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Johanne is a Danish psychologist trained in behavioral methods and the co-founder of It's Complicated. She completed her education as a psychologist at the University of Copenhagen in 2013, with a master's degree and experience within the fields of narrative therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

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Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by It’s Complicated

While I plunge myself into the deep end of the unknown waters, I’ll incorporate the ritual I recommend most of my clients to try out.

I often tell my clients to start regularly writing if they aren’t already. Thought journaling, mood registering, morning pages, diary reflections, anything entailing putting words on paper, really.

And like with most of my recommendations, my clients are much better at following through on my creative recommendations than I am at practicing what I preach.

With this particular “homework”, I have never met a person who hasn’t strongly benefitted from keeping up a daily or weekly writing practice. And the science backs it up, showing how journaling has numerous mental health benefits like easing anxiety and encouraging healing. So it’s rather baffling to me that I haven’t ever incorporated into my own routine. Especially because when I DO sit down to put my words on paper, writing becomes a way of thinking, a way of meditating, even a way of caring for myself.

However, this here little note marks a new beginning, where I place myself in my client’s chair and commit to journaling about my week. Not as a friend, a daughter, a mother, or even as a therapist, but as a person who is taking her passion seriously (I wanted to say “calling” but that felt slightly too grandiose) and has therefore had to plunge into the deep end of the unknown waters. 

But is a therapist’s passion not always doing therapy? On a day-to-day level, sure, I love doing therapy, but what I find even more fulfilling is being the coordinator of “good therapy”. What I mean is that from the beginning of my counseling career, I realized how thrilling it is to be the match-maker, ensuring therapy-seekers find their ideal therapists, and how nourishing it is to help therapists thrive so they can focus on their craft of helping others. 

Long story short, this is the mission of It’s Complicated and with these weekly notes I wish to take you along for the exciting ride that our small team embarked on in the start of the year, when we decided to dedicate ourselves fully to the project.

And how has the first week of taking my passion seriously? SO SCARY, thank you for asking.

I realized just how prone I am to the ubiquitous and infamous “imposter syndrome”, I realize I forget to eat and sleep when I pour myself into something something, I realize that I’ve had 9 years of private practice work where client sessions have structured my days and now I need to structure those days myself, which is a daunting and confronting task, I realize the paradox of wanting to build a community with social impact but the business world (and society at large) not measuring something’s worth by how it makes people feel, and I realize I’m still not very good at saying “no” and being assertive (though now that I’m one of the managing directors of It’s Complicated these skills become increasingly important).

All of these realizations are scary, but they are also mobilizing, maybe even motivating. After all it’s human to have all of one’s weaknesses and insecurities activated when venturing into new territories.

So let’s see what I have to report next week. I’m sure the journey will be filled with learnings. But this is also the only thing I’m sure of at this point.

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