There are many reasons why people like yourself are living “the expat experience“. Maybe you went abroad for a semester and decided to stay. Maybe you were on vacation, fell in love just like in a Hollywood movie and chose to build your life in a new country. Maybe you just took an interesting job opportunity. Or maybe you had to excape an impossible situation at home and are looking for a fresh start.
Whatever the reason, your new normal is living in country you were not born and raised in. You probably had to learn a new language, new social customs. You adapted to different food, living schedule and maybe even had to practice driving on the other side of the road.
They don’t have to be big, significant aspects of your life. Sometimes something of apparent no consequence can upset you.
I vividly remember my first week in Los Angels, California. I was 23 years old and I had won a scholarship at UCLA. Growing up I literally drank up everything American: I was (still am) a tv shows enthusiast, I even read my favourite urban fantasy novels in their original language. I thought I would fit right in. Boy! Was I wrong!
I had always pictured myself as someone who adapts easily, especially to new food. But in those first few days in the Southland, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to eat. I’m serious!I almost collapsed from low blood sugar during my second day!
After figuring this bit out, I started enjoying the culinary melting pot that California is known for. But I found myself buying Parmigiano and Nutella, even though at home in Italy I rarely touched them. Christmas was especially hard, I was really homesick, and even though I knew that I would be going back in a few months, my little town and my family seemed so very far away. I was feeling blue and I said to myself: “you’re studying to be a psychologist so go see one!”. I took advantage of UCLA free counseling services. I went a couple of times. I probably just needed to find someone who would listen to me without being judgemental and to be given a few pointers to get back on the right track. Which I did and went on to enjoy immensely my experience abroad.
Nowadays you can probably find a therapist in your home country that is available for skype sessions, which is great. Some people find it more beneficial to talk face-to-face with their psychologist. If you belong to the latter group, I think that I could work with you.
I’m a trained and licensed psychologist and psychotherapist. I work with adolescents and adults and my main areas of expertise include anxiety and panic attacks, depression, obessive or recurrent thoughts, traumas and bereavement. I also work in the fields of motivation, effective communication, emotional intelligence, stress management, training, recruitment, preparation for jobs interviews.