Click on the links below to jump to a particular section:
Click here for a list of books I recommend on a variety of topics — including authenticity, self-acceptance, & personal growth; mindfulness (& meditation); couples, relationships, & sexual issues; and parenting.
All of these books can be very useful in conjunction with counseling but they can also be great resources on their own!
General Mental Health & Wellness Resources:
GoodTherapy.org — A website containing a lot of useful information about psychotherapy. This group’s mission is to educate the public about good, healthy, and effective therapy practices and to prevent unhealthy or even abusive practices in psychotherapy. They also offer information about a wide variety of issues that might lead someone to seek therapy, blogs about various psychological topics, and a psychotherapist directory, among other things.
PsychCentral.com — A website where you can find useful information on a variety of mental health conditions, updates on psychological research, screening quizzes, and a psychotherapist directory. They also have online forums focused on specific mental health topics. (I don’t specifically endorse these forums, but I want to make you aware of their existence. Please keep in mind that anyone can contribute them — not only mental health professionals — and therefore use good judgment when consuming information found there.)
APA’s Psychology Help Center — This website, created by the American Psychological Association (APA), is “an online consumer resource featuring articles and information related to psychological issues affecting your daily physical and emotional well-being.” One page you might find particularly interesting is The Road to Resilience, an online brochure which shares information about the role of resilience in overcoming difficulties and how to build resilience in your own life.
Authentic Happiness Website — A website designed by the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. This site contains readings, videos, research, questionnaires, etc. that can help you learn about Positive Psychology — “the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.”
Mindfulness Resources (including free audio-guided exercises for home practice):
Mindful.org — A wonderful resource for those interested in learning more about mindfulness and how to integrate it into your daily life. This website includes down-to-earth articles on mindfulness in relationships, parenting, schools, the workplace and many other aspects of our lives. They also put out a magazine (both in print and online) that I have subscribed to for several years and found fantastic. A number of the articles include guided exercises that you can practice at home, such as this one. The articles on their website by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. (a clinical psychologist) are especially related to mental health and wellness issues.
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center — This page has a list of free audio-guided meditations (for download or streaming) and is a wonderful place to start for those new to meditation. The rest of the website also contains useful information and articles on mindfulness.
Palouse Mindfulness Free Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Online — Certified MBSR instructor Dave Potter offers a free online version of the 8-week MBSR program. A wonderful, free resource.
Wildmind.org — A website with useful information and articles on mindfulness and Buddhist meditation. Includes articles and instructions on how to meditate and how to incorporate mindfulness practice into your daily life (including some free audio-guided exercises). While this website does discuss meditation from a Buddhist perspective, I believe that many of the underlying principles are still very applicable to those from other spiritual traditions and can also be applied in a secular way — if you approach them with an open mind.
Meditation Instructions (by Gil Fronsdal, Insight Meditation Center) — Free audio files (for download or streaming) of all talks in a 6-part series (class) on meditation. Also links to meditation instructions to use as an audio guide for practice.
The Free Mindfulness Project — A great website with information about mindfuless as well as free audio-guided exercises.
Mindfulnessforteens.com — A website for teens who are interested in learning more about mindfulness.
SmilingMind — A website and phone app that teaches mindfulness and meditation in a fun, modern way. There are settings for different age groups (from 7 – adult), so it can be age-appropriate for children.
Headspace — Another great website and phone app that teaches you how to meditate in an easy, approachable way. Great for teens or adults.
MindYeti — An free online program designed specifically for kids to help them learn about and practice mindfulness. Their goal is to help kids “be calm, focused, and more connected to others and the world.”
Resources for Specific Mental Health Issues
Goodtherapy.com’s “Common Therapy Issues” Page — This website has a lot great information about a number of specific mental health issues. Search in the list provided to learn more about any specific issue.
PsychCentral’s “Symptoms & Treatment of Mental Disorders” Page — Same as above.
Therapist Aid’s Guides — Therapist Aid is a website with lots of useful information about various mental health issues. It includes a whole section of “therapy guides,” related to specific topics, such as anxiety (here and here), anger, communication, among other issues.
Anxiety BC — A wonderful website for anyone who struggles with anxiety. This website includes information about anxiety (so you can understand what’s going on in your body) as well as specific self-help techniques that you can practice at home.
Anxiety BC Youth — A website for teens who struggle with anxiety, containing teen-friendly information, resources, and self-help strategies.
Pacifica — A free app with tools for managing anxiety (e.g., guided relaxation techniques, tools to track mood and anxiety).
Postpartum Progress — A website with information and resources on maternal mental health problems, such as postpartum depression and anxiety. A great resource for new moms (or those who are expecting) and their partners.
Resources for Expats & Others Living Abroad (in France & elsewhere):
Meetup.com — This is a great website for people pretty much anywhere around the globe to find groups in their community with shared interests. You can search by your location as well as by topic. There are groups for almost anything you can imagine (usually based on either a shared interest, such as hiking or cooking, or a shared identity, such as moms or vegetarians or certain cultural groups — including expats and English-speakers!). Also, if you don’t find a group you’re looking for, you can start one yourself. Groups organize activities that members can attend to meet one another. It’s a great way to make new friends! (Joining is free, although some activities have a small cost.)
