the form of an interaction between theory and practice. Studies of anthropology and psychology at Århus University and supplementary courses in therapeutic practice after graduation on the one side and on the other side working professionally with alcoholics, drug abusers, criminals, handicapped, refugees, children in Child Institutions, homeless and socially disadvantaged people. This work has been in Local Council institutions and projects and as a teacher in a Danish Folk High School.
This experience compliments my educational background, and provides a strong integration of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. I have a practical approach to psychology, which helps both children and adults to feel comfortable and relaxed, and it makes it possible for me to relate to people with a simple, understandable and non-psychological language. I find, moreover, that my teaching and educational experiences within special needs areas provide a strong base for disseminating psychological knowledge and accommodating strong emotions in a down to earth way.
I keep up to date with the newest research in psychology and mind/body connection through scientific journals, books, courses and seminars. I have a special interest in the following areas: Anger management, Short Term Dynamic Therapy, Experiential Therapy, Existential Therapy, Crisis Therapy, Emotional Phobia, Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness, hypnosis, mind-body connection, the influence of breathing on thoughts, emotions and feelings.
BODY AND MIND
We tend to try desperately to think us out of problems, but the mind may seem to have its own negative life.
Working with thought processes alone is not enough. The latest research shows that brain areas roughly equivalent to controlling thoughts, feelings, and the body must all be activated during psychotherapy in order for lasting psychological change to take place. Tension, pains, headaches, weakened immune system, poor posture, bodily discomfort, eczema, and much more can be symptoms and expressions of psychological disfunction. These physical symptoms are unpleasant and therefore we do what we can to avoid them, and in doing so we avoid the physical discomfort by avoiding the situations that cause the discomfort. The result is that our lives become progressively restricted and we feel we lose ourselves.
The physical symptoms may, however, be the expression of emotions trying to tell us something important, but we will not hear it, because it causes too much emotional pain. Emotional pain is experienced in the body in much the same way as physical pain, so by avoiding the emotional pain we ignore the chance to address the problem. I work therefore with due attention to physical symptoms as signals from the body calling for change in life strategies.
ABOUT THE PROFESSION
Who has sufficient training and experience to work with psychological methods?
There are many different groups of professionals, who uses psychological methods. Many people find it difficult to separate the various groups of professionals and confuse therefore often the most well-known professionals – psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists.
In Denmark, there are no rules for who may provide psychological treatment. This means that anyone can offer psychological methods and start taking clients. Therefore, there is a good reason to be critical, when you need psychological assistance.
"TREATMENT" OR "PROCESS"?
"Treatment" is the passive receiving of something that someone else does to you, which you do not have much influence over or responsibility for. But lasting and profound change only occurs when one understands and takes conscious responsibility for the “process” and actively makes behavior changes – often with the help of a professional person.
“Psychologist” is a protected title in Denmark. Only people who have passed a 5-year university training in psychology, have the right to call themselves ‘psychologist’. Clinical psychologists must also be authorized by the Danish State. Authorisation is granted after passing a 2 year practical education. Psychologists have to keep full confidentiality and must constantly keep up to date with the latest and most effective research-based interventions and methods. Psychologists primary method is through talking.
A “Psychiatrist” is a medical doctor with additional specialist training in psychiatry (the treatment of the mentally ill). Psychiatrists working tools are most often medication, but some also have a training in psychotherapy. Psychiatrists most often work in psychiatric hospitals with the most serious mental illness, but they can have private clinics.
“Psychotherapist” is not a protected title in Denmark, so anyone can call themselves a psychotherapist, without this saying anything about the individual's educational or experiential background.
Hypnosis is easy to learn, is often taught on short (often weekend) courses and seems to be an easy solution to mental health problems. But the human mind is very complex and people have very different reasons for feeling the way they do. Hypnosis is a powerful tool that can be used to ”treat” psychological problems and make them go away. But we need to have a conscious awareness of our feelings, emotions and thoughts in order to function well, so the “removal” of uncomfortable feelings and thoughts can have profoundly negative consequences for our actions.
Hypnosis should therefore only be used by professionals who have psychological insight into the mind and body as well as proper training in hypnosis. I am trained in hypnosis, but use it only when I deem it appropriate, because it is critical that the client also takes conscious and active responsibility for change. I do not use hypnosis as ”a quick fix”.