Hi, I'm Svenja

I was born in New Jersey to a German father and Belgian mother, who raised me to be trilingual (English, German and French). We later moved to France, where I attended a French-German high school.  With that double diploma I was able to study at a university in Germany.

At the University of Mannheim I studied psychology and graduated with the now defunct degree of "Diplom-Psychologin", one step under a PhD.

After university I attended a private institute for cognitive behavioral therapy (IFKV Bad Dürkheim), comparable to a residency in the medical field. After passing the national licensing exam, I was awarded the highest professional degree of "Psychologische Psychotherapeutin".

I am a clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioral therapist. I am not licensed for the US.

Portrait photo in front of trees
Portrait photo in front of trees

Services offered

Along my 10+ years of clinical experience, I have worked in in- and out-patient settings (psychiatries, psychosomatic clinics, private practices, etc.). My patients have been individuals, couples or groups. The topics we worked on included:

  • Depression - if you have been feeling sad, empty or unusually irritable and it has been impeding your ability to function. Or when you're unmotivated or uninterested in activities that normally bring you joy.

  • Anxiety - when you feel intense, irrational fear and avoid certain objects or situations (for example fear of heights, social anxiety or general anxiety). This includes not only feeling nervous and worried, but also physical reactions such as panic attacks.

  • PTSD - Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur after living through, hearing of or seeing a life-threatening event (like military combat, accidents, assault or serious illness). It makes you feel stressed and afraid even after the danger is over and causes problems like flashbacks, nightmares or angry outbursts.

  • OCD - Obsessions are intrusive thoughts, urges or mental images that cause discomfort and stress (e.g.  of germs and infection). Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental rituals meant to neutralize these feelings or prevent some dreaded event (e.g. excessive hand-washing). It is often very time-consuming and intensifies over time if untreated.

  • Psychosomatic problems - sometimes people struggle with chronic pain or disabilities that doctors can't explain. These are not "all in your head" in the sense that they're imaginary, but rather that it's actually your psyche causing them. The psyche and the body are more connected than we think and often influence each other.

  • Other issues - Not all mental health problems come with a diagnosis. If you are suffering due to grief, struggling with relationship conflicts, under chronic stress, or questioning your gender identity or sexual orientation, I am happy to talk you through it.

You can come to me to discuss any issue that is bothering you. My cornerstones are empathy, authenticity and scientific evidence. Besides cognitive behavioral therapy, I have worked with techniques from acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, systems (family) therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), PMR (progressive muscle relaxation) and more. However, I only offer my services to adults (18+), as I am not trained for childhood or youth therapy.