Internations.org — A website for expatriates around the world. You can sign up for your region to learn about local events where you can connect with the local international community and also learn information about your region.
Expatica.com — Another website for expats around the world. Includes useful information about working in different countries, visa issues, managing your finances, finding schools for the kids, etc. Also contains more entertaining articles and country-specific news.
JustLanded.com — Another great website for expats around the world, containing useful articles on living and raising kids abroad, as well as a comprehensive list of country-specific guides and directories.
Expat-Kids.com — A great website for parents raising children abroad. Contains information about helping kids adapt to a new culture, educational issues, pregnancy and childbirth, etc.
Lyon.AngloInfo.com — A website for English-speakers in Lyon. (AngloInfo.com actually has different sites for cities and countries around the world, so if you’re living in another region, you can check out the global site.) The website contains all sorts of information that might be of interest to those living abroad — everything from information about healthcare to moving resources to job postings. (There is also an AngloInfo Meetup group, which has regular activities for English-speakers in Lyon.)
The American Club of Lyon — A club for American expatriates in the Lyon area as well as their partners and families. Non-Americans who have lived in the US at some time in the past are also welcome. The club plans regular activities for adults and children, some of which are open to non-members as well as members. (Disclosure: I am a member of this club and am currently serving on their board as events coordinator.)
English-Speaking Families Group of Lyon — A group for English-speaking families, organizing play groups and events for both parents and families. There is a membership fee required to join. (Note: I have not been a member of this group or known anyone who has, so I cannot vouch for its quality, but it appears to be a good resource from the website.)
Tandem Nomads — A wonderful website for expat partners. This website includes an inspirational podcast and links to a private Facebook group (you just have to request to join). Great support for people moving abroad for their partner’s work. The author’s motto is “turn the challenges of relocation into great opportunities for you and for your career!”
The Wall Street Journal’s Expat Page — The Wall Street Journal regularly publishes articles on topics of interest to those living abroad (everything from social issues and education to voting and financial planning abroad).
Special Needs France — A closed Facebook group for parents of children with special needs living in France. The group is a wonderful place to get support from other parents and to share ideas and strategies for navigating issues related to the educational and healthcare systems on behalf of children with special needs.
International Therapist Directory — The international therapist directory is a great resource for anyone living outside of their home country in search of a therapist, counselor, or other mental health practitioner who speaks their own language and who has some familiarity with issues relevant to those living abroad. You can search by country and region. There is also a “worldwide” section for therapists who work with clients remotely (either by phone or online) if you can’t find someone in your immediate area.
GlobalARRK.org — This organization helps “stuck parents” — parents who have moved abroad and are now unable to move back to their home countries due to relationship breakdown and custody disputes. They provide useful information about your rights and helpful resources regarding country-specific laws that may impact divorce and custody issues.
Facebook Groups — There are a number of different Facebook groups for English-speakers in France. A few that are currently active in the Lyon area include: English Forum Lyon and Rhône-Alpes, Expat Women of Lyon, English-Speakers in Lyon, English/French Meetings (Lyon), English and French Speakers Lyon, and Expatriate American in Lyon, France. If you’re living in some other part of the country, just search for your region. These groups can be good places to ask questions about where to find things you’re looking for, how to handle various administrative issues, etc. Some of them also organize in-person get-togethers, so they can be a way to make some new friends.
Resources for International Students:
I’ve created this special page for international student resources.
Help Lines for English-Speakers in France:
SOS Helpline — a volunteer-run hotline for English-speakers in France. (They do not have 24-hour availability, so see their website for hours. It currently says 3:00 – 11:00 PM daily.)
Samaritans — a 24-hour volunteer-run hotline out of the UK.
Additional Crisis/Help/Support Information (including for specific issues) can be found through Lyon.AngloInfo.com.
Resources for English-Speakers in France Experiencing Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, or Sexual Assault:
Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center — includes information on domestic violence and sexual assault for Americans living abroad. This organization also has an internal toll-free help line.
S.O.S. Femmes — a resource for women in France who experience domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, etc.. Most of the website is in French, but they do have some sections in English, and it sounds like they are trying to make their site more accessible to English-speakers over time.
Lost In France – Domestic Violence in France page — An article containing some useful information about domestic violence for expats living in France, including links to other resources.
Counseling in France – Dealing with Domestic Violence page — includes legal information, list of confidential hotlines, including hotline specifically for men experiencing domestic violence, and other useful information.
In Case of Medical or Mental Health Emergency:
If you are feeling suicidal and/or unable to keep yourself safe, please go to the nearest emergency room or call 15 (Emergency Medical Services/SAMU/Ambulance). Alternatively, if you are calling from a mobile phone, you can call 112 for all types of emergencies anywhere within Europe (it should be possible to request to speak with someone in English, although not guaranteed).
If you are not concerned for your immediate safety but feel the need to speak to someone urgently, you can call the SOS Hotline (an English-language listening hotline in France) between the hours of 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM.
For more information on emergency services in France including some helpful phrases in French, please refer here.