While coming from different cultures and with differing personalities and life experiences, expats as a group tend to have a certain set of emotional experiences and needs in common. This is why it is important that, as an expat, you seek help and support from someone who, through having experience in working with expats and/or is an expat themselves, is able to empathise with and understand the psychology of expats well.

As an expat and a therapist who has worked with expats (including exchange students), I tick both boxes. I am therefore able to spot the signs and symptoms of expat emotional difficulties quickly and easily and have a well-developed understanding of how expats'emotional and psychological difficulties are often influenced (and often made more extreme) by these common expat struggles and issues. Some of these experiences and difficulties common to expats may include:


  • Loneliness, isolation and alienation
  • Loss and grief (of home, family, friends, culture, job, identity, etc)
  • Cultural and language barriers
  • Social barriers
  • New fears and anxieties
  • Paralysing or immobilising lows and depression
  • Excessive frustration and anger
  • Feeling emotionally (and otherwise) stuck or blocked
  • Feelings of "going insane"
  • Feelings of overwhelm
  • The desire to embrace change and adventure, but finding this quite hard
  • Feeling like no one understands you
  • Pre-existing conditions (e.g. depression, anxiety, bipolar, dependencies) become worse
  • Feeling reckless
  • Adjusting to being financially dependent on your partner or spouse
  • Role changes at home