Scarcity of English Speaking Therapists in Russia

English Speaking Therapists: The Needle in the Haystack

If you are looking for an English speaking therapist while living in Russia, there are several organizations that provide directories of English-speakers.  In general, private organizations have the highest concentration of English-speaking mental health professionals. However, like most places in the world, availability is a problem.  There just are not enough to go around. Seeking treatment in the socialized healthcare system tends to be problematic as the providers are only Russian speakers.

English Speaking Therapist in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Mental Health Attitudes in Russia

Again, like many places in the world, the older generations are very apprehensive and judgemental about anything having to do with psychological services.  There is the attitude that if you’re a man, you need to toughen up and if you’re a woman, you’re just being hysterical and need to get it together. Therapists and psychologists are viewed as charlatans that target weak people with money to burn. There is a pervasive fear of being given a “white card” which is synonymous with being labeled insane. However, younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z – specifically women –  are much more open to taking care of their mental health and more readily seek treatment. The tide is turning with each passing generation.

Quality of Care

There is a substantial lag behind the West when it comes to implementing psychological theories and practices.  There are several reasons for this.  First, most mental health training is done in English.  The resources need to be translated to Russian and this takes time.  Then, some of the theories and practices as they are don’t work well within the Russian culture.  They need to be adapted and this also takes time. 

Like everywhere else in the world, the quality and cost of therapists varies.  Working against them, psychologists and therapists fight the belief that psychology isn’t a real science and they are people who have a “90’s diploma” meaning the 1990’s were a time of such corruption that it was possible to buy a diploma. 

It’s a common complaint that the cost of a two-hour session with a psychotherapist is about half a month’s wages, furthering the charlatan stigma.  

Online Therapy Specialized for the Expat is A Good Option

You can escape the problematic mental health landscape of Russia by choosing to work with an online therapist who specializes in the treatment of expats.  The cultural and linguistic familiarity will give you a sense of ease and comfort that’s necessary when discussing personal issues. Additionally, our therapists offer continuity of care independent of where you are living and flexible scheduling options. We have immediate availability and would love to work alongside you in your journey to mental and emotional well-being.