Psychotherapy work in Ukraine

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine passed its 100th day, with little sign of an end, I interviewed Kateryna by text, a woman from eastern Ukraine who is currently volunteering to provide psychotherapy support to her countrymen and women. Her words are a reminder of the people of Ukraine, amongst whom some 14 million have been displaced and thousands killed and injured. It also reminds me of my responsibility to do what I can to try and promote peace in a war that even risks global famines and, also, nuclear escalation.

(i) You mentioned that you’re learning English to help with your next job and you had to leave your last role due to the war. Can you explain why you had to leave your job? Did the war force you to move away?

The war affected every Ukrainian without exception. The company I worked for was badly damaged, almost half of the stores destroyed by rockets and bombs. The company lost any opportunities to provide employees with jobs and pay salaries.

I became a volunteer of psychological care in 2020, when the world learned about Covid and it turned out that people are not ready mentally for social isolation. The war is a severe test for my psyche also. And I understood perfectly well how all Ukrainians suffer. At the same time, the war has united our nation like never before, we all want the same thing now. And we all are thinking in terms of categories: What can I do to be useful for our victory ?! So I decided that my knowledge, skills and experience should work for a single purpose now. And this is Save my country from the enemy!!!

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The Challenges of Living Abroad

By Yvonne;

I am currently living abroad and have been for nearly three consecutive years. My home country is the United States, and I have only been back for one visit in 2019. I started my journey in South Korea in 2014 and have been back and forth several times since then.

I have struggled with mental health for as long as I can remember. However, I mostly “had it under control” until mid-2019. I now know that I probably didn’t have it under control at all, but 2019 was a bursting point for me. I had neglected my needs for long enough, and it was time to pay.

I remember after having a particularly bad breakdown, a trusted superior of mine asked me if I would be better off back home in the United States. After all, mental health care was more “widely accepted” there and a bit less stigmatized. I truly weighed the pros and cons, and decided, in the end, that I wouldn’t be happy even if I changed my environment. While the environment was a huge stressor in my life, I knew that the stress of uprooting myself again would make things worse.

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One Year of Darkness in the Sunshine State – reflections on moving away

By Rossy;

In a few days, I make one year since I moved to Florida. My fiance got a job and they said he had 2 weeks to move or he would lose it. We were in a pandemic, it was winter, it was almost Christmas, we weren’t financially ready, but we figured it out and me and my toddler packed up with daddy and left a home that was all I had ever known for 29 years. Moving from New York City to Florida was not easy. I had never lived without my mom (except for that one time I moved to Ohio for 3 months because I was getting over a break up) I had never lived anywhere that wasn’t my bedroom in Queens, New York. I moved to Florida with no friends, no family, no job, just a suitcase with my clothes in it. It has been the hardest year of my life in all ways. I thought moving to Florida would be the answer to all my problems because i’d be leaving a toxic household. It wasn’t though. I didn’t realize that being away from one problem, would just give me alone time with all my other problems. I’m still adjusting and understanding, but after a difficult, long but necessary trip back to New York City after being away for so long I realized that the only reason I hated Florida was because I wasn’t used to the peace it allowed me. Let me explain in true Romyboattt fashion. Here’s some things this past year has shown me.

Understanding Peace– I was away from a household that caused me pain for years. And i know that it sounds like “okay girl whats the problem?” But look, when it’s all you known your whole life, its very hard to ever feel like you deserve anything better than what you grew up in. My parents weren’t the worst, I wasn’t the best daughter either but a lot of who I am, is because of how I was raised and the things that were said to me growing up. When I moved here, I had a really hard time adjusting to being the one who made all the rules. I wouldn’t allow myself lazy days or allow myself to eat whatever and whenever because for so long staying in bed or eating junk food was a problem. I wasn’t used to peace and quiet and having a place where my energy was in charge.

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Private outdoor space – lifestyle preference and change


It’s going to be so glorious to have private outdoor space honestly. It’s something I got to have only growing up, in rural NY, and as an adult I really haven’t gotten to have at all. Living in apartments, duplexes, and townhomes, you don’t really get to have a private yard. There might be a yard, but it’s shared. There’s no privacy. There’s people and their kids being loud. Cars driving by, people walking by on the sidewalk really up close.

It’s awkward at times. Especially when I’m outside with my cat on a leash. Especially when Mormons come upon me sitting outside and I was too busy reading to notice them and run inside.

I just want my own outdoor space, secluded, where no one can bother me. At 32 years old I might finally get my own outdoor space and have it for the rest of my life. So that’s exciting.

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