Expat psychologist on surviving Corona

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Clinical psychologist Nicola McCaffrey has been tending to the needs of expatriates in Stavanger for several years. Now, as the Corona (Covid 19) virus turns everyday life upside down, McCaffrey has written a “Covid 19 Survival Guide” that can help expats cope with tough Norwegian containment measures.

Dr Nicola McCaffrey, a clinical psychologist in the Norwegian city of Stavanger that’s been hit by job losses, has more advice for how to deal with bad news. PHOTO: Anne Lise Norheim

As the number of Corona cases increases, “so too does anxiety,” McCaffrey writes. “For many of us, it is the psychological impact of the virus that causes the most pain.”

McCaffrey offered advice to anxious Stavanger-area residents when oil prices collapsed in 2014, and the once-booming market turned into one plagued by job losses and expat workers having to go home. She wrote a series of columns for newsinenglish.no at the time, when many expats were losing their jobs and even had to leave the country.

Now the Scottish psychologist is back, offering new advice (in English) as Norway comes to grips with a national emergency. The government has imposed a raft of Corona measures that it admits are the most invasive in residents’ daily life since World War II. The country went into shutdown mode last week, with schools closed along with many businesses including restaurants, bars, cafés, opticians, exercise studios and nearly all museums and other public institutions. Norwegian officials want residents to just stay home and avoid socializing in order to hinder the spread of the virus.

McCaffrey stresses that “at this stage, some anxiety is entirely normal,” and even important, not least because anxiety “spurs us on to seek and create safety.” Most people are already washing their hands more often, she noted. Others are losing their jobs.

Uncertainty reigns. Read more about McCaffrey’s “Covid 19 Survival Guide” here (external link to McCaffrey’s blog written for expats in Norway).

newsinenglish.no staff