Counseling Services for Immigrants
Do You Feel Caught Between Two Different Worlds?
- Are you a first-generation immigrant having trouble navigating two cultural landscapes?
- Did you grow up exposed to norms, values, or expectations that do not mirror your own?
- Do you feel stuck between pursuing your own interests and adhering to family tradition?
- Have you gained asylum in the US because of a painful past that still troubles you?
- Do you need help dealing with the trauma of domestic violence as a non-citizen?
Immigrants to the United States face a multitude of challenges. You may have parents or a spouse who is from a different country, creating conflicts in expectations for how each person is supposed to think or behave. The inability to set healthy boundaries likely means that you are sacrificing your needs and those of your relationship or marriage on behalf of family.
You may be struggling to establish your own sense of identity as you navigate the differences between what you want for yourself and what is expected of you. And if you have experienced trauma or abuse in the past, just reaching out and believing you can trust anyone can be a challenge. But there are people who understand you and want to help.
At The Davis Group, we have therapists who are trained to address a range of multicultural topics and issues that immigrants commonly encounter. With our help, you can rid yourself of guilt and shame and finally give yourself permission to live for yourself while still honoring and finding balance in your cultural identity.
Navigating Multicultural Issues Is Often A Complicated Process
Many immigrants find that they have to negotiate or fight aspects of their cultural background as they find their footing in the US. This is especially true of collectivistic cultures that emphasize the needs of the community or family above the needs of the self. That sense of loyalty and sacrifice may have served a purpose in the past, but it has become such an automatic, conditioned response that many immigrants feel ashamed for living for themselves.
So if you are feeling a lot of pressure to conform, you’re not the only one. Managing multicultural expectations for things like sexuality, gender roles, child-rearing, or marriage can create a lot of unique obstacles, for both individuals and couples alike. And because our individualist culture may present so many new opportunities, you may not even know what you want for yourself.
Moreover, being introduced to a new world—a new way of being that revolves around you—can create a lot of shame and guilt. So it’s easy to default to thinking that you are a bad person for wanting to live life your way. And with all that pressure, it’s understandable if you just feel like surrendering sometimes. After all, you only know what you have been taught and exposed to.
But you are not selfish and you deserve to be happy. With our help, you can identify what makes you thrive and take practical steps toward making necessary changes while managing any conflict that may arise in the process of you taking control of your life.
Our Counseling Services For Immigrants Offer You A Chance For Healing And Reconciliation
If you are struggling to negotiate multicultural issues, you probably already blame yourself. But on top of that guilt, latent and overt messages from family are likely pulling at you from multiple directions. Immigration counseling services, in contrast, provide you with a place to express your thoughts and feelings and to explore your internal conflict without bias or judgment.
We know that you are not a bad person, and we can show you evidence to that effect. With a little work, you can learn how to set healthy boundaries and advocate for yourself in a way that empowers you to own your future.
In our first session, we’ll look at what brings you to counseling, how long it’s been an issue, and why now, after all this time, you are seeking help. We’ll talk about what you hope to accomplish through therapy and what you ultimately want your life to look like. And we’ll introduce you to our philosophy and make sure that you and your immigration therapist are a good fit.
In subsequent sessions, we’ll work from a family of origins perspective, creating a detailed timeline of your personal history from when you were born until now. We’ll explore your early memories, relationships, and experiences in hopes of discovering where your guilt and shame stem from. Ultimately, we want to know how you got conditioned to think the way you do.
Using the timeline we create, we can pause on, process, and heal your original wounding as well as any other emotional injuries as we discover them. Along the way, we’ll examine intergenerational issues, trauma, and anything else that may be shaping your thoughts or behaviors. That said, we want to make every session about what is taking up the most space in your heart. So if you had a fight with a parent or spouse, we can prioritize that as well.
A lot of our work is based around psychodynamic object-relations theory—a technical way of saying that we look at how early relationships and the need for attachment shape certain behaviors. We also draw from Bowenian theory, which addresses intergenerational factors, personal trauma, and the impact that family of origin issues have on a person’s development.
In addition, we use various forms of experiential therapy—such as Narrative Therapy, Art Therapy, role-play, and letter writing—to enable expression that transcends verbal discussion. Throughout the process, we’ll help you manage conflicts and process any pain that arises as you navigate your new life. We’ll also teach you how to communicate effectively with loved ones and make changes gently.
The goal of our counseling services for immigrants is to give you a place where you can find validation and affirmation for what you’re feeling so that you can see that you are not a bad person. With a little guidance, you can absolve yourself of guilt and shame and finally accept yourself for who you are and what you want. Immigration counseling services can be that guide, helping you to overcome conflict while cultivating autonomy and a life experience unlike anything you have had in the past.
Perhaps you are considering counseling services for immigrants but still have some concerns…
I don’t want to lose my family over all of this.
Many people fear they’ll be disowned for being a bad son, daughter, etc. However, counseling for multicultural issues can help you understand that shame and guilt, what their purpose is, and how those emotions don’t represent who you are. Your family—your upbringing—it’s all tied to your fear of loss. But you are here because something inside you is tearing you apart. And though there may be some changes, you have a chance to model healthy behaviors that benefit you and possibly your parents or children as well.
I don’t want you to tell me that my values are wrong
We’re not here to dictate to you the values you should have or the direction your life should take. Our counseling services for immigrants are all about helping you overcome the insecurities feeding your fears about being selfish or wrong so you can focus on living your life in peace. All cultures have elements of toxicity, so you just tell us how you’ve been hurt or what you want to change the most, and we’ll help you get there with grace and composure.
Won’t my family think that I’m crazy for seeking therapy for immigrants?
There’s nothing foolish about learning to embrace yourself. Doctors, lawyers, business owners, and even therapists go to counseling—and some just so they have a place to be themselves. Therapy is a safe space to do whatever you want and to address whatever is on your mind. It’s a chance to start changing the reality of what you are going through not just for yourself but for future generations.