What psychologists want you to know about postpartum anger.

ASK EMELY: Do you offer psychological therapy in Swedish at your clinic in Central London?

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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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. 

    svensk terapeut psykolog central london



  5. 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.




Posted by

Emely Ostberg, MSc (Counsl. Psych.)
Consultant Psychotherapist in Private Practice.

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.

Email. emely@bellyardpsychology.co.uk

phone. +44 77 2219 4506




By: Emely Ostberg, MSc (Counsl. Psych).
Consultant Psychotherapist at the Bell Yard Psychology Clinic

Repatriation is defined as moving back, voluntary or forcibly, to one’s own country. To those that have not experienced it, this may look like a tedious exercise in logistics but the psychological and emotional effects of being uprooted, by free will or otherwise, can be very unpleasant. Below is a list of the top 5 reasons why it can be psychologically difficult to move back ‘home’. I say ‘home’ lightly because to many it may not feel that way yet. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a compilation of some of the most common experiences.

The list is inspired by my post-graduate research on the psychological processes that occur during transitioning experiences (Ostberg, 2017).    

1. The issue with bilingualism

Most people talk about the advantages of being bilingual. Yet few mention the experience of speaking a language which has hardly been used following a long period abroad. For example, imagine the person who moved in their late teens and has since mostly been surrounded by their second language. Their first language is being used with other friends who speak the same language and perhaps family. At work and in the community the second language is used. Hence, the person’s professional language has only been developed in the second language. Once back in your home country this issue can cause a feeling of inferiority. Perhaps they notice that their compatriots, those who never moved out of the country, are effortlessly using words and expressions that didn’t exist or were used when they themselves were in their teens. Expressions and words that they may know of but that don’t come with the same automatic ease as it seems to do for their compatriots. Depending on how they deal with the sense of inferiority, the gap between their compatriots and themselves may either widen or lessen.


Transitioning experiences

2. The issue with being seen as someone you’re not

An individual who has been away for a long time will notice that even though you now have a degree, a high-flying job, children of your own etc people who you haven’t seen for a long time may not interact with you in a way that is any different to how they did when you were an 18-year-old rebellious goth. Now, of course not everyone has been a rebellious goth – but you get where I’m coming from! It doesn’t matter if you now have a PhD in astrophysics and work for NASA. To them, until you’ve shown otherwise, you will always be that 18-year-old goth. This can be difficult to handle, especially if you already find yourself struggling with a sense of inferiority (see the point made above).


Transitioning experiences

 3. Others have changed. 

…and so have you. If you have been away for a long time it is most likely going to be a journey to reconnect. You will have to get to know the new ‘yous’ and you may not love the changes in each other, but maybe you will. You will be in a state which psychologists call ‘negotiating relational space’.





4. You will able to spot a social construction miles away.

It is like you put on a pair of glasses with special frames that allows you to observe patterns and behaviours others can’t see. Sometimes not even if you point it out. Depending on your mood you will either get annoyed or laugh as a response. If you’re Swedish you might notice people queuing up and taking a ticket to a line that doesn’t exist, just because of the unwritten rules that queuing entails. You may notice that peoples’ personal space when they talk to each other is at a different distance than what you’re used to. You may learn that people aren’t as helpful/more helpful than they were where you moved from. Perhaps you’ve become accustomed to being offered help with carrying heavy suitcases up the stairs, but in the country you’re moving back to, the same offer may be thought of as intrusive or rude to offer. This new ability is what psychologists call ‘repatriotic gaze’.


Transitioning experiences

5. The rose-tinted glasses are no longer tinted. 

All those days when you imagined yourself and how different it would be to live in x, y, z country will undoubtedly have been slightly romanticised. Unfortunately romanticising comes with an inevitable low once you realise that ‘yes, it is possible to grow tired of x, y z food’ or that your initial enthusiasm over free nurseries/scheduled coffee breaks/long summer holidays does wear off after a while.



