Last March I got a call from journalist Dinsa Sachan saying she was writing a piece about psychologists working abroad for The Psychologist, the professional magazine of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Since moving to the US twenty years ago, I have kept my professional membership with the BPS as well as being a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) – the equivalent professional association here in the US, which gives me the privilege of reading about current research and clinical practices from both sides of the pond.
Anyway, back to that day in March. I felt very honored to be interviewed for such a prestigious magazine and spoke with Dinsa for about an hour about the reasons I moved to the US and the challenges of transitioning to private practice when you grew up training in the National Health System (public health where patients see you for free). I also discussed what I love about practicing here and what I miss about the UK and sent off the photo she asked from me. When I received September’s issue I was pleased to see that her article was the cover story this month and pleasantly surprised to see my face on page 3 in it’s very own box highlighting my story!
Of course she didn’t write about most of what we discussed as her piece is about how foreign living shapes us, not just me but I was one of the more prominently featured British psychologists and the only one with her own box! Dinsa ended her article with the paragraph below which is very true:
“Beyond the empirical evidence, the personal stories certainly suggest that everyone has something to gain from foreign living, and that engagement with locals makes foreign experiences worthwhile. Sarah Allen (see box p. 3) says one major reason she has assimilated so well in America is because she bent over backwards to make American friends. When she was new in the country, she mostly hung out with expats. It also helps that her family loves American holidays. ‘Our house is actually on the July 4th parade route so we always have friends over to watch the two-hour long parade and have a barbecue or ice-cream afterwards,’ says Allen. ‘Our friends think it is rather ironic that British people are throwing a party to celebrate Independence Day but it’s fun!’
If you would like to read the whole article I have uploaded each page as an image because a PDF of the whole article was too large a file to upload. If you click on each image you can zoom in to actually read it.
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To read more articles in The Psychologist magazine visit The British Psychological Society