When I moved to Stockholm with my Swedish husband 12 years ago I saw many needs. Where were the chocolate chip cookies? The bagels? Why did doors never open in the direction I expected them to open?
But most of all, the biggest need I saw was the need for English-speaking therapists in Stockholm.
A thriving international community
Stockholm is a very internationally-minded city. Swedes like to study and travel abroad, make friends, fall in love and many bring their partners back to their home country.
I think many couples, where one partner is a Swede, come here to settle because of Sweden’s (deserved) reputation as an ideal country in which to raise children. It’s also a very safe, secure place with one of the highest standards of living, beautiful countryside and excellent housing.
So with that in mind, it’s not really a surprise to me then that many foreign nationals come here whether it’s for business or pleasure, just passing through for a couple of years or here for the long haul.
No matter where people go, however, problems follow. Whether it’s struggling with depression, family, trauma and of course unhappy relationships. Culture shock can make these problems so much worse.
The trouble is, it’s not always easy sharing those feelings in another language. Even if you’re pretty fluent.
Finding your authentic voice
Very quickly after arriving here, I realised that people needed help and support in the English-speaking community
For those that had been here many years, even though they spoke Swedish, it felt more natural for them to share their innermost thoughts and feelings in another tongue.
They needed therapy and counselling in English.
Similarly, those that were struggling to learn Swedish – which, believe me, isn’t easy because Swedes speak such wonderfully fluent English and will quickly switch into it if they hear you utter a couple of broken sentences of Swedish –
Still, part of me realised that no matter how good people are at a foreign language, there’s something powerful about sharing your troubles in the language you know best.
So I put the word out that I was in Stockholm and providing counseling and therapy in English for those adjusting to a new culture, community and climate.
I’ve been providing counseling and therapy for the English-speaking community in Stockholm for over 10 years now. Everyone I’ve met along the way, including my clients, has taught me that periods of depression, anxiety, and relationship unhappiness can come and go. But everyone has the abilities and skills to turn that around and live happier, motivated, and purposeful lives.
Feel like you need to talk to someone who speaks English just like you?
If you’re new to Stockholm and need counseling in English, get in touch. Whether you’re feeling depressed, anxious or blue or just need someone to talk to, let’s see I can help you.
“Couple sitting at the docks in Djurgården, Stockholm” by Flickr user Tommie Hansen is licensed under CC BY 2.0.