English-speaking Therapist in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

Living the expat life in Provence and looking for an English-speaking psychotherapist near you? If you are anything like 99% of people, you will prefer a counsellor that speaks your mother tongue or a language that you are highly proficient in.

This private practice in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence receives individuals, couples and families from all backgrounds who speak English, French or both.

As you know, living in a foreign country can be highly challenging. Sometimes we believe that moving to a new place will just make the difficulties of our past magically disappear. Unfortunately, often the opposite is true. Despite our initial hopes and beliefs, and even despite the 'douceur' of Provence and the rolling hills of lavender, the hardships of expat life, isolation and hitherto unseen challenges bring us to our knees. Being away from everything that was once familiar triggers our hidden sensitivities and brings up painful memories that we had hoped to have left behind in our home countries.

Yet, there is a silver lining. As a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist working with expat families, couples and individuals, it is my experience that these difficulties – be it cultural shock, the struggles of a mixed-culture relationship or the challenges of raising a "third culture kid" – can be a precious gateway to deeper self-understanding, psychological growth and a greater experience of togetherness in your couple or family.

People who come to see me in my private practice in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence often struggle with some of the following issues:

Depression - Anxiety - Workplace stress - Culture-related problems - Relationship difficulties (mixed-culture relationships, divorce, separation) - Raising a “third culture kid” - Family conflicts - Isolation



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Therapy for Depression and Anxiety

Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

Depression and anxiety are some of the most common reasons for reaching out to a therapist. What we commonly call depression and anxiety (including panic attacks, phobias and OCD), can be the expression of complex psychological and existential realities that are hidden from our conscious mind.

Moving past depression and anxiety often needs an enormous amount of courage, trust, commitment and a readiness for sensitive and painful work.

Talking therapy can be one of the many vehicles to move past depression and anxiety. In this private practice, I encourage people who come to see me to experiment and find the best ways to cope with their psychological struggles. Besides talking therapy, there is ample evidence that meditation, yoga, regular exercise or a healthy diet can have a great impact.

Signs of depression: Depression can have many symptoms, such as sadness, low mood, irritability, inability to sleep, fatigue, anxiety, weight loss/gain, low self-esteem, loss of drive, poor memory, reduced concentration, lack of pleasure or suicidal thoughts.

Some signs of chronic anxiety: a constant sense of impending disaster, fatigue, poor concentration, memory difficulties, muscle tension, restlessness, sleep difficulties, indecisiveness, hyper-vigilance, systematic avoidance of certain situations, irritable bowel symptoms, loss of appetite, excessive worry about health, family or work.

Some signs of acute anxiety (panic attacks): profuse sweating, fast heartbeat, dry mouth, weakness, headache, chest pain, hyperventilation, trembling or shaking, fear of ‘going mad’, dizziness, a choking sensation, worrying that you are going to die, worrying about the recurrence of such attacks.



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English-speaking Couples Therapy

Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

Couples who come to this private practice are often of mixed background, bilingual or multilingual. The initial exhilaration of expat life and the exciting cultural quirks of our partner soon, and almost inevitably, turn into a source of exasperation. It can take considerable effort to right the things that have gone awry in our relationship and often it seems impossible to find our way back to each other without external help.

Couples counselling can help you discover your core conflicts and find healthier ways to connect so that your most important relationship can become a source of energy and happiness.

Sometimes couples can’t be saved. In these cases, couples therapy can help us see our reality more clearly, give us psychological insight and help us remain respectful in the process of separation. However, there is reason for hope. This private practice principally builds on the EFT method of couples therapy, which, according to research, boasts a 70-75% success rate.



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Family Consultations for Expat Families

Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

Expat life can put a strain on families. Cross-cultural experiences, isolation or learning difficulties are serious challenges that almost all expat families need to go through. External help can be of value when such stressful periods become overwhelming, trigger hitherto hidden sensitivities and create new fissures in our family dynamics. The originally imagined ‘paradise’ of expat life in Provence can at times turn into a hellish experience where our anxieties over new challenges seem to open up deep wells of distress, often linked to a past we had hoped to have left behind long ago.

In Family Consultations for Expats, you can bring your children and spouse and we can find a way together to gain more insight into the source of your family’s distress and see how you can reconnect with each other and with your inner resources.



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About Me

Tamás Frey, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence

As a psychotherapist, I receive adult clients in three languages: English, French and Hungarian. The therapy I propose can be beneficial in a variety of situations, such as depression, anxiety, feeling of “burn-out”, cultural shock, problems linked to displacement, migration or intercultural relationships, experience of low self-esteem, grief, bereavement, relationship difficulties, impulsivity, family conflicts or workplace stress.

Having lived in various cultures and worked with people for whom cultural adjustment was an important theme, I am particularly sensitive to cross-cultural issues faced by my clients.

In my practice, I draw considerably on my core psychoanalytical and clinical training. My approach, however, is ever-evolving and shaped by several related disciplines such as phenomenology, existentialist & humanistic psychotherapy or mindfulness-based therapy

A licenced clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in France, I received my MA degree from the Université Paris 7 – Paris Diderot, an heir of the Sorbonne. This Parisian university was the first to grant the title of ‘Clinical Psychologist’ in France for the course introduced by Jean Laplanche, author of the globally renowned dictionary of psychoanalysis. The Université Paris 7 is well known for its pre-eminently Freudian and Lacanian approach and its strong clinical focus. My two diploma theses (‘Master 1’ and ‘Master 2’) were both graded ‘très bien’ (excellent).

