• Authentigration

Matthew Swedberg’s professional advice on how to deal with the challenges of relocation

In the last episode of our podcast, we discussed how important it is to ask for help and find support after relocating. However, it is not always easy for individuals when they are new in a country and might not want to share their challenges with strangers. So the question arises how can they find the tools to self-regulate their mindset and stay motivated. Matthew Swedberg, an authorized clinical psychologist, answers to all these questions in our latest episode of Authentigration podcast.

Matthew Swedberg is an internationally accredited clinical psychologist with qualifications from Norway and the USA. He has been a part of the specialist health service and private practice in Norway, as well as private and public treatment centers in the USA. In this podcast, Mathew shared his professional opinion about how common it is for people to feel unbalanced when they first move abroad and what does it take to achieve that balance.

Matthew comes from Minneapolis, Minnesota where he grew up with 4 brothers and an adopted Korean sister. He also grew up with 25 foster children who became a part of his family over the years, as his mother was a social worker. He credits the unique upbringing that helped him to adapt and understand different perspectives better.

“We were like brothers and sisters and took care of each other whenever the parents were busy. We had to learn to get along, cope through disagreements and stand up for each other.”

He has vast experience in the investigation and treatment of mind, as well as complex mental disorders, existential life issues, anxiety, depression, chronic pain issues, low self-esteem, and cohabitation crisis. Mathew is also qualified to offer individual therapy, couple and family conversations and group therapy.

When asked why relocation has been listed as one of the most stressful events in peoples’ lives, Mathew explained that any stressful event in life can leave a negative impact on a person’s emotional health too. Similarly, relocation is accompanied by multiple changes such as loss of familiarity, fear of the unknown, job search, different culture or even just finding the right route in the day to day life in a new city.

Mathew works with a diverse clientele of Norwegians and non-Norwegians and explains why he thinks it is important to understand how culture impacts counseling. Based on his personal and professional experience, he discussed the emotional trauma which is a common challenge for foster children while adjusting to a new home environment. It is similar for immigrants, especially for refugees and others, who have to move involuntarily, and experience living away from their home and adapting to the new environment.

Mathew still remembers his experience after moving to Norway and admits that language is an important aspect while trying to get comfortable in a new culture. He recalls how it took time for him to get used to the darkness during Autumn and Winter seasons.

“I found a sense of relief after seeing the first Sun in March.”

Integrating into a new culture with familiar ways may not always work and can be tough. Hence people should focus more on finding a balance instead of finding faults in themselves. Mathew suggests to keep pursuing the goals as it will take time to find the balance and it is imperative to keep going forward by asking for help or reaching out to an expert.

“When you have tried multiple times to deal with your struggle and realise that you need some kind of external support, at that point you should call a professional.”

3 advice on how to deal with the challenges of relocation

According to Mathew, it’s important to stay true to oneself and be authentic in a new situation. While talking about the most authentic person he knows, Mathew suggested three ways to deal with the challenges of relocation:

  • Get a new pair of glasses to understand the new culture

  • Be Authentic - You have the tools and resources from your culture and background, you just have to figure out a way to be able to apply them in the new culture.

  • Communicate and Socialize

Listen to the complete podcast at our Podcast Section.

Authentigration appreciates the work that Mathew has been doing to help and support the diverse community from different backgrounds. If you like to connect with Mathew, feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn.

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