Welcome to Expat YP

Are you a Young Expat?

Or an adult supporting a Young Expat?

Are you a school wishing to provide CPD opportunities for your staff?

A company recognising the importance of wellbeing for your employees and their families?

If so, this website is for you.


Moving overseas is an amazing adventure offering countless opportunities for young expats, sometimes referred to as Third Culture Kids (TCK's). Yet relocation can also pose challenges. Leaving behind your home, family, school, friends, and moving to an unfamiliar place can affect a person's wellbeing. This can be especially impacting when young people repatriate to attend boarding school or university.


In this increasingly mobile world, how do young expats settle when home is everywhere and nowhere? Whether in early teens or twenty-somethings, upping sticks and relocating to a new country can trigger anxiety, stress and an overwhelming sense of loss. Difficulties settling in, homesickness, adapting to new cultural norms, learning another language, rebuilding new support systems, and creating a sense of belonging can be challenging.


At Expat YP, I use my overseas experience as a Counsellor, Coach and Consultant to equip young expats and the adults who support them with the knowledge, tools and confidence to manage change.

What I Offer


Everyone has a story. An expat story unfolds across the globe.


Most expats have a full, colourful story to tell and having space to explore this is helpful to understand your current situation and what you want. Once young expats understand that it is their lived experience that has helped to shape them, rather than a deficit in themselves, they can start to move forward. I will:

Work to build a good working relationship with you and support your ability to find solutions.

Listen and try to understand your world and what you need.

Increase your self-awareness, self-direction and help you clarify your values and what’s important to you.

Help you identify and draw from the strengths an expat lifestyle has afforded you whilst learning to manage the challenges it can also present you with.

Support your overall wellbeing by encouraging a healthier change in your thought patterns, feelings and behaviours.

Help you to set and plan your next steps.

Looking forward to hearing your story!

Who I Work With

I work with young people and the adults who support them.


Perhaps you are a young expat or know a young expat:


Who has been experiencing significant challenges associated with high mobility.

For whom a recent move abroad has thrown you temporarily into turmoil.

Who wants to be proactive and ensure your next international move goes smoothly.

Who wishes to manage their move to attend Boarding School or University.

Who is repatriating home, one of the most difficult moves you can make.

Some commonly experienced challenges I work with


Young people are already undergoing many age-related changes and when these coincide with a significant change in their living environment and support systems, it can leave them feeling vulnerable. It takes time to understand how to function effectively in a new place. In the meantime, young people may experience several challenges including:

Identity Issues

Cultural settings play a major role in identity formation. A young person’s self-identity develops gradually through interaction with their environment. This is easier if you remain in one place however, Expat YP’s are the product of many places, cultures, and communities. Questions over ‘Who Am I? and Where is Home? And Where Do I Belong? can be a struggle. This lifestyle might set Young People apart from their own family, extended family and friendship groups. Making mistakes due to misunderstanding social rules and language barriers, appear to be a common occurrence.

Friendships

Friendships are everything to a Young Person. With frequent mobility, there is always a steady stream of opportunities to meet new people however, one of the major challenges faced due to a mobile childhood involves the constant detachment from friends. The cycle of making and losing friendships is hard to manage. Some will hurry into friendships to ensure a sense of security; finding out later that their move was too hasty, others take a longer time to build friendship circles, which can lead to others viewing them as stand-offish. Some young people start to avoid close friendships either because they do not want to feel the pain of losing someone yet again or because it’s not worth investing in a close relationship as nothing and no one lasts for very long. They withdraw to the outer circles of friendship group, are often introverted and isolated. Transition may be a major factor in bullying which is something that we need to be aware of.

School / Academic Challenges

Frequent mobility can impact a Young Person’s schooling experience. Educational systems, teaching styles, grading systems and rules and routines vary greatly. Accumulation of educational gaps and learning challenges that go unnoticed/unaddressed can impact a child’s learning. Moving mid-year can mean that friendship groups and teams are already established, trips are full and drama productions cast. Coming from a different system may mean that young people have been involved in different activities which are unavailable in their new place. These are all things that foster a sense of belonging. Where there is an opportunity to rescript, there is also the loss of a previous history which takes time to re-establish. It is important that Expat YP’s explore their educational journey to help them to understand how this journey has impacted them otherwise it may leave them believing that underachievement and a poor school experience is due to a deficit in themselves as a person and student rather than difficulties arising from the educational journey itself.

