Asian American Mental Health

Asian American Mental Health

An interview with Linda Yoon, LCSW, on specific mental health needs of Asian American clients. Curt and Katie talk with Linda about what therapists often get wrong when working with Asian clients and colleagues. We explore the model minority myth, fetishization of Asian women, and the complexity of the heterogeneous group that falls under the term “Asian American.” We also talk about steps therapists can take to better support Asian American people.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Interview with Linda Yoon, LCSW, Founder and Co-Director of Yellow Chair Collective

Linda is the founder and the co-director of Yellow Chair Collective, a multicultural psychotherapy group with a special focus on Asian mental health. Linda has over 10 years of experience in the field of social work and mental health. Before starting Yellow Chair Collective, she worked in residential and outpatient mental health clinics, domestic and intimate relationship violence programs, and affordable and inclusive housing services, often serving Asian and Asian Pacific Islanders and the immigrant/refugee population.

Linda is passionate about community outreach and provides workshops on social and mental health topics including diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), cultural sensitivity, parenting, self and community care, family violence, refugee/immigrant issues, and Asian American mental health. Her work has been featured in the LA Times, KXN, CBS Radio, KPBS, Al Dia Politics, and Crushing the Myth. Linda also has been a panelist for KQED Forum, NPR Podcast, and USC Center for Health Journalism speaking about Asian Mental Health needs during the pandemic and anti-Asian hate crime surge. Linda is also an active committee member of NASW-CA Asian Pacific Islander Council – Southern California.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why Asian American Mental Health is so important
  • What therapists are getting wrong when working with Asian clients and colleagues
  • The Model Minority myth, bias and stereotypes
  • The lack of understanding of who Asian Americans are (and the heterogeneity of this group – there’s over 20 Asian countries with different languages and characteristics)
  • Self-gaslighting, dismissal of Asian American racism experiences
  • Accurate assessment and important questions to ask
  • Looking at different immigration stories, languages spoken, what culture they relate to if their families come from more than one culture
  • The barriers Asian Americans face in seeking mental health treatment
  • The different perspective on mental health and the understanding of body and mind
  • Collectivism and the impact on an individual seeking mental health services
  • How different generations may perceive mental health treatment
  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate services
  • The potential missing data due to Asian Americans not reporting to or trusting the census
  • The current spotlight on Asian hate and racism, and the history of violence against Asian people
  • Common microaggressions
  • The importance of educating oneself and avoiding assumptions, the value of consultation
  • Ways to help with antiracism relevant to Asian Americans
  • Questions to ask yourself to support Asian clients and colleagues

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Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

yellowchaircollective.com

Yellow Chair Collective on Instagram

The Inadequacy of “Asian American” as a term (article)

Relevant Episodes:

Let’s Talk About Race Again

Therapy for Intercountry Transracial Adoptees

Dr. Joy Cox: How to Stay in Your Lane to Support Diversity and Inclusion

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Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: http://www.curtwidhalm.com

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: http://www.katievernoy.com

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

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Transcript (Autogenerated)

Curt Widhalm  00:00

This episode of the Modern Therapist Survival Guide is sponsored by Buying Time,

Katie Vernoy  00:04

Buying Time is a full team of virtual assistants with a wide variety of skill sets to support your business. from basic admin support customer service and email management to marketing and bookkeeping, they’ve got you covered. Don’t know where to start, check out the system’s inventory checklist, which helps business owners figure out what they don’t want to do anymore and get those delegated ASAP. You can find that checklist at Buying Timellc.com/system-checklist

Announcer  00:31

Listen at the end of the episode for more information. You’re listening to the Modern Therapist Survival Guide where therapists live, breathe and practice as human beings to support you as a whole person and a therapist. Here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy.

Curt Widhalm  00:49

Welcome back modern therapists. This is the Modern Therapist Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast for therapists about therapists about things the therapist should know and one of the topics that I think often gets overlooked in any discussion about cross cultural representation, diversity awareness and, and is something that admittedly, we here at Modern Therapist Survival Guide have done probably the bare minimum about in our four years of podcasting. Here we’ve had one episode about working with Asian American clients. And today we’re joined by Linda Yoon, a licensed clinical social worker, and founder and all sorts of cool things over at the yellow chair collective talking to us today about things going on with the Asian American community and things that therapists should know and working with Asian American clients, especially with huge spikes in anti-Asian hate crimes and anti-Asian microaggressions. and everything in between, especially here over the last couple of years, with the corona virus pandemic going on. So thank you very much for spending some time with us today and helping us in our audience. better serve the world.

Linda Yoon  02:12

Hi, thank you. Thank you, Curt and Katie, for inviting me to speak on this topic.

Katie Vernoy  02:17

We are so excited to have you here. You and I have had a conversation and I just really respect and I’m very excited about the work that you’re doing. The first question that we ask all of our guests is Who are you? And what are you putting out into the world?

