Cultural Issues/Ethnic Diversity

Therapists for people in cross-culture relationships can help individuals retain their culture and sense of self by helping them navigate cultural differences. In addition individuals can benefit exploring issues pertaining to race, ethnicity, and culture with therapists who are experienced in these areas.


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Race, ethnicity, and religious or spiritual background play a large part in shaping how we experience life. Culture is so much more than the food we eat, the music we listen to, or the language we speak. For example your relationship to family members, your feelings about gender roles and sexual expression, your concept of time, and even what constitutes commonsense, politeness, and humor are all formed in large part by culture.

Immigration, or even migration from one part of the country to another, can bring this truth suddenly and sharply into focus. You feel “different,” and may even encounter racist reactions from others, intentional or unintentional. How can you fit in while retaining a sense of your own identity and self-esteem? If you are bi- or multicultural, you may feel torn by your allegiance to two or more different communities.

Cross-cultural relationships can be especially challenging. Your partner may seem unkind, removed, or intrusive when his or her behavior may be considered “normal” in his or her own culture.

Therapy offers a safe place in which to explore your personal history and the different identities you have formed in order to live in a multicultural society. Whether this work is done individually, or as a couple, you have the opportunity to shape or reshape an identity that most truly reflects the place(s) you have come from as well as how you see yourself now.

Marin Therapists