Mindful Expat Episode 36: Helping TCKs Make Room for Mixed Emotions & Find Their Sense of True Belonging (With Guest: Lois Bushong)

Today’s Mindful Expat Guest is Lois Bushong!

Lois is a licensed marriage and family therapist living in the state of Indiana in the United States. She is originally from the US, but grew up in Central America (mainly in Honduras) as part of a missionary family, and she also spent 10 years working in Honduras as an adult. Having grown up as a Third Culture Kid (or TCK) herself, Lois has specialized in working with TCKs, adult TCKs, and intercultural couples.

Lois is also the author of the book, Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile, which is how I first came across her work. In addition to her therapy practice, she also offers services as a consultant and coach for TCKs and others navigating this intercultural space.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

• About Lois’ experiences growing up as a TCK missionary kid in Central America and how she came to want to help other TCKs find their true sense of belonging.
• How frequent moves can lead some TCKs to experience unresolved grief, which can lead to some difficulties as they get older.
• How parents and other adults can help TCKs make room for both positive and negative emotional reactions to their experiences growing up abroad and allow them to work through and process grief.
• How many TCKs find their true sense of belonging with other TCKs. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

• To learn more about TCKs, check out episode 8 for my conversation with Josh Sandoz (who we mention in the podcast).

• Lois mentioned a number of great resource books:

• Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child: Practical Storytelling Techniques That Will Strengthen the Global Familyby Julia Simens

• The new edition of Ruth Van Reken & David Pollock’s book, Third Culture Kids 3rd Edition: Growing Up Among Worlds.

Writing Out of Limbo: International Childhoods, Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids, edited by Gene Bell-Villada, Nina Sichel,‎ Faith Eidse, and‎ Elaine Neil Orr.

• Pico Iyer’s book, The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home (and his TED Talk entitled, “Where Is Home?”).

• We also briefly mentioned Lois’s blog post, “TCKs Make Great Therapists.” 

More about Lois and how to follow up with her:

To learn more about Lois’ work as a counselor, coach, speaker, and writer, you can visit her website www.loisbushong.com. To read some of her blog articles, you can also visit her blog, mangotreereflections.com (the contents of which will be transferred over to her main website in the next few months).

Lois’ book, Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile, is a fantastic resource especially for therapists and counselors, but really for anyone working with TCKs. To learn more about the book, you can also visit this page of her website.

You can also find Lois on Twitter, and you can email by going to this page of her website.

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