—— Vivian’s bio
Some of my professional achievements
- I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, as well as Master’s degrees in both Child & Adolescent Psychology and Health Psychology, and a further specialisation in Intercultural Psychology and online work – all of which led to Expat Nest.
- I have consulted with hundreds of clients facing a range of challenges, and seen them grow and progress.
- I speak English, Greek, French and Dutch (elementary).
- I follow the ethical guidelines of the Dutch Association for Psychologists (NIP) and EuroPsy European Certification in Psychology, of which I am a registered member.
- I am a co-founder of both the Dutch and Greek affiliates of Families in Global Transition (FIGT).
- I have conducted a survey for internationals and am in the process of writing a book.
- I was the school counsellor at the British School in the Netherlands for many years.
- I am a taskforce member of ‘Learn to Change’ education NGO and used to be a task-force member of the International School Counselor Association (I remain a member).
- I have delivered training on a variety of topics, including but not limited to transition, third culture kids (TCKs), coping with change, dealing with stress, bereavement and expat loss, violence prevention, special educational needs and inclusion, and understanding diversity
- From 2012 to 2017 I was involved in project-based training for the Council of Europe’s Pestalozzi Programme and a facilitator for their online Community of Practice.
- I have had several articles/papers published as an author, co-author, editor or translator, including:
– ‘Intercultural Competences for all’ (2012); ‘Promoting Healthy Interactions for Bullying Prevention’ (2013); ‘Multiple reports on ‘Different Children-Equal Opportunities’ (2014); ‘Developing Intercultural Competence through Education’ (2017) (all Pestalozzi Programme, Council of Europe)
– Translation into Greek of the Intercultural Competence Tool and the Intercultural Quiz (Council of Europe, 2015)
– ‘Insight Medically Unexplained Symptoms’ (Mind and Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry, 2012)
I’m Vivian, the founder and director of Expat Nest. Before we get to the professional stuff, here’s some insight into who I am and what inspires me to offer Expat Nest’s support services to internationals like you.
I follow my “hell yes!” or what you might call a “joy compass”… that inner knowing that tells you how you truly feel about a person, decision, commitment or situation. Expat Nest is my “hell yes!”
The golden thread through my work is my great appreciation of diversity and my devotion to the international community.
I believe in empathy and generosity. My business/service is built on helping others and on fostering a sense of community and connection.
I seek to inspire others to reach their full potential and follow their dreams. I am here to help my clients move to the next level, and closer to the life they wish to lead. I support people from all walks of life to find clarity, direction and confidence through counselling.
For me, love is the centre of all things. I experience client sessions as a loving flow – one of the reasons I love my profession – in which we both try to do whatever is possible, while accepting that there are some things we cannot change.
I am a great believer in self-care. I believe that looking after the self expands into caring for and loving others. I help clients to love themselves, to be kinder to themselves.
I am a person of integrity; it is essential for me to offer psychological services of a high standard. I stand firmly behind everything I and my partners offer.
I’m deeply aware of our limited time in this world, that today is all we have… so let’s make it count. This awareness has helped me to feel more at peace with the past, to cope with any insecurities regarding the future and to be more able to enjoy the “now”.
I navigate my life and my work with love, kindness and respect.
How it all began…
As a bi-cultural, multilingual expat with family all over the world, I’m familiar with the blessings of a mobile life. But I’m also aware of its challenges and it didn’t take me long to notice the significant need for counselling services devoted to expatriates and internationals.
This inspired me to create an ‘expat nest’, a comforting, empathetic environment in which expats could feel heard and understood, as well as deal with challenges specific to the expat life.
But first I asked myself: How could I support people, no matter where they were? How could I truly provide a “home away from home” to expatriates?
The answer lay in using online technology to enable counselling without borders. And so, in 2013, Expat Nest was born. As you can imagine, our service – offering professional e-counselling, in several languages, and exclusively to expats – was something of a novelty at the time! We are trailblazers in the field, and feel blessed today at how many global nomads we have been able to support with this innovative approach to counselling.
If every journey begins with a first step, I wish for your first step to feel supported and on purpose.
—— What we think
Time is a non-renewable resource; it is precious. Let’s not waste time in dead relationships; toxic friendships; unhealthy working environments; a schedule so tight that we have no time for ourselves…
The time is NOW.
You can change your life NOW.
You can make your days truly count!
The Core Values of Expat Nest
We are inspired to help people transform their lives, to move from a dark place into a loving space and a brighter future.
We believe that happiness can be found in small things.
It is our passion to transform your daily routine into moments that count, relationships that matter, and experiences of deep connection.
Here’s what we know for sure: things can be taken from us in a heartbeat and it requires strength to recreate and rebuild ourselves.
We have no doubt that little steps forward can bring BIG, long-lasting change that transforms lives.
We want nothing more than to support you to release fears, insecurities and old ways of thinking that are holding you back.
We are committed to supporting you to expand your way of thinking, grow and be happier.
