Returning to UK. Counselling in Exeter. Brian Dennis (MBACP)
If a person has lived overseas for a period of time they will have been exposed and become used to a different lifestyle. That lifestyle may include more financial income, a more relaxed lifestyle, different climate, extensive travel, having domestic staff, - in overall being a "bigger fish in a smaller pond".
Returning to UK after living and working overseas is often experienced as a shock. Whilst retaining ties and empathy with UK situations, many expatriates and families build a mental wall of "yes - but I am different".
There is usually a cultural shock to working and living in a different location. That shock will affect different people in different ways. The return is more likely to be more of a shock, as for many people it will be a demotion, or an end of a wealthy phase of their lives - for now.
Much of that difficulty is that they will not understand it - there is a mental conflict. It is hard to accept that an English person, brought up in UK, should find it difficult or uncomfortable to live here. There is the thought "I have lived and worked in many overseas places, adapting back to UK should be easy".
That is one side of the thought process; another side is that in some ways it is a negative move - less money, less of the feeling of being the "big fish", etc. For many people, these thoughts are not 'nice', or the way they 'should be thinking'. They are suppressed, causing emotional conflict. Counselling helps with that conflict.
I have extensive experience of living and working in many areas of the world as a technician, supervisor, manager and managing director; in enjoyable as well as 'challenging' locations. I am familiar, from a personal viewpoint, with the stresses that occur whilst juggling pressures of work and personal life.
It is often more difficult for families and partners than for the employee, especially when living in an "expatriate" environment.
Counselling will often bring clarity and reality to problems, bringing enjoyment and purpose to lives - of clients and their families.
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