Motivational and Adaptation Experiences of Returnees and Migrants to Cyprus: A Grounded Theory Study with Counselling Psychology Application and Practice Implications in Europe

Luca, M. & Filippopoulos, P. (2014). Motivational and Adaptation Experiences of Returnees and Migrants to Cyprus: A Grounded Theory Study with Counselling Psychology Application and Practice Implications in Europe. The European Journal of Counselling Psychology, 3(1), pp. 20-41. doi: 10.5964/ejcop.v3i1.18

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Abstract

This grounded theory study explored the existential lived experience of migrants and second-generation Greek-Cypriot returnees to Cyprus and implications for counselling psychology. It looked at their motivation to return/migrate, their encounter with the new world and desires to belong. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with four migrants and four returnees, recruited within the Cyprus Euroguidance employment service in three cities, Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca in Cyprus, E.U. All participants were in the process of seeking employment. Migrants and returnees faced intense dilemmas following relocation. Returnees’ motivations to return were influenced by childhood memories of visiting the country, desires for an improved economic and familial lifestyle, and the need to find a true sense of belonging. Migrants’ motivations included being married to a Cypriot, hoping for better economic prospects and living in a sunny environment. People experienced a cultural transition after choosing to put their ethnic identity in a different ethnic environment to the one where it was formed and in their attempts to find work, develop friendships, be accepted and find a home they experienced an unsettling reality. In Counselling psychology terms, the findings support other literature (Ward, Bochner, & Furnham, 2001) highlighting that migrants go through phases of adjustment, with cultural contact and acceptance by the host society, as well as financial independence being key factors. They described their experience as an outsider in a system dominated by nepotism and in a society new to them, that appeared to be suspicious of them. This transition lived by them was psychologically de-stabilising, characterised by stress, frustration, depression and isolation. Their commitment to find a way to belong was shown through their resilience. These findings are discussed with the application and practice of Counselling Psychology in mind.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: migrant; returnee; counselling psychology; grounded theory; Cyprus; motivations; adaptation; resilience; culture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15904

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