We want to live in a world without labels. Regardless of what language we speak and what passport we carry, we share the common experience of being human, of being internationals.
We embrace diversity and are devoted to the international community.
Let us prioritise down-time and caring for ourselves…
We believe that love and joy are your birthright; sometimes we just don’t know how to claim this right and need to learn new skills. Let us support you to do this!
—— Getting started
We are here to support you! Choose from 45-minute or 60-minute sessions at a time that suits you and in the comfort of your own home or environment.
Expat Nest‘s online counselling service is:
- ACCESSIBLE: All that’s required for dedicated support is decent internet (for Skype/Facetime/other) or a telephone.
- CONVENIENT: Receive support in the comfort of your own home or environment – no commuting!
- FLEXIBLE: We offer counselling without borders, supporting expats across countries and time zones.
- MULTILINGUAL: We offer counselling in a variety of languages, including English, Greek, Spanish, Italian and Chinese (with more languages to follow). If we do not offer counselling in your language, please rest assured: our counsellors understand the unique experiences and challenges of the international life. Above all, our expat-specialised counsellors speak the universal language shared by those who lead an international life.
- RELIABLE: Because we’re just a click away, we offer stability in a rapidly changing world.
Contact us for your free 15-minute introductory chat. You may also like to see what kinds of topics and concerns people bring to counselling, or check out our FAQ below.
—— Do you have any questions?
Do I have to use a camera during online/Skype sessions?
If you prefer, we can talk on the phone or via Skype/Facetime/or technology with audio only. The most important thing is that you feel relaxed and comfortable as we work together.
How long will counselling last?
Counselling can range from a once-off consultation to short-term (6 to 8 sessions) to longer term. In our experience an average of 6 to 10 sessions is generally effective. However, you and your counsellor can review this regularly.
What do people talk about in counselling?
Whatever matters to them! Counselling gives you the opportunity to discuss your concerns with an empathetic, non-judgemental listener. There might be a specific issue you’d like to work on, or a range of different challenges. Check out some of the reasons people come to counselling.
How will I know if counselling is right for me?
We recommend trying one or more sessions to see how you feel. We also encourage you to ask questions along the way. Ultimately counselling is about helping you to work things out for yourself. Remember that the process is voluntary and the choice is always yours.
—— Our services
How Can Expat Nest
Expat Nest offers professional e-counselling services to adults, parents and teens navigating the international life.
Though life presents challenges for everyone, global nomads often have to deal with additional dilemmas of a transition-rich lifestyle. We understand the expat experience and are skilled in finding expat-focused solutions.
No matter where you are (or where you’ll be next), how busy your lifestyle is, or how many changes you are experiencing, Expat Nest is just a click away.
At Expat Nest, we go the extra mile for you!
→ We prioritise you and have a clear system that allows us to be available for you when you need us.
→ We work across time zones, languages, countries and cultures, but also free of borders in our communication.
→ We offer support in several languages, in case you prefer to express yourself in your native language. However, it is far more important to speak to someone who understands the expat experience. Above all, our expat-specialised counsellors speak the universal language shared by those who lead an international life. We understand the hidden losses and saddest goodbyes, as well as the deepest joys, of a nomadic lifestyle.
→ Our services help you to enjoy the moment, express your emotions, and feel valued and valuable.
→ Our approach is strength based and solution focused. Specifically, we look at maximizing strengths by using tools to help you feel confident and see your potential and we look at minimizing challenges by offering coping tools for managing stress, sadness and other difficult emotions.
→ Fun, love and joy are in our DNA! We help you to access more love and joy in your life… from this empowered place it becomes easier to move on and heal.
→ We leave no stone unturned in our search for the best solution for you. We promise to do all we can to best support you.
If this sounds like something for you, we invite you to get in touch.
Expat Nest offers
|01||Consultations via Skype, FaceTime, telephone or other means of technology|
|02||45-minute or 60-minute sessions|
|03||Qualified counsellors experienced with expat challenges|
|04||Counselling in several languages, including English, Greek, Spanish, Italian and Chinese, with more languages to follow|
|05||Short-term or long-term counselling to match your needs|
|06||Tailor-made approach to suit your way of being|
|07||Free 15-minute get-acquainted chat|
—— Our focus is on you
4 Reasons to Choose
Accessible: All that’s required for dedicated support is Skype, FaceTime or any other means of technology, or a telephone. We are just a click away.
Convenient: Receive support in the comfort of your own home or environment; no commuting.
Flexible: We offer counselling without borders, supporting expats accross countries and time zones, and in several languages.
Reliable: Because we’re just a click away, we offer stability in a rapidly changing world.
