Edita Petojevic, M.A.
I attended Jacksonville University in the U.S. during my undergraduate career and I completed my graduate studies at Roehampton University in London, UK with an M.A. in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling in 2012. I speak English and Swedish fluently, and focus on offering services to adult individuals and couples.
I have been an expat most of my life and though it certainly is a strength, I can also understand the difficulties and stressors such experiences bring. These are some of the reasons why I have focused my practice on serving the English and Swedish speaking expat community here in Copenhagen.
I strongly believe that:
1. Healthy and longlasting relationships are based on congruence and empathy.
2. Human beings have an inner potential to self-actualize.
Congruence and Empathy:
Congruence in this context simply means that the actual self and the ideal self are aligned. Sometimes when a person or a couple seek therapy, the individuals actual image or perception of who they are or have become, disagrees with the person they would like to be, which in turn can send ripples through the individual or the couple, that causes further difficulties. Through improving self-awareness and self-acceptance, we can move towards congruence.
Self-actualization is the motivation to realize one's maximum potential and possibilities. We all have our own individual set of needs. Initially in therapy we will explore your unmet needs in order to know which ones to focus further attention on. We will then work together to find ways to satisfy some of these needs, to adjust to some of them, and to change some of them.
Please complete the form below, and one of our therapists will get in contact with you within 24 hours.
I am experienced in the treatment of most concerns including but not limited to anxiety disorders, depression, low self-esteem, addictive behaviors, emotional and physical abuse and trauma. I draw heavily from several different therapeutic methods, including Person Centered Therapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy* (ACT).
The first meeting is an opportunity for us to meet and get a feel for each other. It's your time to ask questions and share your thoughts with me. It's an introductory session, where you decide if you want to come back and start the therapeutic process.
The second time we meet, we'll begin by delving into the issues that brought you in to therapy. I will ask a lot of questions during this session in order to gather enough information to grasp and conceptualize how we should move forward. I am transparent in everything I do and will inform you of all the steps we'll be taking along this path. At the end of this second session, I will summarize the information I have gathered and how I perceived your story and the problems you are experiencing. This is a way to check whether I am hearing you correctly and understanding you in the way that you need to be understood. Hopefully you will find the summary confirming and supportive and see that they add structure to what otherwise may feel like chaotic thought patterns in the beginning.
Once we have summarized and framed your concerns or issues, we can make a plan together on how to move forward.
An area that often leads to movement and improvement for struggling couples is to create a space where each partner can express their individual needs towards being able to meet the needs of the other. In other words, in order to create a common ground, each person in the couple needs to express themselves as well as understand and respect the needs of their partner.
The focus of the first session is to gather information. Each partner shares their individual history and individual experiences that have influenced their life’s story so far. This is an opportunity for me and them to make sense of their narratives and create understanding for how the past sometimes can be reflected in the present. It is also an opportunity for the couple to hear and see one another in a different context. Through the expression of personal histories, we can begin to understand where these needs come from and why they are so important.
The purpose is also to share emotional stories in a peaceful, safe, and constructive way. Only when feeling heard and understood is it possible to hear and understand our partners. In these ways the couple gets introduced to new and healthier ways of sharing their subjective reality and often leave the first session feeling more hopeful and invested in the future.
The couple returns, often after a week filled with reflection from the first session. We start this and subsequent sessions with a check in, giving each partner an opportunity to express where they are individually, and how they are feeling.
The second session has a focus of furthering individual needs and their expression, while simultaneously introducing the common ground, where the couple understands the other, expresses their own needs, and works towards greater collaboration. So often the subjective experience of the common ground is out of balance, where one or both feel they are giving too much and are not heard. Sometimes one or both feel suffocated or pressured, or have significantly different views than their partner on how things should be arranged in the relationship. Development of the shared common ground is based on hearing, understanding and accepting one another. What often happens however is that couples talk about the middle ground without understanding their own and/or their partner’s needs.
I help the couple make the link between their relationship with themselves and the relationship with their partner. It's during the second and third session that we start making links between past experiences and present ones. It's also in the beginning that the couple starts to become aware of their individual needs and the needs of their partner.
As stories and individual needs start unfolding and become more developed, couples become more aware and along with this awareness comes a desire to behave differently. Couple’s therapy is a process where each member of the couple becomes more aware of both self and the other, and along the way learn new tools for how to communicate and handle themselves as well as their partner, in better and more healthy ways.
*Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In ACT, clients develop mindfulness skills which enable them to fundamentally change their relationship with painful thoughts and feelings. This is done with the help of a safe and understanding relationship with the therapist. I assist the client in exploring new ways of relating to emotional pain and how to practice these concrete skills in their everyday life. Recent research confirms that practicing acceptance, mindfulness and openness to experiences can be highly effective for treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse, PTSD, and chronic pain.