Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are one of the fastest growing racial/ethnic groups in the United States. However, when it comes to mental health, the American Psychological Association (APA) has found that the rate of mental health service utilization among Asian Americans is low.
The APA suggests that cultural values around stigma and loss of face, as well as limited access to culturally competent services, may be reasons that contribute to this low utilization of mental health resources. Finding a culturally competent therapist can be a challenge, but Life Insight’s Asian therapists in Burr Ridge are there to help.
Counselors and therapists must, first and foremost, be aware of the wide array of interethnic variation among AAPI individuals. According to the APA, “There is an increased need for culturally competent mental health services and providers with expertise in working with this population.”
Georgetown University defines cultural competence as “the ability of providers and organizations to effectively deliver health care services that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of patients.” There is currently no evidence to say that the prevalence rate of mental health issues among Asian-Americans is any different than it is for other groups, however the manifestation of disorders may be affected by cultural or generational factors. Our therapists and counselors in Burr Ridge understand that it is important to take the time to understand cultural values and their implications on mental healthcare in order to provide effective services.
Ivy Kwong is a therapist who specializes in AAPI mental health and healing intergenerational trauma. In an interview with HuffPost, she emphasized the importance of creating a space of comfort and knowledge to bring up difficult topics such as anti-Asian hate incidents. Working with a culturally competent therapist can help minimize some of the “emotional labor” involved with having to explain personal experiences around race and ethnicity.
A baseline of cultural knowledge is also important in order to understand cultural nuances and complexities such as family values. For instance, marriage and family therapist Lia Huynh says that it is fairly common for Asian children to live at home into adulthood, often until they are married. A therapist who doesn’t know this might interpret it as a need for further boundaries, when that isn’t always the case.
Whether you are exploring the impact of race on your lived experience or processing other aspects of your identity, our staff at Life Insight recognizes the need to feel affirmed, validated and supported. It’s important to feel safe to open up and be yourself while working through these issues, and finding the right therapist for you is the first step.
AAPI individuals face a variety of unique challenges when it comes to getting therapy. Life Insight is dedicated to providing effective care for the mental health and wellness of every individual, and has therapists on staff who specialize in helping BIPOC clients. If you feel that you are in need of specialized mental health care, it may be time to reach out to one of our therapists in Burr Ridge today.
If you read nothing else know this: Lisa Keller is one of the best trauma-informed therapists that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing & working with. It has taken
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