Why Should I Work with a Multicultural Therapist?
You are a cultural being with many intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, socioeconomic status, geographic location, national origin, language, immigration status, etc. You come from a specific historical, cultural, and family background that has brought you to this point in your life and shaped who you are. To miss this part of your story is to miss a large portion of who you are. A multicultural therapist seeks to understand your struggles and strengths within your unique cultural context and to provide therapy that is tailored to your multiple intersecting identities.
Research has shown that having a trusting and supportive relationship with your therapist is a big part of what makes therapy work. Therefore, it is important to find a therapist who can understand your identities and lived experiences to establish safety and trust. Many clients prefer to work with a therapist who share some of their identities because the similar cultural background can facilitate a sense of mutual understanding. Although having shared identities between you and your therapist is important, research has also shown that working with a therapist who has a high level of multicultural humility and responsiveness, no matter their identities, is crucial to having a positive outcome in therapy. You are more likely to connect well and get better faster working with a therapist who has the training and expertise to understand how culture plays a role in your mental health.
What Does Multicultural Counseling Look Like?
You deserve to work with a therapist with whom you feel seen, accepted, and understood in all of who you are, including your identities, experiences, and cultural background.
As a multicultural therapist, I value understanding you as a whole person within a complex and interdependent context of history, society, community, family, and relationships. I value seeing mental health through the lens of your identities, experiences, and culture. If you chose to work with me, I will take the time to step into your world and accurately understand your pain and suffering from your perspective. We will look at the cultural and historical barriers to your mental health. We will honor the coping strategies that may have helped you, your family, and your community to survive. We will talk about our similar and different identities and how power exists within the relationship between you and me. We will create a safe space for difficult conversations about inequality, oppression, marginalization, colonization, and injustice. We will assess whether the treatment plan fits with your understanding of the problem, your cultural background, and your expectations.
My Specialties in Multicultural Counseling
Some of my specialties in research and multicultural counseling are focused on individuals who identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, American Indian and Alaska Native, international students, and immigrants. Please see my About Me page for more information about my research and publications. These specialties are informed by my personal experiences as a Chinese immigrant and professional experiences a therapist of color. Some of the issues that impact these communities include cultural adjustment, language barriers, socioeconomic status, immigration status, multicultural identity development, experiences of racism and oppression, cross cultural communication, generation gap, stigma against mental health care, access to culturally relevant care, interracial relationships, internalized oppression, colorism, intergenerational trauma, imposter syndrome, model minority myth, stereotype threat, racial trauma, religion, and the current political climate within the U.S. and globally. Many mental health professionals have basic training on cultural diversity. As a multicultural therapist with in-depth training, relevant research, as well as lived experience as an immigrant and person of color, I can offer a deeper exploration of how your cultural identities are connected with your daily life and mental health.
My Commitment as a Multicultural Therapist
I strive to examine my own intersecting identities, power, privilege, biases, beliefs, limitations, and worldviews and how they have shaped my understanding of mental health and healing. I seek opportunities to step out of my comfort zone in order to grow, to seek feedback and support, and to learn from my mistakes. I aspire to challenge the systems of oppression and marginalization through personal and professional advocacy. I see multicultural humility and responsiveness is an on-going process of learning that will continue throughout my career as a psychologist.
Begin Culturally Responsive Counseling in My Ballard Office
Whether you are looking for help with depression, anxiety, trauma or navigating the challenges of being a multicultural individual, counseling can help. Furthermore, it can make all the difference to have a therapist who understands your complex cultural identity. If you are looking for a compassionate multicultural counselor, please contact my psychotherapy office today. We will begin by getting to know each other in a free 15-minute phone consultation and see how we can work together to create a culturally relevant treatment plan.
Other Counseling Services
You are a unique individual. You deserve a therapist who understands all of your complexities. As a therapist of color, I understand both the impact of cultural identity and mental health issues. Therefore, I offer counseling for many different mental health concerns in my Seattle, WA office located in Ballard. I take a whole-person approach to treatment, and I offer evidence-based counseling for depression, anxiety, trauma, disordered eating and negative body image, and couple and marriage counseling. In addition, if you are unable to come to my Ballard counseling office, I encourage you to take advantage of my online counseling services.