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A Journey with Alex: Life Coach, Rapid Transformational Therapist & Fellow Expat!

Updated: May 22, 2023

Join us as we embark on a journey with Alex, a life coach and rapid transformational therapist, as she shares her experiences and insights on life abroad. In this interview, we'll delve into the challenges and rewards of living as an expat, and gain valuable tips on how to thrive in a foreign land. Whether you're a seasoned expat or considering the expat lifestyle, this interview is sure to inspire and inform.

1: Tell us about your journey as an expat and what led you to become a life coach & rapid

transformational therapist?

I started my journey as an expat at the young age of 14 years old when my family moved to New Zealand for 4 years. My mother was a diplomat for the Canadian federal government and was sent on posting as the Canadian High Commissioner for the country and 6 of the South Pacific Islands. I naturally moved as well and went to high school there. This was my first experience living abroad, and it took time for me to get used to the culture, Kiwi slang, make friends and create a life there. What I didn’t know was this was just the first of many moves I would make throughout my life. After high school, I moved to Switzerland where I studied and lived with a French Swiss family. Like any new culture, there was much to learn and it took some time to make friends. I enjoyed living in Europe, practicing my French, eating Swiss chocolate and travelling all over. I was sad when it was time for me to return back to Canada to go to University but I ended up on Vancouver Island in a beautiful city called Victoria where I studied psychology. I found it hard to adjust back into my own culture strangely enough. However, my studies were interesting and I ended up making some good friends. Then I landed an opportunity to work for the Canadian High Commission in Sri Lanka in their Immigration Department. Living in Sri Lanka was completely different than anything else I had ever experienced. It had fantastic beaches, tea lands, wildlife, curries and markets. It was here that I explored Buddhism and started to learn about meditation. From there I moved back to my home country again and ended up living in Vancouver for five years. I loved living near the ocean and having the rocky mountains so close by, but I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone again and moved to London, England. Although this is one of the world’s great cities, it was still a challenge to develop a completely new life. I’m sure if you’re an expat reading this, you know exactly what I mean. At least for this move, I spoke the language and had a couple of old friends who lived in the city. But this hasn't always been the case and it can be really tough to land somewhere foreign with no connections or knowledge of the language. Living in London was a life changing experience for me on many levels. I made friends with people from all over the globe, travelled regularly in Europe, saw the best art exhibitions and theatre performances, expanded my career experience and more. Today I find myself in Berlin, Germany where I’ve been living for almost 5 ½ years. This city is full of history, eateries from around the globe, unique little bars and speakeasys, art exhibitions, abandoned buildings and more. It has offered me interesting work opportunities, is the place I started to dance Tango and learn how to weave on an 8-shaft loom, and is a city that has pushed me to grow in many ways and learn more about my true self.


As for the second part of your question, I became a life coach and rapid transformational therapist because I have a deep desire to help others and make a positive impact in the world. I also embarked on this journey because I struggled with anxiety, depression, fears, and various expat issues and challenges in the past and have found ways to overcome them, and now I want to share this knowledge and expertise with others. My own transformation was so profound through my experience with RTT and coaching that I felt the calling to share these skills with others. I had limiting beliefs, bad habits and negative programming I wasn’t even consciously aware of and it was so empowering to finally work through those barriers and come out on the other side. When you do the inner work everything changes in your external world and it is simply magical to watch it happen. I was also motivated by a strong desire to create a more fulfilling and meaningful career, where I could help people heal and find freedom and excitement in their lives. And I was inspired by my own experiences with coaching & therapy, and wanted to pay it forward by helping others achieve the same kind of transformational results.

2: You empower expats & professionals going through transitions to take giant leaps in life &

business - Tell us more about how you help clients!

