Dr. Tilija Drobnjakovic
Bio and Qualifications:
My goal in working with intercultural couples was and up until now is to raise awareness among the colleagues of the steadily growing number of intercultural couples in the USA and help intercultural couples properly understand the specific stressors that cause intercultural issues. One of the most considerable challenges for me, over the years of practical experience working with intercultural couples, was to think systematically while carefully observing, properly assessing, conceptualizing, and intervening. At the beginning of the therapeutic process, I am very focused on undertaking a proper assessment.
In my experience, after carefully conducting an initial assessment, several remarkable things have always appeared as key pillars of relationship satisfaction; love, intimacy, and positive communication. Knowing that each intercultural couple is unique, I have realized I should know more about who they are and where they are coming from originally. In that sense, I am constantly striving to carefully identify possible opportunities to meaningfully improve personal knowledge and skills about multiculturalism through active participation in continuing education, like creative workshops and professional conferences all around the United States. At the same time, despite the growing number of intercultural couples in the United States, no or very limited research was focused on this topic demonstrating the need for additional research in the area devoted to counsellors’ perceptions of their competence in providing therapy with intercultural couples. Therefore, one of my key goals in the years to come will be focused on the integration of personal experience in working with intercultural couples with scientific thinking and research. This will undoubtedly help me base my practice activities on scientific evidence.