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.

Meet the specialists

As an POC Immigrant Woman and living and working in a community of immigrants, I recognize the need for therapists who understand the struggles of immigrant families.

— Jayshree Gandhi, Licensed Professional Counselor in Piscatway, NJ
 

I am the grandchild of immigrants, and I have felt in my bones the legacies of their losses. Professionally, I have worked with immigrants, refugees, asylees, and their children for approximately 9 years. In addition, my graduate school focus addressed mental health promotion among newly arrived refugees--a fancy way of saying that I have spent several years studying what it takes for individuals, communities, and families to get and stay well and whole throughout a migration journey.

— Peggy Fulda, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

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 third culture kid (TCK) adult, my sense of belonging to a certain culture and the idea of "home" have been both a struggle and a privilege. I come from a multiracial background and immigrated to this country as a young adult from South East Asia. From my personal and professional experience dealing with racism, marginalization, oppression, and much more I now focus on supporting others navigate how these issues affect their lives.

— Olivia Weber, Creative Art Therapist in New York, NY

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
 

Picking up and leaving everything you have ever known to move to a different country is harder than what most people think. It can take many years to build the life that you want and many more years managing the expectations from those back home. Those expectations are heavy. On top of it, you are juggling the expectations of an adopted country and what it means to be a success here. Let me be of support; I have over ten years of experience working with immigrants and their families living.

— Tara Genovese, Clinical Social Worker

I immigrated to the United States from India 28 years ago. It was rough in the beginning. Learning a new lifestyle, a new culture on top of the isolation from family was overwhelming. It was almost like starting over once again; going back to school, raising a family, working hard to plant yourself, and thrive. It is not easy. Sometimes you wish, you had the mental and financial support. Someone to hold your hand and say," It will work out." I can be that person for you.

— Amita Khare, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Gold River, 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
 

Dr. Kate Rodriguez is a bilingual counselor who has helped hundreds of people dealing with immigration issues. She is seen in the professional community as an expert in the area of immigrant mental health and she has been asked to speak locally and nationwide on these topics. She has also worked closely with immigration attorneys to conduct hardship assessments for immigration waivers and U-Visa applications.

— Kate Rodriguez, Licensed Professional Counselor in CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

Everyone's immigration process is different. Even though, I am an immigrant, I don't claim to fully understand your story. However, I hope my first hand experiences in dealing with the pain and distress of being uprooted, and transplanted in a foreign land would help me to assist you in your process of getting grounded in this country you currently call home.

— Hiedi Chan, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

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
 

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

INTERNATIONAL COACHING: as "quadrilingual" expat, I coach international families/expats toward successful integration in new cultures.

— Pascale Brady, Counselor in Gaithersburg, MD
 

I write psychological assessments to support immigration cases in the US in order to help families stay together. I provide therapy to immigrants in my Austin practice, as well with online therapy. For US citizens who are adjusting to living abroad, I offer online video therapy. I specialize in cross-cultural issues within marriages, families and in-law relationships.

— Megan Zesati, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

I enjoy helping clients adapt to new cultural expectations and experiences.

— Sharon Qi, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor in SAN JOSE, CA

As an internal student and immigrant from Taiwan almost two decades, I have a deep understanding about the struggle of trying to survive, fit in, or/and adapt to another (dominant) culture and the impact of acculturation. Other than my personal experiences, I've had additional trainings in cultural competency and worked with diverse populations. With cross cultural sensitivity, I create a safe place for clients to explore their internal and external experiences, so that they can heal and grow.

— Juei-Chen Chao, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

In addition to my Master's in Counseling, I hold a Master's Degree in Cross-Cultural Studies, and have spent nearly a decade living and working in other countries, including in Latin America, South Asia, and the Middle East. I've experienced learning other languages, dealing with visa issues, and adapting to new environments. I have great patience and understanding for people coming from other cultures and adjusting to life in the US.

— Kimarie Scholz, Counselor in Mount Vernon, WA

Our identities are informed by values, experiences, the cultural and immediate contexts we live in. The circumstances and age of migration, and need for belonging and acceptance compounds adjustment to indigenous cultures and the host culture at home, school /workplace, and the community. This can impact mental health (anxiety, depression, displacement, confusion). Using mind-body approaches, I explore ways you interact with multiple contexts, and systemic factors that impact your mental health.

— Lavanya Devdas, Psychologist in Doylestown, PA
 

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. I'll simply hear you out and work to understand your struggles. We’ll identify the most pressing issues that are getting in your way, and prioritize which of them to tackle first. We’ll break everything down into steps that you can take action on right away.

— Radmila Hollnagel, Licensed Professional Counselor in Charlotte, NC

I provide clinical evaluations for asylum applicants and others who are trying to obtain legal residency.

— Anna Grinshpun, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Evanston, IL
 

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 Gonzalez-Eiranova, Counselor in North Miami Beach, FL

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 Santa Monica, CA
 

Calvary Counseling Center offers Extreme Hardship Waivers, Political Asylum Waiver, and Domestic/Spousal Abuse Waiver.

— Janice Chambers, Licensed Professional Counselor in Manassas, VA

We provide quality immigration reports for those applying for a Hardship Waiver, UVISA, and VAWA.

— Carlos Aquino, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Joliet, IL
 

I grew up in a small North Carolina town in the 70s and 80s. My parents are immigrants from India, and in this little town, my family was markedly different from the other families around us. Becoming acculturated was difficult. Still is. I have worked hard to notice how I've abandoned certain parts of me or struggled to accept parts of me that I weren't accepted by those around me. I look forward to helping you on your journey and bringing my training and expertise in this area to our work.

— Annu Sood, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I am a bilingual therapist fluently in English and Mandarin. I am familiar with culturally competent therapy and service. Born and raised in Taiwan, I have worked and clinically trained in the U.S in various Asian mental health setting including hospital outpatient department, community mental health clinic, school-based mental health services, and private practice. As an Asian American psychotherapist, I naturally connect with immigration and acculturation issues that clients experience.

— Suzie Wu, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Berkeley, CA
 

In addition to my Master's in Counseling, I hold a Master's Degree in Cross-Cultural Studies, and have spent nearly a decade living and working in other countries, including in Latin America, South Asia, and the Middle East. I've experienced learning other languages, dealing with visa issues, and adapting to new environments. I have great patience and understanding for people coming from other cultures and adjusting to life in the US.

— Kimarie Scholz, Counselor in Mount Vernon, WA