While traveling, studying or living abroad brings with it a lot of excitement and adventure, it also involves numerous changes in terms of location, language, customs, support system, etc. All of these changes and the stress they entail can exacerbate already present psychological conditions, or trigger new ones. Some possible reasons that someone living or traveling abroad may wish to seek therapy include:
- Prolonged Culture Shock and other problems associated with Cultural Adaptation
- Identity issues associated with being an expat, especially those related to moving abroad to accompany your partner
- Guilt for living away from your family
- Loneliness and difficulties associated with a lack of familiar support system
The article ¨Are Expatriates At Greater Risk of Developing Mental Health Problems,¨ cites a joint study carried out by Chestnut Global Partners and The Truman Group in which the following was found:
- Three times as many expatriate as U.S.-based workers claimed that they experienced feelings of being trapped/depressed.
- Twice as many expatriates as U.S.-based workers revealed that they experienced anxiousness or nervousness.
Those living abroad may also wish to seek therapy for anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other mental health concerns that have appeared since the move abroad, or have resurfaced following relocation.
As a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Spain (Nº Colegiada M-29447), I have the chance to work with those individuals who are struggling with adjusting to life abroad or who find the stress of travel and a new location have triggered a new problem or exacerbated an already existing condition. I also offer therapy to couples who are in intercultural relationships in order to help them navigate the challenges that can arise in committed romantic relationships when two cultures, and often two languages, are involved.
My own experience of living, working and studying in Madrid for seven years and adjusting to life in Amsterdam this past year, has shown me some of the difficulties that come with living in a different culture and carrying out daily life in an unfamiliar language. However, it´s also helped me to become aware of tools and techniques that can be used to thrive in this type of situation. My experience of living abroad, combined with my professional experience in the field of psychology, puts me in a unique position to be able to attend to the psychological needs of individuals living outside of their home country.
I currently offer online therapy for clients located around the world. However, as some individuals prefer an in-person therapist, I also have a list of English speaking therapists located in Madrid. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or would like to set up a session.