Hello everyone!

I am Jenine and I just started working at Compass Psychology a few weeks ago. You can read about my work experience in psychiatry and general medicine as a medical doctor, and the therapeutic approaches I am using with clients at Compass Psychology over here. In this blog post I will be sharing on a deeper and more personal level about who I am and how I ended up working in the field of therapy.

Both my parents are from the South of India, and I was born and brought up in Austria. My father decided to leave India to study medicine in Vienna, which in the early 1960’s was quite a radical decision especially as my parents were pretty much the only Indians around back then. 

It wasn’t always easy facing and fearing racial discrimination as a child in public spaces. However, the other side of the coin of being a “third-culture kid” growing up in an English-speaking international environment meant that I could easily connect with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and I had a huge passion for languages and learning about other cultures. 

After my studies and work experience in the UK and working in New Zealand for a short period, I moved to Finland. Why Finland you ask? Well because of my Finnish husband’s career opportunities (yes love brought me here!). But also, because I had heard that Finland had a much more balanced approach to work life, which I was very intrigued by, especially because working as a medical doctor and balance seemed mutually exclusive at the time. Like chalk and cheese, as they say in the UK (or liquorish and … ice-cream, LOL my husband’s favourite). I was amazed (or flabbergasted actually) to see that it is customary for Finns to take several weeks off during the summer to escape to the countryside. And after my first winter here, shall we say it made perfect sense why… 

Finland blessed me with other gifts I will cherish for the rest of my life, indeed in part because of the grueling and intense cultural shock I experienced here (bear in mind that I had moved from New Zealand and Newcastle, both places where strangers smile at you on the street for no apparent reason, and greet you when you show up on the treadmill next to theirs at the gym!). The friendships I have forged here are far deeper, stronger and more meaningful. In fact, “my girls” whom I met in my Finnish classes in my 2nd week in Finland, are like a second family to me. I was also able to reconnect with my long-lost passions of singing and acting. There had been absolutely no space for creativity in my life as a medical doctor prior to Finland, and somehow the quiet and “spacious” nature of life here enabled me to reconnect with myself in a way I had never done before. I simply can’t imagine a life without singing and improvisational theater now…

This period of personal transformation, and “rebirth” as I like to call it, also led me to the decision to work in psychiatry. During this period, I became increasingly aware of a relentless pull towards connecting with clients on a deeper level, and so I made the leap to pursue psychotherapy. 

I believe kindness and compassion to be one of the most healing attributes within a person and between people (second only to humour – laughing really is the best medicine! As a side note, if you crave a good belly laugh, I invite you to try improvisational theater!).

It is my greatest wish that we can learn to embody a fierce compassion for ourselves and each other whilst we walk on this earth together for a moment. 

Whatever life journey you are currently on, I wish you lots of courage, and remember to go gently!

With warm regards,