Immigration/Acculturation

Making the decision to leave one’s home to make a new life in another country is not an easy one. In today’s context of worldwide migration and globalization, individuals, families and communities affected by immigration and acculturation have unique needs. Adapting to and coping with a new culture can be stressful and can cause anxiety – particularly if you don’t speak the language. Although every circumstance is unique, some immigrants or refugees may have also experienced trauma on their journey – in addition to significant culture shock. If you are an immigrant struggling with adapting to life in a new community, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s immigration/acculturation specialists today.

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Meet the specialists

 

As an immigrant, I understand first hand the challenges one faces around acculturation and assimilation. Going through the immigration process can be scary and the pressure from the society along with family pressure can result in stress while feeling like you don't quite fit in. As your therapist, we will delve deeper around the challenges you face and assist you in feeling confident with yourself and finding healthy ways to cope with potential anxiety that can arise.

— Avni Panchal, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

I have the experience not only of having, myself, lived and worked in other countries in my adult life, but of having worked with refugees, immigrants, dislocated peoples, expats living abroad, and persons who have returned to their country of origin, as well as, those unable to return to the country of origin. I have an existential and person-centered non-pathologizing lens through which each person's lived experience is honored and is at the core of the therapeutic relationship.

— Melanie Chitwood Accepting New Client, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in -person in Seattle & Auburn with video sessions for persons in CA, FL, and the rest of Washington State.,
 

Many of my clients are first- or second-generation immigrants, some of whom experience stress related to cultural differences between their current and former homes. I respect clients’ decisions to find ways to honor aspects of both cultures. I am against the idea of treating white, American values as “normal” and anything else as a problem. I am also a descendant of immigrants and have the lived experience of being separated from ethnic traditions by past generations who chose to assimilate.

— Matt Bouse, Therapist in Ann Arbor, MI

Supporting clients who have immigrated to the States is a personal area of work for me, being someone who has also walked down that path. Having to deal with cultural transitions, identity exploration, visa stress, systemic barriers, and experiences of racism is only a window into what being an immigrant in this country means. I am to work with clients through the multitude of barriers and provide space of connection and relatability

— Raihaan Attawala, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Boston, MA
 

I conduct Immigration Evaluations for: VAWA, Hardship Waiver, U Visa, T Visa, and Asylum cases. I work closely with individuals, families, and their attorneys that are seeking legal haven in the USA for a better, safer, and brighter future. Being an immigrant and a child of immigrant parents taught me firsthand the impact of intergenerational trauma and how challenging it is to be the first one to heal these cycles in a community where mental health is taboo.

— Yisbel Panayiotou, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Specialties include: An Immigration Evaluation adds tremendous value to an immigration case. They are critical in detailing a client's mental health, trauma history, and compelling reasons for leaving their country of origin. Through my work with immigrants and their families, I conduct evaluations to assist with the immigration process. I've conducted evaluations for a wide range of immigration cases, including asylum and extreme hardship waivers.

— Valeska Cosci, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Venice, CA
 

As the daughter of an immigrant, I grew up torn between two cultures. I acknowledge the internal pressure this creates. I love to work with clients on acknowledging their unique experiences as immigrants and children of immigrants. This includes processing: discrimination, immigration, language loss, erasure, survivor guilt, the grief of having family far away, perfectionism, and many more experiences.

— Daniela Childers, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Gainesville, FL

I am a Salvadorian Mexican American, and I understand the struggles of feeling like you don’t fit in in either culture. The struggles of having monolingual parents, the stress of having to be their interpreter and scribe, parent to your younger siblings and filter what information comes across into your household. Luckily, I was also witness to how hard work pays off and the power of setting goals and doing everything in your power to achieve them.

— Christina Vasquez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Walnut Creek, CA
 

I understand the experience of immigrants and expats. My experience with both Eastern and Western cultures, deepened my appreciation of diversity and non-eurocentric worldviews. I offer a high level of cultural sensitivity, cross-cultural and multicultural perspectives in my work as a psychotherapist, professor and author.

— Dr. Nadia Thalji, Psychotherapist in San Francisco, CA

Together we will explore issues of home, belonging, and identity, as well as cultural expectations, individuality, and choice.

— Vivienne Kim, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

I conduct Immigration Evaluations for: VAWA, Hardship Waiver, U Visa, T Visa, and Asylum cases. I work closely with individuals, families, and their attorneys that are seeking legal haven in the USA for a better, safer, and brighter future. Being an immigrant and a child of immigrant parents taught me firsthand the impact of intergenerational trauma and how challenging it is to be the first one to heal these cycles in a community where mental health is taboo.

— Yisbel Panayiotou, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

My personal experience immigrating has awaken a desire to help others who are experiencing all the emotional, physical, financial, and social effects of immigrating. Throughout my studies I have also focused on the effects that immigrating can have on mental health wellness.

— Carolina Castano, Licensed Professional Counselor in Cincinnati, OH
 

I'm an immigrant from Greece and the Middle East who is now naturalized in the United States. As someone who identifies as racially ambiguous, I'm passionate about serving immigrant communities and addressing cross-cultural dynamics. I know firsthand how branching out while maintaining a connection to your culture can feel impossible. In therapy, I will work with you through a culturally-humble and culturally-affirming lens to help you navigate these challenging dynamics.

— Anny Papatheodorou, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Walnut Creek, CA

In addition to providing therapy, I also conduct Immigration Psychological Evaluations to assist individuals and families in their immigration process. If your attorney suggested that you obtain a report from an immigration evaluation therapist, you’ve come to the right professional. I have worked with individuals from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and I’m experienced in conducting psychological assessments.

— Rebeca Melendez, Counselor in Coral Gables, FL
 

Do you feel a deep longing for home, family, and friends? Do you miss communicating in your mother tongue? Are you struggling to find a balance between fitting into the new culture and maintaining a tie to your cultural heritage? Immigration is stressful, and I am here to help. I support first-generation immigrants and international students to explore issues around the home, belonging, and identity so that they can find ways to honor both their original culture and their new culture.

— Jeanette Hu, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I have spent the last 12 years working in the non-profit sector with people who are immigrants and refugees and continue to run groups for newcomer youth in Portland. As an immigrant who is also the granddaughter of refugees, I personally understand what it can feel like to be disconnected from one's culture and home and build a life in a new environment. I know how daunting and isolating this experience can be, and I am here to support you through it and make space for all that it brings.

— Negin Naraghi, Associate Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I have spent the last 12 years working in the non-profit sector with people who are immigrants and refugees., and continue to run groups for newcomer youth in Portland. As an immigrant who is also the granddaughter of refugees, I personally understand what it can feel like to be disconnected from one's culture and home and build a life in a new environment. I know how daunting and isolating this experience can be, and I am here to support you through it and make space for all that it brings.

— Negin Naraghi, Associate Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I was born and grew up in western China, and have lived in the United States for many years now. Move here was a huge culture shock and much different that I expected. Many people experience drepression or anxiety during this time even though they may classify it as "simply being homesick". Honestly, it is more than being homesick and you dserve to get support. Therefore, I am passionate about supporting you through this process.

— Jin Zhang, Counselor in Silver Spring, MD