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ReFocus on Family

Family's strengths and growth areas


Learning more about your global family and identifying your family's strengths and growth areas will support your family so that you and your partner can build a strong family unit and will be able to overcome challenges together. Your family can learn how to function as a unit instead of a set of individuals. Communicating and using couples talks, as a tool, will support not only you but also your entire family. What research says about expatriate families, families in transition? • The integration of spouse and family contributes significantly to successful placement. (Andreason, 2008; Cole, 2011). • Successful expat experience includes also adaptation to family roles. (Westman at al., 2013). • The family is one of the most critical factors in contributing to the success of an expatriate. (Brown,2008). • At the family level, family cohesion and family attachment influence children’s adjustment (Van Der Zee et al., 2007). • Expatriates use family-level coping strategies to adjust in the family context ( Mäkelä et al., 2011). • The most common expatriate family challenges are spouse / partner coping (48%) and family adaptation (38%) (Sullivan et al., 2013). • Marital stress and divorce are identified as some of the negative consequences of expatriation (Collins & Bertone, 2017; McNulty, 2012; Slobodin, 2019). BUT research also says • The challenges of expatriating result in a deeper bond among family members because they often try harder to support each other (Lê et al., 2010). • The family systems theory suggests that the family functions as a unit instead of a set of individuals (Minuchin, 1974) • The balance within an expatriate family directly affects the expatriate’s job outcomes. Within this system, communication is required, and the effects of long-distance relationships cannot be neglected (Bader et al., 2015). • Couples talk is one of the most important supportive factors of expatriate family life, especially during challenges (Vegh et al., 2021) Expatriates use family-level coping strategies therefore is very important to identify your own family's strength and grow areas so that you can best support each other in any situation, before, during or after a transition. ‘ReFocus on Family’ program is specifically designed for families in transition or living overseas. This program includes the PREPARE ENRICH online assessment tool followed by 2 x 60 minutes consultation focusing on your own transnational family life situation.

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