As a Life Coach, my primary goal is to help my clients navigate the challenges of major life transitions and unlock their full potential to achieve their personal and professional goals. I work with a wide range of clients, from expats who have just relocated to a new country to professionals who are looking to make a significant career change and startup or company founders who are trying to push their business forward and motivate their employees. One of the ways I help my clients is by providing a safe and supportive space for them to explore their thoughts and feelings around the transition they are going through. Change can be scary and overwhelming, and it's not uncommon for people to feel stuck or uncertain about how to move forward. By working with me, my clients can gain clarity and perspective on their situation and develop actionable plans to achieve their goals. I also provide a range of practical tools and strategies to help my clients overcome obstacles and reach their goals. This may include identifying limiting beliefs and replacing them with positive affirmations, creating a roadmap for achieving their objectives, creating new positive habits, learning about stress management strategies, ways to prevent and overcome burnout and developing effective communication skills to navigate complex situations. In addition, I offer guidance and support to help my clients to build their confidence and resilience, which is especially important during times of transition. By cultivating a growth mindset and learning to embrace uncertainty and change, my clients can develop the resilience they need to weather any storm and emerge stronger on the other side. In a nutshell, my focus is to help my clients make conscious choices to improve their life and work on the areas that are holding them back. I help my clients work through past traumas, surpass fears & phobias, overcome anxiety & depression and rediscover balance, all through the use of powerful tools such as positive psychology, hypnotherapy, Rapid Transformational Therapy®️ (RTT®️) and science-backed techniques.

Ultimately, my approach is tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of each client. I am

committed to providing personalised support and guidance that empowers my clients to take

bold steps forward and achieve their most audacious goals.

3: As a therapist what advice do you have for female expats looking to enter therapy for

the first time? What should they expect and how to choose the right therapist?

As a therapist, my advice for female expats looking to enter therapy for the first time is to prioritise finding a therapist who understands their unique experiences as an expat and is a trained mental health professional. It’s probably best that your therapist has also experienced living abroad as an expat in more than one country and has worked with a variety of expats and issues these populations face. First and foremost, it's important to find a therapist who speaks your language fluently, or at least well enough to communicate effectively. Language barriers can make it difficult to establish trust and rapport with your therapist, which is essential for effective therapy. It's also important to look for a therapist who has experience working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. A therapist who understands the challenges of adjusting to a new culture can offer valuable insights and support. Your therapist must understand your pain points and the issues you are facing and have experience working with similar clients. When choosing a therapist, it's okay to shop around and ask questions. Many therapists offer a free consultation or initial session, which can give you an opportunity to see if you feel comfortable with them and their approach to therapy. Don't be afraid to ask about their experience working with expats and what kind of treatment approaches they use. Choosing the right therapist also depends on the issues you are struggling with. For example, if you’re wanting to make real changes to old patterns of thinking or haven’t fully recovered from a past trauma, you may search for a Rapid Transformational Therapist to do deep subconscious work with you. Whereas if your desire is to overcome a fear or phobia, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist may be a suitable option for you. My point is different therapists specialise in different therapy approaches and depending on your mental health issue this is something you will need to take into account when selecting a therapist. In therapy, you can expect to be listened to with empathy and without judgment. Your therapist will work with you to explore your thoughts and feelings, traumas, fears, and help you identify patterns in your thinking and behaviour that may be holding you back. Together, you will work to develop strategies to overcome these obstacles and achieve your goals. Remember, seeking therapy is a brave and important step towards improving your mental health and well-being. With the right therapist, you can find the support and guidance you need to navigate the challenges of expat life and build a happy, fulfilling future.

4: What is Rapid Transformational Therapy? Can you go into more detail about what a

client can expect from a session?

Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) is a hybrid therapy developed by world-renowned therapist Marisa Peer. It combines elements of hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), neuroplasticity, and psychotherapy to achieve rapid and profound results. During an RTT session, the therapist will work with the client to identify the root cause of their issue or challenge. This is often achieved through hypnosis, which allows the client to access the subconscious mind and uncover deep-seated beliefs and thought patterns that may be holding them back. Once the root cause has been identified, the therapist will guide the client through a process of rewiring their thoughts and beliefs, replacing negative patterns with positive ones. This is often achieved through guided visualisation and other techniques designed to help the client create new neural pathways in the brain. What sets RTT apart from traditional therapy is its focus on rapid transformation. Many clients report significant improvement after just one session, although several sessions may be necessary depending on the nature and severity of the issue. Overall, clients can expect a safe, supportive, and empowering experience with RTT. They will work with a skilled and compassionate therapist who will help them uncover the root cause of their challenges and provide them with the tools and strategies they need to create lasting change in their lives. RTT has been used successfully to treat a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, loneliness, fears, phobias, burnout, low self-esteem, motivation, procrastination, addiction, and trauma, just to name a few. If you're looking for a fast and effective way to transform your life, RTT may be just what you need.

5: You empower expats and professionals who are feeling stuck or going through

transitions to re-write their story and take giant leaps forward! Can you tell us more and

do you have an example of a client you worked with?

Absolutely, I'd love to share more about how I empower expats and professionals to re-write their story and take giant leaps forward. When clients come to me feeling stuck or going through a transition, I start by helping them get clear on their goals and priorities. This often involves exploring their values, passions, and long- term aspirations to develop a deeper understanding of what truly motivates them. With a clear vision of where they want to go, we then work together to identify the limiting beliefs and self- doubt that may be holding them back. My sessions are customised for each specific client’s needs so we address whatever issues or challenges they are currently facing. These can range from perfectionism, control issues, loneliness, social anxiety, depression, fears, phobias, workplace stress, burnout, lack of motivation, procrastination, habit formation or removal, confidence issues, addictions, low self- esteem, feeling lost or stuck and the list goes on. In my coaching sessions, I focus on where the client is currently at and we figure out how they can get to where they want to be. One of the most powerful tools I use to help clients re-write their story is visualisation and

hypnotherapy. By guiding clients through a process of imagining their ideal future and experiencing it as if it has already happened, we can tap into the power of the subconscious mind to rewire old patterns and create new neural pathways. This process can be incredibly transformative, helping clients to overcome fear and doubt, build confidence, and take bold steps towards their goals. For example, I worked with a client who had relocated to a new country for a job opportunity. Although she was excited about the move, she was struggling with homesickness, anxiety, job boredom and uncertainty about her future. We started by exploring her values and aspirations, and she identified a long-held dream of starting her own business. However, she had always dismissed this idea as unrealistic and impractical. Through our work together, we were able to identify the limiting beliefs that were holding her back and develop a new narrative that focused on her strengths and potential. We used visualisation techniques and RTT to help her tap into her inner wisdom and imagine a future where she was running a successful business that aligned with her values and passions. Over time, my client was able to gain clarity on her vision and take practical steps towards making it a reality. She enrolled in a business course, started networking with other entrepreneurs, and began developing a business plan. Within a few months, she had launched her own business and was thriving in her new community. This transformation was truly remarkable to witness, and it demonstrates the power of life coaching to help people re-write their story and take giant leaps forward. By providing a safe and supportive space for clients to explore their goals and values, and by offering practical tools and strategies to overcome obstacles and build resilience, I am able to help clients unlock their full potential and create the lives they truly desire.

6: What challenges have you personally faced along the way in your career and personally? How did you overcome them?

Now this is a great question! I’m just trying to think of the best way to answer it. ;)

Throughout my career, I have faced a number of challenges both personally and professionally. One of the biggest challenges I have faced was transitioning from the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur. It was a big change, and there were a lot of unknowns and uncertainties to navigate. Suddenly, I was responsible for everything from finding clients to managing my own schedule, providing powerful coaching & therapy sessions and it was a steep learning curve. But I love coaching and taking my clients through Rapid Transformational Therapy so I know it’s totally worth it. I managed to get myself organised with a steady routine, start marketing my services online through my website and social media channels, began creating coaching programmes, working with clients, and I’m constantly upscaling my coaching skills and developing my practice. Another challenge I faced was finding my own clients after being used to having a stable full- time job. It can be tough to build a client base from scratch even when you have so much to offer, and there were times when it felt like I was putting in a lot of effort with little reward. However, I persevered by leveraging my network and reaching out to potential clients through various channels, such as social media and networking events. On a personal level, I used to suffer from anxiety and some depression, which made it difficult to focus and stay motivated at times. However, I found that maintaining a healthy diet, staying connected to my support system and practicing self-care, such as exercise, meditation and mindfulness, helped me to manage my symptoms and stay on track with my goals. Today I feel light, motivated, focused, inspired, excited and ready to take on new challenges head on. Overall, I have learned that challenges are inevitable in both personal and professional life, but it's how you respond to them that matters. By staying resilient, resourceful, and focusing on solutions rather than problems, I have been able to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals, both as an entrepreneur and in my personal life.

