Therapy for Asians and Asian Americans
A cookie-cutter approach to therapy has never been the best fit for Asian and Asian American folks. Culturally responsive, high-quality mental health care is a necessity, yet it is too hard to find therapists who really get it and can meet you where you are. We’re seeking to change that with our focus on Asian American therapy.
We Get It
As Asian and Asian American therapists ourselves, we understand firsthand the nuances that come with this cultural, racial, and personal experience. We have personally experienced the pressures of the model minority myth and high family expectations, and we have directly seen how much these issues can affect mental health and well-being.
Panorama Therapy provides knowledgeable and non-judgmental therapy for AAPI folks who want to feel understood and validated. We also recognize that everyone’s experiences are different, and we tailor our therapy services to meet each client’s unique needs and goals.
Mental Health Concerns for Asians and Asian Americans
Asians and Asian Americans may experience a range of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship issues like family of origin concerns and friendship woes. Here are some specific issues that we frequently work with:
Family of Origin Concerns
Asian Americans often face family of origin concerns like family conflict, communication challenges, and unresolved relationship wounds from the past. For Asians and Asian Americans, family of origin concerns can also be related to cultural values and beliefs that are passed down, such as the importance of filial piety (“listen to your parents”…above all else!) or expectations around academic and career success. These expectations can create extreme pressure and can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and resentment, which greatly affect your mental health and well-being.
Navigating these concerns within your family of origin can be challenging, particularly with cultural differences and expectations involved. Asian American therapy can provide a supportive and non-judgmental space to explore it all, helping you communicate more effectively, navigate conflicts, and heal from past hurt.
Some Asians and Asian Americans have experienced trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to historical events, like war and political oppression. This trauma can affect mental health and well-being for many generations, from recent immigrants to their kids, grandkids, and other descendants.
Intergenerational trauma refers to the transmission of trauma from one generation to the next. For Asians and Asian Americans, this can include experiences such as the trauma of war, colonization, and forced migration. These experiences can impact mental health across generations, leading to ongoing depression, anxiety, interpersonal violence or conflict, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Family dynamics can also be impacted by intergenerational trauma, as unresolved trauma and emotional wounds are passed down from one generation to the next. This can lead to difficulties with communication, emotional expression, and relationship patterns within families. Asian American therapy can help you understand and address intergenerational trauma within a trusting relationship.
At Panorama Therapy, we understand that trauma can have far-reaching effects on individuals and families, often impacting relationships and communication dynamics for generations. Our therapists are experienced in helping Asian American clients navigate the complex interplay of intergenerational trauma and family dynamics, providing a safe and supportive space to process and heal.
Racial trauma is a type of trauma that occurs as a result of experiencing first-hand or witnessing race-related discrimination, harassment, or violence. Asians and Asian Americans can experience racial trauma related to microaggressions, stereotyping, and targeted hate crimes. This often leads to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amongst day-to-day challenges to mental health. We’ll work with you to heal from and meet the challenges of racial trauma in the present.
Acculturative Stress & Cultural Adjustment
The first- or second-generation immigration experience can often mean facing acculturative stress, or the challenges of adapting to a new culture. If American life was new to you, your parents, or your grandparents, your identity may mean navigating multiple spaces and not finding a grounded sense of ‘home’ in any one.
Acculturative stress can include feeling pressure to conform to American cultural norms (whether pressure from within or outside yourself) while also feeling a sense of connection, loyalty, or obligation to your cultural heritage. Acculturative stress can manifest in many ways, such as challenges with identity formation, feeling disconnected from your culture of origin, and conflicting with family members who have different practices and values.
Cultural adjustment to American life is often a big source of stress, contributing to family conflicts, feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. We’ll help you manage that stress and find your way to a better next day.
For Asian and Asian American therapy clients, the experienced loss of cultural traditions and practices during immigration or assimilation (even decades & generations later) can result in feelings of disconnection from one’s cultural heritage, loss of identity, and a sense of not belonging. This cultural grief can also come as a result of living in a society where your culture is marginalized or not represented in mainstream media. That can be so isolating and disconnecting. You don’t have to be alone in this.
The Model Minority Myth
The model minority myth is the imposition that Asians are the “model minority,” meaning we are hardworking, successful, and self-sufficient. While this stereotype may seem positive, it can create pressure to conform to unrealistic expectations of success, which often leads to anxiety, depression, racial trauma, dissociation, and burnout. It can also make it harder for us to seek help for mental health concerns, as we may feel pressure to maintain the appearance of success and ease in doing well. No surprise that the myth itself was created to keep us, and other communities of color, in line with a fictional racial hierarchy that places one dominant group at the top.
Mental Health Stigma
Mental health stigma, long a facet of Asian cultural values, is a significant barrier for us in seeking help for mental health concerns. Stigma related to mental health issues is prevalent in Asian and Asian American communities and can make it much harder for us to seek help. Asian American therapists at Panorama Therapy are aware of the impact of mental health stigma, and we work with clients to overcome any shame or embarrassment they may feel about seeking help. Therapy is helpful for a wide range of goals, and you don’t have to be ‘sick’ to be here.
Transracial Adoption Experiences
Transracial adoption can create unique experiences and challenges for Asians and Asian Americans who are adopted into families of a different race, ethnicity, and culture. You may experience a sense of disconnection from your cultural heritage and struggle with coming to understand who you are. Additionally, you may face the hardships of racism and discrimination both within your adoptive family and in society. You don’t have to face the traumas of transracial adoption alone.
Let’s Get Started
Asians and Asian Americans deserve customized, culturally informed therapy. Seeking Asian American therapy from a psychologist who understands can make all the difference in your healing and growth. Dr. Miranda Nadeau specializes in Asian American therapy, and all at Panorama Therapy are committed to providing culturally aware and affirming therapy.
Ready to launch your Asian American therapy journey?
1. Reach out to schedule using our contact form.
2. Get connected with a psychologist who understands your struggles and strengths, because they’ve been there too.
3. Collaboratively explore what it means for you to be Asian American, feel affirmed and validated in your experiences, and heal in the present.