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Hi, I'm Andela!

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I am a trauma-trained mental health coach,
with almost a decade of experience helping people find healing through facing the exact emotional wounds they've often spent their life trying to avoid.



Born in Croatia, I am a lover of pine trees and Adriatic sea, good books and a chamomile tea before bed.

I am a wife to a hardworking man with his heart in the right place, whose success didn't distract him from the more important things in life. He would choose a day in the field picking potatoes over an overpriced dinner at a fancy restaurant any day.


I am also a cat mom to one 'full of personality' kitty (who you might meet since he frequently makes an appearance in my sessions with clients).

My background and training

One thing I strongly believe is that, when it comes to understanding human psychology and the workings of the heart and soul - there is no one approach or one school of thought that has all the answers.
 
That's why my background is quite a colorful tapestry, and I keep on learning and adding new threads to my skillset and understanding. 

COMPLETED 
 
The soul-centered part of my training:
Due to the yearning of my heart for healing and finding my calling, I have devoted half of my 20s to studying and practicing feminine embodiment work and teachings on womb wisdom.
The most impactful on my own healing and the ability to sit with others with empathywas a hands-on-mentorship with an internationally acclaimed trail-blazer in the field. During that time, I devoted upwards of 2 hours every single day for a year to embodied healing (and kept a steady integration practice for the following 2 years). This remains probably the most impactful on my ability to meet a person where they are at, not where I would want them to be.
 
The trauma-centered part of my training:
I am a certified integrative somatic trauma therapy practitioner.
I have extensive and deeply practical training and mentorship in somatic approaches to trauma - including elements of Somatic experiencing, Hakomi, Polyvagal theory, Sensorimotor psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS).
IFS holds a specifically important place in my approach, as the most powerful methodology I came across for approaching the universal human experience of resisting change.
 
ONGOING

The academic part of my training
I am currently pursuing academic studies in multi-disciplinary approaches to mental health.
8 years after leaving the university in the middle of my fourth year of studying "The cultures of Eastern Asia", I went back - this time my studies centered on mental health and counselling.
These days, when I am not working with clients, you will find me writing papers on topics such as "Mainstream and non-mainsteam mental health services: complementary or contradicting?" and studying the clinical application of attachment theory.

- from coming home to myself to finding home with another -

My story



 

Even though I was feeling like a brand new person after the years of doing deep inner work, when it came to intimate relationships, I still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be.

 

That’s when I’ve turned my focus to learning how to apply the skills and methodologies that have served me so well when it came to coming home to oneself - to creating a relationship that feels like home.

I’ve learned where I haven’t held myself well enough not to repeat old relational patterns and how relational trauma and nervous system dysregulation showed in my choice of partners and the ways of dating.

 

When Matt, my now husband, came into my life, I was ready - not perfect at relating, but aware and healed enough to be able to co-create a partnership that became an ongoing source of invaluable support for us both.

 

At around the same time, I was starting to take on more work with couples and working with individual clients on their relationship patterns.

 

Over time, I recognized that there was still a gap between the individual (and even couple’s) healing and the ability to show up differently in the day-to-day of their relationship.

 

This ultimately led to developing Unshielded Intimacy - where the inner work on relational wounds meets learning next-level relationship skills.

My approach

- what it's like inside of a session with me -

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There will be curiosity instead of judgement, no matter what

 

I know that our relationship and dating patterns can bring up a lot of shame.

It can feel lonely and it can feel like you can only talk about this with someone once you are more “in control”.

The thing is, it is when you don’t have control over how you react in the key moments that you need help.

I understand that and I don’t judge you when you are most vulnerable.

Instead, this is how I support you 

ABOUT ME

in my clients' words


"Andela's compassionate listening ear and insightful guidance allowed me to feel heard, understood, and never judged, no matter how much I was judging myself. I felt uplifted by her unwavering commitment to my growth and well-being. I am deeply grateful for her support through individual and couple's sessions, and the positive impact she has had on my journey towards healing and self-discovery." 

B. writes...

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"Andela is an amazing and intuitive guide. She has a broad base of methodologies and a capacity to regulate the pace as suits individual clients. She approached my relationship-sabotaging behaviors with compassion and curiosity. Moreover, she enabled me to do the same instead of the self-hatred I had previously held. This opened up an opportunity to understand where these thoughts and feelings were coming from." 

J. writes...

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"I always felt like Andela really heard me and  easily sensed what I was struggling with. She had a "habit" of giving me practices and tasks that challenged me in just the right way to make me grow. She is professional and yet approachable." M. 

M. writes...

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Cecile writes...

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"I felt lovingly and caringly accompanied and seen by Andela at all times. With her very finely tuned sense, she accompanied me through the deep emotions I usually drown in – and guided me through them." 

S. writes...

"Andela brings a great depth into her work. I feel safe and protected in her presence and appreciate the care with which she holds space for my process. She has felt both like a role model, inspiration for me, as well as an ally on my journey." 

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Lucie writes...

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"Andela holds a sacred, deeply dedicated space of pure love. She somehow creates a grounding, and up-lifting happen simultaneously. She provides the space for you to feel everything that needs to be felt, layer for layer." 

Mira writes...

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"In a session with Andela, I can really feel myself, and increasingly, a desire to not run away but face my wounds and bring love to them. She really helps me soften my heart and find a treasure of awareness within." 

Christine writes...

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"Andela is deeply attuned and highly sensitive to my feelings and needs through my healing journey. She gives you options and shows you the possibilities to find ways through and out of unpleasant emotions and stressful memories."  

K. writes...

I am deeply grateful for the safe space Andela creates where I feel I can just be myself, and listen deep within to heal or "blossom like a rose", as Andela would put it." 

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Nora writes...

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"With Andela, I felt guided me to the deepest places of my soul. Even though getting in touch with deep emotions can be intense, I never lost my trust in her. She held me and supported me at every point of the journey with a deeper understanding of the process I was going through." 

Melanie writes...

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"Andela saw me deeply and met me in a lovely way that felt very personal and warm." 

M. writes...

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"If you have a chance to get to know Andela and her work, do it! I can highly recommend her. I used to be totally head-centered person, but she helped me feel ok IN myself and WITH myself." 

Let's connect!

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