Expat families are families who have undertaken a life outside of their home country for various reasons: diplomats, scholars, students, multinational company employees, people in the military etc. Such families find themselves tackling a migration status knowing that their stay in the new country will be for a limited amount of time, either to return home or to move on to a new destination subsequently, once again to readapt to a new cultural and familial situation.
Although such a life is full of learning experiences, it’s not always as glamorous and filled with exciting adventures as many people would think.
Combining my own international experience and understanding, as well as my professional education, I can help the patient better understand the effects such a life has on an individual. For example, the advantages and disadvantages, loss, new adaptations and create adequate tools in order to be able to incorporate the new experiences in a healthy, well-adjusted, way. I believe it is very important to place emphasis on prevention to better prepare families for these experiences and to obtain smoother transitions, with more realistic expectations, sparing problematic frustrations. My goal is to accompany families during stressful moments such as finding a new home, school adaptation, learning a new language, and finding one’s own cultural identity. In that way, for example, the patient may understand that those feelings of “not belonging here nor there” are entirely commonplace and natural.
Keeping in mind each individual’s resiliency, one can overcome adversity and obtain positive professional and personal growth.