My key area of expertise is counseling multicultural and multilingual couples.
“Relationships are hard”. Even when people get along really well, stress and daily life can cause conflicts that seem difficult or even impossible to resolve. Relationship counseling can help people in these tough situations to work through their problems and move beyond them.
Couples counseling is often used to address problems, it can be helpful at any stage of a relationship, also to end a relationship well and in a healthy way.
When to Seek Relationship Counseling
- You have trouble expressing your feelings to one another
- You have one or more unsolvable disagreement
- There is withdrawal, criticism, or contempt in your interactions
- A stressful event has shaken your daily life
- You have trouble making decisions together
- You have experienced infidelity, addiction, or abuse
- You want a stronger relationship
What Is Imago Therapy?
The concept of Imago as an image of familiar love suggests that your early relationships teach you something about love and about yourself. Through these early experiences, you develop a sense of an identity related to love, such as what love is and what you need to do in order to experience love from others and feel safe.
In your early relationships, you start to develop a sense of self-worth based on how you are treated by important people in your life. You start to develop attachment patterns and gain a sense of how you think you should be treated by others.
The benefits of a multicultural/multilingual relationship are numerous, the beauty of another language and another culture, is so appealing and attractive at first. Over time, however, the challenges that these differences bring can become the root cause of many struggles a couple may face. The common language, plays a role here: is it someone’s mother tongue or is the common language (lingua franca) a second language to both? Does the couple live in the country of origin of one or the other, or in a third neutral country? Is there support from family and friends? How is the social network established? Did somebody give up an already established life and network? Such factors need to be taken into consideration as they all potentially contribute to an imbalance that can cause major challenges within the relationship beyond the “normal couple issues”.
Working with multicultural couples requires a special awareness and appreciation of languages and communication styles. As a licensed psychotherapist and linguist, and as someone who lives in a multilingual relationship myself, I am very aware of the challenges that couples maybe confronted with. I met my Dutch-Australian partner in Cambodia, and we currently live in Vienna, Austria with our two children. Our family language is a mix of English, German, French and Dutch.
If you want like some guidance and support, then please feel free to contact me and please know that you that you are not alone.