Erik Sandersen

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1947 as the son of a top salesman. In his childhood home there was a passion for classical music which he too shared from an early age, and for long camping tours down through Europe`s art galleries during summer holidays. At school he learned to read early, and later when he became a pupil at the Bernadotte School in Copenhagen he for a time was the spokesman for all the pupils.

Erik has always had an intuitive ability to see through to the core of things whether it was power games at the playground, or amongst people at the workplace, or at the level of global politics.

In his teenage years his main interest was biology. He was lost for hours looking in his microscope; or he would walk quietly in the forest in the very early morning hours to watch nature waking up. He achieved by self study an expert`s insight in many of the inner working of nature.

While he was studying as a school teacher he was also a guitar teacher. Besides his love for music and nature he was also interested in psychoanlysis – a subject often discussed in his family; and as a consequence he undertook his own long term psychoanalysis. He concluded after three and a half years of psychoanlysis that he had become very clever about himself but otherwise he could not feel any difference.

In 1974 Erik graduated from Jonstrup Statsseminarium as school teacher specialising in adult teaching. Even if he liked to teach, he somehow knew that he would only be a teacher for a period five years. He wanted to challenge himself and deliberately sought out a school, Strandgaards skolen in Ishoj, which was known to have heavy problems because of the childrens etnic and low income backgrounds.

While he was a teacher he subscribed and read several newspapers daily in order to be as updated as possible about what was going on in the world around him. His insight in biology and ecology caused him to start a lecture campaign, because he foresaw major future climate changes and natural distasters if people didn`t begin to change some of their ways. He toured Denmark, Sweden and Finland with a slide show where he made his message clear. But he realised that even if he was known as a competent and entertaining lecturer and people listened to his message, they were not changing anything.

Erik was already quite familiar with psychology, he had attended workshops in gestalt therapy with Leo Matos  in Denmark and Finland, the home country of his first wife, and in bioenergetics and other courses in personal growth, he also translated the book “Psychic Massage” of Roberta Delong Miller into Danish which became published. He began to run his own courses in personal and spiritual growth and became teacher at the University Extension Service in Denmark.

He stopped working as a school teacher after the five years he had dedicated to it and started in 1978 formally to study psychology at the University in Copenhagen where he met Ulla.

He then met his two most prominent teachers, first the internationally known healer Bob Moore, now deceased, who ran courses in spiritual hands-on healing, auras and chakras, and the year after Jes Bertelsen dr. phil., who was teaching Jungian analytical psychology including dream interpretation, alchemy, transpersonal psychology, meditation and understanding of major spiritual paths such as Christianity and Buddhism. From then on he attended a series of courses and training programmes conducted by these two teachers.

In 1987  Erik migrated to Melbourne in Australia with his wife Ulla and their little son.
The year after the arrival he was appointed a full time position as a counsellor at Addcare, a drug and alcohol agency under the Mission of St. James and St. John. He was promoted to acting coordinator and later offered the position permanently which he declined from. In connection with his work as a senior counsellor he conducted a series of group sessions with some of the inmates at the Melbournes Remand Centre.

He resigned from Addcare in 1990 in order to focus his work in the private practice together with Ulla. They have both always attempted to renew themselves. When their inner guidance suggested “Starbridge” as name for their business they only gradually came to understand the depth and wisdom of this name, pointing to our work as bridge builders between our everyday aspects and our higher aspects.

From 1996 and onwards Erik and Ulla have conducted accredited diploma courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy, accredited certificate courses in Spiritual Healing, Working with Dreams, The Intuitive Use of Music, Death and Dying and Transpersonal Counselling.

As Ulla, Erik has since 1990 practised kriya yoga as a member of Paramahansa Yoganandas worldwide Self Realization Fellowship, which teach that all major religions essentially are based on the same spiritual truths.
Erik is changing his style from working as a personal and transpersonal orientated counsellor and group leader only and more towards the role of spiritual mentor; one who has walked the path before and as such are competent to offer guidance and help to self help in existential and spiritual matters.