My name is Karina Lagarrigue, and I hold a French passport thanks to my mum and Spanish thanks to my dad. I am passionate about interculturalily, communication, and also hypersensitive and hyperempathic from birth.
Now, it was only after finishing my psychology studies and moving with my husband to the center of Europe in Brussels that I began to truly understand how my personal experiences, my curiosity and my personality as a highly sensitive person were actually my most powerful tools for helping others.
With my personal highly mobile upbringing and all the knowledge I had been developing in my practice working with other expats over the years, I thought I was ready for whatever the next stage of my international life would bring. But instead, when my husband and I moved to Dublin from Brussels with a 2-year-old and a 6-week old, I was suddenly, and for the first time, lost!
Even though I’ve moved around the world since I was 15 days old, coping with motherhood and grieving my career growth at the same time, in a place where had to adjust to a new culture and I knew no-one but my husband who was at work most of the time, turned out to be the most powerful personal and professional lessons of my life.
While I was climbing back out from under the invisible weight of motherhood and being the emotional anchor of a highly mobile family (not even being aware of that), we moved again – to Spain. Just as we were starting to find a way for me to have some space, the pandemic happened.
My husband’s company took over the rollout of the vaccine, and he had no energy left to support me, take his full role as a father or care for our relationship. Now my challenge was not just to work on my newly-refound self but to get us both to work on “us” as I kept the family going of course! That is when I knew I could not do it all alone and finally seek help. The process was the hardest I have ever done. And this is why I recommend seeking help far before you hit this point!
Once I regained who I was as a person, a wife, and a mother, and my husband and I refound the strengths our marriage was based on, I saw the pain of others, who, just like me, suffered in silence in what I call “golden cages” cristal clear. A cage where we tend to hide our emotional pain, assuming that our financial resources “should address” our emotional needs.
In order to rescue this population and shed light on their pain, coming from the pressure of highly demanding jobs abroad, the invisible load of being the motional anchor of a family and the loneliness they often experience in their marriage, I embarked on my doctoral thesis. My thesis seeks to provide empirical evidence on how to support motherhood in an expatriated context, on top of the already complicated aspects of global mobility, considering the added variable of having a highly sensitive nervous system.
Who I am today
I now dedicate my time to studying, as well as guiding and supporting people through different stages of expatriation. Both from a preventive perspective (preparing individuals, couples, and families with pre-departure therapy) and psychological interventions that help them process their expat experiences.
I also help people navigate cross-cultural life transitions and challenges such as becoming a parent with a partner that has a different culture and understanding their individual differences when facing challenges as highly sensitive people.
I specialize in Third Culture Adults (ATCK) which could be the result of high mobility, cross-cultural upbringing, etc., helping them to process their experiences and regain control over their lives.
My mission is clear: to empower individuals to break free from limiting labels and behaviors, and instead embrace their true potential in all areas of their life and international projects. I am dedicated to guiding my clients toward personal growth and equipping them with the tools and strategies they need to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and success.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Barcelona.
- Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology (ISEP).
- Master’s Degree in Clinical Sexology and Couples Therapy (ISEP).
- Master’s Degree in Teacher Training for Secondary Education and Baccalaureate. Specialization: Educational Counseling (UOC-UPF).
- Ph.D. Candidate in Sensory Processing Sensitivity and Expat Motherhood.
- Expert in HSP: Identification, Treatment, and Understanding of Highly Sensitive Persons (Leading Edge Academy online).
- Therapist Training in Counseling TCKs (Third Culture Kids) (New Brunswick Community College).