Cross-Cultural Adjustment

International students and professionals enrich organizations and communities. While having a different perspective is a strength, some individuals may struggle acculturating to Chicago's social and work life. We assist expatriates and recent immigrants in feeling engaged within their new communities and in learning skills to effectively communicate cross-culturally. Similarly, locals who work for companies intensive in cross-cultural interactions benefit from mastering skills to effectively manage differences in values and perspectives.

In addition to working with individuals, we have experience working with couples who immigrated to the U.S., interfaith couples, and couples with partners from different countries. In counseling, the partners explore together communication styles within the couple, while also paying attention to possible cultural dynamics. As communication becomes more fluid, couples can achieve greater intimacy and mutual understanding.

Our Experiences with Cross-Cultural Adjustment

Francesco Belviso, PhD, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Belviso has provided psychotherapy to individuals from more than 50 countries. Born in Italy, he completed his undergraduate studies at the Università di Bologna. He later moved to the U.S. and obtained a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School. He completed his Doctoral Internship and Fellowship at Northwestern University, Counseling and Psychological Services, focusing on multicultural dynamics.

At Northwestern University, Dr. Belviso offered presentations on listening skills and cross-cultural competencies. In addition, he led a group for individuals returning from abroad experiences. He has assisted recent expatriates and immigrants in adjusting to the U.S. culture, celebrating their heritage, and being comfortable within the diverse Chicago's social and work environments.

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Stephanie Carrera, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Born and raised in an Ecuadorian‐American home, Dr. Carrera offers individuals the opportunity to speak in English, Spanish, and Spanglish in their work together. She also lived and studied in England and Italy for several years. Dr. Carrera draws from these experiences navigating multicultural environments and from her professional training with people of color and international individuals to help clients negotiate various cultural influences from home, work, and school. She has worked with adults to address cultural transitions, difficulties navigating host and heritage cultures, challenges with fulfilling family/relationship obligations, and identity exploration.

Dr. Carrera has facilitated workshops on navigating higher education and imposter syndrome as well as maintaining healthy cross‐cultural romantic relationships. During her doctoral internship, she was involved in the Berkeley International Institute where she developed effective interventions with professionals from Shanghai to support international individuals. Dr. Carrera has published research articles on the experiences of Latinx and Asian American students navigating acculturation and enculturation gaps among family members.

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Gina Chang-DeWitt, PsyD 張子函
Clinical Psychotherapist/Postdoctoral Fellow

Born and raised in Taiwan, and having later moved to the U.S. as an international student, Dr. Chang-DeWitt is deeply attuned to the excitement, opportunities for growth, and challenges of studying abroad and navigating new cultures. In addition to offering bilingual (English/Mandarin) psychotherapy, she actively investigates how language and culture shape our identities and the way we interact with the world around us.

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