Laura E. Turner
Laura E. Turner

I am a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Having chosen this path since the beginning, I started my training during my early medical school student years, in various study groups, hospital debates and congresses.

For 20 years (1991-2010), I was a member of the staff of the adult outpatient service in the main Emergency Psychiatric Hospital of Buenos Aires Torcuato de Alvear. Also, I was always attracted to foreign languages and cultures, and the possibility of studying and traveling have determined my professional identity.

In my student years, I worked as a translator in various publishing houses and for the journal of the Argentinean Postgraduate School of Psychotherapy.

This background led me to specialize in working with people who are affected by migration, expatriation and intercultural issues. For many years, I have been exclusively dedicated to this activity, which also involves crisis prevention, in Spanish, English and French. I am a consultant specialist for various embassies, and also work with international student exchange programs.

I am the author of various scientific papers on migration and expatriation, presented in national and international congresses.

One of the subjects that I find most fascinating is the fact that many young people decide to have their first therapeutic experience in a foreign country, and even often in a language that is not their mother tongue. Frequently, these are youngsters who are experiencing a discovery journey across Latin America, and due to different circumstances ( even sometimes, just to pursue a psychotherapy, although their situation cannot be considered an emergency ) decide to stay in this city for several months. These patients often follow their treatment via Skype when they return home.

In my view, this decission is often determined by an "introspective journey", by the need of working through identity issues, and many times geographical distance from home and family is necessary to enable this process. Also, some people need distance from their mother tongue, which allows more freedom to approach certain subjects.

Other motives for consultation, in a broader spectrum, are adjustment issues in general: many expatriates tend to underestimate the emotional impact of migration, which sometimes results in excessive self-demands and feelings of inadequacy and guilt if adjustment takes longer than expected. The possibility of working through these subjects in a therapeutic environment is very important to acknowledge, organize and implement resources that allows them to experience this process as a unique chance for enrichment and personal development.