Culture shock counselling in Hamburg, Germany: How to stay positive and happy


While it is natural for an expat to feel sad and lonely at times, the stress of adapting to a new culture can sometimes reach a level in which additional support can be helpful. Read more about culture shock counselling in Hamburg:

Feeling homesick, lonely, sad or anxious?

Common signs of culture shock are: 

  • sadness
  • loneliness
  • anxiety
  • homesickness
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • frustration
  • health anxieties
  • feelings of incompetence and self-doubt
  • hostility towards the host country
  • idealisation of the home country

If you are experiencing one or more of these signs most or all of the time, then you are probably experiencing or developing culture shock.

How can counselling help with culture shock?

Facing difficulties in the present can sometimes trigger old and painful memories from the past. Counselling can help you understand and manage these triggers in a better way. It could also be that you are simply frustrated by your own reactions to the new environment and that you want to understand yourself and your behaviour more. Counselling can help you identify the way you respond to stress, understand how you are handling change and whether you are able to give yourself a break. Counselling will also help you with rebuilding your self-esteem and gaining a fresh perspective on yourself, as well as learning new and healthier ways of coping with stress.

CBT for culture shock treatment

In my culture shock counselling sessions I often use techniques based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). CBT is a method that targets how one thinks and acts as a way of modifying how one feels. It focusses on changing unhealthy thinking patterns and on changing the ideas associated with the stressor. CBT also offers mindfulness strategies to reduce physical stress and to help develop problem solving strategies. In general, CBT is a positive and goal-oriented method that will give you fast results. 

"Do I need counselling for culture shock?"

Being an English speaking expat in Germany can be extremely difficult and frustrating, due to the cultural differences. The biggest problem for English speakers in Germany is often how unfriendly the Germans can to be, and how their lack of spontaneity makes it so hard to find new friends. Counselling can help deal with these feelings of displacement and of being overwhelmed - but you don't need to feel non-functioning to go into counselling, you just need to be feeling stuck. You will benefit from counselling if you have tried to solve your emotional difficulties on your own, but your strategies don't seem to work. Please always keep in mind that asking for help is a sign of self-awareness, self-love and possession of a sense of inner strength.

Do you want to learn how to deal with culture shock?

I'm Natalie Marby, a half British, half German therapist in Hamburg Germany. I offer psychotherapy and counselling for English speaking expats and I have specialised in treating typical expatriate mental health issues. You will find more information about me and my work here:

If you are interested in working with me, please call me on +494046090233 or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

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