Entries by josh_sandoz

The Certainty of Uncertainty: Coping during a public health crisis

Contributed by Christine Forte, LMHC “What if rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, we accepted it and relaxed into it?” – Pema Chodron Wherever you are in the world, you have likely been keeping track of the news about the unfolding spread of novel coronavirus. There are so many questions: […]

ITD Highlighted

A highlight from this past Fall was meeting with Ray Barrett of the Telehealth Certification Institute. Ray interviewed me about the International Therapist Directory and its role in helping people find a therapist who can think internationally, holding in mind some of the cultural complexities and issues related to making extraordinary transitions that come with […]


Contributed by Dr. Jana Jenkins For most of us the end of each year leads to reflections and evaluations of the past year and thinking about what the new year will bring. This is no different for those of us who emigrated to a different country including myself. Perhaps you have always dreamt about relocating […]

What No One Tells You About Therapy

Contributed by Robert Oleskevich, MA, LMFT 3 truths and 3 misunderstandings about what it’s actually like to go to therapy. Written by a licensed psychotherapist, here are some common truths and misunderstandings about what actually happens if you decide to see a mental health therapist. All too often as I’ve traveled around Asia, and especially […]

Redefining our Professional Identity and Belonging

Contributed by Daniela Tomer, MA The International Therapist Directory was born to serve the needs of the internationally mobile, TCK, and expat community. Not surprisingly many of us, as therapists, are part of this internationally mobile community. Many of us believe that our own stories are powerful bridges which can help us better understand our […]

Enlarging Our Tents

Contributed by Ruth E. Van Reken I would guess most of you listed in this directory have heard some version of the following story in your work as international therapists: You meet a new client and begin the conversation. “Good afternoon. What brings you to my office (or screen) today?” “Well, people think I have […]

One Little Lesson on My Vietnam Motorbike Adventure

Contributed by Robert Oleskevich, MA, LMFT A great trip overall, however there was one little thing that kept happening… Recently, I had the amazing good fortune of going to the Ha Giang mountains in Vietnam, on a motorbike adventure with my cousin. The views and terrain were seriously spectacular and breathtaking. This was the second […]

Shifting Attitudes

Contributed by Katarina Gaborova, MSc It was a lovely Dutch morning, as I was driving my older daughter to school, who was 7 at the time. On the way there, we were singing and laughing in the car at some of my “lost in translation stories” related to expat life. I dropped my girl off, […]

Endings and New Beginnings

Contributed by Tina Quick of International Family Transitions It’s that familiar time of year again. Spring is in full bloom and difficult to voice emotions are being felt by secondary students all over the world. Graduation is looming large and with it come feelings of exhilaration, excitement, and anticipation about their upcoming adventures, but they […]

8 Wellness Practices from Melbourne, Sri Lanka & Tokyo

Contributed by Ava Senaratne of TCK Town, Multicultural Stories from Around the Globe I’ve had this conversation with a few times with some friends already (and you might have too): not one country really does mental health “well”. From what I’ve seen through my journey as a TCK, we still haven’t cracked the code. In […]

Celebrating 10 Years Online!!

As I began to prepare my annual goals for curating the International Therapist Directory in early 2019, I felt a bit of a jolt run through me when I stopped and did the math, realizing that I first launched the initial version of this online resource a full decade ago. The site was much different […]

How do we know if we are often (or always) in fight/flight mode?

Contributed by Robert Oleskevich, MA, LMFT You’ve heard countless times about fight or flight and we all think we know what that means… but did you know that as a culture, going back generations, our nervous systems have been wired to be in fight/flight almost continuously? Our ancestors were always on guard to protect their […]

Settling In: Living Abroad, Year One

Contributed by Jennifer Patterson, MA, LMFT The first few months of living in a new country are full of excitement, discovery, and most likely a healthy dose of frustration. Adaptation, the act of adapting, is also known as adjustment to different conditions, and sets in around 6–12 months after The Big Move. Some things are […]

Introducing the ITD Listserv

Special Announcement: ITD Listserv I am proud to announce the establishment of a brand new members only listserv for our ITD community. This email group is an electronic mailing list for members of the International Therapist Directory. What follows is a succinct explanation for the listserv purpose, how it works, and some community guidelines. ITD […]

3 Ways to Manage Your (Expat) Expectations

Contributed by Robert Oleskevich, MA, LMFT Often frustrated, disappointed, or angry? Learn how shifting your expectations can create more peace and well-being. Let’s talk about expectations. You’ve recently moved to a new country, or perhaps you’re an expat already well adjusted to living abroad. Do your expectations influence your day to day experience? Do your […]

