In Working With Immigrants, Dr. Rita Chi-Ying Chung demonstrates a multicultural approach to counseling clients who are immigrants or come from families that have immigrated to the United States. The approach Dr. Chung uses, called the multilevel model of psychotherapy, social justice, and human rights, provides a culturally sensitive framework for applying cognitive, affective, and behavioral interventions.
Because immigrants often come from cultures in which psychotherapists are not commonly consulted, the first step of this approach is to educate the client about mental health practices. Immigrant clients may often feel out of control in a new culture, so therapists may focus on issues of environmental mastery—helping clients understand how systems work, where to get assistance, and how to access resources—in addition to more typical therapeutic concerns.
In this session, Dr. Chung works with a young woman whose parents emigrated from the Philippines. Dr. Chung helps the client deal with acculturation issues, particularly how to balance her parents' cultural expectations with the American culture within which she has grown up.