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When I started studying psychology, I had no idea how vast the subject of psychology was. I trained as a psychologist, did research, and became a PhD. I then continued to research three areas and to educate. I have always read more research than I could fit into my role as a psychologist and have marveled at how complex, different, and sometimes similar people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are in the various areas of psychological science. A recurring question has been, ‘What is the essence of being human?’ 


There is a great need for psychological science and many questions still need to be explored. Many studies have been published, so the subject is very much alive and comprehensive. There are several main areas in the field, such as social psychology, cognition, clinical psychology, work psychology, personality, and many more subcategories. Only a fraction of the research reaches us in training programmes and in everyday work. In my work as a licensed psychologist, I have had great pleasure in immersing myself in social psychology to understand people in relationships, which other areas do not cover as well.


In recent years I have turned to jazz music and photography. What I do there may or may not be related to psychology, and I realised that I had choices to consider what I wanted to create,  and what I might free myself from? Here, as an artist, I have more freedom to create unlike in my everyday work, where I draw on and apply psychology in my professional role. 


Both psychological science and my everyday work are about finding ways to solve problems of various kinds, such as understanding oneself better, learning more about thoughts, feelings, and actions, or seeking change. This is a short and somewhat dry description when it comes to people who are struggling, but it shows something of the essence of our existence. Psychological science aims to understand the human being and to find out how people can change and develop in their individual contexts. 


As an artist, I can rise above problems without losing sight of them. I can immerse myself in the details of an emotional experience, such as crying with joy or sadness, and create an image. I can imagine a collective awareness of vulnerability that we try to avoid, and embody it. I can find emotional expressions in the gestures of the hands and vary them with small ways In music, I can choose songs based on the content of the lyrics, to sing about love instead of bitterness and loss, and then about love not only as attraction but as longing, closeness, uncertainty, and tender memories. 


For photography and jazz music, I have chosen to start from psychology's idea of universal experience and a humanistic agenda. I imagine that the distance between us and others is not as great as we assume it to be and that we touch each other - in art, therapy, at home, at work and everywhere else we go.

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