When living and working in a cross-cultural setting, missionaries face many unique stressors and situations not faced by friends and family in their home country. When returning to their own country, many also find it difficult to close the chapter of their life in the host culture and begin the new chapter in their "home" culture.
The time you intentionally invest in your debriefing is often key to a successful cross-cultural adjustment. Being prepared for what to expect in these and many other life situations can lead to more positive experiences, both where you have been living and in a return to your home culture. As you gain a clearer understanding of what you are going through, you are able to incorporate that perspective into your own sense of identity and how you relate to others.
For these reasons, time to debrief is useful before you begin serving, during your service abroad, and as you return. Whether you schedule a time away from ministry for intensive debrief or choose to meet online over a period of weeks or months, debriefing can help you develop a plan for emotional health in the future. Debriefing can be either a preventative or restorative service and is appropriate for anyone living/working cross-culturally.