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 immigrant, I often ponder questions of home, identity, and belonging. Having lived and studied in other countries, I understand the challenges people face when they leave home and move to a new place. Whether you left home willingly or unwillingly, you have mixed feelings about your new home and the one you left behind, about the different people, values, cultures, and ideas you encounter. You want to belong, yet you may still feel like an outsider.

— Nyambura Kihato, Licensed Professional Counselor in Duluth, GA
 

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

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 , NY
 

I have worked as a Massachusetts based Refugee and Clergy Coalition Consultant for over 3 years where I developed protocols for social workers to provide culturally-aware services for Iraqi and Syrian refugee communities.

— Sara Ghalaini, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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 Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Charlotte, NC
 

As a person whose parents immigrated to the United States, I understand how immigration, acculturation, and mental health intersect. I am able to view these experiences from a multiculturally-competent and culturally-sensitive perspective.

— Merissa Goolsarran, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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
 

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 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
 

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

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 First-Generation American, I understand the challenge of navigating between and balancing two cultural worlds. Dealing with language barriers, difficulty making friends, and eating unfamiliar foods are just several challenges commonly faced. Uprooting and relocating often have lasting impacts across generations. I hope to help you find ways to honor and integrate your culture, as well as process your experience of immigration and identity formation.

— Karen Touboul Futerman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist