Thursday, January 7, 2016
Therapy Options for Expats
As a former Social Worker and a current teacher, I wish everyone spent more time in therapy. Mental health is a critical part of well being; like going to the gym or getting a haircut. It's something to embrace and enjoy on a day off. Of course the issue for us, as Expats in the Korean countryside, is that - at a time when we nee it most - it's harder than every to access.
It you are an expat struggling with relationship issues, culture shock, depression, fear or anxiety - PLEASE - reach out and ask for help. Therapy is awesome. It's so much cooler than you think and way less costly than binge drinking or eating all the food. If you ask me, this is one of those times you save money (and relationships, sanity, your life) by spending money.
In Korea there are a few options available to you. Since it's therapy I can't really try them all (as much as I secretly want to) but I can tell you about them all so you know where to turn.
The one drawback to this list of therapist is that they are located in Seoul and most of us countryside dwellers can't get there on a regular basis, so I recommend googling online therapists and giving a few a try until you find the right fit. Many offer free 30 minute initial consultations and affordable rates so you have nothing to lose except your fear and stress. Some are even expats themselves and understand your unique issues and situations. Sure, in person therapy is dreamy, but sometimes it's just not possible.
The point of all this is that, if you are struggling, don't wait until the last minute to reach out for help. Don't be down on yourself for not being able to do it all alone. That's just ridiculous. We all need extra support sometimes and we need to reach out for it early, not late. Ideally we catch ourselves as we stumble instead of after we hit the ground.
Strength is about more than hanging on the longest, it's about knowing when it's the right time to ask someone for help and let them catch you.