The majority of people suffer from some kind of mental health problems at least once in their life time, the most common problems being depression and anxiety disorders. Sometimes these problems are rooted in childhood or previous life experiences, but moving abroad and living in an unfamiliar and foreign culture can potentially cause such psychological problems in any individual. We often take for granted and underestimate the importance of family, culture and social network for our emotional well-being, but once we are without these in unfamiliar territory, there is a real risk of feeling isolated, lonely, sad, confused, anxious, panicky, insecure and overtly emotional. Granted, thanks to technology and media networks, our family and support systems do not fail to exist when we move to another country and contact can relatively easy be maintained. However, there may still be times when we feel so down and clouded that we need more than the sound of a friendly well-known voice on the other end of a telephone line or a familiar face on a computer screen to help us deal with our worries and emotional pain.
Seeking the aid of a mental health professional to overcome your problems is a smart choice, because with professional help you can usually recover much faster from your problems, than if you decide to deal with them on your own. A trained mental health professional can help you gain a better understanding of your thought processes and behaviors and by providing you with effective tools that can be useful for reducing or preventing symptoms immediately and in the future. In most countries you will be able to find a skilled therapist who speaks your language or at least English. You can either search through popular search engines like Google or Yahoo, or you can search through expats sites and forums.
Putting some effort into choosing the right therapist that can help you with your personal problems is important. Recommendations are always helpful, but finding the right therapist is such an individual experience, that it is not advisable to rely entirely on other people’s preferences. We all have different needs, and for some what may matter the most, is that they can sense the warmth, empathy and sincerity of the therapist, while others may prefer the style of a solution-focused therapist that can give immediate and concrete advice on how to handle your situation. What is always important, is that you feel comfortable in the space of the therapist, and that you feel you can trust him or her with your innermost secrets and darkest thoughts without being judged. Do not hesitate to meet with two or three therapists before deciding which one will be the best for you to work with.
Remember, that although it can feel uncomfortable, perhaps even scary, to seek the assistance of a psychological counselor for the first time, it is also the first step on the road to your recovery. Contacting a therapist means that you are starting to regain control over your own life, and that your problems are beginning to lose the power they may have over your current life.