The American from California in Denmark for a decade.
Hello, my name is Karleen Paquette. I am an American Ph.D. psychologist from Los Angeles & I moved to Denmark in December 2012.
People always ask me why I came from California– the state of sunshine and palm trees & Hollywood movie stars to move to the ever-changing climate in Denmark. I tell them that it was for love of my Danish husband who really enjoys his dream job & living in his homeland. Plus, it was very important for him that I learn about his culture and language. Besides I was open to the new adventure!
However to be honest, it turned out to be more than I bargained for!! In fact, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Prior to coming to Denmark, I had traveled, lived globally for work & studies, as well as having traveled 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 the language, culture, climate, work environments and personal lifestyle, which I found so challenging — but especially in myself. At first, I felt that I had lost my own identity and really had to work hard over the first few years to regain my sense of self here.
I was curious… so 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, nor did they feel that a Danish psychologist could relate to their experiences as a foreigner.
As such, I decided to start my own psychological practice at first, just with English-speaking clients/ foreigners (expats) and returning Danes (repats) to (re)adjust into the Danish society– which was causing them symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, family problems, work issues, etc.
Now I work with Danes and internationals— since I speak English and Danish fluently, such that I can switch back and forth between both languages easily. This can be especially helpful when I work with multi-cultural couples–when one person is Danish & the other is a foreigner.
What makes me different is that I bring a more global perspective to my work, plus an advanced education (Ph.D from USA), and extensive experience of over 20 years.
So I can really appreciate working with all kinds of people from different backgrounds, cultures, genders, ages, identities/ transitions, orientations, socio-economic status, and life experiences. I treat all clients equally with respect, compassion and confidentiality.
If you want to know more about me… just ask.