Top Ten Tips for Counseling Third Culture Kids from Lois Bushong & Ruth Van Reken
- Always keep in mind they view their world through the lens of many cultures.
- Do not assume anything about their world.
- Listen and learn for they have much to teach you.
- Read all you can about and by Third Culture Kids and make the application to others of similar experiences.
- What may be pathology in one population may not be pathology in another.
- Hidden losses and grief are frequently the root of their presenting problems.
- Be creative in your therapy because the client may not fit into your typical counseling model.
- You are closer to their world if you view them as internationals.
- When dealing with identity issues, picture the TCK Identity Iceberg.
- Model a healthy Goodbye.
- Explore Life Story – Dr Rachel Cason is a therapist with a unique approach and a deep understanding of the TCK perspective. See this excellent post for results of a recent survey that she completed with TCKs.
- International Therapists Directory – Excellent new resource offering a ccomprehensive online global listing of professional mental health therapists. These therapists are familiar with third culture kids and international expatriate experiences.
- The Oaks – A counseling center for cross cultural workers. This is a wonderful resource out of Austin, Texas. Their purpose is “To bring emotional support and psychological treatment to missionaries and workers at home but more importantly abroad in the field at little or no cost to the missionary, worker or mission organization.” Take a look at their website and you can find out more about what they do and how they do it.
- Expat Kids Club – There is a wealth of good information at this site. While it’s located in the Netherlands, the founder Kate Berger serves the global expatriate network through private and corporate consulting and collaborating for the welfare of expat kids. Take a look at the site to find workshops and presentations you can attend virtually.
- Kay Bruner – Kay is a counselor in the Dallas area who specializes in issues affecting Adult Third Culture Kids and Cross Cultural Workers. She is a TCK herself as well as a wise, empathic counselor who uniquely understands grief and loss.
Tips on finding a good counselor abroad – Take a look here where psychologist, tck, and cross cultural worker Lisa McKay gives practical tips on finding a counselor while living overseas.