Hello, my name is Karleen Paquette. I am an American Ph.D. psychologist from Los Angeles, California. In early 2013 I moved to Denmark to start a new life.
People always ask me why I came from the state of sunshine and palm trees to move to the ever-changing climate in Denmark. I tell them that it was for love. My husband is Danish and he really enjoys his work here and living in his homeland, and it was important for him that I learn about his culture and language.
For me, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.. more than I expected. Prior to coming to Denmark, I had traveled, lived, worked, and volunteered in different places in the world, so I thought the adjustment would come easier. Actually, it was not just the changes I experienced in language, culture, climate, work environments and personal lifestyle, but in myself. At first, I felt that I had lost my own identity and worked hard to regain a sense of myself here.
I asked other foreigners if they has similar struggles and realized that many had difficulty with the adjustment. It was especially hard when they wanted to get professional psychological help to process their thoughts and feelings, yet they could not speak Danish and did not feel that a Danish psychologist could relate to their experiences as a foreigner.
As such, I decided to start my own practice with English-speaking clients to help foreigners (expats, refugees) and later even returning Danes (repats) help to (re)adjust into the Danish society– causing them symptoms of depression, anxiey, stress, family problems, work issues, etc.
Now I work with Danes and internationals and I speak both languages, so I can switch back and forth between Danish and English. This can be especially helpful when I work with couples, and one partner is a Dane while the other comes from outside Denmark.
What makes me different is that I bring a more global perspective to my work. I can really appreciate working with all kinds of people from different backgrounds, cultures, economic status, and life experiences and treat all clients equally with empathy, compassion and support. Nonetheless, I am always touched by each person’s unique life story.