Immigrants, Podcast of the Week

[Podcast of the Week] [090318]Immigrant Mentality and Fear

Do you listen to the podcast? I have to admit that I am really slow into the podcast world. I started to get hooked into listening to the podcast last year. I thought it would be fun to introduce some of the podcast/ episodes of the podcast that inspired me. Hope it inspired you too!

For the first podcast of the week, I want to share with you about the interview with Cal Fussman to Nely Galan. To be honest, I don’t know these two people before I accidentally got into this podcast.

(Liste to the podcast before you continue.)

I was listening to another podcast when they mentioned Cal Fussman. Out of curiosity, I clicked into Cal Fussman’s “Big Question” podcast. I was very curious about the title of the interview of Nely Galan, which is called “on Turning Pain to Profit” and that’s how I stumbled into this episode of the podcast. There are a few essential points that touched and inspired me in this interview.

Continue reading “[Podcast of the Week] [090318]Immigrant Mentality and Fear”


[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part 3)

Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents

When I planned to write this series of articles, I didn’t plan to make it so complicated and so long! This section has always been my plan. I want to share with you about my experiences to take these adult children’s narrative into individual and couple therapy.

Continue reading “[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part 3)”


[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part II)

Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents

I was planning to write this section starting with Chinese immigrant. Along the way, the Hispanic population took over. It is not because Hispanics are the # 1 minority population. It is because I can identify my parents and myself in these adult children.

My grandparents were born right after the World War 1 and lived under the Japanese colony their young adult life. My mother was born the year when the World War 2 ended. To live under the Japanese colony as a Taiwanese was difficult. It was also hard for my parents who grew up in the country when the entire world was in the process of recovery postwar. Continue reading “[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part II)”


[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part I)

Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents

Immigrants tend to move to the places where they have their relatives or families. For example, the city of Lowell has a huge Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laos population. The city of Lawrence also is central of the Hispanic population. My office located next to Lawrence and 10 miles from the city of Lowell. Being an Asian immigrant myself, I found myself getting clients from these two population quite often. However, because I don’t speak Vietnamese, Khmer, and Spanish, most of the clients from these countries are the first generation of the immigrant family who either immigrated here very young or was born here.

Therefore, my disclaimer here is that my working experiences with the Hispanic population are primary the adult children with immigrant parents. Let’s start with the Hispanic population.

The assessment questions were developed in the process of working with these children who speak both perfect English and native language. Other than discussing with my clients about these questions, I also research the history of the country of origin as part of my homework after the first intake session.

Let me start with the Hispanic population. Continue reading “[Working with Immigrants] Working with Hispanic Adult Children with Immigrant Parents (Part I)”


[Working with Immigrants] Self-Assessment as a Provider

icon-3-color-02I struggled to continue writing this series of article for a few weeks. My original writing plan is to share my experiences working with various immigrant populations. I have started to work on the Hispanic population, but I got stuck. After going back and forth and reading through the literature reviews, I realized two reasons. The first one is the provider’s assumptions about the immigrants. Let’s start with these two cases first.

Story 1:
Female, age between 25-35, presenting issues: interpersonal relationship, and mainly, intimate relationship issues.

“My husband/boyfriend thinks that I am too controlling. Is it wrong that I want to know when he comes home and where he goes? He also thinks that I am nitpicking him about little things. I just need him to pick up after himself and to help out cleaning the place. I can’t do everything by myself, right? Why can’t he give me a hand and think I am nagging him? I want him to get a better education and better job so that we can have a better future. However, he thinks that I am criticizing him. I can’t understand him. Doesn’t he want to have a better future with me?”

Story 2:
Male, age between 35-45, presenting issues: communication in the intimate relationships

“I don’t know how to communicate with my wife/girlfriend. Our values are so different in many ways. She said that I don’t talk to her and I have a temper. I don’t know if I have a temper. She thinks that I am too strict with children. Is it wrong to expect the children to behave certain ways?”

Before I dive into the details of using the proposed assessment model as described previously to work with these two clients, I invite you to have some free association here.

What are the hypotheses do you have with these two clients?

Please write them down first.

Continue reading “[Working with Immigrants] Self-Assessment as a Provider”


[Working With Immigrants] Assessment (Part 2)

immigration 3I hope you enjoyed this series so far. I am enjoying writing it and sharing my experiences. I would love to hear from you.
Just to refresh your memories, here are the questions I routinely ask my clients who are immigrants or the first generations of the immigrants.

Individual factor:
Where are you originally from?
When did you come here?
How old were you when you first got here?
What’s your birth order in the family?
How old are you and what are the issues you are facing right now?

Family factors:
How did you/your family come to the US?
Do you have family members around here? If not, where are your family of origin now and how did you end up at where you are now?
How often do you have the communication/interaction with your family of origin?
If married, how did you meet your partner? Are you the same cultural background or different?

Community factors:
How often do you have the interaction with people from your culture, talking in your native language, and participating activities that are often done in your culture of origin?

I have shared my thoughts about the individual factors, here are the reasons to ask these questions for the family and community factors.

Continue reading “[Working With Immigrants] Assessment (Part 2)”


[Working with Immigrants]Assessment (Part I)

immigration 1Thank you for interested in this series. If you want to know why I am interested in sharing my thoughts about working with immigrants, please check the introduction section.

Dr. Glick reviewed the research done between 200-2010 and found that an individual’s decision to immigrate and the chances to be successful in the immigration country was not an individual but a family decision (Galick, 2010). This confirmed to my personal experiences when I worked with either individual or couples when one or both partners were the immigrant generations or the first generation of the immigrant families. I will start by discussing my personal evaluation process and go on to the details of each cultural minority.

Continue reading “[Working with Immigrants]Assessment (Part I)”


[Working with Immigrant] Introduction


immigration 2The idea to share my experience working with immigrant population has been on my mind for a while. As a therapist who is an immigrant myself, I often have clients whose native language is Chinese or whose family of origin is Chinese seeking my assistance because of my ability to speak Mandarin Chinese and my understanding of the Chinese Culture.

My office is located in Andover, near the town line of North Andover and Lawrence. It is also less than 5 miles to the town of Tewksbury and Methuen and about 10 miles to the city of Lowell. Even though the majority of the population in the town of Andover is Non-Hispanic White, the City of Lawrence has a huge population of Hispanics and the City of Lowell has a huge Asian population (Cambodian and Vietnamese and some South Asian population). The town of Methuen and North Andover also has a huge Lebanese population.

So, I have thought about sharing my experiences working with different populations and the commonly seen issues in my office for a while now. This series of article will combine some of the research studies and my own personal experiences with all my clients who have given me the opportunity to work with them.

The other important reason to start writing this series of article is to continue my experiences of my “Going Home 2017” series. In some mysterious ways, I feel a sense of integration of my own identity as a Taiwanese and as an American-Trained therapist after writing that series of the articles. The integration experiences make me want to share with my readers who might be an immigrant or a therapist who work with an immigrant my experiences to help the clients to find a way to integrate their experiences.

Before we started, please know that I am trying my very best to write and to read as much as I can. I am going to try to post the articles in small chunks every week. However, if I don’t, please forgive me and be patient with me.