My own expat story begans some 20 years ago when at age 17 all by myself I boarded a plane for the first time and headed to the United States. Until then, I never left my family and home in Croatia, despite having a turbulent childhood growing up in a war-torn country, and experiencing the tough divorce of my parents.
Life in the US was a blessing of opportunities for my personal growth, but at that age and away from home, it was a roller-coaster of emotions. Right then and there, I faced numerous challenging moments in my personal development – more than I could put into words – in which I questioned my self-worth and sense of direction in life while experiencing loneliness, being homesick, and adjusting to an unfamiliar environment.
My Educational and Professional Path
After obtaining the Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I stayed in the US for three more years to work as a psychosocial specialist with children and families in domestic violence and abuse cases. Listening to the very raw and personal stories of human struggles, emotional scars, and traumas, but also life little triumphs, that I witnessed through my clients, touched me deeply as a person and a professional. I knew then that I have found my calling – helping to guide others in their journey of healing and personal development.
In 2007, I moved to the Netherlands to obtain my Master’s degree in Development and Human Rights and began the Doctorate study in Psychology that I am slowly finalizing. Throughout the years, I have attended various courses to stay up to date in terms of professional development, among others – the coaching & counseling license, and currently being trained as a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teacher.
My Values and Goals
As a professional, I put great importance on building a strong foundation in knowledge and continuous education to be able to empower clients with appropriate tools in their journey of healing. Moreover, I see my own personal experience living in other countries and connecting with different people, as a core value to my own personal and professional growth. People that I have met on my path – professors, fellow students from all over the world, work colleagues, friends, acquaintances, and clients – have all left a significant mark on me, both as a person, and a professional who is helping others to understand their struggles. Hence, in combination with constant learning about the profession, this journey has also equipped me with values of an open mind, empathy, and compassion towards others. I believe those values are crucial in making trustful human connections.
Wherever you come from or belong to, you always have a home within yourself. My goal is to help you re-discover your own path of healing towards kindness, acceptance, inner peace, and the pleasure of living, here and now.