Looking for a therapist is a daunting task for many. I was asked this question earlier this week – can therapists outside of our Asian culture help us?
As a therapist myself I went through a journey of learning a lot of material that rang alarm bells in my head as we see many things in our culture that goes against all mental wellbeing advice. Things like cross-comparison methods and negativity upon those who question things. The biggest thing is that we are hit with the notion of hiding our struggles due to fear of what other people will think.
It’s a known issue that people of the Asian community who go to see non-Asian therapists struggle to feel understood but this can also be for various reasons. Sometimes finding a therapist with the same background can cause you to feel unheard as well because they assume they know the situation better than you.
When looking for a therapist keep in mind whether you want a culture-specific therapist or whether you want a therapist outside your culture. Culture-specific therapists are commonly most effective when you’re currently going through tough situational issues. Non-culture-specific therapists would be effective if you are past the situational issues and need assistance in clearing an illness.
Many cases for mental health issues lead to a client having certain things to blame. If cultural norms are one of them then they rule out the option of seeking help from a large part of the contact list. Support is a huge part of recovering from a mental health struggle so this is why pushing cultural change brings a direct impact on many lives.
As a culture-specific therapist feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’ll be happy to cover them and if needed can refer you to situational-specific therapists if required.