The opportunity to move to a foreign country and abroad is challenging on so many levels, from adventure to feelings of loss, from learning moments to homesickness. Just because you’ve moved to a new country does not automatically mean that you’ve left your problems behind. There is no such thing as a fresh start without first facing and sorting the old to make room for the new. Because of this multifaceted process, living abroad may feel remarkably overwhelming at times.
If you live in a foreign country, you may not have access to mental health services in your language, or find any mental health professional who understands your culture.
I have lived abroad more than 25 years across 3 countries and truly understand the sharp edges of culture shock, the overwhelming realization that you either accept and learn a new language or go under, as well as the extremely rewarding experience of feeling like you’ve made it. Equally distressful is the the return to your home country and feeling like a foreigner all over again.
Expatriate counseling can give you a pause button, and the time and space to review your thoughts and feelings with an expert who has been there and understands you. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and European Certified Psychologist and Psychotherapist, I have been working to support the English speaking international community worldwide for many years, and until 2017 in my private practice in Munich, Germany.
Typical challenges that individuals, couples or families in transition want to work on may include:
- Preparing the family for a move to a foreign country
- Understanding and accepting change
- Adjustment to new circumstances, finding positive resources to cope
- Culture shock and homesickness
- Integrating new experiences and knowledge into your understanding of yourself and the world
- Moving back – the challenges of repatriation
- Loss and starting over
- Loss of identity and lack of cultural identity
- Strain on families and relationships
- Coping without support from family and friends
Teletherapy offers expatriates a unique prospect of having support and therapy to fit your timetable. In my experience, secure video calls are very similar in nature to face-to-face therapy and equally rewarding for both therapist and client. Doxy.me is a highly secure video conferencing tool that requires no downloads and is very easy to use. Try out a free 30 minute session with me and I’ll send you a secure link that expires after our session.