Edita Petojevic

 
My name is Edita Petojevic. I completed my graduate studies at Roehampton University in London, UK with an M.A. in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling in 2012. All of my studies and clinical practice have been in English, which is also why I feel comfortable offering my services in English. Being a native of both Sweden and the former Jugoslavia, it comes natural for me to offer my services in these two languages as well.
 
I am privileged to have lived in six countries and have had the chance to meet and work with various people from all over the world. These experiences and interactions with different cultures have broadened my perspective and helped me to open up for what I believe is a deeper understanding of life. 
 
I strongly believe that:
1. All healthy and longlasting relationships are based on congruence and empathy.
2. All human beings have an inner potential to self-actualize.
 
Congruence and Empathy:
Congruence is the compliance between the actual self and the ideal self. Usually when a person or a couple seek therapy their actual image or perception of themselves disagrees with the person or people they would like to be. Through empathic understanding I help you recognize this incongruence and guide you towards a state of congruence through better self-awareness and self-acceptance.
 
Self-actualization:
Self-actualization is the motivation to realize ones maximum potential and possibilities. Every person comes with their own individual set of needs. During therapy I help you identify these needs in order to know which ones are unmet and which ones you need to focus more on. We all have the potential within to self-actualize; with the right motivation and guidance it becomes possible.
 
Couple’s Therapy
An area that often leads to movement and improvement for struggling couples, is guiding couples towards understanding and expressing their individual needs as a first step towards being able to meet the needs of the other. In other words, in order to create a common ground the couple needs to understand and express themselves as well as understanding and respecting the needs of their partner.
Let me briefly outline how we likely will work together during the first sessions, so you know what you can expect.
 
Session 1
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 might be reflected in the present. It is also an opportunity for the couple to hear and see one another in a different context. My role is to guide the couple to see and express their individual needs. Through sharing their personal histories, we 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 partner. 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.
 
Session 2
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. It can also be that one feels suffocated or pressured, or that they have significantly different views on how things should be. 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.
 
 
Individual Therapy
 
With individual clients, 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 sessions: 
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.
  
*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.