In this MumAbroad interview, we talk to professional expat counselor Karen Rigatti, based in Milan.
Karen Rigatti works mainly with expats, helping them develop more effective communication and coping strategies.
She can help with a range of issues including:
✅ Anxiety & stress management
✅ Expatriation & cultural adjustment
✅ Intercultural relationship issues
✅ Pregnancy & new parenthood
✅ Adolescence & young adulthood
Karen Rigatti’s own experience of cultural adaptation and intercultural relationships has shaped the areas of focus in her practice.
Karen talks here about her own relocation experience when she moved to Milan in 2008, the importance of learning Italian to manage daily life and how important it is for pregnant couples and new parents to navigate the emotional and psychological shifts of becoming new parents abroad.
She also talks about differentiating whether overwhelm is a logistical or an emotional problem, and when getting help could make or break a successful relocation.
Looking for an expat counselor? You can find Karen Rigatti’s contact details here.
[0:40] MumAbroad: Moving to a new country can be very straightforward, equally it can be quite an overwhelming experience. How can people asses if they just need to be more organised, maybe get help from a relocation company, or decide they actually need some professional help with readjustments?
Karen Rigatti: First of all, I’ve never heard of a straightforward international move! I haven’t moved to that country yet.
But I think we’re talking about the difference between logistics and emotional overwhelm. A move can feel overwhelming, but if it’s a question of needing to be pointed in the right direction, a relocation company can help. But if it feels as though managing the day-to-day is just too much, simple things make you feel you’re coming undone, everything is really a struggle emotionally, then it looks like perhaps that may have tipped over from being overwhelmed logistically and being overwhelmed emotionally and counselling can be helpful.
Often emotional overwhelm isn’t about having too much to do, it’s about not knowing where to start. If you were handed a nice tidy list of things 1 to 1,000 and told you need to do these one after the other, you might be overwhelmed with the amount, but not unclear about the strategy. A counsellor can help you create that action point and of course manage the emotional aspects as well.
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