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Moving Abroad/ Expat Life

Moving abroad means changes in habits, language, traditions that can cause a transition shock. We may miss our favorite places to eat, friends, family, cultural references. These are some of the symptoms:

  • Loneliness

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Helplessnes

  • Boredom

  • Lack of confidence

  • Irritability 

  • Unwillingness to interact with others

  • Feeling depressed and powerless

  • Insomnia

  • Hostility

Therapy can help you adapt and make a new start.

There are 4 stages (everyone is different some pass through quickly and others might be more of a challenge): 

1.- "Tourist/honeymoon phase"differences between the old and new culture are seen interesting and exciting as they are "new" 

2.-  Initial Culture shock (emptiness/rejection)

  • differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety

  • miscommunication: complaining

  • role shifting: my relationships, my job, feeling loss of identity

  • personal shock: tired, confused, seeing only the bad things and lost

3.-  Conformist phase&superficial adaptation:

  • gaining understanding of the new culture  and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced

  • feeling a sense of humor and pleasure of host culture

  • one becomes concerned with every day basics

4.- Assimilation phase: adjusted to new culture, develop routines, knows what to expect in situations. Feeling of comfort and acceptance to the new culture (language and local customs)

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