Why is telling our stories in therapy and accessing culturally affirming therapy so important?


Many migrants and first- and second-generation young people may have experienced unique challenges in their upbringing. Having spent a significant portion of their developmental years living in a culture that is different from their parents' culture or the culture of their passport country can lead to a sense of not fully belonging to any one culture, which can cause a variety of psychological and emotional issues.

One issue that many migrants and third-culture kids face is intergenerational trauma. Intergenerational trauma is the transmission of trauma from one generation to the next, often through unresolved emotional and psychological issues that have been passed down through the family. For some of us, this trauma can be compounded by the cultural differences we have experienced through transitions and migration.

However, seeking therapy can help break these cycles of intergenerational trauma. Therapy can teach us how to recognize and manage emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Through therapy, we can also gain a better understanding of how our unique cultural experiences have affected our mental health and learn strategies to address challenges caused by these experiences, or harness them to strengthen our sense of self.

People who share their experiences and insights can also help create better mental health awareness and understanding among their peers. By sharing their stories, they can help break down the stigma around seeking therapy and encourage others to prioritise their mental health, and together we can create a more supportive and understanding environment for ourselves and others.