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Columnists > Dhyan Summers


Dhyan Summers
Dhyan Summers is a licensed psychotherapist in California and Oregon, USA, and is the Director of Expat Counseling and Coaching Services, providing online counseling, therapy, marriage counseling and coaching to expats worldwide. She has 35 years of experience as a therapist and has lived in Paris, Costa Rica, and most recently India for 14 years. For a free 30-minute introductory session, visit www.expatcounselingandcoaching.com.


Dhyan Summers

Top 3 Tips for being a Happy ESWK (Expat Spouse Without Kids)

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:19:09)   (5 Reads)
Frequently I see clients in my practice who are ESWKs (pronounced ‘eswik’) or Expat Spouses Without Kids. Although they are in an enviable position by some standards, they often tell me that their spouse is working all the time, they are lonely, and are fighting, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, the tendency to hide out at home. One client mentioned that she sometimes felt like curling up and hiding in a box in her closet.

There are two sides to the coin of being an ESWK. On one side you have the freedom to do almost anything you want to do, and on the other side is an almost complete lack of structure which at times can seem overwhelming and even despairing. In addition, when you have young children it is much easier to bond with other parents, as you have a built in reason for doing so.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

Expat Psychology; Moving from Isolation to Social Connection - 3 Top Tips

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:17:54)   (5 Reads)
Erik Erikson, one of the foremost developmental psychologists of all time, outlined The Eight Stages of Human Development (Erikson 1950). In this seminal work he states that every human being passes through 8 stages of psychological development from birth to death. It is not the scope of this article to go into all the stages, but as an expat, and as a psychotherapist working with expats, I am continually reminded of the 6th stage, Isolation vs. Intimacy, which generally occurs between the ages of 19 to 40. The stage immediately preceding this is the adolescent stage of Identity vs. Role Confusion. Once one’s identity has come into clearer focus, he or she is ready to move on to the task of establishing important relationships such as spouse, children, colleagues and close friends.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

How to Help Your Marriage Thrive Instead of (Barely) Survive While Living Abroad

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:16:23)   (5 Reads)
I am an American psychotherapist in private practice in New Delhi, working primarily with the expat community. I also work with expat couples worldwide through Skype video conferencing. Many couples come to me because they see counseling as the last stop before separation and divorce. Fewer couples call for a routine “check up” when they feel their marriage isn’t functioning optimally. Fewer still seek me out when their relationship is going reasonably well and they just want to iron out a few kinks.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

The Expat Perfectionist - Top 10 Tips for Perfectionism Withdrawal

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:14:26)   (6 Reads)
As a psychotherapist in private practice with expats in New Delhi, and around the world using Skype, I have noticed what I call the perfectionist syndrome in expats the world over. First, let me distinguish between the pursuit of excellence and being a perfectionist. When I am pursuing excellence, I am happy about what I’m doing or learning, feeling good about myself and am gaining confidence in my ability.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

Transitioning From Newbie To Seasoned Expat: Notes From A Psychotherapist Abroad

Posted by: Scar on Thursday April 07, 2016 (12:22:44)   (4221 Reads)
For the past 10 years I have been the director of Expat Counseling and Coaching Services, where I have worked with hundreds of expat clients and their families all over the world.

Of course the topic of transitions is key to any expat, as they are frequently in transition from one place to the next.    more ...