Posted by

Emely Ostberg, MSc (Counsl. Psych.)
Consultant Psychotherapist
in Private Practice.

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.

Email. emely@bellyardpsychology.co.uk
phone. +44 77 2219 4506
website: www.bellyardpsychology.co.uk



Rumination with Emely - Bell Yard Psychology Clinic
Rumination is a little bit like looking at a Newtons Cradle.  It gives you something to do but it isn’t getting you anywhere


Are you someone who often gets stuck in a thought cycle where you repetitively think about the same thing over and over again? Do you tend to dwell on past mistakes? And even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t know how to stop doing so?

In psychology we often talk about getting stuck in a thought loop, and these loops can really be about everything and anything, as long as they are significant to you.




Typical Themes of Ruminations 

What is commonly reported as the most usual rumination themes are:

  • Adverse life events in the past such as abuse or bullying
  • Income
  • Family history
  • Education
  • Relationship status

It can also be about things in our present life and are then often linked to social inclusion. Typical scenarios can be situations at work where we worry we may have come across in a worse light than intended. It can be about our inevitable death. It can be about the ill health of an elderly relative. Or the state of the earth. It can revolve around our children and how our parenting affects them in the long-run. Or the relationship to our partner. Or the state of your sex life.

Rumination can be anything that our mind opts to focus on, that is of high importance to us and outside of our control,  creating a sense of uncertainty.

The Negative Effects of Rumination

Rumination is severely debilitating, extremely distressing and unfortunately a fairly common symptom of both anxiety and depression. It is the most common predictor of mental health problems (Watkins, 2018) and not only does rumination predict its onset, but it also maintains it.


Why our Minds Keep Ruminating 

How come our minds work this way then? If it isn’t doing any good to us – then why does our mind keep doing it? My fellow colleagues in the research field have found that there are mainly three causes for rumination

  • You hold the belief that rumination will help you to reach a solution.
  • You are faced with stressors of which you cannot control.
  • You experienced emotional or physical trauma.
“If only I think about this situation a little bit more, I may reach a solution, because if I don’t, I am responsible and then definitely to blame” – said the typical ruminator

How to Stop Ruminating

One of the most effective treatment methods of rumination is psychotherapy, and seemingly Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT). The particular type of therapeutic method depends slightly on what caused this thinking style to begin with.

When the Rumination is Caused by Traumatic Life Events

If the rumination is caused by a traumatic memory then the treatment should focus on processing the trauma. This is particularly important as your mind will be stuck in a near constant state of threat. This is how humans react to abnormally frightening situations. In the land of psychology, we often say


“PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal event”

Now, it is very common to be very opposed treatment as it typically involves talking about the trauma. However, to not talk about it would be a little bit like going to the Dr with a broken arm. Then when getting there hiding your broken arm and not allowing her to examine and mend it. Please be reassured that there is very robust research literature that shows that CBT is extremely successful in treating PTSD and nearly everyone experiences symptom reduction from a set of sessions.


When the Rumination is Caused by a Positive Belief – Thinking it is a Helpful Strategy to Solving Problems

To hold the belief that rumination is your friend is very common. It is also important that you begin examining the benefits and disadvantages of the habit. When you are ready to let go and found that the cons outweigh the pros it may be time to seek out a therapist specialising in anxiety. Numerous studies have shown CBT to be the most beneficial method of treatment.

A well trained CBT practitioner should be versed in how to use cognitive restructuring together with habituation and exposure to lead you into a more constructive, less painful way of living.




Posted by

Emely Ostberg, MSc (Counsl. Psych.) 
Consultant Psychotherapist in Private Practice.

I am an accredited Psychological Therapist working out of my office in the City of London, on Bell Yard, just off Fleet Street. I specialise in anxiety disorders, adjustment issues and high shame prone individuals.

Email. emely@bellyardpsychology.co.uk

phone. +44 77 2219 4506

website: www.bellyardpsychology.co.uk