Expatriate coaching in action
A young couple from Germany moved abroad for the first time to Russia with their new baby girl. Katarina* had just stopped working recently. She was used to having a large social network in her community, with her family also living nearby. As often happens with expats, her husband, Oskar*, worked long hours at the new assignment, with a time-consuming commute that kept him away from home even longer. Katarina didn’t speak Russian and couldn’t get out to socialize because of her young daughter.
Katarina felt isolated and abandoned. She blamed Oskar for her misery and began to pick on him the moment he walked in the door each day. Small arguments grew into large ones over the weeks. Soon Oskar avoided coming home, trying to ignore the situation. He was exhausted with the demands of the new position and felt lost not being able to support his wife the way he used to. A loving and stable relationship had become a nightmare.
Katarina turned to aligned coaching for help. She felt depressed and wanted a divorce. She could no longer see the positive and thought separation would bring relief. Through coaching, Katarina began to see the new possibilities offered by her situation. She started to let go of some of her PAST and arrive in the NOW. This inner shift gave her a new vision of what might be possible in the FUTURE.
As Katarina’s insight developed, her actions changed. She found a tutor in Russian who would come to her home. She investigated turning a long-time interest in yoga into a new career as a yoga instructor. She stopped feeling “stuck.”
Meanwhile, Oskar started to acknowledge his wife’s needs, instead of avoiding them. He also began to recognize that her support enabled him to accept the job in the first place.
Both of them stopped focusing on blame. They started a new conversation about what might be possible as expatriates and what each of them needed to be satisfied with their new lifestyle.
*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.
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