- Are you facing discrimination because of your race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or disabilities?
- Do you feel torn between your family’s expectations and history, American cultural norms and your own wants and goals?
- Are you an immigrant who feels unsure how to access resources and navigate cultural differences?
- Do you feel uncomfortable or unsafe being yourself out in public?
- Are you struggling to form healthy, respectful relationships—whether romantic, friendly or professional?
- Do you often feel invisible, belittled, prejudged and/or trapped by a label that doesn’t fit who you are?
- Are you struggling with internalized bigotry and shame about your identity?
- Do you wish you could feel free to find and be your true self, without fear or hesitation?
As a member of a marginalized or minority group, you may feel bombarded by conflicting messages about who you are and who you should be. Perhaps you frequently see your identity cruelly parodied and carelessly dismissed, causing you to feel hurt, discouraged and exhausted.
On top of that internal struggle, fear for your safety, blocks to career opportunities and services, disheartening news stories, conflicts with your family and all the stresses of daily responsibilities may be taking a toll on your physical and mental health. Whether you’re in the workplace, spending time with family or simply walking down the street, you might constantly feel pulled between conforming and not conforming. Perhaps you wish you could talk to someone who can truly see and accept you for who you are.
You Are Not Alone
The term “multicultural” captures a wide range of identities: race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or disabilities. And, it’s certainly possible to inhabit more than one identity at the same time.
Navigating identity, family boundaries, career stress, relationships and more can be difficult for everyone, regardless of background. But, if you are a member of a population that faces discrimination in the legal system, health care system, workplace or everyday interpersonal interactions, you likely feel the weight of these challenges even more keenly. Overt and covert discrimination and poor mental health too often go hand-in-hand, leading to increased rates of depression, anxiety and trauma among marginalized populations. And, as you try to absorb clashes of cultural norms, ideas and messages about the “right” way to be, you might be feeling chronic distress. Like many others, you may feel that everything you do is wrong and fear that there’s no way to find peace within your multicultural identity.
You are not “wrong,” and it is possible to talk with someone who will listen and understand. The therapists at Eddins Counseling Group specialize in counseling multicultural and diverse populations. We are culturally competent and knowledgeable about different cultures. We will acknowledge and honor your background, rather than assume or impose. With nonjudgmental guidance and support, you can find healing, clarity and confidence in accepting and expressing all who you are.
Note: To learn more about specialized LGBTQ+ counseling, click here.
If your family members do not share your cultural identity, you may feel excluded, rejected and uneasy when you try to express yourself to your relatives. Or, if your family members do share your cultural identity, you may feel torn between their expectations, your family culture and the life you want for yourself. Either way, you may feel alienated from family members and unsure how to have a healthy relationship with them without sacrificing who you are.
When it comes to family issues, your therapist can help you develop effective communication tools, equipping you to advocate for yourself so you can be assertive rather than aggressive or overly compliant. You can learn how to set healthy boundaries and process judgments or criticisms so they no longer limit you. Overall, you can find balance between the family you come from and who you are today.
In addition to individual therapy, Eddins Counseling Group also offers family therapy, providing an opportunity for family members to address and resolve conflicts together.
It may be that you have trouble getting job interviews simply because of your name. Or, perhaps you frequently make it to the last stages of the hiring process, only to face sudden rejection once an employer sees you in person. Perhaps you are an immigrant who is unsure how to navigate finding a job and protecting your rights. Or, maybe you are in a career that you love, but still feel worn down by clients who don’t want to work with you, coworkers who don’t respect your input and bosses who don’t seem to recognize your skills and insights.
Multicultural counseling offers you a safe, supportive space to air out all your frustrations and concerns. And, your therapist can help you advocate for yourself in the workplace and cope with stress and anxiety overall. With the right tools, strategies and resources, you can clearly express your qualifications, productively address workplace discrimination and feel confident in your job skills.
If you are part of multicultural friendships or a romantic partnership, you may struggle to see eye-to-eye with the people you care about. You may find yourself in conflict about important issues, leading to hurt and confusion all around. Perhaps you just wish your loved ones would believe and support you when you share your experience, or accept that you sometimes face challenges they don’t.
With counseling, you can hone your communication skills and develop strategies to gracefully and effectively navigate conflict. You can also learn to manage heightened distress and respond to hurtful comments without lashing out or withdrawing. Your therapist can also help you identify what you need out of your relationships so you can surround yourself with people who respect, value and support you.
If you have begun to question the religion you were raised in, or if you feel rejected by your faith community, you may feel as though you are going through a spiritual crisis. Perhaps you no longer know if you share the beliefs that you were taught to cherish while growing up. Or, perhaps the spirituality you hold dear to your heart seemingly conflicts with other parts of who you are. You may feel as though the structure of the world as you knew it has crumbled beneath you, leading you to question right and wrong, and even the nature of life itself.
In nonjudgmental multicultural therapy, your therapist will support you as you question and explore what spirituality means for you. You can discover what you believe and find clarity about what you hold dear, as well as come to find strength and possibility in conflict and doubt. You don’t have to hide parts of yourself; instead, you can embrace the complexity of belief and learn ways to honor both your faith and your individual identity.
Multicultural Identity and Personal Values:
Beyond any set of identifiers and labels, you are a unique person with personal wants, needs, fears and hopes. Your therapist can offer you validation, empathy and expert guidance as you parse through everything that everyone says you are and reject those messages that only feed turmoil and self-doubt. You can get to the root of any shame you feel about yourself and your identity and find freedom from internalized oppression.
Your therapist will help you set real, actionable goals and take practical steps toward living in alignment with your values. You can develop deep self-compassion and self-confidence and truly believe that you are wonderful the way you are.
There is a stigma around therapy in my culture.
If you come from a culture that doesn’t welcome the idea of therapy, you may have heard that you simply need to pray more, turn to your family or toughen up. But, in truth, there is nothing wrong with seeking counseling. Therapy can be helpful for anyone, regardless of background, at any stage in life. You don’t need to be in a crisis to reach out for help, and working with a counselor does not mean you are weak or defective. In fact, it takes courage to reach out for help. And, seeking mental health counseling is a lot more common than you may think.
I can’t afford multicultural counseling.
The goal of therapy is to equip you with the tools you need to cope with challenges and feel empowered to make decisions on your own. You don’t need to be in counseling forever, and the money and time you invest in therapy can help you nurture your emotional health over the long-term. You can also develop valuable tools and strategies to deal with discrimination, familial conflict and other multicultural issues throughout your lifetime.
Will my therapist try to push me away from my family and beliefs?
The main goal of multicultural therapy is to help you clarify what’s important to you. Your therapist will never push you toward one set of beliefs or force you to do something you don’t want to do. Instead, your therapist will honor and respect your background, identity, beliefs and values, helping you create a plan to live in alignment with your deepest, fullest self. You don’t have to discard any part of your identity to find wholeness and satisfaction. Rather, you can navigate life’s complications and find peace with who you are.
There Is Acceptance and Relief
We invite you to call Eddins Counseling Group at 832-559-2622 or contact us for more information about multicultural counseling and our practice in Houston, TX. And, please ask about working with therapists who are fluent in Arabic and Spanish.