Although I work with the issues that are important to you, I often hear the following themes in my conversations with clients.
Adjusting to life in Germany
Many people go through culture shock when they come here. Even if you have been here for several years, and are no longer experiencing culture shock, there are aspects of living in a foreign culture that can be very stressful and sap your energy. People who were born and raised in Germany might not understand what you are experiencing, and friends and colleagues from your own country who are living here or back home might not be able to identify with your feelings.
Being in a relationship, perhaps with someone from a different culture or background
When I got married, a friend gave me the following quote from Rilke: “Loving someone is the work for which all other work is merely preparation.” I think Rilke was right.
For most people, being in a relationship moves back and forth on a continuum, with wonderful on one end and horrible on the other. Living in another country can bring stress to the relationship, and maybe you and your partner come from different countries, speak different languages, or are different in some way that seems to create conflict. I work with individuals and couples to help them deal with these differences, and with the day to day realities of trying to love someone.
If both people in a relationship are interested in working with me, I offer couples counseling. I usually suggest we do one of three things: improving communication and solving current conflicts, exploring the differences between you, and exploring how each person’s past impacts the relationship now. I have found that unresolved issues from childhood and previous relationships can have a negative impact on the current relationship, and by sharing these old painful experiences, each person gets new insights and compassion for themselves and their partner.
Difficulties learning German
I don’t teach German, but I can help you understand some of the emotional and social aspects of learning a second language. For some people, these aspects are a greater barrier to learning a language than grammar, vocabulary, or pronunciation. If you really want to learn German, then you probably need to develop your own learning strategies; most of your learning takes place outside of the classroom. I can help you figure out what you need to achieve your goals in German.