Are you a target of discrimination because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion?
Are your canadian-influenced beliefs, goals, choices at odds with your family’s Expectations?
Do you long for a place to be accepted for who you truly are?
Identity Affects Our Life Experience
Developing an identity, or sense of who we are is an essential part of healthy growth and development. We live in an era where conflicting messages about who we “should be” does not always align with who we are. When identity is used to label, limit or discriminate, it can have a profound impact on our mental health and well-being. Counselling and therapy, from a multicultural lens offer a safe way to explore these difficult issues.
What Are Multicultural Issues?
Multicultural is a term that describes a broad range of identities including: race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, disability, gender and/or ethnicity, gender and disability. Naturally, people occupy multiple identities simultaneously. A focus on multicultural and diversity issues therefore address the unique challenges faced by individuals and groups whose identities have been a basis for discrimination.
A focus on multicultural and diversity creates an empowering space where the intersecting and marginalized identities of clients can be openly explored in relation their reasons for seeking counselling and therapy. A multicultural focus creates a safe space to addresses a client’s individual concerns as well as those based on his or her group identity.
Common Reasons for Seeking Counselling and Therapy for Multicultural Issues
Multicultural issues focus on common themes or experiences related to:
Micro-aggressions, discrimination, marginalization, oppression
Acculturative Stress, (e.g., adjusting to norms, customs of host culture)
Family issues, (e.g. parent/child conflict, in-laws, gender role changes)
Immigration concerns, (e.g. family reunification, sponsorship)
Multicultural friendships, romantic partnerships
Migration trauma, post-traumatic stress
Barriers to accessing information, services and resources
LGBTQ, intersectional identity issues, identity development
Career, employment, and work-related stress
Depression, anxiety, loneliness, isolation
Multicultural counselling provides a safe place to address issues such as identity, oppression or acculturation, even when your immediate concerns are not directly linked to these issues.
How Counselling and Therapy for Multicultural Issues Can Help
Multicultural therapy helps clients to realize that many of the common mental health challenges they bring to therapy are a function of systemic factors and not solely one of personal limitations. Research shows that clients who experience racism, homophobia, gender discrimination and other forms of oppression are often at increased risk for developing common mental health disorders such as trauma, depression and anxiety.
A multicultural approach to therapy therefore assumes a more inclusive model of helping and focus interventions on both an individual and systemic level. In multicultural therapy, client advocacy, system navigation and community education are some examples of the key interventions that can improve mental health outcomes for clients from diverse backgrounds.
You Deserve A Diversity Affirming Counselling and Therapy Experience
At Counselling Associates, we work hard to create a safe and judgment free space where diversity is respected and affirmed. Our therapists have extensive experience working with diverse populations to provide culturally competent, empathetic guidance and support.
Educating your therapist or working to disprove cultural stereotypes should not be a part of your therapy experience. We provide an environment in which you are free to express, change or accept who you are.