Humbleness in English

Are you a cross-cultural married person who meet some challenges in daily communications to your spouse? Are you a person who has girlfriend/boyfriend from another culture, and consider to get married to her/him?

I am an experienced counselor offering you therapeutic conversation where your current challenge has to do with cross-cultural relationship.

In this English page I would like to share you some of my thoughts on cross-cultural life, systemic counseling and my own background.


What does it mean to live cross-culturally and in such relationship?

It is a special experience to move to a new country, especially when one has to learn a new language and get used to a new culture. Being an immigrant can mean belonging to minorities in the new society, and it can in itself imply more challenges. Emotional challenges can also arise in term of uncertainty about being accepted as one is, and if one manages different demands in society.

Cross-cultural couples or marriages involve two people who come from different linguistic, religious or ethnic groups or nationalities. (Breger and Hill 1998).  Cross-cultural couples can often face greater challenges than couples consist of two similar cultures. When one in the couple has to speak a foreign language after moving to the partner’s country, there may be communication difficulties due to the language. Two people who love each other can quickly experience the frustration that follows from language challenges. Big frustration over time can affect the relationship of the couple.

When one moves to a new country, cultural differences can also arise as a challenge. How do they relate to festivals in each other’s culture, for example? Another major challenge can also be social participation by the partner who has moved. How do you follow your own career dream in a new country?

Practical and mental preparation through good communication can help the couple cope with meeting these challenges together constructively.

Breger, R. and Hill. R. (1998). Cross-cultural marriage: Identity and choice.  Oxford: Berg. 


When does person feel need to take counseling?

As long as the couple has experience of coping with current challenges together, they can more easily find solutions and overcome the challenges.

I imagine that one or both needs to talk with a third person (professional counselor or therapist) when it has not been possible to have good communication over time, or one or both experiences the relationship has been more difficult or meaningless.  


What is systemic practice?

My practice is based on systemic approach. This way of working with people comes from system theory, where problems are understood as relational phenomena and one seeks to find solutions rather than cause. Circularity is an central idea, and this means that all behavior in humans is in mutual communication, and one is influenced by each other and environment (context).

Systemic practices today have several approaches. I am especially concerned with a collaborative approach (also called language systemic approach) and narrative therapy.  In these approaches the attitude of counselor is an important element of counseling. I consider that the client is an expert in her/his own life and my task is to create open and free conversational environment where new ideas can be explored and developed with the client. Therefore, the humble and curious attitude I consider to be the most important tools in my work.


About the counselor

My name is Mayumi Igarashi, I am from Japan and have been in Norway since 95.  Beside of Humbleness, I work in Oslo municipality, for young people with mental difficulties. 

I was a girl who was interested in Western countries, like as many other Japanese in 80´s.  I came to Norway as a self-financing student.  In my first years in this country I met several cross-cultural couples in many challenges.  That´s a one of important reasons why I became interested in these themes; family therapy and couple therapy. 

In my professional life I have long experience in working for people who are struggling or have many challenges in their lives.  I hope to be a little help to those who are seeking a better and wished future.     

Master in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (graduated in 2018) at VID Specialized University/VID vitenskapelige høgskole Diakonhjemmet.
Deacon /diakoni 2001 (Diakonhjemmet)
Norwegian authorized social worker /sosionom, 1999 Oslo University College/Høgskolen i Oslo
Authorized course-leader for Norwegian PREP, Prevention and Relationship Enhauncement Program.

Working experiences:
Social worker/counselor at Ungbo, 2018 -. 
Social worker for refgees at Oslo Integrations Camp, 2016-2018.
Superviser at NAV (Norwegian welfare offeice, 2007 – 2016
Deacon at The Church of Norway, 2001 – 2006

Please feel free to take contact if you have any question!