Therapy for Cultural Trauma and Abuse

Empowering you to heal and recover from cultural abuse, trauma, and other toxic cultural practices

 

What is Cultural Trauma?

As someone from a diverse cultural background, you may have experienced this and not even know it.   

Cultural trauma can occur when experiences from your cultural background and upbringing can contribute to feelings of anxiety, trauma, sadness, and disconnectedness.  

Although people typically think of cultural trauma in terms of widely-known, life-threatening or globally experienced events similar to what you may hear of in the news, there are subtle, lesser known-forms of cultural trauma that occur.   Because they are so ingrained in the culture, swept under the rug, or even joked about it, they are accepted as part of the culture even though they can be quite harmful.  People may not realize they have been traumatized until years later, when they have difficulty in family or work settings. 

Is Culturally-Focused Therapy Right For You?

Does any of this sound familiar? If you are dealing with any of these issues, culturally-focused therapy can help. 

  • Experiences and concerns related to discrimination and racism are affecting your mental health and well-being
  • You have been harmed by toxic practices that are supported by your own culture (colorism, featurism, body-shaming, verbal abuse, abusive parenting practices) 
  • You feel your culture has a taboo on addressing mental health concerns, talking about feelings, or getting therapy

  • You feel proud of your culture but you feel that your culture can promote certain unhealthy/ damaging beliefs or practices

  • You feel out of place in your culture at times

  • You feel that your culture makes it hard to express who you truly are

  • You feel that you have to hide certain parts of yourself to be accepted by your family and culture

  • You have difficulty expressing your emotions

  • You have frequent body aches, headaches, stomach issues and panicky feelings with no specific medical cause

  • You have very high expectations and pressure from family and yourself , but feel like you are never good enough

  • You have felt pressured to take on a parent role for parents or others in your family, when you did not want to or feel ready to

  • Others in your family dismiss your concerns or tell you that you are selfish

  • You have difficulty saying no and setting boundaries with others

  • You frequently perform actions or agree to behaviors to please family or culture 

  • You want to parent your children in different ways from how you were parented

  • You feel grateful for the sacrifices of your parents, but feel that they use guilt to manipulate and control you at times

  • You have reaped the academic rewards from your “Tiger Parents” but have challenges relating to them emotionally

  • You relate to your parents and family out of obligation

  • At times you deal with unhealthy gender standards rooted in culture 

Culturally-Focused Therapy: What does It Look Like?

In my approach with clients, I have a great understanding and appreciation for culture.  You can honor your cultural upbringing and the momentous sacrifices your parents and ancestors have made, while honoring your mental health and and forging a new “culture” that works for you.  I integrate evidence-based treatments while honoring your diverse cultural background and not neglecting your unique cultural identity.  We collaborate in understanding how to pay respects to the past and move forward courageously to a healthy future.

What are the Benefits of Culturally-Focused Therapy?

My clients have experienced many benefits from therapy.  Culturally-Focused Therapy can help you:

  • Heal emotionally from the negative effects from culturally harsh parenting,

  • Gain emotional independence and create goals that work well for you

  • Create boundaries with family members who shame, intimidate or manipulate in the name of culture 

  • Create a new and healthy cultural identity for yourself 

  • Reframe the way you think about your culture and your relationship to it

  • Help you parent in healthy ways despite how you were parented

  • Take charge of your mental health, without sacrificing parts of your culture that are important to you 

  • Relate to family in a genuine way, instead of out of guilt, shame or obligation

About My Approach to Culturally-Focused Therapy

Traditional mental health approaches and literature can sometimes place issues of diversity on the “back burner” and may overlook or ignore certain cultural perspectives.  As a multicultural clinician with immigrant parents who was also an immigrant myself, I am quite aware of sometimes feeling like an outsider in my own communities, both professional and personal.   These experiences have given me a sharp awareness of how the relationship between culture and mental health is crucial to understanding and achieving mental health.

I incorporate evidence-based techniques into my work, but they do not limit or dictate my practice.  In addition to my academic work in diversity (trainings, teaching, and supervision), my most remarkable  teachers have been my clients, who have taught me about their own cultural experiences and how they have forged their identities.

Rest assured that in our work together, you will have a safe space to express yourself without judgment, while gently being challenged to reach goals that you set. You have the freedom to decide the expression of your culture and the role that your cultural values will play in your mental health journey, without any judgment. 

Get Started With Therapy

Book a Free Consulation

Book a  ten-minute phone call to find out if we are a good fit.

Create a Treatment Plan

We will work together to create a customized treatment plan that works for your unique needs and schedule.

Get Ongoing Support

Schedule regular appointments so that you can build your skillset and make progress toward your goals.