Chinese & Taiwanese Immigrants Mental Health
I have witnessed many challenges and dilemmas faced by first and second-generation immigrants, which cannot be simply viewed through the lens of traditional Western perspectives on mental health. Within traditional Eastern cultures, relationships between individuals, especially within families, tend to be intricate and closely intertwined. In contrast to individualism which emphasizes personal needs, Eastern cultures place greater emphasis on collectivism that centers around relationships and connections. Under such circumstances, first-generation immigrants not only need to heal from past traumatic experiences but also strive to integrate into and adapt to a new culture while preserving their original sense of identity and culture. However, in this process, they often unconsciously lose a grounded sense of self, leading to feelings of confusion and uncertainty.
For second-generation immigrants, their situation becomes even more complex. They often find themselves at the crossroads of two worlds, influenced both by the culture carried by their parents and deeply woven into the social fabric of their upbringing environment. While this fusion brings forth a wealth of perspectives and adaptability, it can also introduce internal and external conflicts. These conflicts can sometimes manifest as tension and clashes within family relationships, as well as challenges in establishing a clear sense of identity. Therefore, as a psychotherapist, I firmly believe that understanding and supporting the psychological needs arising from cultural adaptation and conflicts are of utmost importance.
In my practice, I primarily utilize the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM). Through this gentle yet profound approach, I guide clients in exploring heart's desires and identifying barriers that hinder them from forming deep and balanced connections with themselves and others. As mentioned earlier, "connection" holds significant value in our (Eastern) culture, yet it is easy to lose connection with ourselves amidst our interactions with others and society. Hence, I aim to assist clients step by step, using a multicultural and culturally sensitive lens, as they engage in self-inquiry and gradually rebuild their connection with their inner selves.
Navigating the complexities of cultural identity and relationships requires a tailored and compassionate approach. As a therapist, I am dedicated to creating a safe and supportive space where first and second-generation Chinese immigrants can explore their unique experiences, emotions, and challenges. By embracing their cultural backgrounds and honouring their individual journeys, I strive to empower my clients in their pursuit of holistic well-being and the fulfillment of their intrinsic desires for connection and self-discovery.