Making the decision to seek therapy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. But it’s crucial to find a therapist who really understands all aspects of your life. That’s where culturally appropriate therapy comes in.
Culturally appropriate therapy takes into account all aspects of your cultural background. This may mean having a different understanding of your family relationships, line of work, or life experiences. Finding a culturally appropriate therapist can make a huge difference in your ability to overcome your issues.
Dr. Judy E. Vansiea of Coping Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry Services in Uniondale, New York, explains more about the value of culturally appropriate therapy.
Find someone who relates to you
One of the biggest benefits of culturally appropriate therapy is that you can find someone who relates to you. Many practitioners have gone to extra lengths to learn about intersectional issues that may affect you, like poverty or skin color.
But many other practitioners don’t have experience with these issues and may struggle to understand. Having personal experience with poverty, racial discrimination, and single parenting, to name a few scenarios, makes a counselor better able to provide relevant support.
Get realistic solutions
One of the other benefits of culturally appropriate therapy is that your solutions are more likely to be realistic and achievable.
All therapists have to receive the same amount of minimum education to become therapists. But how the therapist got their education plays a big role in the type of advice they have to offer.
Simply put, someone who has always had a lot of money at their disposal might suggest solutions that also require money. A culturally sensitive therapist understands more about the obstacles you face and may be willing and able to get more creative in finding solutions to help you achieve your goals.
Understanding intergenerational issues
One of the issues that’s relatively common among people who seek therapy with Dr. Vansiea is that they have intergenerational issues that other people may not. This can mean that your family structure might look different than the typical nuclear family — two parents and two or three — and that’s more than OK.
Dr. Vansiea understands that your family can include grandparents, godparents, cousins, family friends, and many other types of close relationships. Sometimes, triangulation exists in relationships.
You don’t have to worry about Dr. Vansiea’s ability to understand these complicated relationship dynamics, or that she might have trouble keeping them straight. If someone is close to you, it doesn’t matter how they’re related.
Understanding cultural issues
In some cultures, going to therapy just isn’t done — and certainly not talked about. Today, we understand that going to therapy is a way to empower ourselves.
By paying attention to our mental health, we’re treating our entire body as a system, just as we should. We can all experience depression or anxiety, and treating it can help you live a healthier, happier life.
You may need frequent reminders that therapy is a worthwhile pursuit, especially if you’re regularly hearing discouraging words about it. Culturally sensitive therapy takes into account the amount of bravery it may take to keep showing up to therapy and working on improving yourself. In addition, it takes strength to break the misconceptions, taboos, stigma, barriers and labels for seeking help to be a better version of yourself.
If you’re ready to take that first step toward working on your mental health, contact Dr. Vansiea at Coping Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry Services, or request an appointment online.