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.

Meet the specialists

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, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Lafayette, CA

Immigration and acculturation are extremely stressful especially for adults and for people from vastly different cultures. Besides having a support system to help with the acculturation process, therapy is a place where you can examine ways to balance the culture of origin and the new environment. You will be heard and validated in therapy, and you will be supported in finding your unique path.

— Chui-Tan Lee, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

You want to make a home out of your new land. You want to be accepted, understood, and to belong. You want to have no regrets about coming to a new country. You’re tired of always feeling like an outsider. Dealing with language barriers, difficulty making friends, eating unfamiliar food, not knowing how to navigate getting basic health insurance. So you end up feeling frustrated, angry, unaccepted, and alone. The truth is, you deserve to feel like you belong here. You deserve to have a home. I’ve been in your shoes and I know what it’s like. I’ve been where you are and I know what it’s like to feel lost. I’ve navigated my own journey of finding where I belong.

— Radmila Hollnagel, Licensed Professional Counselor in Charlotte, NC

As a first-generation daughter of Middle-Eastern parents, I have experienced the challenges that I, as well as my parents and various family members, have had to face. I understand the feeling of balancing two cultures who are often very different from each other. I understand the frustration of not feeling like your two selves can ever exist as one. I hope to offer you support and understanding and am happy to share my won experiences when they may be helpful.

— Monique Mouchamel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Northridge,

As a First-Generation Immigrant I understand the immigrant struggle and the acculturation pressure. I’ve enjoyed helping First and Second-Generation Immigrants navigate their struggles with cultural identity, managing family expectations, relationship issues, “non-traditional” career paths, or dealing with life changes. I know it’s important to work with you from your cultural background, as well as a unique individual. My goal is to help you navigate your struggles and live authentically.

— Anusha Atmakuri, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX

Although I am not a refugee myself, I've worked with refugees and asylum seekers for the past 10 years and am acutely aware of the trauma involved in both the flight and resettlement period for refugees and asylum seekers. I've worked with clients to begin a life here in the US as well as to find meaning in their new way of life. As I grew up outside of the US and came to the US for college, I identify as a Third Culture Kid Adult and understand the experience of never fitting into one culture.

— Sonya Svoboda, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

As a child of Salvadoran immigrants, I understand deeply the issues related to immigration and acculturation, which involves the navigation of living between two cultural worlds. Through my work and services, I have found that supporting others, in navigating similar challenges in their identity, relationships, and place in the world, as a rich and powerful experience. It has been an inspiration to work with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations of immigrants and partner in their healing process.

— Jeanette Lopez-Urbina, Clinical Social Worker in Berkeley, CA

Maybe you are a first-generation college student who is struggling to navigate this new process and the educational system by yourself. Is it difficult for your parents or family members to understand what you are going through, leaving you feeling alone and overwhelmed? Do you feel conflict or tension with family over differing culture and/or values? I encourage you to reach out for a free consultation to see if we are a good fit.

— Elizabeth Munoz, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

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

Words like "home", "culture", and "mother tongue" can feel tender to those whose roots have been uprooted. No matter how recently or remotely one emigrated, the process of belonging is always underway. Transnationality can reveal it's complexity with each life cycle, adding a special kind of heart tug during events such as: death of relatives, birth of a child, loss of a friendship, a move, marriage, divorce, medical diagnosis, etc. I am here for you!

— Silvia Gozzini, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in PORTLAND, OR