Started out in Ukraine as an orphan, today Taya is a successful businesswoman leading several expat – focused psychology practices around Europe. As an orphan, she faced a diverse set of challenges in being uprooted from familiarity, a sense of isolation, and the need for connection – all of which she observed within other expats who move to a new country. So, after arriving in the Netherlands over a decade ago, she was surprised to find that there was no one who could deeply understand these challenges. Using her experiences living in different countries, and her broad education in psychology, she set up her own practice in The Hague to help expats work through their hardships.
A decade later Expat Psychologist grew to be one of the leading expat – focused services in the Netherlands with several locations throughout the country. With the dream to help expats all over the world, she also expanded her reach to Switzerland. Amongst her clients, you can find expats working for large international companies, embassies, and Hollywood. You will also find gifted people in her portfolio as many expats demonstrate outstanding abilities in their field of expertise, which may go unnoticed by many. Taya takes pride in not only being a great role model to other psychologists but also in providing high-quality client – focused services to anyone who finds it challenging to adapt to a new country.
I am a woman on the mission, a successful businesswoman leading several expat-focused psychology practices around Europe. Curiosity and open-mindedness are qualities that I not only implement in my professional life as a scientist but also in my personal life. That’s why I love traveling. In fact, I am driven by my passion to see and experience every culture and cuisine in the world! I have always lived by the idea that I will not let others tell me how beautiful the world is – I will discover for myself. Having already visited 55+ countries, traveling so far has helped me to understand myself, the world outside these four walls, and my deep curiosity for learning. The same curiosity also got me interested in Scandinavian Runology. Despite not being good with languages or scripts, this somehow caught my eye. I think it helps me connect to my spiritual side, a side that I feel is harder to understand as a social scientist. Of course, it may not be for everyone, but understanding my spiritual side for me is part of what helps me keep an open mind.
One of my earliest memories of growing up in the orphanage was being very short and small. From a young age, I had decent manners and was generally an easy, lively, and obedient kid, except that I was a very curious kid and would stop at nothing to explore! There was a large window that I really wanted to look out of, and I tried and tried but could not reach the windowsill. But one day, when I was finally able to, I was surprised to see a big beautiful yard! This experience started a journey in my head; I imagined being free as a bird, leaving the place and discovering the enormous world out there. There was something so fundamental about this memory, and how sad I had felt when I could not reach that window. It was as though I already knew that the world had a lot to offer to me, and I just could not wait to see it all for myself. I think this was the beginning of my “plan to action” to explore the world, but also set the stage for many of my goals and values in life. I believe that these goals took me out of that orphanage and brought me many years later to Syria, Belgium, Nigeria and Switzerland, where I got to enjoy the hospitality of the people from all over the world, and where each of these countries became a pivotal moment that provided me with new perspectives and opportunities that guided my decisions and my growth to date.
My practice is called Expat Psychologist and our passion is to offer high-quality support to people who live far away from home. When I arrived to The Netherlands, it surprised me when one of my Dutch colleagues said there’s no practice to help expats specifically. After a brief moment of silence, he jumped up and said, “Wait a minute! Why don’t you start one, because you have both the education and the expat experience to provide the services these expats need. You can even start from your living room!” And before you know the title of Expat Psychologist was born.
Our team at Expat Psychologists has a broad range of expertises. When building a team, it was very important to me that we, together with my colleagues, can assist as many people as possible in their native language or a language that they feel comfortable using. The clients are the center of the work that we do, and we aim to use evidence-based assessments and treatments to give them the help that they need, and equip them with adaptive coping skills they can use at any point in and outside of therapy. Our aim is to help clients to overcome challenges they face, be it day-to-day struggles or complex trauma.
Our main target is the expat community, their spouses and their children, too. We often work with ambassadors, international students, people who are working for international companies, NGO’s or UN-umbrella companies. We get clients from many different backgrounds, stories, and with many different kinds of complaints. Our goal is to always be here for our expat community – so, they know that help is readily available to them whenever they need it.
I think it’s my environment, the people around me, my friends and of course my experiences as an expat. I got the chance to gain a lot of experiences from my surroundings and I am fortunate to be able to share these experiences with others now. My amazing team of Expat Psychologists are a huge source of inspiration for me, both loyal and harmonious. We try to learn from each other and celebrate our successes, even the smaller victories, together. It’s truly a joy working with these empathetic professionals from many different parts of the world, all driven by the same passion to help others.
I want to stay on the top of the list of being an Expat Expert. It’s a title I take a lot of pride in, because it feels like the culmination of all of my experiences, hardships and determination that brought me to where I am today. It motivates me to keep reaching for something bigger than myself – I am actively working towards expanding my amazing and qualified team and the company to all over the world to fully accommodate the expat community and the internationals in their journey to fulfill their truest potential. And, of course, to provide psychological help to anyone who needs it!
It is also very important to me to be a good Leader. So, one of my goals is to complete my MBA in International Healthcare Management. I am very excited to incorporate what I learn about management and building sustainable relationships with what I have already learned over the years from managing my wonderful team of Expat Psychologists.I wish to grow even further in my role as a leader for people that help me to run my practice and to provide qualified support for many expats.