The therapist’s office: The place where we are judged the least

South of Seoul: We would like to welcome Adaptable Human Solutions to the South of Seoul Blog. AHS is an English speaking counseling service with offices in Pyeongtaek and Seoul, South Korea. AHS will be blogging about mental health related issues in expat life.

An expat mental health journey:

My name is Irina and I am an inquiry coordinator at Adaptable Human Solutions (AHS). Before working here, I’ve been in therapy for several years for depression and generalized anxiety. I’ve changed therapists several times until I found the ones who are suitable for me. Even now, I go back to one of them from time to time depending on certain life events I am struggling with or having trouble processing. And yes, although I have done many years of therapy, I still struggle sometimes.

I’m not perfect; the world we live in is not perfect and so we struggle. It’s normal and human to have good days and bad days, ups and downs, successes and failures. The most important things to learn are to ask for help, to have the strength to enter the therapeutic process, to put in the work, and to be committed to give yourself the best of the best.

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When I started therapy, I was ashamed and afraid to talk about my past, my traumas, my thoughts, and my behaviors. But little by little I learned that by opening up, the therapist knew how to help me, what exercises I should do, the homework, and the techniques I should learn. All of this has helped me tremendously, and now it’s not an exaggeration to say I’m a different person.

Before therapy, I suffered continuously. I closed myself in the house, I had panic attacks, and I had a high level of anxiety even when I went downstairs to take out the trash. Before I went somewhere far away from the house, I cried for hours and had several panic attacks just from the anticipation.

At some point, I decided it was time to get my life back so I searched for a therapist and started the healing process. Now I feel safe to go anywhere and I live my life freely. It was definitely a painful and sometimes unpleasant process, but I did it.

I still have panic attacks and anxiety, but now I know how to approach them, I know where they are coming from, what triggers them, and I understand that I am only human. Now I know I need to be kind to myself and give myself the space, the time, and most importantly the support to get better.

By support I mean here, first of all, my therapist(s). I learned along the way that they don’t judge me for how I behave, for how I think, and for what my thoughts are. They are so focused on finding the best approach. They want to give me the space and the time to understand why I feel what I feel, how I got here, and what I can do forward. There’s no judgement or negative thought from them. They’ve seen it all, had all kinds of cases, met all types of people, and they’ve counseled through various difficult situations. And because they did and they understand why we struggle (and all humans, at some point, struggle) and what we can do to feel better, they provide an objective point of view that we need. This objectivity enables us to do the work to improve our situation, so we shouldn’t be afraid to open up and work with them to get us better.

I did and I had a transforming experience. What about you? Are you ready to get started?

Irina is an Inquiry Coordinator with Adaptable Human Solutions, a private mental health clinic that provides English counseling and psychotherapeutic services. Currently, Adaptable Human Solutions has offices in Seoul and Pyeongtaek and they also provide counseling via telehealth (secure online counseling). If you would like to find out more about Adaptable Human Solutions, visit their website at or call 02-749-7915 to schedule an appointment.