First generation Americans are the first in their family to be born and raised in the US. We didn't end up here by accident. In many cases, our parents endured dangerous, expensive, and circuitous journeys to make sure we'd be able to grow up in the States. Although we have rich cultural heritage, in some ways, our family's history starts with us.
Are you the "black sheep" of your family?
You may feel conflicting feelings of gratitude and obligation for the sacrifices your parents made. The transformations that accompany typical American adulthood may start to feel like disloyalty to your family, your culture, and somehow, your entire country.
College. Career. Dating. Marriage. Independence. Tradition. These experiences hold specific meanings for you. And while you start to feel like a foreigner to your family, you're reminded of your otherness among your peers.
Why a culturally affirming therapist?
One of the hardest things about getting help is making sure the person "gets" you. That's why we go to our friends and family first - we don't have to explain everything! But when you need more help than they can give, you want a therapist who understands being part of multiple communities. You don't want your culture to be pathologized ("diagnosed"), and you don't want to keep explaining your family context to your therapist.
I specialize in helping individuals and couples who are in the midst of negotiating boundaries between their original family and their chosen family. This is even more complicated for inter-cultural and interracial couples.
Are you one of the only people in your family to come out as LGBTQ+, or to partner with someone outside of your culture? Do your parents deny your sexual orientation or gender identity?
You might be struggling with deciding to follow your own choices vs. the expectations of your parents, and have conflicting feelings about honoring certain traditions. These conflicts often happen with young adults, but there are milestones at any age that can bring these issues up. Usually, these issues have been present for a long time and are just now starting to surface.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but my family is from Afghanistan. I especially welcome my South Asian and East Asian American neighbors! For those interested, I have familiarity with Islam and Muslim culture.
Contact me for a consultation at (562) 704-4736 or to schedule an appointment here.