7: You are a Canadian who went to high school in New Zealand, studied in Switzerland,

and worked in Sri Lanka, the UK, Canada and Germany! This is impressive - Where was

the best place you worked and why?

I would have to say that the best place I have worked is London, UK. There are so many great

things about living and working in London that make it a truly unique and exciting place to be.

First and foremost, London is an incredibly diverse and multicultural city. This means that there

are so many different cultures, languages, and perspectives represented here, which makes for

a really interesting and dynamic work environment. It also means that there is an incredible array of food, music, and art to explore, which is always a huge plus! I absolutely loved the sheer amount of amazing museums and galleries you could visit for free in the city. Ranging from the Tate Modern to the British Museum, there is always another exhibit to explore. Another great thing about London is the access it provides to travel throughout Europe. With several major airports and train stations, it is easy to hop on a plane or train and explore all that Europe has to offer. This is a huge advantage for someone who loves to travel like myself and wants to see as much of the world as possible. It’s only 2-hours on the fast train to Paris which makes for an easy weekend getaway, but you can also easily fly to Italy, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, etc. in an hour and half to two hours. London also has an incredible theatre scene, with some of the best productions in the world happening right in the city. Whether you are into classic plays or cutting-edge new productions, there is always something exciting happening in the theatres of London. If there is a show you want to catch, you will be sure to find it there. I saw some of the best theatres in London including Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Matilda by Roald Dahl, just to name a few. Of course, I can't forget to mention the amazing markets in London! From Borough Market and Portobello Road Market to Camden Market, there are so many incredible places to explore and shop for unique and interesting goods. It's always a fun adventure to spend a day wandering around one of these markets, trying new foods and discovering hidden gems. Finally, London is simply bursting with job opportunities. From finance to tech to the creative industries, there are so many different sectors represented here, and it is relatively easy to find work in your chosen field. I remember recruiters calling me like crazy with marketing and communications job opportunities and I felt so in-demand and empowered. All in all, there are so many great things about living and working in London that it is hard to narrow it down to just a few. From the diverse and multicultural community to the incredible travel opportunities, there is truly something for everyone in this vibrant and exciting city. I’m so happy I ceased the day and experienced living in London as an expat, it is certainly an experience I will never forget.

8: What advice would you give an aspiring female expat? Or a female digital nomad

looking to start their life somewhere new?

If you're an aspiring female expat or digital nomad looking to start your life somewhere new, my

advice is to go for it! Venturing into the unknown can be daunting, but it can also be incredibly

rewarding and life-changing. Before making the move, take the time to research your destination thoroughly, including its culture, customs, and any potential safety concerns. Think about what kind of lifestyle you want to have, what your budget is, and what kind of work you want to do. There are so many opportunities available for women in the digital age, so don't be afraid to think outside the box and pursue your passions. And make sure to build a support network of friends, family, or fellow expats who can offer guidance and advice as you navigate your new surroundings. Once you've made the move, be open-minded and embrace the experience. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow as you adapt to a new way of life. Take advantage of the chance to immerse yourself in a new language and culture, explore your new surroundings and expand your professional and personal horizons. Don't be afraid to reach out for support if you need it. There are many resources available for expats and digital nomads, such as online communities, meetups, and local support groups. Building a community of like-minded individuals can help you feel more grounded and

connected, even if you're living far from home. I would also suggest joining an expat network like InterNations and/or talk to an expat coach to help you organise yourself for your move both logistically and emotionally. It’s best to prepare yourself as much as possible in advance.

