Why It Is Important to Find a South Asian Therapist

As a South Asian Therapist, Chandni helps women of color build upon their existing strengths and coping strategies to help them achieve their goals and full potential. She is passionate about creating impactful relationships with her clients through a warm, professional and dedicated approach.

In the United States, one in five Americans experience a mental health issue. Despite this fact, individuals from the South Asian community, also known as Desis, are reluctant to seek treatment due to cultural stigma, financial limitations, family expectations, historical religious beliefs, low expectations of the healthcare system, medical racism, and pathologization of their cultural traditions and beliefs.

Despite these obstacles, Desis demonstrate incredible resilience. This is evident by their relentless work ethic and unyielding drive to succeed in American society, as well as the way they project a strong sense of emotional resilience and a willingness to face challenges head-on. Unfortunately, these traits make it difficult for them to recognize and acknowledge that they have mental health issues, especially those related to anxiety, which can be seen as a sign of weakness.

While the South Asian community faces significant barriers to accessing mental health services, they do have unique coping mechanisms and resilient attributes that are derived from their culture and traditions. For example, the importance of familial support networks and a strong sense of community support and connection often helps to alleviate the effects of anxiety for many. Additionally, a number of religious rituals and spiritual practices can be used as an effective coping mechanism to reduce stress and manage anxiety.

However, in addition to these positive factors, the South Asian community has to contend with the long-lasting trauma of colonialism, displacement, violence and casteism that have plagued generations of individuals within the community. This intergenerational trauma, particularly among women, can lead to depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

This is why it is so important that South Asians seek out a therapist who has an understanding of the intersectionality of these factors and a commitment to working collaboratively with clients to find the most effective treatment. Fortunately, the voices of mental health advocates in the South Asian community are growing louder and more prominent than ever before, as evidenced by organizations such as Mann Mukti, SAKHI, The Blindian Project, and many other national and local groups that provide support, education, and resources.

Furthermore, an increasing number of clinicians are becoming aware that there are unique nuances and complexities involved in providing mental health services for South Asians. As a result, there is an increasing demand for therapists with the training and expertise to address the specific needs of this community. To meet this need, the newly launched south Asian therapist Directory provides a listing of professionals with the training and experience needed to provide quality care to those from the South Asian community. This resource is provided by the non-profit organization Repose. We encourage you to visit their website and search for a therapist near you who can best serve your needs.