Readjusting to life in Ireland after a period of working overseas can be a challenging experience, with many highs and lows.
Many returning development workers and volunteers find that engaging with debriefing and/or counselling can be helpful in the process of re-adaptation. Comhlámh recommends that everyone should, at a minimum, have access to both a personal and an operational debrief. A personal debriefing usually involves one session where you talk to a debriefer about your time overseas.
The session will typically last 2 ½ – 3 hours, with a follow-up phone call taking place approximately two weeks later.
Counselling generally lasts for a longer period, involving 6 – 8 one hour sessions held over a number of weeks. The topics discussed may include the period spent overseas, but it may also cover other aspects of your life.
Comhlámh can provide you with information and confidential advice to help you access these services. Enquiries for debriefing and counselling will be treated with confidentiality: to find out more, email Ruth@comhlamh.org or telephone 01 478 3490 and ask to speak to the Information Support Officer. You can also check out our Coming Home Book, which provides a comprehensive guide to all these issues.