Matleena Vanhanen

Counseling Psychologist

About Me/Bio
I am a Finnish and UK trained Counselling Psychologist. I work therapeutically with individuals and couples. I offer Discernment Counselling for couples who are in a crisis and on the brink of separation and divorce. I also help couples discuss child arrangements after separation and divorce by providing family mediation.

I hold an MA in Psychology from Jyväskylä University, Finland and a MA in Counselling Psychology and Post-MA in Existential Counselling Psychology from City University, UK. I am also a Certified Gottman Therapist and a Certified Discernment Counsellor.

I am a member of the Finnish Psychological Association and the British Psychological Society. I am licensed with the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health in Finland. I hold a CDA license in Dubai.


Clinic Name
MapleTree Psychotherapy Center
Clinic Address
Office 401, Tameem House, Barsha Heights
United Arab Emirates
Pay-and-claim basis
Both In-Person & Online

ABOUT Matleena Vanhanen

Counseling Psychologist
Licensing Authority
Types of Services
Additional Services
Years of Experience
AgingAngerAnxietyBody ImageChronic IllnessChronic PainCodependencyDepressionDivorceDomestic ViolenceEmotion RegulationFamily ConflictGriefInfidelityLife crisisMood SwingsNarcissistic traitsPanicParentingPregnancy, Prenatal, PostpartumRelationship IssuesSelf EsteemSleep or InsomniaSpiritualityStress
EMDREmotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)ExistentialGottman MethodPhenomenological
Age Group
19 to 2122 to 6465+
Work Hours
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8 am - 5 pm, Wednesdays 8 am - 2 pm
Appointment Wait Time
More than 4 weeks/Waiting list only
Preferred Contact Method
Preferred Booking Method

What I say to people who feel nervous or have concerns about therapy/assessment
The first appointment with a new therapist is often an anxiety provoking one. You may be seeing a mental health professional for the first time, or you may have seen many therapists in the past. Your past experiences may influence your expectations. You may be looking forward to working on your difficulties, or you may have justified reservations.

Remember that the first appointment with a new therapist is also the first time they meet you. It is an opportunity for you to get a sense of your therapist and for them to get a sense of who you are and what brings you to therapy. During the session and afterwards check with yourself. Did you feel heard and understood? Did you feel safe and supported? Your therapist should be able to put you at ease and give you a sense that they will be able to guide you through the healing process. You don’t have to tell them everything during the first session! You can take your time and as trust builds, you can tackle the painful and overwhelming issues.
What measures I use in assessments
When I work with individuals I often use an existential framework when creating a formulation. Together with the client we explore their relationship with various existential givens over the course of their lifetime. With other clients I use the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF) to create a formulation. In this process the client and I explore the stories they tell about their lives and the difficulties they have faced and often still face. These two approaches to assessment help both the client add me understand the client’s life circumstances on a deeper level and explore their narrative about their lives. This is a good starting point to therapeutic work.

When assessing couples I often use the Gottman Relationship Checkup questionnaire. It gives me information about the relationship’s strengths and challenges. The questionnaire is fully HIPAA compliant. It consists of over 300 questions about the couples friendship, intimacy, emotions, conflict, values, and trust. It also covers questions on how the couple is managing e.g. parenting, housework, finances and individual concerns.

Completing the questionnaire is voluntary for couples but they often find it helpful as it gives them more clarity on their unique circumstances. The questionnaire accelerates my understanding of the relationship and allows me to work quicker and more efficiently.

I would love to connect with you!


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