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Homesickness and expat identity

Private therapy, support and counselling for homesickness in London at Schoen Clinic Chelsea

Being away from the concept of home, whether at uni, on a long break away with work, recently moving to a new country or due to other circumstances can be tough.

Feelings of homesickness can have a profound impact, with intense emotions of longing and displacement, leading to a negative impact on our wellbeing and mental health. Our compassionate team of therapists is here to help.

a young woman stood looking out over the sea

What is homesickness?


Homesickness is a common response that can affect our emotions when we're away from home.


It impacts us all differently depending on the duration of time we're away, how far away from home we are, and even who we're with at the time. It’s an emotional response to being apart from our usual day-to-day surroundings that feel familiar and make us comfortable, often triggered by a change in environment such as moving home, or away for University or work.


While the severity of symptoms differs and can ebb and flow even for an individual, if any of the symptoms below start to impact your daily life, it might be a good idea to contact a healthcare professional.


  • Sadness, feeling or depression

  • Anxiety, distress or unease

  • Overwhelming feelings of nostalgia or longing

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Sleeping issues

  • Social withdrawal and isolation

  • Physical symptoms

  • Lack of interest and disengagement from the new location


Our counselling sessions are designed to provide a supportive and understanding environment for anyone struggling with homesickness that’s having a detrimental impact on their life.


Find out more about what a therapy session looks like below, and let us help guide you towards feeling more comfortable being away from home, on a journey towards emotional well-being and a sense of belonging.

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Get in touch with our specialist mental health team in London today


If you need support for homesickness, please reach out to our caring and multilingual team in London today. We have appointments available in as little as 24 hours so you can begin treatment with minimal wait.


To access private treatment as swiftly as possible, simply fill out our online pre-screening questionnaire at any time to suit you.


How much does mental health treatment for homesickness cost?


The cost of different types of treatment, therapy or support will vary. See our full breakdown of our prices and funding options for more information or specific costs.

What causes feelings of homesickness?


Homesickness can range from a fleeting moment on a short trip away on holiday, to emotions which can severely impact your functioning for extended periods of time. The feelings experienced can stem from a range of factors, but the root causes are often complex and highly personal. Some common contributors to feelings of homesickness which cause problems are:


  • Life change - such as upheaval caused by work, family, or study

  • Missing family and friends - the comfort of home is powerful

  • Cultural differences - changes in societal norms, or ways of living

  • Social isolation - for example owing to language barriers, or loss of social circle

  • Additional stress - for academic or professional reasons, or owing to a change in environment

  • Unrealistic expectations - for example, if moving abroad and expecting a ‘dream’ version of a destination


Everyone experiences homesickness in different ways, but if any of the above are impacting your daily life, reach out and our specialist team can help you cope more effectively, and live a happier life, wherever you are.


When to get professional help for feelings of homesickness


Seeking professional help for homesickness is always an option when the emotions involved become overwhelming and begin to significantly impact your daily life.


Feelings of homesickness can be fleeting, but if they become more persistent or intense, it might be time to ask for help. Similarly, if they start to impact your day-to-day life, or impede work or your relationships, it might be a good time to reach out.


Although most feelings of homesickness are emotional, sometimes this can manifest through physical symptoms too, such as headaches, and loss of appetite. If you're experiencing difficulty coping, owing to homesickness or a combination of missing home on top of other coexisting mental health conditions, reach out to our team.


Counselling or therapy could help you live a happier life by giving you the coping strategies and support you need.

What are the best ways of dealing with homesickness?


While there are ways of managing homesickness using self-help techniques, if the problems become insurmountable, sometimes professional assistance can be the only way to cope.


Self-help techniques

- Developing a new routine, from meal times, sleeping times, and fun activities in your new place of residence

- Developing new social circles, by socialising, combating loneliness and developing a new sense of belonging

- Stay close to home if this helps, using video calls and social media to stay in touch and keep a sense of connection

- Learn more about your new environment by exploring and trying new things to become more comfortable

- Practise self-care by resting, sleeping well, and taking breaks


Types of therapy/counselling

- CBT can help you reframe your thoughts, and the behaviours associated with feeling homesick

- Mindfulness-based therapies use things like meditation and breathing exercises to help your wellbeing

- Counselling provides a safe space for you to explore and discuss your feelings to help you cope

- Group therapy can help by sharing experiences with and from others to help belonging

- Interpersonal therapy (IPT) will help with social skills and help to alleviate any isolation


At Schoen Clinic, we’ll typically recommend a combination of the above, depending on the severity and symptoms of your homesickness to help you on the road to recovery.


If you're unsure about any of the above techniques or would like to know more, speak to your caring team using the contact method most convenient to you.

Overcoming feelings of homesickness is possible with help from Schoen Clinic in Chelsea


Dealing with homesickness can be a daily struggle that has a marked impact on your emotional well-being, work, and relationships.


At Schoen Clinic Chelsea, our team is dedicated to providing support during these challenging times, wherever in the world you're from. Our specialised therapists can help you navigate and handle the difficulties associated with homesickness that may be impacting your life.


We offer thorough diagnosis and appropriate treatments to address any tough emotions you might have, and our commitment is to guide you towards a path of feeling happy and reducing stress and anxiety.


The first step towards helping address your homesickness is a consultation with one of our team who will talk you through the options. Contact them at 020 3146 2300 or email us for exceptional private mental healthcare.

Our specialist London-based therapists


Seeking professional help is a positive step towards living a better life.


It's important to form a good bond with any counsellor to get the most effective outcome, so take the time to speak to us, ask questions, and find out as much as you can about how we'll help. Developing a trusting and two-way open communication channel with any counsellor will help you recover more quickly and confidently.


Meet our team of specialist homesickness counsellors and therapists. With decades of combined experience, our team is extensively accredited in evidence-based interventions and support to help you overcome difficult emotions surrounding being away from home. Through collaboration with clinical psychologists and counselling therapists within our multidisciplinary team, we partner closely with you to develop coping strategies and ways to turn around challenging feelings.

Kristin McCarthy

Integrative Therapist

Kristin McCarthy
Using a Touch Phone

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