Growing up Asian American, we get an inside look on the impact of stress/trauma on the human experience. Our cultural history has affected us and our families in different ways. It can influence us through generational trauma passed down from our ancestors, historical trauma continually impacting us today, mistrust and failings of systems (like healthcare or the government), to the daily racism people of color face in life.
Therefore, a reason we do what we do is to understand how and why people become the people they are today, including what motivates their life choices. Although we were not aware in our youth, the foundations of our upbringing impact us in many ways.
Given that fact, therapy can be a great place to start your journey to self-discovery. Below are services and skills we offer our clients:
What we offer in therapy:
Provide a safe space for reflection and introspection
Explore your identities and values
Understand your own behavioral and relational patterns
Decide how you want to live your life in accordance with your values
Process experiences to help you move forward in life
Implement changes to live the life you want
Fully express and experience your emotions/thoughts
What skills you can learn:
Unlearn and modify what is not working for you
Develop more effective communication patterns
Learn to advocate and assert your needs, including boundary-setting
Increase self-awareness of in-the-moment experiences
Manage overwhelming emotions
Increase self-validation and self-compassion
Learn to trust yourself and listen to your instincts
We believe in and practice cultural humility, which values both the constant internal reflection of our identities and how it interacts with our client’s identities. In this process, we are self-aware in acknowledging what we know and what we don’t know. As people, our identities will shift and evolve over time. We are committed to honoring the wisdom our clients bring us in therapy as you are the experts of your own lived experiences, including which cultural identities are important, how you understand them, and their influences in your life. Oftentimes, we move through cultures and have to code-switch to blend in for safety in our daily lives (e.g., acting more direct and dominating in our professional life and more passive in our personal life).
Through our lived experiences and training, we can be a voice for change in the face of mental health stigma. We know our lived experiences have similarities to other adult children of immigrants, especially in regards to relationships with emotions and families. We are passionate about helping to advance the field of psychology by contributing our wisdom, sensitivity, and cultural responsiveness. Furthermore, it is important our clients see a face that looks like theirs and know they are not alone in their experiences when sharing their stories. It is powerful to be seen and heard for who you are. We would love to hold such a space for you, our fellow Asian Americans!
If you are interested in connecting with our Asian American therapists, feel free to contact us here for our mental health services.
Stay tuned for our next blog on identifying as Asian American and queer.
Written and Edited by Elena Duong, Psy.D. and Susanna La, Ph.D.