Mindful Expat Episode 22: Supporting Expat Kids Through Relocation

Today’s Mindful Expat Guest is Kate Berger, MSc!

Kate is a child and adolescent psychologist based in Amsterdam. Her private practice is called the Expat Kids Club, and — as the name would suggest — she specializes in working with expat and Third Culture Kids and their families. She is originally from New York, completed her bachelors degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and then moved to the Netherlands to continue her studies at Leiden University, where she received her masters degree in child and adolescent psychology. Kate’s own experience of living abroad has shaped her interest in working with young people in this intercultural space. Kate not only works with expat kids and their families in Amsterdam, but she also does consulting and outreach worldwide on issues relevant to the community of expat families.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

• Some of the common struggles that Kate sees expat kids struggling with in her practice.
• How the stress of relocation impacts kids’ emotion regulation skills and ability to plan and make decisions (and a bit of brain science behind this).
• What parents can expect as their kids adapt to a new culture and how to know when it’s time to seek outside help.
• How parents can help prepare their kids for an overseas move by creating an emotional language and modeling their own ability to reflect on and articulate their emotions.
• Some of the real gifts that an expat life can offer kids and some of the strengths that expat kids tend to develop through their experiences.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

• At the beginning of the episode, I mentioned the term “Third Culture Kids” or “TCKs.” If you aren’t familiar with this term, be sure to check out Episode 8.
• Kate shared a quote with us from author and mindfulness researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn. While I can’t find the exact source of this quote (and Kate said that she heard him say it, so it may not be in any of his written works), Jon Kabat-Zinn is a wonderful writer and I would highly recommend almost anything he’s written. You can learn more about him here.
• Kate mentioned the Families in Global Transitions (FIGT) organization, which we’ve mentioned here on the podcast before. FIGT is a wonderful organization for anyone living abroad or anyone who works with expats, so I highly recommend that you check it out.

More about Kate and how to follow up with her:

To learn more about Kate, you can visit her website, www.expatkidsclub.com. There you will find information about her therapy and consulting services as well as mindfulness courses that she offers for kids.

From her website, you’ll also find information about the Families in Global Transitions (FIGT) Netherlands Affiliate group that she co-chairs.

You can also find Kate on Facebook or Twitter, and you can email her directly at expatkidsclub@gmail.com.

Stay in Touch!

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And, finally, if you’d like to get in touch and leave me a voice message with a question or comment that may be played in a future episode, you can do so here!


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