Counseling for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders
Do you stress about disappointing your family?
Have you found yourself feeling resentful towards your parents because it seems you only ever hear criticism and never any words of affirmation?
Is it difficult to find your voice and say "no" to others for fear of guilt and/or shame?
Have you had counseling in the past and felt misunderstood because your counselor could not identify or appreciate your cultural upbringing, values, or experiences?
Have you or your family been on the receiving end of painful stereotypical comments or discrimination practices?
You are not alone. Asking for help is not easy. Asking for help, as an Asian-American/Pacific Islander, can feel very daunting. Asian culture, unlike Western culture, is generally a non-expressive culture and is often rooted in guilt and shame. You may fear seeking support (or talking to someone outside the family) because you worry it will burden your family with guilt and shame, causing them to "lose face."
The stigma associated with mental health issues is very real and remains strong within the AAPI community. Many AAPI often deny, downplay, or deal with mental health issues by keeping silent and suppressing their emotions. Asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness. This way of coping may sometimes work initially for the short term but often comes at a greater cost in the long run.
It does not have to be this way. If you have found yourself answering "yes" to any of the above questions, please consider professional counseling. As a first-generation child of Taiwanese immigrants, supporting my clients as they navigate the complexities of living between two cultures is something very near and dear to me. I grew up like many first-generation children of immigrants – speaking the native tongue (Mandarin) at home, attending Chinese Language School on Sundays, shunning my Chinese background to fit in with my peers at school, and trying to act more "American" while also trying to please my Chinese family. As I often have said to my colleagues or friends, "When I visit my family's home, I often feel like I have to take off my American shoes and put on my Chinese slippers before going inside." You might find yourself relating to this and if this is the case, I can support you in navigating these feelings.
Not every client's experience is the exactly the same, but because of the largely communal nature of how AAPI live and interact with each other and the high value AAPI families and communities place upon certain structures (e.g., interdependence, family, education, marriage, hierarchy, "face", obedience, and filial piety), many common themes emerge in our ability to cope and find acceptance and understanding.
Over the past several years, as my practice has evolved, it has become increasingly evident to me that there is a great need for culturally-relevant counseling to serve the Asian-American/Pacfic Islander community in the greater Seattle area. Serving the AAPI community has become one of my passions and priorities. It would be a great honor to welcome you, to listen to your story, and to support you on your path to wellness and healing.