SURVIVING A CULTURAL SHOCK

Being a foreigner myself, I deeply understand the challenges and stresses that acculturation may impose on immigrants. Moving to a new country is a complex multidimensional process that requires significant adjustments and changes in one's life. Getting used to a new culture is usually a long process, which unfold throughout several years and generations. During this process, you may experience stress, depression, anxiety or simply a sense of not belonging and/or being misplaced.

As an immigrant you may have a hard time finding a comfortable place and voice in this foreign land. Negotiating the cultural differences (and sometimes facing discrimination) is a daily challenging task that you cannot refrain from. Beyond that, living in another culture highly impacts one's identity in a deep, subtle and permanent way. You may feel out of place in the US, while not being able to feel at home in your homeland country anymore either. A weird and complicated sense of being homeless may lead you to feel constantly dislocated.

In my work, I will help you traverse those difficulties in order for you to feel more grounded and develop a better understanding of yourself in this new 'hybrid' identity. As we explore the diverse facets of this issue, we will work towards building on your strengths, resources and creativity to overcome emotional and practical obstacles to acculturation in order for you to have a more rewarding and enjoyable life in the US.

I see immigrants who:

  • are struggling with adjusting to a new culture;
  • bi-cultural and/or people who are striving to integrate their own cultural identity;
  • bi-cultural and/or bilingual children and children who are still adapting to living in the US;
  • bi-cultural couples who are struggling with relationship issues due to cultural differences.

disconnected from your creativity

Establishing a life, which supports and nourishes one's creativity is an enormous challenge. Creative blocks or writer's blocks happen more often than you imagine, and are actually expected during any creative process. Moments of hesitation and/or blankness may prelude your creative spur. You may want to consider seeking help when those blocks became pervasive and negatively impact your productivity and flow.

As a creative individual, you may experience many of the unique challenges inherent to the creative process itself:

  • creative blocks, writer's block or lack of flow;
  • being paralyzed by inner critic,
  • anxiety and/or self-doubt;
  • desire to enhance your creativity or performance;
  • yearning for more authentic and/or productive creative expression; among others.

By actively engaging with those struggles, we will gradually uncover the unknown aspects of you emotional experience that may be impacting your creativity. This process will allow you to overcome your creative blocks and regain confidence in your own creative capacity. 

In our work together, we will think creatively and collaboratively about the challenges that may interfere with your creative work and emotional health, leading you to re-discover who you are as a creative person and increasing the aliveness of your personal or professional projects. Moreover, the psychotherapeutic process itself is a creative endeavor that allows for creative expressions beyond verbal language, leading to the development and expansion of your creativity and performance ability.

the ongoing transitions of parenthood

The process of becoming a parent may be in itself a challenging one. You may struggle with merely conceiving the idea of having a baby; or you may have be experiencing difficulties with getting pregnant, or dealing with fertility issues and/or pregnancy loss; or you may have a difficult pregnancy either because of emotional or physical issues. in my work I noticed that reconnecting with your inner strength, confidence and hope helps parents-to-be navigate those troubling moments. 

On the other hand, the transition to parenthood may not be as easy as it was expected. Adapting to a new family constellation while healing from labor and dealing with the demands of a newborn may reveal itself as a challenging process for a lot of parents. Added difficulties arise when a mother is also struggling with postpartum depression. As we focus on your communication and bonding with your new baby we will also gain access to your inner experience of parenthood and parenting.

As your child grows, daily interactions with her may raise questions, insecurities and/or our self-doubt. Much beyond all the complexities described above, parenthood also create endless opportunities for growth. 

My work with parents may happen in any one or more of the several formats described below:

  • in individual psychotherapy;
  • in collateral meetings as part of your child psychotherapy process;
  • infant-parent sessions;
  • in couple therapy to work on parenting and co-parenting issues;
  • in parenting workshops.

no child is too young to be listened to

Unlike most adults, children typically do no show that they are hurting by talking about their distress. More likely, you will realize your child is being disrupted by ongoing physical complains, sleep or eating difficulties, extreme shyness, repeated worries and fears or she may become withdrawn, distracted, uncooperative or aggressive at home and/or school. For parents, sometimes it is hard to know if your child is just going through a normal childhood milestone or if you have reasons to seek professional help. Usually, when those issues became pervasive, it may be a sign that your child needs help. If you are unsure about what is going on with your child, consulting a professional may help you gain a different perspective and understand the situation better.

Parents usually wonder about what really happens inside the therapist's room. What about all the toys and games? How come when inquired kids who come to therapy say that they just'played'?

Well, play is the primary language of childhood and one of our most important tools in child psychotherapy. During sessions with a therapist, your child will use the toys and games to express her concerns and also explore ways to deal with and manage them. In you child's view, she is only playing (and hopefully also enjoying that). From the therapist perspective, your child's play is extremely symbolic and reveals her emotional experience and how she is coping and dealing with stress. By engaging your child in a playful way, I can help her navigate those uncertainties and understand better her underlying conflicts and feelings that may be impacting her mood and behavior. During this process, your child will gain a deeper understanding of herself, which will diminish her symptoms and greatly improve her family and peer relationships as well as her learning and social ability.

As I work with your child, I will also help you to develop more tools to navigate the troubling moments of parenthood while strengthening your relationship with your child and improving your parenting skills. Many parents feel they should be able to figure out what is bothering their toddler or child and help them with their problems without consulting with a professional. It may feel embarrassing, shameful or humiliating asking for help. These feelings are normal and very common - parenthood is infused with vulnerabilities, uncertainty and doubts.

Yet, all the parents I worked with found relieving and reassuring to have the opportunity to talk about their children and their parenting in way to gain further knowledge about their children's emotional life. I deeply respect and appreciate the complexities that parenting presents and aim to work as closely with you as with your child. Hopefully, during your child's psychotherapy you will also gain a better understanding of your interaction with her in order to feel more fulfilled as a parent. In our consultations, we will discuss any concerns you may have about your child and her treatment as well as explore in depth your relationship with her. You will be able to learn a lot about your child and also about yourself as a parent.

I work with children who are dealing with:

  • separation issues;
  • grief and sadness;
  • cultural struggles, and
  • behavior and school problems.