top of page
  • jennamayhew

Embracing Mexico when it Challenges your Self Identity

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Self Identity as an Expat / Immigrant Crosscultural Psychology
Self Identity as an Expat / Immigrant

Embarking on the adventure of migrating to a foreign country brings excitement but also unique challenges to your sense of identity. As you navigate your new social and physical surroundings, the way your new community perceives and responds to you can greatly influence how you see yourself. For example, if you always considered yourself polite and socially smooth, a language barrier may result in you being perceived as rude and awkward, and people responding to you accordingly. This process of self-discovery can sometimes be bewildering as your identity intertwines with the role of a migrant.

Nevertheless, rest assured that you are not alone in this transformative journey. Social psychology research has delved into the range of reactive emotions experienced by migrants – from feelings of loneliness, isolation, and longing; to moments of inclusion, belonging and joy. These emotions may ebb and flow unpredictably as you embrace the new developing version of yourself in your newfound home.

Migration can also bring about a profound sense of loss as you bid farewell to your home country, family, friends, and the familiar cultural environment that shaped you. This experience can trigger a cascade of emotions, including grief, disconnection and displacement. Yet, it is vital to remember that these feelings are natural and normal.

Negotiating your cultural identity can be a complex endeavour. As a migrant, you may find yourself treading a delicate path as you merge your cultural heritage, expectations and experiences with your new host culture. Insightful research by Bhugra and Becker highlights the importance of understanding and respecting these processes (rather than fighting or resenting it). Embracing this complex process, warts and all, tends to result in more positive interactions, both at an individual and a societal level.

As you adapt to your new environment, psychologists and mental health professionals are here to support you. Fostering a supportive environment calls for a deep understanding of the unique experiences and challenges faced by migrants. At Hola Therapy, we recognise the significance of cultural bereavement and the need to validate transitional experiences. Our team offers a comprehensive range of tools to support your migration journey. We provide social support, psychotherapy, intercultural competence training, trauma support, and career guidance to facilitate your successful movement to Mexico.

Hola Therapy is here to support you every step of the way. Reach out to learn more. We look forward to seeing you thrive in your new home.

References: Benmayor, R., & Skotnes, A. (Eds.). (1994). Migration and identity. Transaction Publishers. Bhugra, D., & Becker, M. A. (2005). Migration, cultural bereavement and cultural identity. World psychiatry, 4(1), 18. Schwartz, S. J., Montgomery, M. J., & Briones, E. (2006). The role of identity in acculturation among immigrant people: Theoretical propositions, empirical questions, and applied recommendations. Human development, 49(1), 1-30. Van Oudenhoven, J. P., Ward, C., & Masgoret, A. M. (2006). Patterns of relations between immigrants and host societies. International journal of intercultural relations, 30(6), 637-651.

138 views0 comments


bottom of page