Archive for the ‘Member Post’ Category

SEX and RELATIONSHIPS

In Member Post on October 17, 2017 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Eileen Edwards

Sex is a hot topic all around the world. Ideas about it vary from culture to culture and this in itself can cause confusion and problems. There are particular difficulties for those who live between cultures, either because they live in a country not of their birth, or because their family values differ from those of the society around them which can be a cause of unhappiness and conflict.

One problem which can exist in all cultures is an embarrassment about sexual matters and resulting difficulty in discussing them. Misinformation is often all too easily available with factual information less so.

My aim as a psychologist and therapist with a specialist qualification in psycho-sexual problems is to provide factual information. Read More »

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Reverse Culture Shock: What Is It + How Do You Cope?

In Member Post on July 28, 2017 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Kim Roberts

If you’ve spent time living abroad, you have probably experienced some level of culture shock. Life as an expat expands your horizons, and also exposes you to new ways of being in the world. Culture shock is a well-known phenomenon that occurs when our existing set of beliefs clash with the current environment. It takes time to adapt to strange customs. But not as readily discussed is the trauma many experience after coming home—reverse culture shock. Returning to our country of origin can be more challenging than leaving home in the first place.

As an American, I experienced this acutely on my return from my first trip to India. For some inexplicable reason, I chose to visit a friend in Arkansas just a few days after I landed.

I remember looking into the eyes of one shop clerk, then watching his mouth move, trying with all my focus to hear what he was saying. My ears had become accustomed to South Indian pidgin English, and his Southern country drawl was absolutely incomprehensible.

This is a superficial version, but many features of reverse culture shock are far more deep rooted. Read More »

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“If I can eat, I feel OK.” 「食べられれば大丈夫」

In Member Post on April 18, 2017 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Cécile Buckenmeyer, Jungian Psychotherapist

nature-fashion-person-womanThe interview

On a September morning, in suburban Manchester, I meet Yoko and her two-year old son. We sit in a conservatory furnished with plain, Ikea-style table and chairs; I accept her offer of a glass of water. I came to interview Yoko about her experience of moving to the UK. She arrived four months ago. “My husband was sent to the UK for two or three years”, she says. When I ask her what helps her cope with this transition, she explains that food is very important for her and that, as long as the food is OK, she feels that she can live here: “If I can eat, I feel OK”.

A month later, at our second interview, we discuss what helps Yoko feel comfortable in the UK. She replies that she switches the Japanese TV on in the morning and listens to the news: “I don’t fall behind; I keep up with the Japanese news.” She also uses Facebook, which gives her a sense that she is in touch with friends. She does these things mindlessly, knowing that “they don’t serve any purpose for her life in the UK”.

When, two months later, I go for a third and last interview, Yoko is more confident speaking English and asking questions. She has been able to have short conversations with her daughter’s teacher. As we say goodbye, Yoko tells me that she has appreciated my visits: “I don’t have contact with people from outside the house. So, one week is long. I find myself waiting for Saturday when I can be with my children and husband. It was good to have a bit of change in my daily life. ” Read More »

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Endings are part of the path we walk……..

In Member Post on March 20, 2017 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Dawn Purver, Diploma Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Dawn Purver OneIn the early hours of a morning I waved goodbye, once again, to my two eldest sons; one journeying back to UK, and the other beginning his own adventure in Bolivia.

As the vehicle disappeared into the darkness, my heart broke and the tears flowed once again as I embraced the feelings of separation, and acknowledged those all too familiar feelings of loss of being a family together.

As cross cultural workers; endings, separation and loss are a frequent part of choosing this path.  The pain that accompanies saying goodbye is often fresh and frequent.  We learn to negotiate transition and letting go, perhaps more than in many other types of work.

Occasionally we can plan our goodbyes, and sometimes we cannot.  Easier to prepare for an airport goodbye, but difficult with a friend dying from aids in Africa, and impossible for a loved one gunned down in Syria. Read More »

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Expat Couples: Make it or Break it?

In Member Post on February 14, 2017 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Viktoria Ivanova, M. Ed., Expat Therapist

Expat Couples: Make it or Break it?

Happy facesMoving to a new country by yourself can be both exciting and difficult. Moving to a new country with your spouse and kids can exaggerate these associated emotions even more. The new challenges that you face as you journey together through this change can often make or break a relationship.

Presenting Concern:

As a therapist for expats, I quite often meet with men and women who share the same confronting struggles. These are people who choose to accompany their spouses to a foreign land where a great job opportunity is presented, and effectively rendering themselves a stay-at-home partner.

Upon arrival, they find themselves limited to the roles of a parent, a homemaker, and a spouse. Quite often, the non-worker in the relationship feels a loss of identify as the diversity of their roles in life diminish. For many, moving abroad meant quitting a job or resigning a career, and at the same time removing themselves from a social structure that comforts them. Basically, this meant their career-related creativity, productivity, and skills had to be packed in a box and put in storage along with their other cherished belongings.