Thoughts and Feelings and Behaviours

Expat YPs display a wide range of emotions including sadness, concern, fear, anger, frustration, and stress. Sometimes adolescents may feel upset for not being able to adapt as quickly as younger siblings, they see themselves as unpopular, unlikeable despite their previous history. Relocation can be a source of pressure for all. Younger adolescents (12-14) may become more dependent on their parents, for older adolescents it can manifest in a form of introversion, and difficulty to engage in everyday life. Sometimes there is an increase in aggressive behaviours at school or in the home. Most thoughts, feelings and behaviours are normal, and pass with time. Young people are not alone in experiencing them. Understanding the reasons for these feelings is paramount to ensure that situations do not escalate.

Delayed Adolescent Development

TCKs can appear more mature in adult circles but are often behind in their adolescent development. Moving countries means they are often ‘stuck’ with their parents until new friendships are established. Gaining independence by having a part time job, using public transport, learning to drive may be an issue. Young people growing up overseas do not have time to absorb the values and traditions specific to their home culture and test them within the safe confines of their family. Testing boundaries therefore must come later, and university is the perfect time and place to experiment, but without that all important parental supervision. Coaching sessions to prepare for university life as an Expat Student can be very helpful.

Rootlessness and Restlessness

Frequent mobility can make it difficult for young expats to settle and feel a sense of belonging. Constant issues with fitting in, feeling accepted can impact wellbeing. Some expats struggle without constant change which could explain the feelings of “Restlessness”. Constant mobility can spark an ‘inner migratory system’ which can make it harder for young people to make commitments in life, whether that is in their studies, career or relationships.

Transition Issues

For Expat YP’s, Transition NEVER STOPS. The expat world is a mixture of Leavers, Stayers and Newcomers. At certain times of the year, you say the inevitable hellos and goodbyes. It is undoubtably a painful part of the expat experience. Quite often an Expat YP, may choose not to invest any effort to integrate into their new community. There can be a tendency to idealise the past, former struggles become overlooked as they feel their previous country is the only place they will feel happy. This constant yearning to return can be difficult for the whole family. Understanding the different stages of transition and the range of emotions during adjustment, alongside a healthy dose of Time, is vital to ensuring Expat YP’s move well.

Repatriation

Repatriation is said to be just as, if not more difficult, than expatriating. When people go abroad, they expect they will have to undergo an adjustment. When they return ‘home’ they expect everything to be the same and it isn’t. Children are often told they are ‘going home’ even if they’ve only holidayed but never formally lived in their home country. They may be surprised to find that they do not know their home country as well as they think. Expat YPs are always regarded as a foreigner overseas, as such they are given some leeway when not quite understanding the ways of their host country. However, when they repatriate ‘home’ they are expected to assimilate perfectly into their community, to let go of their identity as a foreigner even if they feel more foreign in their passport country.

Moving Alone (Boarding School and University)

Moving alone, to boarding school or university, even in their ‘home country’ often means timely access to knowledgeable support systems including family, and the expat community are more challenging. When the family remains overseas, the opportunity to physically touch base from time to time, for exeat or a university recharge weekend at home is not possible. Extended family may be close by however, being overseas could mean that those relationships may not have had time to fully develop. Expat YPs fall somewhere between home and international students, and as such fitting in can take time. Working as a Counsellor, a significant number of my clients were young people who had ‘gone home’ to boarding school or university only to have left prematurely, often during their first year. Amongst other reasons, difficulties fitting in, gaining a sense of belonging, inability to make connections with home/international students, homesickness were familiar concerns. It is not unusual for a student to want to change course or even university, or for a Boarder to want to change school during the settling in process.

Expat Grief

An Expat YPs experience involves moving, moving, moving. It’s important to remember that even if they don’t move others do. The collection of losses and separations before the end of adolescence is often more than most people experience in a lifetime. Losses involve friends, family, support systems, country, school, status, possessions, familiar places, lifestyle. Often they do not have the opportunity to address the anger and sadness felt, which results in unresolved grief. There can be long-term effects of unresolved cycles of grief and loss which can often manifest as anxiety and depression. Awareness and validation of these loses may help Expat YPs.