Living the Dream

Contributed by Jennifer Patterson, MA, LMFT You’ve up and done it! You’ve moved away from your home country to shake things up, follow your dream job, pursue a romance, have a great adventure, and see the world. It’s an awesome, awe-inspiring, bold move, and quite unfathomable to some people. As you settle into your new […]

The Advantages of Being Bilingual

Contributed by Clara Blázquez Booth “To have another language is to possess a second soul.” – Charlemagne If you asked people whether they would like to be bilingual I think most people would say “Yes” without even thinking about it. Bilingualism is now generally considered something positive and highly desirable but this has not always […]

Awareness and the question of change through therapy

Contributed by Steve Vinay Gunther People generally seek therapy is as a result of some kind of disatisfaction with their life. Something is uncomfortable, unworkable, painful or stuck, and they come wanting help. International relocation often creates dislocation internally, and also in relationship. Lives that were previously relatively stable become disrupted, and cracks in marriages […]

My Deepest TCK Fear

Contributed by Lauren Wells I first heard the term Third Culture Kid or “TCK” in high school, and simultaneously found out that I was one. While many reject being labeled, I personally found much solace in finally feeling like something explained the rootlessness and lack of belonging that I felt. I have always worn the […]

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

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 […]

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

Contributed by Cécile Buckenmeyer, Jungian Psychotherapist The 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 […]

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

Contributed by Dawn Purver, Diploma Psychotherapeutic Counselling In 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 […]

Expat Couples: Make it or Break it?

Contributed by Viktoria Ivanova, M. Ed., Expat Therapist Moving 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 […]

Preparing the Family for a Move

Contributed by Dan Martin, MS Psych Preparing 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 […]

Directorio Internacional de Terapistas en Español

Este Directorio Internacional de Terapistas (DIT) Blog ha sido creado para resaltar miembros del DIT. Estos son terapistas, consejeros, psicólogos y psiquiatras interesados en proveer tratamiento y cuido que es culturalmente sensitivo a la comunidad emigrada internacional de hispanohablantes. Estos terapistas han expresado interés en ser destacados en este “post” y están organizados geográficamente. Argentina Paula […]

The Myth of Expat Life and Global Living

Contributed by Susan Dellanzo Many 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 […]

TCKs Make Great Therapists

Contributed by Lois J. Bushong, MS, LMFT It 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. […]


Contributed by Anastasia Piatakhina Gire, Member of IIAP There are places I’ll remember all my life. —I was born in a small Russian town, a very cold and dirty place. This was one of the first things Anna shared about herself in a long introductory email reaching out to me for online psychotherapy. In this […]

The Price of the Resilience

Contributed by Anastasia Piatakhina Gire, Member of IIAP “You are so resilient!” – said with a shred of admiration and with some (more subtle) envy underneath. I have heard that so many times. And every time, even though I feel grateful that the person appreciates my striving, it irritates me slightly. But what may cause […]

Expat Kids… Stress… and Mindfulness

Contributed by Kate S. Berger, MSc, Child & Adolescent Psychologist Expatriate children deal with a laundry-list of stress factors that are associated with the dynamic lifestyle they live – e.g., packing, unpacking, saying goodbye to loved ones, time differences, new schools, new friends. And after one has made it through those stressors there is the […]

Happy 2015!!!

Happy New Year!! As 2015 dawns, I want to take a brief moment to reflect on the substantive year of growth that was experienced over the course of 2014. Perhaps most notably, updates were made to each of the following sections: Albania, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, England, Germany, Greece, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, […]

Eight Types of Grief and Mourning

Contributed by Judy Hansen, MA, LPCC “Did you know there are flies that lay eggs under your skin?!” my friend exclaimed. I was horrified to learn this truth when I was a kid growing up in Brazil. I had seen tarantulas, spitting frogs, seen hairy multicolored caterpillars, tried to catch geckos by their tails and […]

The Gift of a Voice

Contributed by Kay Bruner, MA, LPC “I feel awful. Something inside me is squeezing me so bad I can hardly breathe.” With those first words of Letters Never Sent, Ruth Van Reken spoke straight to my TCK heart. It was 1988, I was a senior in college, the book was brand-new, and for the first […]

Depression and Third Culture Kids

Contributed by Lois J. Bushong, MS, LMFT The recent suicide of Robin Williams, a much-loved comedian and actor, has brought about a great deal of discussion on severe depression. With all the focus on depression, I worry about TCKs who have repeatedly gone to a therapist’s office seeking help for depression. Will they feel, like […]

Practical Tools to Manage Anxiety

Contributed by Kim Roberts, MA Is it any wonder that anxiety and panic disorders are on the rise? Technology almost dictates that we live in a “need it yesterday” mindset, interrupted by instant messaging, late for our next appointment, struggling to clear out cluttered inboxes, figure out how to send our files, and generally keep […]

Complex TCK Identity

Contributed by Mari L’Esperance, MA, LMFT [Note: I interchangeably use the pronouns “she/her” and “he/his/him”.] I didn’t become aware of the term Third Culture Kid until a colleague who is also a TCK introduced me to it, along with Ruth Van Reken’s co-authored book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, just a couple of […]

Who are you? The TCK struggle with IDENTITY.

Contributed by Kate S. Berger, MSc, Child & Adolescent Psychologist “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “How do you spend your time?” “What are you passionate about?” “What’s important to you?” and my personal favorite – “Where do you see yourself in five years?” are questions that take some understanding of […]

Raised Multicultural, Raised Monoculturals

Contributed by Judy Hansen, MA “Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong in my own family!” I recently said to a friend. This may sound strange to some, but to my friend, she got it immediately because she too had felt the same dissonance. What causes this? It’s when someone who grew up in many […]

Beloved Strangers and Grief

Contributed by Lois J. Bushong, MS, LMFT March 21-23, 2014, I attended the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference in Washington DC. The conference is always a highlight for me as I learn about the latest studies on TCKs and the expat, pick up new books, interact with other professionals (i.e. counselors) on how to […]

Grief, The Uninvited Emotion

Contributed by: Paula Vexlir, Registered Clinical Psychologist As expats we tend to understate grief. Maybe because there is so much to get done that you feel that there is no time for sadness, maybe because you need to show yourself strong in front of the children or your spouse, maybe because you have such a […]

Happy New Year!!!

As you may have noticed, for as much growth as the overall ITD site saw this past year, the Blog portion was quite in 2013. For the most part, that was largely due to those energies being redirected toward coordinating the quarterly ITD Newsletter for Members. Now, while those have been quite well received, it […]

Membership Model

This month marks an important transition for the International Therapist Directory. While non-profit sponsorship enabled the ITD to get up off the ground, it has been running independently for over two years now and has been growing steadily along the way. Growth is exciting, and it takes many forms. However, the current form of growth […]

Harriet Cannon: Consulting and Training

Harriet Cannon is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Mental Health Counselor with 25 years experience in the US and internationally. She helps individuals, professional groups, and organizations create satisfying connections in their intercultural relationships, and success in their professional environments. I had a chance to interact with her recently about some of her […]

Libby Stephens: Humanizing the Transition Experience

As the number of families and individuals who live outside of their passport culture(s) continues to grow, the arena of Cross-Cultural Transition Consulting is a needed and developing area of focus. Like with any subject matter, some professionals active in the work really stand out as champions in their field. Libby Stephens is one such […]

Tina Quick: The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition

Tina Quick is a cross-cultural trainer and international speaker. Founder of International Family Transitions, she specializes in helping students who have been living outside their passport countries successfully manage their transition to university, whether they are returning to their home country or going on to another host country. Tina also works with individuals, families, schools, […]

Expat Therapist Networks: SIMHA

In my last post, I highlighted IMHPJ, a professional support network for expatriate mental health therapists living and working in Japan. Since I believe that quality support networks are important for mental health therapists, I wanted to highlight IMHPJ as a network that has established a good working model for others who may wish to […]

Expat Therapist Networks: IMHPJ

As practicing clinicians, we at the International Therapist Directory know firsthand the importance of having a supportive professional network of fellow practitioners available to grow alongside while engaging in clinical work. However, for therapists living the expatriate lifestyle themselves, finding such a network can be a real challenge. In light of that reality, International Mental […]


The International Therapist Directory team is growing into… well, into a team!! For the past two years I’ve largely been pioneering this effort on my own, with lots of great support and encouragement along the way. However, I am thoroughly delighted to announce today that a local friend and colleague of mine, a Seattle-based therapist […]

International Educational Consultants

Since launching the International Therapist Directory, I have interacted with many professionals who have services to offer the internationally mobile community outside the scope of mental health therapy. One such service is the field of international educational consulting, and one such consultant is Rebecca Grappo (M.Ed., C.E.P.). Rebecca has been an educator for over 20 […]


Thinking back over the past two years, I want to say thank you to some very key people who have offered tremendous support and encouragement as I went about the business of getting the ITD up and running.  There have been many helpful emails, phone calls, and conversations along the way, but a handful of […]

A Brief History

It is time for some narrative. As the International Therapist Directory (ITD) continues to grow and expand, currently only in its 15th month of online existence, the addition of a blog component to the site feels like a natural and meaningful way to bring some narrative to what is otherwise a fairly straightforward and focused […]