Expats suffer more psychological problems
Many internationals come to the Netherlands for a demanding study or a difficult job that offers a significant career move. This comes with a number of responsibilities and adjustments, as well as stress. Another country, another culture, different customs.
The pressure to succeed is high. Sometimes they arrive alone, sometimes with a partner, who often has had to give something up to make the move. This can be stressful for both partners and makes it difficult to discuss problems with one another.
Social contacts often consists of colleagues, whom one would rather not trouble with these problems. Also, people would rather avoid their employer getting wind of their personal issues.
Due to these factors, expats often lack a functioning supportive social network, which is an important condition for psychological health.
These problems also apply to international students. For them too, without sufficient support, these issues can lead to psychological complaints such as anxiety and gloom.
Access to Mental Health Care
When internationals seek professional help, a lack of understanding about access to mental health care or unclarity about their insurance situation can often mean that the call for help is postponed for long periods of time. All of this causes many expats with psychological problems to only see a psychologist once their complaints have been negatively impacting their professional and private life for a long time.
Added value of an ‘expat-psychologist’
“The psychologists at PEP International often see clients who experience problems that we, too, have suffered in some way” says Jens, a PEP International psychologist from Germany. These experiences are important when trying to empathise with the client’s situation. This has a positive effect on the therapeutic relationship and leads to more effective therapy. One of the most important factors in a psychologist-client match appears to be the sharing of a country of origin. This not only prevents ‘lost-in-translation’ situations, but it also increases understanding of and empathy for a client’s experience: the differences in culture and the problems that arise from that.
More effective interventions and coping strategies can be offered as a result. The team at PEP International offers psychotherapy in 4 languages, soon to be expanded to 6. PEP International does not have a waiting list at this time.
Like us on Facebook and sign up for regular news and updates.