This month we are introducing a new practitioner who has recently joined Compass Psychology, Viivi! To find out more about Viivi’s professional background and the services she provides, you can read her Compass Psychology profile here. In this post, she will be introducing herself on a more personal note.

“Hi, my name is Viivi. I am a recent MSc clinical psychology graduate and a registered psychologist in Finland. My aim in this blog is to give you an idea of who I am and how I began working with Compass psychology and the multicultural community.  

My story begins here in Finland – I was born and raised in the Helsinki area. I allegedly have some roots in Sweden and some others in Germany, but all in all, I was raised into a very Finnish family. During my childhood and youth, I occasionally encountered cultures other than the Finnish: I attended a Swedish-speaking kindergarten, travelled frequently, and moved to a Canadian family for about 10 months by myself when I was 16. These were all fun and growth inducing experiences, and importantly, they sparked my interest on how different societies live and the influences that culture has on our thinking and behaviors. Yet, maybe even more importantly, I learned about the similarities that we all share, despite coming from different cultures.

My curiosity to learn about cultures and individuals led me to eventually take a leap and move to the Netherlands to study a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology. This is when I first encountered the struggles of an expat: experiencing the downsides of the new culture, no social support, no understanding of the language. Even the south-west European weather was annoying me at some point (I was in fact missing the snowstorms, minus degrees, and no sunlight that Finland had to offer). Yet, when I was visiting Finland, I experienced a reversed culture shock that created a different kind of a battle in myself (do I, or do I not like Finland?). I understood that the battles of expats do not always end when one returns to the country of origin. 

Amid my academic, personal, and cultural shocks of different types I continued to learn not only about the shared external world but with the internal world that we each have our own of. I was extremely motivated by all the knowledge I gained about clinical psychology, the brain, the mind, and the body – and it became quickly evident to me that I wanted to use this knowledge to help others. My empathic nature was a big driver in this, too. Indeed, this is how I found my way to clinical psychology: an innate curiosity to learn about others and their backgrounds, my wish to help others, and the ever-growing motivation and knowledge I have towards clinical psychology and people. 

Next to clinical psychology and helping others through my work, I also love to spend time in the nature, go for long runs, spend time with my friends and family, play the piano… These are some of the things that keep me energized to do my best as a psychologist.  

In 2022, I did my clinical psychology internship here at Compass Psychology with Annabel as my supervisor. I left with great experiences and wonderful connections – that I have now had the opportunity to return to. I look forward to working with all the great psychologists and the wonderful clients we have at Compass. 

Warm regards,