Through my practice, I also meet with stressed and over-worked partners who feel overwhelmed by their new professional positions, who are often confused by their spouses’ frustrations and complaints, making them feel like outsiders in their own family. Read More »

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English-speaking counsellor with a special focus on relationship issues in the home and at work

In Member Post on December 31, 2016 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Lindsey Anderson

[This ITD Guest Post was originally published on www.knowitall.ch.]

Lindsey AndersonAs the festive season approaches, it can be a tough time for many people, especially expats who don’t have the benefit of family nearby to draw upon for support.

Even those with a vast network of family and friends can feel lonely at Christmas as everyone seems far too busy with their own festive preparations to concern themselves with other people’s worries.

At times like this, it can be helpful to call upon the services of a professional therapist, trained to help clients manage the wide range of daily issues that can prove particularly challenging, not just at Christmas, but on other occasions throughout the year as well.

One English-speaking therapist, who was recently recommended to us, and has a special interest in relationship issues in the home, family and at work, is Lindsey Anderson.  Having been married, divorced, a working mum, a stay-at-home mum, self-employed and re-located several times herself, Lindsey knows how difficult it is to juggle the roles of parent, partner, professional, wage earner and non-earner.

Lindsey told knowitall.ch, “I know how difficult it is to be your true-self when you’re juggling so many different roles and conflicting emotions. sometimes it just gets too much and you need someone to help you untangle yourself.” Read More »

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Preparing the Family for a Move

In Member Post on June 28, 2016 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Dan Martin, MS Psych

MakeYourMovePreparing the family for a move may conjure images of stacks of boxes and phone calls to utility companies. While those logistical matters are a key part of making sure that the move goes smoothly they only address a portion of the necessary tasks. I’m reminded of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs from the days when I used to teach Psychology to university undergraduates. For those who missed that class the idea behind his theory is that we all have different levels of needs as individuals for us to survive or thrive. Some of the basic levels focused mainly on physiological needs e.g. food, shelter, water and the like. The next level moved on into safety. The more advanced levels addressed things like emotional and social wellbeing. When preparing for a move we may follow a similar path. We may secure housing, sign up for water and electrical service. Once we have that sorted the next task may be to obtain insurance so our precious belongs are protected against loss. The final area to address may be the tasks necessary to assure our emotional and social wellbeing at the new location. Read More »

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Expat Parenting: supporting our children’s bonds with family and friends back home

In Member Post on April 12, 2016 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Paula Vexlir, Registered Clinical Psychologist

1177641_globSo you have moved overseas, you have managed to find a new home, a school for your children, to start learning the new culture; and you have supported your children through transition. You have helped them name their feelings, you have allowed them to navigate the paradox of having an amazing life and yet missing some of the things you have left behind. So, in the first place, if you have managed to do all this let me say: Wow! Congratulations, superhero!! And if you haven’t: Congratulate yourself anyway since you are a normal person trying to do your best at a particularly stressful time of your life.

You have arrived. You have adjusted (or are still doing so) and regained a sense of stability in your daily life. So now is a good time to talk about how you can help your children with their relationships with their grandparents, uncles, aunts, other relatives and friends back home. So I will be using the grandparents example but feel free to replace it with any other relative you like. Read More »

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The Myth of Expat Life and Global Living

In Member Post on February 27, 2016 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Susan Dellanzo

Photography by Wendy K YalomMany people perceive the life of an expatriate as exciting, glitzy and glamorous when, in fact, it often is not. Global living can be both positive and negative, as with everything else in life. In the same way a magnet is always positive and negative, so is everything else and one of the greatest illusions people fall into is the search for pleasure without pain, praise without reprimand, or nice without mean, etc.  Ironically, it is in looking for those imagined one-sided events in a two-sided universe that we experience so-called ‘suffering’.

Some expats experience loneliness, isolation, and even frustration with what they perceive to be ‘missing’. However, often, nothing is, in fact, missing from their lives – it has just been transformed. Unless you ask the right questions, you will constantly be living in a state of stress and disempowerment which can, in turn, effect your health, wellbeing, relationships, family dynamics and even wealth building. Read More »

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TCKs Make Great Therapists

In Member Post on November 30, 2015 by joshsandoz

Contributed by Lois J. Bushong, MS, LMFT

puzzleIt is a fit! As a Third Culture Kid and in the light of my natural giftedness as a counselor, I selected a vocation that is a perfect fit.

When I was in college in the 60’s, I only knew of one TCK who had become a therapist. Dr. S. was a mess! As he valued another TCK and me for an overseas assignment, he made a most obnoxious comment to us: “Anyone who ever went to a boarding school has severe psychological problems today”.

I stopped listening to anything else he said. He had lost all credibility with just that one flippant declaration. For many years, that TCK psychologist was one of the reasons I did not want anything to do with the world of psychology. If his statement was part of the evaluation, I certainly flunked the test. Read More »

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