I have worked for 20 years with students studying abroad. With my training in short-term psychotherapy I am able to support you when feelings such as loneliness and disappointment become overwhelming even in one semester of study. By embracing your honest emotional response you learn to transform disillusionment into the joy of being here in France.
I am a supportive presence to the cultural and academic triggers that you are encountering. I empower you to discover how these triggers are unforeseen opportunities for growth. This includes facing the baggage you thought you left at home and lightening your load by making positive life changes.
I cannot stress how much my sessions with Marjorie Oberman helped me to make my semester here a success. When I arrived in France, I was having frequent panic attacks, was worried my host family did not like me, and was too self-conscious and afraid to speak French while out and about or to try new things. But Marjorie came up with unique "assignments" for me that were tailored to my strengths and interests to allow us to pinpoint what was triggering my panic attacks, and soon, they became less frequent. Marjorie talked me through some of the problems I thought I had with my host family and showed me cultural differences where I had only seen conflicts. And Marjorie aided me in making lists of simple phrases and actions that I could rely on with confidence when I was experiencing social anxiety in the city or in the classroom. Marjorie was what got me out of my room and out into the city. My trip would not have been the same without her.
Student, University of Minnesota
When I was an au pair in Paris, Marjorie lent me the comfort, support, and tools that I needed to confront my insecurities, fears, and repressed feelings. Her holistic approach was so effective and transformative. Every session was a deep self-discovery. She is an amazing therapist and I can not imagine going through that challenging time without her.
California student taking a semester to explore Paris
As a graduate student, recently married, I came to Marjorie with marital problems and self-esteem issues. I wasn't sure if my marriage would survive the pressures I was facing. With Marjorie I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and learning how to speak up for myself. My marriage survived graduate school and I have my diploma!
Student, American University of Paris
I originally went to see Marjorie in her office regarding an increase in stresses about my life in Paris, and ended up going through a really amazing emotional journey that will forever impact my life. I think students often overlook the way that being in a foreign country can provide a really valuable time for personal growth. Being in another country, and especially France, opens up a whole pandora’s box of emotional retrospection. Marjorie is someone who gave me the space and support to really explore everything that being in Paris made me realize about myself and what I wanted in my life. Personal struggles can be so much more immediate while studying and living abroad. There is nothing like culture shock to make one re-examine all the emotional baggage one has toted across the ocean. What I gained from my work with Marjorie ended up being very personal and not just about my time in France, but being in France acted as the catalyst for that, and that is why I think what Marjorie provides is invaluable. I am truly grateful for the amazing support and personal growth I was able to receive from my sessions with Marjorie. Having someone as wonderful, warm and incredibly talented as Marjorie here for support can be an amazing asset and opportunity.
Student, Humboldt State University
I worked with Marjorie exclusively on skype, and although at first I was worried that it might not be the same as working in person, I quickly realized that not only was nothing lost in working on skype, but that there were actually great benefits. First of all, it was so wonderful to wake up, make myself a cup of coffee, and do the session from bed in my pajamas. This was not only convenient, but I found that it was easier to get in touch with my feelings in a familiar space, and perhaps even the place where the original emotions took place.
I have done “counseling” before, and there is a distinct discomfort in being honest with yourself, and a stranger, in a strange place. This brings me to the next advantage: as Marjorie uses voice chat, and not video, I am alone to cry, and act strangely, without feeling judged. It is hard to free yourself to throw a tantrum in your therapist’s office, but it is easy to mute your computer, and throw a tantrum in your room—that’s my experience! Another wonderful benefit is that Marjorie uses the chat box to take notes, and you get to participate in writing down things that are important. It really helped me to have the notes. Being able to review them between sessions helped sink in the work we had done, and to bring up things I still wanted to work on. I have often felt uncomfortable by therapists taking notes in front of me. It made me wonder, what are they thinking about me? Marjorie has eliminated that discomfort by letting you take part in the note taking. Using skype really helps create a judgment-free environment, which is so essential to getting in touch, and getting through difficult feelings.
I only had a few sessions with Marjorie, but her work was so effective that in just a short amount of time I felt real changes in my life. I came to Marjorie feeling down, wondering if I was depressed, and frustrated with the battle I was losing against binge eating, against my weight. Marjorie helped me find what was weighing on me, and helped me on to the path to free myself of it. We worked on my body issues, and I feel like I am more at peace with where I am. Most importantly, I now have tools to deal with whatever comes my way. I am standing on my own two feet, and I feel lighter.
Student, City University of New York
Living alone overseas has been an emotional roller coaster. It is easier for me to cope with emotions when I’m close to my loved ones. Part of the reason I came to Paris was to become an independent young adult, and not need to seek refuge in my parents or friends whenever something was wrong. To my surprise love, hate, anger, trust, joy, panic, fear, and grief became frequent feelings, which I could not deal with all by myself. I wanted to handle it on my own but I was lost in my hopeless thoughts and I realized that I needed professional help.
I have no idea how my experience abroad would have turned out to be if I had not started therapy with Marjorie. Her sessions helped me to achieve the change I had been seeking since the first day I arrived to Paris. Everything went from black and white to color. I needed to deal with the cultural conflicts here in France and my problems back home.
Seeing Marjorie has not only helped me conquer and deal with my fears and other difficult feelings, but it has also facilitated my growth as a mature, independent individual. I have become a more confident and responsible young woman around classmates, professors, French people, friends, and everyone else. My confidence has opened a door to new adventures, friends, socializing, better grades, and so much more. Since starting therapy with Marjorie, my experience abroad has honestly been pure joy; if I hadn’t started this work with her I very well may have left the program and returned to the States. In addition, HonestEmotions Therapy has impacted my professional life. It has helped me discover what I truly like doing. It helped me get on track for what I want to do with my life rather than what I think I should be doing.
Student, San Diego State University