How To Find A Therapist Who Focuses On Asian American Mental Health

If you’re part of the AAPI community, it’s important to find a culturally competent therapist. Here’s how to start your search.

Before finding an Asian American mental health practitioner, Agnes Morelos’ experiences with therapy felt lacking.

She’d go to sessions and either water down her observations as a Filipina, Chinese and Spanish woman, or simply not address some of the more thorny aspects of her race and ethnicity ― like her lingering guilt over pursuing a job in writing and communications when her parents had dreams of her entering the medical or engineering field. Or how tired she was of swiping right on men on dating apps, only to have them say something in her DMs that suggested they had an Asian fetish.

Now that she’s been working with a therapist who also identifies as Asian American, she feels like there’s a mutual, unspoken understanding of her identity. She can share what she’s processing at the moment without having to slow down and educate someone who’s culturally unfamiliar with the territory.

“It’s like I’m able to dive into a 400-level understanding of race and ethnicity and skip over the 100-level,” Morelos, an assistant director of digital community engagement at the University of San Francisco, told HuffPost. “There’s a level of psychological safety in my therapy work now that I’ve found incredibly valuable.”

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