—— Suitable for a wide range of internationals
Our e-Counselling Services
Are Perfect For
|01||Those with a busy lifestyle. If you are exhausted after work, you may prefer to go online rather than spend more time and energy on commuting|
|02||Individuals who travel frequently for wotk and cannot commit to regular face-to-face appointments|
|03||Parents of Third Culture Kids (TCKs)|
|04||Carers or stay-at-home parents who are unable to take a break from their responsibilities even for a short time|
|05||Individuals who live in an isolated area or in an area with a few specialised services for expats|
|06||Those who live in a close-knit or smaller community in witch ‘everybody knows everybody’ and therefore prefer not to talk to the local counsellor|
|07||People who have health or mobility issues and would prefer to chat in the comfort of their home|
|08||Individuals who struggle with leaving the house or going outside|
|09||Those who are not sure about trying counselling or are not motivated to try face-to-face counselling, often find it’s a good first step to receiving professional support|
|10||Those who find it easier to open up online|
|11||Those who fancy online communication/technology and for whom it is a natural part of their lifestyle|
What They Said
Expat Nest is the nest where I discovered a new reality! When I couldn’t stop repeating pointless thoughts and moves, Expat Nest professionals helped me to discover other aspects of myself and of my life.
EK, client (expat in UK/repat in Greece)
I’ve been working with Expat Nest for a few years and am so grateful I found Vivian for my counselling needs, especially in relation to life as an expat. Vivian is professional, highly knowledgeable and extremely personable. It is refreshing to work with someone who truly understands the ups and downs of living overseas and who can offer insights and resources to help tackle the unique challenges that can be present for an expat. Vivian genuinely cares about the well-being of her clients and makes the counselling process comfortable and enjoyable from anywhere in the world. Expat Nest as a counselling service, and an overall online resource for expats, has been a valued part of my personal expat journey!
What They Said
I reached out to Expat Nest during a transitional phase of my life, which seemed at that time overwhelming. My counsellor really helped me put things into perspective. She helped me deal with the challenges I was facing and switch to a more positive perspective. Above all, my experience with Expat Nest felt safe, constructive and rewarding.
MS, client of Expat Nest’s Greek-language service
Vivian’s service is an expat oasis. It is literally an expat “nest” (or should I say expat “best”?), a home to all those struggling to define what home means to them. Her blog posts have helped me understand that I am not alone in this expat life and that there is a global expat family out there, sharing the same thoughts and fighting the same fights. Thanks Vivian, for bringing us all together! I am so glad to be a part of this!
Dr Alkmini Gkritzali, guest blogger at Expat Nest
What They Said
What makes Vivian unique while interacting with people is her kindness, her deep listening skills, her authenticity, her way of sharing advice with a wide-open heart, and her genuine ability to connect with people from around the globe. Vivian is an old soul and therefore a precious source of wisdom for those who meet her. Thank you, Vivian, for having entered my life.
Regina Reinhard, global executive coach
Ahead of my session with Expat Nest, I was very sceptical about whether it could help me. I was suffering from panic attacks and insecurity and feeling uncomfortable being myself. The first time I talked with Vivian I found a chemistry that made me want to give it a chance. In almost two years of work with Expat Nest, I have faced some of the biggest challenges in my life with a courage and strength I did not know I had. Overall, Expat Nest has been a real nest for me, one built with security and trust, in which I am growing into a healthier and happier person. I have started to embrace and love myself, and to express my needs and feelings. I feel closer to my friends and more confident in all my relationships. There is a lot of work to be done still, but I am optimistic that I am going to do great in all my future challenges
EG, client (expat UK/Italy)
What They Said
Vivian is a sensitive, caring individual who asks all the right questions. She also understands the character of the expat, what we are going through, and how it affects our relationships. She helps guide you through a plan to deal with the personal, professional and life choices that can sometimes cause chaos in our lives. She’s been a great help to me
I discovered Expat Nest after deciding that it was time to handle my anxiety and stress. During the past 18 months, Vivian has provided me with the psychological and emotional support and guidance I was looking for. After learning different tools, I’m now able to face life with less stress and worry. I’ve learnt how important it is to focus on today, and this has improved my personal and professional life (and made me more productive too). Changing old habits and behaviour patterns isn’t easy – it’s a decision, in the same way that happiness is a decision. Expat Nest provided me with very practical tools to find happiness, even when life dragged me down. I gained strength and hope, I dreamed new dreams, I set new goals, I found new paths in life… thank you!
SB, Greek expat in Germany
What They Said
When I started talking to Vivian, I knew I needed to do something to help myself. I knew things were not as they ought to be. At least, I hoped this wasn’t it, and that I could be happier with myself! But I have to admit, I had no idea what was blocking me from feeling more grounded, more whole, more content with my modern ‘accomplished’ self. It took me months to open up. But one day things started to shift in my mind and that’s when it started… my journey towards acceptance of myself, of others. Today my life is different, not because I changed everything, but because Vivian helped me to deal differently with certain emotions, certain aspects of myself, of my life, making it more manageable. She also helped me to value my needs more, which in turn improved my relationships with others, my family, my significant other… Every day I feel the difference. This experience has changed me for the better. I see and feel this in small yet powerful ways.
DG, global nomad, missionary