ACA Blog

  • Beyond Society’s Ideals

    • Alejandra Delgado
    Aug 28, 2013
    Imagine being 10 years old and being bullied for your sexual orientation. You like the opposite gender of what the society considers acceptable. You may be thinking this is not new - homosexuals are bullied everyday. But what if you live in a world where being homosexual is the norm and you are bullied for being heterosexual?
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  • Third World Problems

    • Alejandra Delgado
    Aug 08, 2013
    Every Summer I visit my country of origin, Peru. I always have a wonderful time hanging out with my family and friends, tasting one of the most wonderful cuisines in the world, and seeing breathtaking landscapes all around the country. Despite of all its richness, I can’t help to ponder on its extreme poverty and this visit is not the exception.
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  • “You are Undocumented”

    • Alejandra Delgado
    Jul 23, 2013
    Watching the TV series “The Fosters” on Monday night, I heard the three words that all illegal immigrants fear - “You are undocumented” BAM! It hit me like a bucket of cold ice water. A teenager about 16 years old was told by her boyfriend and her best friend that her family was undocumented. I put myself in her shoes and felt my world crashing with those three words. Like many teenagers, she had grown up all her life thinking that she could too have all American rights. Suddenly, she was faced with the truth.
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  • A Shortlist of Tips: Preparing University Students for Study Abroad

    • Christine Forte
    Jun 27, 2013
    With a whole new crop of American students heading off on international study experiences this August and September, it’s the role of the counselors working with them (not just at universities but also in agencies or private practice) to help them feel prepared for this experience. This came to my attention when I recently gave a presentation to American undergraduates about adjusting to life in China. They had just arrived here and while some had been to China before and spoke a bit of Chinese, I realized there was quite a bit that they weren’t aware of regarding how to have a positive study abroad experience.
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  • Trailing Spouses: The Expat Tai-Tai’s of Shanghai

    • Christine Forte
    May 06, 2013
    Elle had worked for 15 years in various capacities of human resources. Most recently she had been a recruiter for a medium-sized staffing firm. She loved this work, found it very satisfying to understand each candidate’s profile and then try to match them in a job that would be a good fit. She felt very fortunate to have found this role as she’d taken a break relatively early in her career to have three children.
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  • The Relocation “Cure”: Does it help?

    • Christine Forte
    Apr 29, 2013
    Recently as I sat on a bus headed out of Shanghai and into the Chinese countryside, I found myself contemplating the effect that our surroundings have on our state of mind. Slowly large buildings gave way to smaller buildings and then finally to fields, houses and the occasional factory. I can't say it's as idyllic as it may sound - anyone who's been just outside a Chinese city can attest that it's not all green grass and flowers.
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  • Eastern Healing: Buddhist Psychology and Mindfulness

    • Christine Forte
    Apr 10, 2013
    A few days ago I returned from a retreat at Guang Jue Temple, a Chinese Pure Land Buddhist Temple located a few hours away from where I live in Shanghai. I had decided to go on this retreat for the simple reason of clearing my head, slowing down, and disconnecting from my busy schedule for a while. The temple website had described it as a “place for the weary or searching traveler,” and when I reflected on my busy life in a city of 20 million people where I’m often working or running around for more than 12 hours a day, it sounded like a good place to rest, recharge and reflect.
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  • International Affairs: Understanding Infidelity Abroad

    • Christine Forte
    Apr 08, 2013
    Examining the factors contributing to affairs among expats is more of an art than a science. I’m not aware of any current statistics on the incidence of infidelity among couples abroad, most likely because trying to conduct research on expats is a bit like herding cats: it would be almost impossible to get any kind of representative sample. But I can say that in my clinical experience as an expat counselor, infidelity is by far the most common presenting issue among the couples that I work with. It seems to be an unfortunately common part of the life in the international community here.
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  • Understanding Emotions: the influence of Anger when Overseas

    • Christine Forte
    Mar 11, 2013
    Anger is an emotion that often comes out of a sense of unfairness. That what happened is not what we wanted to happen, not what should have happened and most certainly not what we deserve to have happen. From a Darwinian approach, the survival reasons for anger would be to summon enough energy to take effective action to defend against a potential danger.
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  • Mental Health Best Practices from Ghana, West Africa

    • Natosha Monroe
    Mar 04, 2013
    I’ve been in Ghana, West Africa for the past two weeks on an exploratory visit in hopes of learning from professionals here and setting up collaborative relationships to benefit one another. While they face outrageous challenges to include blatant societal stigma and lack of funding, respect, and support, the mental health professionals I met in Ghana clearly demonstrate best practices I wish were more prevalent back in my own country. I’d like to share some of these with you.
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