“Therapy is about exploration and discovery, an experience that opens up new possibilities for vitalizing relationships and for leading a more meaningful and fulfilling life.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
Growing up between Denmark and the United States, I took on the role of an observer. My interest in people and culture led me to explore the inner world of characters and how identities are shaped through documentary filmmaking. In what now seems like a natural outgrowth of my experience as a filmmaker, I decided I wanted to go beyond simply chronicling people’s stories from the sideline into seeing how I could make a real difference in their lives. My observer stance hasn’t left me, but has rather evolved. I’m interested in knowing my clients’ full experience, including the micro-moments that a camera cannot capture and their relational dynamics. In a world that is increasingly disconnected and distracted, I have committed myself to focusing on the healing power of relationships and helping clients move through internal and interpersonal blocks toward connection.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I believe therapy should offer something that’s all too rare in today’s world: a safe space in which to feel truly seen and heard and deeply understood. But it should also provide something that goes beyond that. Ultimately therapy is about exploration and discovery, an experience that opens up new possibilities for vitalizing relationships and for leading a more meaningful and fulfilling life. In both my work with individuals and couples, my role as a therapist is to serve as a trusted guide through their journey (especially during the most challenging patches) while they learn more and more how to tap into their own deepest sources of inner guidance and wisdom.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
Many clients are hesitant to give their therapist feedback, fearing they might get a negative reaction or even be rejected. Whether positive or critical, it is the job of a therapist to hear and process the feedback they receive. In fact, it is this honest communication between a therapist and client that sets the stage for doing effective work together. If you feel like your therapist isn’t getting something about your experience or you have a strong feeling about something they said, it's important to let them know.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
Research has shown that the quality of a person's life is largely dictated by the quality of their relationships. As human beings, when we are connected with others we are better able to cope with life’s storms, regulate our emotions, and even experience less physical pain. At the same time, we are living in a world of cell phones and social media, which take us out of deep interpersonal contact. As we all navigate the rise of technology, it’s been exciting to see the mental health field shift back into focusing on the importance of human connection in real life.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
Existential Psychotherapy by Dr. Irvin Yalom reviews the four core concerns we all confront as human beings: isolation, meaninglessness, death, and freedom. This book helped organize my thinking around how to help clients grapple with the givens of existence that, when ignored, can leave us living a life that’s out of alignment with our true selves. Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson outlines Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), a model based on the science of attachment that helps couples tune in to their emotions and reconnect. In the book, Dr. Johnson outlines conversations to break the negative cycles couples can find themselves in, normalizing the difficulties all couples face and showing us that the enemy is the cycle and not our partner.
“In a world that is increasingly disconnected and distracted, I have committed myself to focusing on the healing power of relationships.”