At the best of times, expat life expands your mind and broadens your horizons. At its worst, living abroad can be mind-boggling. Expat counseling can help.
Let’s face it, sometimes living abroad can feel like a test of your sanity.
You may suddenly wonder why you choose to live on the opposite side of the planet from those who love you, surrounded by people who decidedly don’t, and whose way of life sometimes makes you wonder if this is still planet Earth. Trying to create familiar structure—and a social network– in an unfamiliar environment can drain and strain. An innocent impulse to call friends and family back home may aggravate an increasing sense of alienation– they may not have a clue about living outside the box of their own lives. When talking to friends at home doesn’t help, you spiral downward, leading to some intense, and not very pleasant, states of mind.
Finding your way forward can sometimes feel like groping in the dark, especially when all the signs are in a foreign language. Expats have the added stress of living in an environment where we may not always understand the rules. This can result in endless struggle, unless you have developed the right frame of mind.
I get it.
I’ve spent nearly half of my life abroad, and my work is the fruit of over 20 years of experience, counseling and teaching contemplative practice—ways of training the mind. As a seasoned psychotherapist, meditation instructor and yoga teacher, I left the US to start teaching overseas in 2000, so I’ve learned a thing or two about how to manage intense states of mind. In order to maintain stability and balance in life, some type of mindfulness practice is necessary to maintain awareness of our mental state. So along with being a patient listener and coach, I teach tools to help identify troublesome patterns so that they can be managed, step by step. These tools can work wonders when you have specific goals you’d like to reach.
Here’s how Expat Counseling and Coaching can help:
- research locations that align with your needs
- create a plan of action to facilitate a move
- get oriented in your new life
- make a smooth transition for you and your family
- create new healthy habits in your life
- identify sources of social support
- work with the unique issues that can arise once established in your new foreign home
Sometimes you may need a bit more help. Sometimes life gets downright rough, and you need a professional guide—a therapist to talk you down off the ledge, or out of bed. I’ve also got these skills, having worked as a psychotherapist in some rather challenging situations: jail, psychiatric wards, addictions programs, and as a family therapist. If you are ready for expat counseling and coaching, get in touch if you want to talk.