Many expats ask the number one question: “How do I find a therapist abroad?” Therapy abroad poses some unique challenges and opportunities. If you’re living abroad or are a digital nomad and looking for a therapist, you’ve got plenty of options! This article will help you find the best therapist deals to suit your needs.
What Makes Finding a Good Therapist Abroad More Complex and Unique Than Finding One At Home?
If you’ve tried seeking expert help as an expat, you’ll notice that it’s more challenging than when you look for one in your home country. The reason why it’s challenging is because of:
Culture and Language
When you’re an expat living abroad in places like Bali, the culture and language aren’t always familiar to you. Foreign culture and language can be difficult to master in conversations. For example, if you have difficulty speaking English fluently and need therapy, multiple factors can make your experience unsatisfactory:
Language difference: Language is the main obstacle because the offer of therapy abroad may be in a different language than the one you speak. Your experience won’t be satisfactory if you don’t speak any other languages.
Cultural differences: Not only does your language need to be considered, but so does your culture. The cultural differences between countries can affect how you feel about therapy and how comfortable you feel with the therapist, even if you speak the same language!
Some multiple diverse suggestions and experiences may be helpful to those expats looking into finding a therapist abroad.
We can break down these strategies into three parts: Finding local therapists, finding language-specific therapists, and finding therapies online.
1. Finding Local Therapists
Suppose you’re trying to find a therapist in another country. In that case, your best bet is to contact your embassy in the county of interest and ask them for laws regarding practicing a foreign profession within their borders. Most likely, your embassy will be able to tell you what is legal and what is not. With this information in hand, you may have a game plan in the future when you want to talk to a psychiatrist near you or want to know where to find one.
It’s advisable to try out private therapists. Private practitioners may be more willing to work with ex-pats. If you develop a phobia while living somewhere like Kenya, you may need someone to talk to that is a super-specialist therapist in overcoming fears. Some expat therapists are certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology, meaning they are qualified to work with all types of clients. These practitioners will charge less than those found at public clinics, depending on how much experience they have; some may even offer a sliding scale. As long as you check on the therapist’s credentials and practice, a private practice may be an option depending on where you’re located!
2.Finding Language-Specific Therapists
You may find a therapist easier if there isn’t a language barrier. In most countries, it’s common to find therapists speaking English, depending on where they practice. Understandably, locating a language-specific therapist comes down to how savvy you are in your search. For example, if you are in a Spanish-speaking country, ask at the local university.
You can get help from the people there and may have more success. Many expats also find it helpful to use translators found through websites like Google Translator or various translation tools available on the internet.
3.Finding Therapies Online
There are plenty of counseling/therapy websites on the internet that offer online therapy today. Exploring online tools and resources can be a great way to find a therapist abroad. If you are trying to find a therapist, counseling services like TalkSpace and BetterHelp allow you to select and start working with a therapist online. These services work similarly: they match users with therapists based on your needs, allowing you to schedule sessions over the phone or through video chat.
Expats don’t fit into the way therapists are usually categorized. It can be difficult to find someone that understands your needs as an expat who is new to the country and has different problems than those faced by locals. There comes a time when you need professional therapy help to resolve your issues. While online resources can help, they don’t always guarantee satisfactory assistance. If you ever find yourself in a foreign country and need a therapist, try adopting the other different means listed above.
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