Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Helping Brazilians adapt to the UK

I remember when I first moved to England and, because I couldn’t speak any English, my mum used to come to school with me and translate each lesson (I was eight at the time, so at primary school; the photo above is the first year of secondary school). To begin with, it was fun being the new (slightly strange, foreign) girl – everyone wanted to be my friend and I was the centre of attention. But once the novelty wore off, I remember wishing that I wasn’t so different. When you’re young, you often just want to be like everyone else. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m proud of my Brazilian heritage. So, I was intrigued when I was contacted by a London-living Brazilian who runs a series of workshops to help those adjust to cultural changes when they move abroad.

The workshops are run by Cristiane Sutton, who has been living in London for 10 years and is married to an Englishman. Cristiane is a psychotherapist and, as part of her CCPE Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy, has discovered that many people who move to a different country suffer from low self-esteem and isolation, which can lead to depression. So, in her workshops, Cristiane will tackle the following:

• Cultural loss and how to improve self-esteem and all round confidence.
• The differences between the way we express ourselves in our native countries versus in a new culture.
• Understanding our cultural roots with the aim of understand ourselves.
• Overcoming the language barrier and gaining confidence to speak.
• Examining positive points of cultural change.
• Celebrate what we can bring to a new culture.

The next workshops will run between 10am and 5pm on June 2 and September 2, 2012 at The Fleet Street Practice, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH.
To contact Cristiane, email cristiane.sutton@gmail.com.

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