Expat wannabe

Hello all,

I'm Len, I'm single and have broad interests.  I've worked many years, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Berkeley, CA, a place known to some living in San Francisco as, "The Peoples Republic of Bezzerkeley CA."  Though I understand their perspective, in a lot of ways it's a good place to have lived and worked leading up to this point where I'm working half time and contemplating bi-locating between Berkeley and Thailand.   I don't have to work but I want to at the comfortable level that I've reached regarding my time .  I'm also licensed by GA and about to be in another state as well, where I have patients I work with by live visual computer connections. 

I've been to Thailand twice, first in 2001 and November 2016.  I am drawn to the graciousness of the culture and it's people and have had some experiences that have led me to appreciate character values   of honesty that I think are embedded in Thai culture.  I hasten to add that I am keenly aware of the universal fact of individuals differences within a culture.  This is to say that I probably won't be disillusioned by running into some folks who vary as to the degree of integration they have achieved with the values of their culture.   I am a fan of John Burdett. 

I have felt cared for in Thailand in a way that leads me to an underlying motive.  I want to write and I hope that here I can write without many of the distractions I feel at home.

I would appreciate guidance as to how I can work with expats in Thailand with the Governments permission.   Thanks,

I came across a psychologist last year in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is a city with about 30,000 expats and maybe a dozen private international schools. He frequently worked with the schools and children. Officially American psychologists would not be allowed to practice in Thailand. He found a sponsor who was able to provide him with a work permit. Immigration is making an ongoing effort to "protect" it's own labor market and generally do not want too many work permits available, or however that can be put. Sorry for the wet blanket but Immigration can be very difficult to deal with. On the other hand many expat's in Chiang Mai turn to writing. There are even two writing clubs in Chiang Mai that could help you with some of the in's and out's.

Thank you Bill, all of this information is useful to me.  I was in Chang Mai in  2001 and liked it.


I found your introduction more interesting than most.  It was not the typical how can I live cheaper than cheap or how can I find work as a foreigner.

Berkeley was the first thing to grab my attention because my wife has some experience there and we met some interesting people during a brief stay. 

Your comment about honesty being embedded in Thai culture was something which really stuck out as being an unusual perspective and one many foreigners would be at odds with.

My guess is, you would find the expat community far different from the type of people you are used to dealing with and with very different problems.  That said, there are representatives of pretty much every type of individual here, it is just harder to find those who don’t fit the mainstream expat models.

Interestingly, I had to lookup John Burdett because I didn’t know who he was.  Though I haven’t read any of his work I am guessing you will find real life in Thailand much different from what is portrayed in novels.  Other than a bit of Thai history at university I have never felt the need to read about Thailand, perhaps because most novels have been written long after my arrival.

With adequate resources I am sure you can create an environment conducive to writing with few distractions but you may need some time to find what works for you.  Good luck and enjoy your adventure.


Are you planning a trip to Chiang Mai in the not too distant future? I will be going back to the states, but will return in October. Id you'd like to get together and have me fill in the gap, feel free to contact me. Sending me a PM would be best.

Also, the best time of the year for Chiang Mai is October through mid February.

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