Mind your head: Lucy Bello is an online psychotherapist specialising in expat counselling

Lucy Bello is an experienced psychotherapist specialising in expat counselling who has been an expat herself many times in her life. As such, she understands the challenges facing expats, and offers strategies for overcoming the difficulties and a kind listening ear. Eugene Costello reports…

Lucy Bello is an experienced psychotherapist specialising in expat counselling who has been an expat herself many times in her life. As such, she understands the challenges facing expats, and offers strategies for overcoming the difficulties and a kind, listening ear….

Lucy grew up in west London and married into a Spanish family. She has spent time living in various countries across Europe as well as Venezuela, Ecuador and the US and as such is very familiar with the challenges that expats can face. Indeed, she splits her time these days between London and Cascais, near Lisbon, Portugal.

Experienced psychotherapist specialising in expat counselling

Says Lucy, “I am all too aware that embarking on an expat adventure can be a thrilling experience. But it’s crucial to acknowledge that personal challenges don’t vanish magically and new ones can appear. As a seasoned psychotherapist specialising in counselling services for expats, I frequently address the unique issues that accompany the international journey.”

She has great empathy for those who have followed a similar path. She says, “Moving abroad often leads to a sense of isolation, contributing to feelings of loneliness among expats. I prioritise addressing these emotional struggles, providing a supportive space for individuals grappling with the loss of connections with friends and family, the comfort of the familiar, and the undoubted challenges of building new relationships in a foreign land and culture. 

Kind, listening ear: Lucy Bello

She adds, “It might seem obvious but the language barrier is only one of many factors that can seem like an overwhelming cause of isolation and a barrier to integration.”

New cultures that can trigger identity crises

Lucy points out that navigating a new culture can be a complex process that triggers identity crises. “I work with expats facing challenges in adapting to different customs, communication styles and societal norms,” says Lucy. “By addressing the relational aspects of cultural adjustment, I aim to guide individuals through the intricacies of building meaningful connections in their new environment. 

“When it all seems overwhelming, look back to your own childhood.  Can you perhaps remember people who had emigrated to your country? Many people move to another land and have happy, fulfilled and fulfilling lives. Why not you?” 

It’s an eminently sensible point. And some of her other fields of specialism come into play with expats, she says, such as bereavement counselling. “Dealing with bereavement and loss can be particularly challenging for expats, who may be far from their home country and support networks,” says Lucy. For this reason, she includes specialised support for individuals coping with grief, providing a compassionate space to navigate the emotional complexities of loss in a foreign context.

Challenges: Bereavement is just one of the challenges facing expats far from home

Equipping expats with coping strategies

Other specialisms such as managing stress, anxiety and depression can be especially beneficial to expats. “The transient nature of expat life, coupled with the pressure to maintain a positive facade, often leads to increased stress, anxiety and even depression,” Lucy says. “I focus on equipping expats with coping strategies, addressing the unique challenges associated with international living, and fostering mental wellbeing in the face of cultural and societal expectations.”

Lucy has worked privately with a wide range of clients as well as volunteering with Young Minds, Princes Trust and most recently The Mulberry Centre as a counsellor supporting cancer patients, their carers and family, and the bereaved.

Experienced and highly trained

She is a qualified integrative counsellor, registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) as well as registered as a career coach with the Career Development Institute (CDI).

Lucy says that she endeavours to offer a holistic approach to ensure that expats in particular can flourish and grow. In the world of expat living, acknowledging and addressing mental health challenges is paramount for both the expat and their spouse, especially for issues covering career or loss of career (if you are the spouse).  And with a postgraduate diploma in career guidance, her training will prove especially useful for digital nomads and those who have launched, or want to launch, a business in their adopted country. 

Often, one partner in an expat relationship might have regular work, leaving the other partner feeling somewhat lost and displaced. With Lucy’s career-focused counselling, she will help you to identify what it is that would make you feel more fulfilled and grounded. 

“By prioritising mental wellbeing, expats can embark on a journey of self-discovery and resilience, finding strength and even a sense of accomplishment in successfully navigating the complexities of international living,” Lucy says.

The process seeks to transform uncertainty and anxiety into opportunity.

Last word goes to Lucy.

“Embark on the journey of self-discovery. Together, we’ll navigate the storm,” she says.

“Take the first step toward a brighter tomorrow – contact me for a confidential consultation and set out on your path to resilience and self-discovery so that you can realise the full potential of your expat adventure,” says Lucy.

  • Lucy offers remote sessions via Zoom or WhatsApp. Take the first (and often most difficult) step by getting in touch so you can start your journey with her guidance and support. WhatsApp or call Lucy on +44 7787 283895. counsellingwithlucy.co.uk
Get our latest news & Offers
Verified by MonsterInsights