|Therapy for Immigrants and People with Multicultural Backgrounds
After many years of clinical practice as a bilingual and bicultural psychotherapist, I
have become an expert in working with immigrants and people from various multicultural backgrounds.
Russian-speaking clients, I offer psychotherapy and marriage counseling in Russian language.
for immigrants who came from other cultures, I have found that experience and the particular
issues that arise are often the same, regardless of culture or country
Moving to a new country is a complex multidimensional process that
requires significant adjustments and changes in one's life. People
with whom I have worked have shared with me their stories about
settling down in a new land. Each story is beautifully unique, but each
story is also full of challenges.
Below I have listed a number of psychological outcomes that may occur as a result of immigration:
- feelings of sadness and loss of native country. This
often is a byproduct of having difficulty in assimilating to the
differences of a host culture.
- feelings of either dislike or worry resulting from a
sudden change from a familiar cultural environment to an unfamiliar
"Dealing with a multicultural partner or spouse"
- being overwhelmed by
the added challenge and complexity due to the cultural differences
- feelings of a disappointment in a new country as a
result of any number of factors: being away from one's family, having
left everything at home, living in a difficult climate, etc. This may
cause difficulty in assimilating.
"Geographical change didn't result in better life"
- recognition that the hope for a
better life, a better relationships, and more opportunities for one's
children has not resulted from immigrating. Rather, old problems and
personal challenges have followed one to the new country.
"Adjusting to immigration at an older age"
- feelings of loss of
grown-up children who are now well assimilated into the new culture.
Need to talk to someone in their native language.
- feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks: supporting family,
developing social networks, acquiring a new professional identity, and
adjusting to a challenging work schedule. Rebuilding a life is not a
"Loneliness and alienation"
- feelings of deprivation
in familiar social network, language, friends, and culture with
increasing awareness of living in a non-human world.
"Concern for aging parents"
- feelings of distance and guilt towards aging parents, either due to being far away from them or need to find
long-term care for them.
- feeling estranged from one's young children who are immersed
in a new culture; feeling marginalized and not accepted in a school or
other local communities.
- feelings of having
done wrong or not enough by surviving the traumatic event that
triggered one's need to leave his or her native country or being forced