During my training, I worked in various positions, both in France and in Chile, where I was an exchange student at the Universidad Diego Portales. My work involved one-to-one counselling as well as group therapy sessions with children and adults. Throughout my practice years, I accompanied patients with a migration background, notably participating in transcultural consultations in two different psychiatric sectors of Paris.

Between July 2018 and March 2019, I worked for a health-related NGO in the outskirts of Paris, which provides psychological support to disadvantaged people suffering from chronic illness.

From 2019, I provide support sessions to the consular staff of the British Consulate in Marseille.

I am trilingual: in my clinical and counselling work I use English, French and Hungarian (the latter one being my mother tongue). I also speak some Spanish and German. Before training to become a Clinical Psychologist, I worked in the communications sector in Budapest, Hungary for 6 years and I have been working as a translator since 2000.

British Consulate

From 2019 - Marseille, France

As part of a project initiated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, I provide support sessions to the consular staff of the British Consulate in Marseille.


Private Practice

From 2019 - Marseille, France

Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist based in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, receiving adult clients.


Private practice

2017-2019 - Vincennes, Paris region, France

Before moving to the South of France, I had my private practice in the Paris region, just by the Chateau de Vincennes.


AcSanté 93

2018-2019 - Paris suburbs, France

Working with cancer patients and other chronically ill patients in an area of high social deprivation, in the northern banlieue of Paris. Predominantly individuals with an immigration background.


CMPP Vitry-sur-Seine

2016-2017 - Paris suburbs, France

Transcultural group consultations with children and their families. Co-therapist and individual therapy sessions with children, adolescents and their families at a Children's Medico-Psychological Centre of the Paris suburbs.


Hospital Maison Blanche

2016-2017 - Paris, France

EPS Maison Blanche, 23rd adult psychiatric sector of Paris. Participation as a co-therapist intern at transcultural consultations with adult patients and their families as well as with children in the child and adolescent services.


Instituto Psiquátrico “Dr. Jose Horwitz Barak”

2016 - Santiago, Chile

Instituto Psiquiátrico “Dr. Jose Horwitz Barak” Servicio de Salud Metropolitano Norte, Santiago, Chile. Participating in therapy, clinical interviews and assessments for women patients with serious mental illness.


Economía Real

2015-2016 - Santiago, Chile

Establishing a mental health services structure within a Santiago-based NGO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, for elderly people facing depression and anxiety due to problem debt.


CMPP Villejuif

2012-2013 - Paris suburbs, France

Participating at therapy sessions and workshops for children with psychological difficulties.

Languages I speak

Education

  • 2017MA (M2Pro), Clinical Psychology, Université Paris 7 – Paris Diderot

    Clinical Psychology / Psychoanalytical psychopathologies / Adult patients. Mention bien (Honours). Thesis: Wondering in the savanna - considering oneself a "seer" as an identificational support in psychosis. Director: Maurizio BALSAMO, co-jury: Bernard PACHOUD (Note: Excellent).
  • 2015-2016Clinical Psychology, Universidad Diego Portales

    As part of my MA course at Université Paris 7, I have acquired some of the credits at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile.
  • 2016Master 1, Clinical Psychology, Université Paris 7 – Paris Diderot

    Thesis: "The tummy is clever" - A case of selective eating in light of psychoanalysis. Director: Bernard PACHOUD. (Note: Excellent).
  • 2013BA, Psychology, Université Paris 7 – Paris Diderot

  • 2009PGD Public Relations Expert, Budapest Metropolitan University of Applied Sciences

    Thesis: How to Brand the Budapest Metropolitan Region?
  • 2004MA, Philologist of English Language and Literature, ELTE University Budapest

    Thesis: The issue of gender in English Bible translations: the elimination of the generic 'he' in inclusive language.

My Approach

As a psychotherapist, I considerably draw on my initial psychoanalytical and clinical training, even though my approach has been shaped by various other influences such as phenomenology, existentialist and humanistic psychotherapy or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Some of the important values that I hold to in my practice as a psychotherapist are:

o Openness – Being ready to re-evaluate my convictions and theoretical frameworks in response to new information or situations.

o Pragmatism – What “works” is more important than what is "supposed to work”. Real experience trumps even the most refined theory, so what brings about life giving change for my clients in practice is more important to me than sticking to a particular theory or professional doctrine.

o Inquisitiveness – Looking at human experience from different theoretical vantage points can be revealing and constructive. I find it essential for my therapy practice to train myself on an ongoing basis, actively going beyond my theoretical ‘home-ground’ so as to integrate diverse schools of thought in my practice.

Clinicians and theoreticians who have influenced my approach include: Sigmund Freud, C. G. Jung, Jacques Lacan, D. W. Winnicott, Victor Frankl, Carl Rogers, Eugene Gendlin, Irvin Yalom, Mihály Csikszentmihályi and many others.

Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him. - Fyodor Dostoevsky

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