Finally, remember to take care of yourself. Moving to a new country or working remotely can be

stressful, so make sure to prioritise your physical and emotional well-being through a proper

self-care routine. Take time to exercise, eat well, and engage in activities that bring you joy and

fulfilment. Overall, my advice to aspiring female expats and digital nomads is to be brave, be adventurous, and be true to yourself. You are a strong, resilient, and capable woman, and there is nothing you can't accomplish with determination and hard work. Pursuing your dreams can be scary, but it can also lead to a life filled with growth, learning, and meaningful connections. So go out there

and make your dreams a reality. Your future is waiting for you!

9: How do you relax and take care of your well-being/Hobbies?

As a therapist, taking care of my well-being is a top priority, as I know that I cannot effectively help others if I am not taking care of myself. There are a few key ways that I like to relax and recharge outside of work. One of my favourite hobbies is practicing meditation and mindfulness. It's a great way to clear my mind and let go of stress, it also helps me stay centred and focused. Meditation and mindfulness helps me to stay calm, grounded and in the present moment. Another way I like to take care of myself is by spending time in nature. Whether it's going for a hike, a walk on the beach or around a lake, or simply sitting in a park, being surrounded by nature helps me feel grounded and connected to something larger than myself. I also enjoy exercising, whether that be cycling, going to the gym, swimming or dancing, and make it a regular part of my routine. Exercise not only improves physical health but also promotes mental well-being by reducing stress and improving mood. As for other hobbies and creative pursuits, I like spending time reading, watching films, watercolour painting, writing and cooking. And finally, spending quality time with family and friends is essential for my well-being. Whether it's cooking a meal together, going to a concert, exploring an art gallery or simply catching up over a cup of tea, spending time with loved ones helps me feel supported and connected. Overall, I believe that self-care is essential for everyone, especially those in helping professions. By prioritising our own well-being, we are better equipped to help others and make a positive impact in the world.

10: Lastly, what advice do you have for female expats that are feeling stuck in their life

and need to make a change? Change in career or change in city..?

Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith and pursue your passions. It's normal to feel stuck at times in life and unsure of what to do next, but it's important to remember that you have the power to create the life you want. Take some time to reflect on what truly brings you joy and fulfilment, and then start exploring ways to incorporate those things into your life. Also, make a list of what is working and what isn’t working in your life. That way you ca properly assess what areas you need to focus your attention on. It’s also helpful to figure out what is making you feel stuck. Is it your company, current job, industry, city, relationship, etc.? If you're considering a change in career, think about your strengths, interests, and values. What kind of work would allow you to use your skills and make a positive impact on the world? Consider taking courses or workshops to develop new skills or connect with mentors who can offer guidance and support. If you're feeling unfulfilled in your current city, think about what kind of environment would be a better fit for you. Do you crave the energy of a bustling metropolis, or do you long for the calm of a small town or is it nature that you miss the most? Research different cities, neighbourhoods and environments, and think about what kind of lifestyle would bring you the most happiness. Above all, remember that it's never too late to make a change. Trust in yourself and your ability to adapt to new situations. And remember, the only way to truly fail is to never try at all. So take that first step towards the life you want, and see where it takes you. You may be surprised at how much joy and fulfilment you can find when you follow your dreams and passions.

Connect with Alexandra:

Alexandra Verzuh is a certified hypnotherapist, RTT® practitioner and professional Life Transitions & Career Coach who works with expats, founders and professionals worldwide. She runs a private coaching and therapy practice working with a broad range of clients from around the globe ranging from one-on-one to group sessions with individuals and companies. She specialises in expat issues, career changes, burnout, stress, anxiety, depression, confidence issues, personal growth, overcoming limiting beliefs and supporting clients through major life changes and decisions, relationship hurdles and subconscious mind reprogramming for any mental health issue or fear you may be facing.

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