Individual, Group and Family Sessions


Sessions are designed for you. Together, the aim is to understand any challenges you are facing, help manage any emotions, develop coping skills, facilitate any changes you wish to make so you can feel more in control of your life. To help with this, I offer a range of online appointments to reflect the needs of the expat communities around the world. I am skilled at working online as well as face-to-face. I offer Discovery Sessions, Single/One At A Time Sessions, in addition to Short and Longer Term appointments. I also offer group sessions for families designed to increase understanding of factors affecting young expats. One to One online sessions are available to young people aged 13 years -twentysomethings. For those in a younger age group, I can offer parent sessions focused on understanding and supporting their child and parent supervised child sessions where appropriate. Please read the FAQ section and my Privacy Policy for further details about online services for young people.

Discovery Sessions

Discovery Sessions


If you are considering using my services , and want to find out more, I would encourage you to arrange an initial 30 minute Discovery Call via video. It is important for us to understand as much as we can before working together. A Discovery Call would allow us to have a conversation about what you need and to establish if I am the right person to work with you and/or the young person you are supporting. There is a small charge for this meeting, however I believe it is money well spent if it allows you to make a crucial decision about your next steps. If, at the end of the session, it’s decided you need something different, it is hoped that you will learn enough during our Discovery Call to help you gain more clarity about what you need. As these sessions are designed from a personal consultancy basis rather than a therapeutic one, a signed working agreement is not needed. By booking an appointment, you agree to the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy set out on this website.

Single/One-At-A-Time Sessions (OAAT)

Single/One-At-A-Time Sessions (OAAT)


Single/One-at-a-Time Sessions encourage you to bring to the table anything about your Expat Life that is currently important to you, without entering into a long-term working relationship. A Single Session may be all you need to confidently explore any challenges, changes, and choices you need to make or goals you would like to set. There is no weekly commitment or set number of sessions. Engaging in a Single Session does not have to mean that we can only meet once. Single sessions can be booked One-at-a-Time as and when needed. As these sessions are designed from a personal consultancy basis rather than a therapeutic one, a signed working agreement is not needed. By booking an appointment, you agree to the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy set out on this website.

Short / Longer Term Sessions

Short/Longer Term Sessions


There are occasions when you realise that more time and support is needed to manage your expat life. Or perhaps you would like to be proactive as you approach an important milestone such as moving to a new country, to boarding school, university or starting out in the working world. Each expat life chapter can bring a flurry of conflicting emotions that range from excitement to overwhelm. To manage this, you may want to think about my short/longer term option. Below is my own model that I sometimes use to guide us. It allows us work along the counselling/coaching continuum to help young people understand their life experiences, take stock of where they are and gain clarity on what they want for their future selves. Short term work involves around six sessions, longer term is open ended. It is important that you book a Discovery Call first to discuss your needs and the processes involved if you are thinking of engaging in Short/Longer term sessions. This will provide us with an opportunity to create a working agreement that will help you gain the greatest benefit from our sessions together.

CPD and Information Sessions

CPD and Information Sessions


Throughout many years living and working within expat communities, I have learnt that the wellbeing of Expat YP’s is best supported when the adults around them have an in-depth understanding of both the challenges this lifestyle presents together with an awareness of how to develop the protective factors needed to manage it. It is vital that all adults who engage with young expats, including school personnel and parents, companies, employees and their families, and health professionals dedicate time to understanding the needs of this unique population. I offer a range of CPD, Presentations, Workshops and Information Sessions to facilitate this. As these sessions are designed from consultancy basis rather than a therapeutic one, signed working agreements are not needed. By booking and/or engaging in these sessions you agree to the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy set out on this website.

Short- and Longer-Term Therapeutic Coaching


It is sometimes wise to glance backwards to move forward


One of the most important lessons we can learn is that as life continues to unfold, so do we. There is always an opportunity for us to change, to grow, to move forward. My Integrative Therapeutic Coaching model is designed specifically to navigate life’s continuous transitions in a healthier way.

The EMeRGE Model will provide a framework for you to: