Posts in International transition
Every Time It Rains, I Go Home Again to Central America

Every time it rains, I go home to South America, by Lois Bushong, Author of Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile brings us her 5 Essentials For Parents Transitioning Kids Abroad guide. Lois has extensive personal and professional experience working with both expat parents, Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Adult Third Culture Kids and her work focuses on embracing the benefits and managing the challenges that the expat families face when going through global transitions.

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International Parenting: 5 Things You Need to Know When Moving Kids Abroad

Lois Bushong, Author of Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile brings us her 5 Essentials For Parents Transitioning Kids Abroad guide. Lois has extensive personal and professional experience working with both expat parents, Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Adult Third Culture Kids and her work focuses on embracing the benefits and managing the challenges that the expat families face when going through global transitions.

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What do we do with Thanksgiving?

“The Cultural Psychology professor asked each student to ‘Describe how your family celebrates Thanksgiving.’  The TCK in the class was confused about answering that seemingly simple question: ‘It depends on where we are at that time as to how we celebrate Thanksgiving.’ The professor tried again, ‘Well, describe how your family celebrates Thanksgiving culturally.’ Again, the TCK did no know how to respond to the question and expressed his inability to answer this question since his family had made so many transitions between cultures. The professor kept interrupting his questions and restating the assignment, ‘How does your family celebrate Thanksgiving?’ At this point, both the TCK and the professor were frustrated – their cultural worlds had unknowingly collided. The professor of Cultural Psychology was completely unaware of the multi-cultural world of the TCK and it hadn’t occurred to the TCK before that it was so unusual to have celebrated Thanksgiving in so many ways.

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TCKs and Anxiety and Excitement

The action of pulling my well-worn suitcase off the closet shelf never fails to awaken strong feelings of anxiety and excitement. Some TCKs feel only anxiety, others excitement.

But me? I sense both anxiety and excitement.

I believe much of this is due to my life as a TCK and moving from country to country, saying goodbye to new and old friends, leaving behind much-loved caretakers, the excitement of sensing that a new adventure is about to begin, fear of the unknown, wondering what will accidentally be left behind, and the anticipation of our new home, all mixed in with the silent pleasure of leaving behind some challenging relationships.

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Depression and Third Culture Kids

The TCK, who is depressed, may not know why they are depressed; all they know is they are miserable.  As therapists walk through the symptoms of depression with the TCK or gives them the Beck Depression Inventory, the client might certainly fit into that diagnosis. But rather than making the TCKs current situation as their only focus, such as what we do when we do Brief Therapy, here are some other areas we, as therapists, might explore.

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