The ethics of relocation counseling

by | Moving to Costa Rica

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My blogs try to counter the misinformation that I see spreading around Facebook groups about Costa Rica as well as the internet, in general.

This is one of the big reasons I wrote my book, Moving to Costa Rica Simplified (grab your copy here). 

I take very seriously the work that I do with clients as a relocation counselor, helping people move to Costa Rica. While I don’t offer therapy, psychology was a big part of my university studies and I maintain basic therapy principles: to support my clients in the best way possible, maintain their confidentiality and do no harm (to name a few, read all of them here).

It’s a difficult balance however, when I’m sharing in Facebook groups. Often, “minimal selling” and “give more than you take” are the rules, which I respect. But ethically, I run into two problems.

More often than not, the questions asked in groups are general in nature as the person just doesn’t know how to be more specific or what they  really want (which is completely understandable, they’re not experienced in relocation and moving abroad!).

Ethically, I often can’t give a “blanket” response. We have to dive deep below the surface to answer many of the general questions like “Where should I live in Costa Rica?”, “What are schools like in Costa Rica?”, “What is crime like in Costa Rica?”. And that deep dive really can’t be done in a Facebook post.

The questionnaire that I share with my relocation counseling clients has almost 50 questions. And that’s just to get us started. When I say “deep dive”, I really do mean it!

So I’m left with either not offering my help at all (which I feel is a massive disservice to the person needing support), or simply offering my services (or my book!) – which is then seen as “taking more than giving”.  Of course that’s now how I want to be perceived! I do try to give little bits of advice when I can but my ethics prevent me from going too far, if I feel it might be harmful to the person and their life, in the long run.

Read more about my ethos and guiding principles here:




Hey there, I'm Chrissy

This is my little corner of the internet where I share all things about moving to and living in Costa Rica.