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

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
 

I have three years of experience working in community mental health in East Los Angeles. The majority of my clients identify as Latinx and come from mixed documentation status families. I've supported clients through the process of applying for a change in immigration status, and dealing with the stress of the current political climate. I've also assisted families in addressing the acculturation differences among different family members.

— Kelsey Collins, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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
 

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 brings with it challenges much beyond learning a new language or getting used to a new country. As an immigrant myself, I can help you to reflect and heal from your immigration experience and talk about: cross-cultural challenges; racism and cultural insensitivity; family separation and/or trauma; language; legal stressors.

— Iara Cury, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Northampton, MA
 

Being a Brazilian immigrant myself and having worked with many Brazilian families, I feel passionate about working with immigration issues.

— Andressa Osta, Counselor in Woburn, MA

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 Intern in Austin, TX
 

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
 

I have three years of experience working in community mental health in East Los Angeles. The majority of my clients identify as Latinx and come from mixed documentation status families. I've supported clients through the process of applying for a change in immigration status and in dealing with the stress of the political climate. I've also assisted families in addressing the acculturation differences among family members.

— Kelsey Collins, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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

— Sharon Qi, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor in SAN JOSE, 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 Gonzalez-Eiranova, Counselor in North Miami Beach, FL

I come from a unique background of spending my early childhood in South Korea and navigating the issues of adapting to a new culture after immigrating to the United States. I'm also passionate about raising awareness about the importance of therapy and destigmatizing mental illness in Asian American communities.

— Janae Kim, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
 

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

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
 

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

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
 

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

Being an immigrant of color, I understand the struggle that comes with immigration and the acculturation stress that builds if one is not willing to "forego" their identity. I use a trauma-informed relational approach to help clients find a balance between Assimilation and Marginalization, in order to work towards healthy integration.

— Prerna Menon, Psychotherapist in New York, NY
 

As a second generation immigrant from an Iranian family I have come to learn first hand of the complications and frustrations of immigration and of the cultural biases that can come to exist in American society. I have studied at University of Amsterdams program specializing in the immigration and integration of immigrants and refugees in the summer of 2018.

— Sarah Dolaty, Associate Clinical Social Worker

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
 

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 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 an immigrant from Taiwan. I understand the many difficulties adjusting to the new environment and learning a new language. As well as the feeling of uncertainties the future has in store for you. I take a nonjudgmental stance and strive to make you feel like you belong.

— ChiaChi Liao, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Arcadia, CA

Cultureshock, reverse cultureshock, codeswitching, social location, and cultural hybridity are all familiar themes for me. Moving to a foreign country as a young adult gave me experience in immersion into a culture with a different language, history, set of social expectations, relationship to time and money, geopolitical identity, and diet. I hold a variety of experiences working with others from diverse backgrounds in the U.S., abroad, and within international organizations.

— Sabrina Sierra, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

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

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
 

Being an immigrant myself, I have some understanding of the process. However, it is important to understand a person not just based on their ethnicity or race, but from all of their reference groups (race, ethnicity, social class, religion, and gender). I believe that a person's combination of reference groups is what combines together to create their identity. It goes without saying that no two people are alike. My goal is to help clients better understand themselves in the context of their environment.

— Sweta Venkataramanan, Counselor in New York, NY