Picture of Henriette Johnsen, Psychotherapist MPF

Why should you have therapy as an expat?

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by expat life? Like everything comes with an extra layer of challenges, needs extra effort? And that regardless of how hard you try; you just never feel entirely settled and grounded? That there’s often a sense of feeling out of sorts, and that everyday tasks and struggles seem amplified?

Then, you are like most expats.

Expats are faced with the same struggles as people who have lived all their lives in the same neighbourhood: relationship difficulties, divorce, stress, anxiety, depression, problems with work, life crises, and bereavement. 

 

The list goes on, and when far away from one's usual support network, problems can amplify. Adding to that, expat life comes with a whole host of potential problems and can become overwhelming to deal with. 

I can help you deal with these problems. As a UK trained therapist, I offer psychotherapy and counselling in English for expats in Denmark. I’m a three-time expat myself, and have firsthand experience with many of the challenges of living life abroad and have gone through the different phases of expat life several times.

What will you gain from therapy with me?

You will benefit from my ongoing support and willingness to stay with you during difficult times. Together we will explore what keeps you from leading a more authentic and satisfactory (expat) life; and we will set goals for what you would like to achieve.

 

Amongst other benefits, you will...

  • gain a greater understanding of yourself.

  • better understand what may keep you from leading the life you are dreaming of.

  • gain a better understanding of yourself in relation to other people.

  • have better capacity to create and maintain meaningful relationships.

  • enhance your ability to self-soothe and self-care in challenging situations.

  • experience greater self-acceptance and self-esteem.

  • become better at expressing and managing difficult emotions.

  • experience relief from stress, anxiety and depression.

My personal expat experiences

I still recall the profound isolation, loneliness, and homesickness as an expat. I struggled to make local friends, and found it difficult to create a meaningful life for myself outside of my family. I have experienced what’s it like to culturally feel like the odd one out at social gatherings; to feel rootless and in between two countries in the sense of not fully belonging anyway. 

 

I went through several personal crises and following a divorce, I found myself stuck not able to make ends meet financially and as such unable to support my children, but due to the Hague Convention also not able to move home with my children. 

 

However, I have also experienced the empowerment of digging deep into myself to work with my personal challenges and obstacles to find a way of making life better, more meaningful and deeply satisfactory for myself. It’s fair to say that being an expat is what made me confront and heal my wounds, empower myself to take charge and begin living a life true to my integrity, values and beliefs.

Read more about me here.

Picture of psychotherapist Henriette Johnsen in the woods

When the honeymoon phase wears off

Deciding to try out life in a foreign country is as exhilarating as daunting. The pre-departure phase is packed with planning, preparation and packing alongside lots of farewells to loved ones. During this phase, many expats experience a mixture of excitement, enthusiasm and trepidation.

 

The first months of expat life are often experienced as a red-carpet welcome, which leads to enthusiasm and looking at one’s new environment through rose-tinted glasses. However, once the honeymoon phase wears off, feelings of identity loss, isolation and loneliness, bewilderment, restlessness and disenchantment can surface. 

Adding to this is the fact that once the initial excitement wears off, whatever personal struggles and challenges you may have had back home have a tendency to reappear. However much we might want to, we cannot move away from our personal troubles – they have a way of sneaking themselves into our baggage and will come out to haunt us if we don’t deal with them appropriately.

 

All this can easily feed scepticism and frustration; and it’s not unusual to be led into stress, anxiety and depression which makes it difficult to maintain hope that expatriation was the right adventure to have embarked on.

Who is therapy for?

Therapy is for you who have the courage and drive to take a step towards personal development and greater mental wellbeing. It’s for you who wish to be the best version of yourself. For you wanting to be better able to regulate your emotions and emotional responses to life.

I am bilingual in Danish and English and provide therapy in English tailored to your needs, face to face or online sessions. My services include:

Individual therapy photo

Individual therapy

Become the best version of yourself, enhance your self-worrth, and create a life true to your values and dreams. 

Photo of couple

Couples therapy

Build a stronger foundation for your relationship and gain a greater understanding of each other.

Girl with computer - online therapy picture

Online therapy

Get the help you need from the comfort of your home - no matter where in the world you might be.