Ana Kandare Soljaga

My name is Ana Kandare Soljaga, and I was born in the city of Rijeka, the principle seaport of Croatia, in 1973. The language of my elementary and high school education was Italian. I studied Psychology at the University of Rijeka, from which I graduated with honors in 1996.

That year I was also awarded a scholarship by the university's Department of Psychology for a full-time study program in Person–Centered Approaches to Counseling. Following my completion of that program, I was awarded my Diploma in Counseling. The scholarship was co-financed by the Republic of Croatia's Ministry of Science and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

During my studies in Glasgow I also worked alongside the team of experts who ran Zero Tolerance, a major national program to protect women and children from abuse.

Upon completion of my studies in Glasgow, I started working in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rijeka, where I was part of the team that originated the first Student Counseling Center in Croatia. I spent five years developing the Center, doing individual and group counseling, before I started my private practice.

Throughout and beyond my university education, I worked as a volunteer in some of the largest psychiatric facilities in Croatia, as well as in a home for abandoned children. I belong to the first generation of experts in Croatia to have been educated in the field of protecting children from abuse. I was also one of the first experts in Croatia to form and run for several years an education program for psychologists, preschool and elementary school teachers that focused on recognition and procedures for protecting children from neglect and abuse. This educational program was included on the list of those supported by the State Institute for the Protection of Family, Maternity and Youth, as well as by the Republic of Croatia's Ministry of Education.

I obtained my Master's and Doctor's degree in Psychology from the University of Zagreb (the largest university in Croatia, and–being founded in 1669–the oldest continuously operating university in all of southeastern Europe).

I have been working exclusively in my private practice since the beginning of 2002. A licensed psychologist, I offer psychological help and counseling for individuals, couples and families, as well as psychodiagnostics and career choice counseling.

In collaboration with school psychologists and local authorities, I founded and ran for many years a program that offered free psychological help for socially endangered teenagers.

I regularly hold lectures for parents of teenagers, and often give motivational speeches for teenagers, as well as talks for adults on topics covering a broad range of fields of psychology.

I am the author of two self-help books, both published by Znanje, the largest publishing house in Croatia: Teenagers: A Practical Guide for Parents (2014) and Infidelity: A Guide for Coping and Prevention (2016).

Infidelity was also published in Serbia, in December 2016, by Laguna, the largest publisher in Serbia.

Teenagers will be published in Slovenia, in October 2017, by Mladinska knjiga, the largest publisher in that country.

Both of my book books are bestsellers throughout Croatia, receiving attention across all of the country's media. I am a regular guest on leading Croatian talk shows, and the subject of many extensive articles and interviews by leading Croatian newspapers, magazines, and websites. I have also written for such international magazines as Cosmopolitan, Lisa, Gloria and Story.