Yes we do indeed offer therapy in Swedish! At the Bell Yard Clinic in Central London we are proud to be able to say that every single one of our staff members speaks Swedish; Swedish admins, Swedish therapists, Swedish psychologists and Swedish psychiatrists alike.
When life given you a bit of a rotten lemon and you can’t locate even the slightest interest, joy or energy to make lemonade, then it is nice to know that you are understood in every language.
Because it allows you to tell your story in whatever language you prefer to use. Not only are all our staff members’ mother-tongue Swedish, they are also fluent in Swenglish. A language only an ex-pat Swede would know of, and appreciate.
Five benefits of having therapy in your mother-tongue
- Your story isn’t restricted by language. This may sound slightly odd given that you are probably fluent in both English and Swedish and have no problem communicating in either on a daily basis. However, what we see again and again in clinical practice is that when you begin talking about memories that are connected to the Swedish language many find it an uphill struggle to communicate them effectively to someone who doesn’t speak the language.
- You will be able to pick and chose which word you want to use and you’ll be understood regardless. If you find that ‘Kalle’s’ are easier to use as an explanation than “pink-hue-coloured-cod-roe-paste-very-common-to-eat-in-sweden-kind-of-like-caviar-but-not-at-all”… well then please do, because we get you.
- Speaking you second language may affect the felt experience of therapy. When we become bi-lingual later in life (meaning that we weren’t taught it from birth but rather when we started school) our language actually get’s stored in a different area of the brain. We will therefore find it more difficult to emotionally connect with the words in our second language and will by default be slightly less attuned.
- Cultural awareness gives space to work on what you want. You may think that there’s nothing to be aware of, or out of the ordinary with Sweden and it’s culture. But even to the kindest, nicest and least judgmental foreigner it can sound slightly strange that you dance around a fellas shaped pole during midsummer’s eve, and more importantly – explaining it, and similar cultural customs, will take up valuable minutes of your therapy hour.
- We know what its like to move. We’ve been there. Adjusting to life in a different country. With a different culture, different language, different expectations, different food, different systems. We know what it is like having to re-build a social circle. We know what the loneliness is like before having rebuilt it. We know what it is like being away from our family of origin. And even if we chose not to share about our personal stuff we still get it. Because we’ve been there.
I am an accredited Psychological Therapist working out of my office in the City of London, in Bell Yard, just off Fleet Street. I specialise in anxiety disorders, adjustment issues and high shame prone individuals.