Immigrating to another country in search of a better life is incredibly stressful. While you may, in fact, have more access to education, healthcare and jobs, becoming part of a new culture and making a home is overwhelming to say the very least.
Therapy is a wonderful way to seek some guidance and resources to help you through this transition. Sadly, many immigrants come from cultures that look unfavorably upon therapy and mental health in general. Therapy is seen as something only the ‘mentally ill’ seek, not ‘normal’ people. But this simply isn’t the case.
Therapy is not just a clinical treatment but rather a journey of personal growth and exploration. It is also a way for people to heal personal trauma and generational trauma that many immigrants experience.
Here are just some of the specific benefits therapy offers immigrants:
Creating a new life in a new country, where there may be a language barrier, can be very distressing. So it’s common to feel overwhelming emotions such as frustration, fear, and helplessness. A therapist can help you recognize the many different emotions you are feeling and process them.
Navigate a Foreign Culture
Learning a new language and customs, as well as “the lay of the land” is beyond difficult. There are so many new things immigrants must learn when they make the big move. And because of this, it can make someone feel insecure, inadequate, and incapable of learning so much at one time. A therapist can be that voice that reminds you you are a whole, capable individual who is simply facing a really big challenge right now. In this way, therapists are like cheerleaders in your corner, encouraging you to keep going!
Integrate New and Old
How much of yourself will you need to change to fit into the new culture? How much of your roots and ‘old identity’ can you keep present in your new life? Therapy can help you find the right balance so you can integrate these two parts of yourself.
Seeking help and guidance does not make you weak or mentally ill. It makes you human. If you’d like someone to speak with who can help you navigate this challenging time in your life, please get in touch with me.