Mindful Expat Episode 8: Raising Resilient Third Culture Kids (TCKs) (with Guest: Josh Sandoz, MA, LMHC)

Today’s Mindful Expat Guest is Josh Sandoz!

Josh is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) currently living and working in Seattle Washington (in the US), where he specializes in working with expats, repatriated expats, and Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Josh not only works with TCKs, but he actually is an adult TCK himself! Born in South Korea to foreign missionary parents, he grew up as part of a highly international community. He has worked for Interaction International – an organization geared toward TCKs and internationally mobile families – where he provided transition seminars for adolescent TCKs before becoming a therapist. Josh is also the person behind the International Therapist Directory, a wonderful website that he created as a way to help people around the world locate therapists who speak their own language and who are sensitive to some of the unique needs of people living abroad.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

• About Josh’s story of growing up in a highly international community and his continued involvement in working with globally mobile individuals and families as a therapist.
• What is a “Third Culture Kid” (TCK) and what are some of the characteristics of the TCK experience?
• Some of the common struggles — as well as gifts — of TCKs (and why it’s sometimes hard to think of these in a binary way).
• How parents raising children abroad can support their TCKs and help them develop emotional resilience as they grow up in and between cultures.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

• Josh mentioned some of his work with Interaction International, an organization geared toward TCKs and internationally mobile families.
• To learn more about Ruth Useem’s research and her original use of the word “Third Culture Kid,” you can visit her website www.tckworld.com.
• Josh mentioned the book, Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds, by David Pollock & Ruth Van Reken, which is a great source of information about the TCK experience.
Josh also mentioned the book, Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures, by Sarah Lanier, as a nice introduction to some basic concepts around culture and cultural differences.
• We also discussed the International Therapist Directory, which Josh created as a way of connecting people with therapists who are familiar with some of the unique challenges and experiences of TCKs and other people living abroad. This is a wonderful resource for anyone around the world searching for a therapist. It’s organized according to country and also has a worldwide section for therapists who work with clients remotely (either online or by phone).

More about Josh and how to follow up with him:

Josh has a private therapy practice in Seattle, Washington, where he works with expats, repatriated expats, and TCKs. To learn more about his therapy practice or to connect with him by email, you can visit his website at www.joshsandoz.com.

Josh is also highly involved in an organization called the Center for Object Relations (COR) and invites any fellow therapists in the Seattle area to connect with him through this organization.

Finally, as mentioned above, Josh is the creator of the International Therapist Directory, which is a wonderful resource for anyone looking for a therapist abroad as well as for any therapists working with this population to connect with one another.

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