Linda Yoon  02:31

As Curt introduce, my name is Linda Yoon, I’m a licensed clinical social worker in California have over 10 years of experience in mental health, social services, advocacy, mainly working with a lot of immigrants and refugee population, we’re often Asian Americans. I’m also the founder and co director of Yellow Chair Collective, which is a multicultural psychotherapy group, we have a special focus on Asian mental health at this time. To answer your second question. I’m actually not sure what I’m putting out into the world currently, I’ll have to see, you know, maybe in 20 years and reflect on what I have done. But however, today for this podcast, my intention is to put out inclusion and awareness of Asian American issues and mental health. And that is a goal for me today.

Curt Widhalm  03:23

One of the questions we like to ask towards the beginning of our episodes here is there’s a lot of mistakes that people can make in any variety of ways. And if we can help our audience not make those same kinds of mistakes, that’s one of the great services that we can offer. From your perspective, what are therapists getting wrong in working with Asian clients or interacting with Asian colleagues?

Linda Yoon  03:48

Yeah, first, I do want to share a little bit update on why this is important. Especially for therapists in America. Actually, Asians are the fastest growing population in the United States between 2020 18 Asian population grew 81%, which is even more than Hispanic population who are 70% growth. And yeah, Asian population is expected to grow past 35 million by 2060. But because Asian Americans are actually least likely group to understand and be poor their senses. So the number could be actually even more higher. And now to answer the what therapists may be getting wrong, or working with Asian clients or Asian colleagues, I mean, there are obviously, you know, biases and stereotypes that therapists of non Asian descent may have about Asian people, right? model minority myth, I’m sure you’ve heard about it before is a huge issue of this biases and stereotypes, whether they are good or not. model minority myth will often say Asians are smart, they are hard workers. They do not cause trouble. They do all, you know, economic sense. And it creates a lot of this homogeneous and model, that thick idea of Asian Americans are, when there’s tremendous diversity within Asian American community, Asia actually has over 20 countries, East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Indian subcontinent, each with unique history, you know their languages and characteristics. And then we just get often forgotten in the media in the US. Also, maybe what I want to point out is maybe not misunderstanding or getting it wrong, but maybe the lack of understanding of who Asian Americans are, especially the community of therapists, because there’s not much education, or knowledge around multicultural issues. And, you know, especially within Asian communities, so we got to be seeing more and more people with multicultural issues in our within our clients, just in society, you know, we will have a cultural cross cultural couples, families and identity issues. And there isn’t really a lot of education around that. And I can give an example, perhaps in the context of Asian verti cross cultural issue that can happen, that therapists may miss. If you’re a non Asian therapist, oh, no, white therapists, you know, let’s say you have an Asian couple coming in. And let’s say they’re both East Asians. Yeah. So assumptions may be like, you know, they share a similar background, you know, and there wouldn’t be necessarily assessment around, you know, what languages do they speak? What languages do they grew up with? or different cultural backgrounds, you know, what’s their immigration story of their families, there may be, they’re all bringing in to therapy room in their relationship, right. So I have a good friend named Susan. She’s also my co director, at yellow chair collected, she has a partner, Jimmy and Jimmy and Susan are both East Asians. Now, if they go to couples therapy, because they’re both East Asians, it’s so easy to assume that they share similar culture, right? However, Susan is Korean 1.5 generation Korean. And Jimmy is second generation Chinese who actually also grew up with four different Chinese dialect languages. And that that created a lot of like, communication and language issues, as he grew up, that might have affected him, you know, attachment or communication style, that maybe some keys to their relationship and their relationship issues perhaps. And without education around it, we will miss it. You know, without knowledge, we don’t know what to look for how to assess, and how they affect.

Katie Vernoy  07:44

So what I’m hearing is that there is such a huge diversity within this monolithic term, Asian American especially. And I read recently that it that even the term Asian American was about trying to bring together political power. And maybe that isn’t quite a term that that’s helpful anymore, because it does create such a monolithic perspective. And I’ll link to the article in the show notes. But it’s something where I’m hearing that there’s a lot more questions maybe that should be asked when you’re working with clients that fall under this huge umbrella so that you can actually get to some of these things. What are some of the questions that you would recommend when you’re when you’re setting with potentially any client of any culture but but specifically that are being left out in these conversations with Asian American clients?

Linda Yoon  08:33

I do want to note that historically, Asian American term was coined to bring Asian Americans together because before the term do us, a lot of people actually refer to their ethnic heritage. You know, I’m Japanese American, Filipino American, or if there were, it was called Orientals, which has racist connotation to it. During the time that word was coined, there were a lot of different movements like anti war movement, Black Power movement, and Asians voices were getting lost. And then there was intention to bring people together. In my opinion, there is not the best way, there are similar experiences Asian American full share, I think the term is helpful. I think what I want to point out is not forgetting that there is a lot of diversity and how they may play so kind of like you know, this band diagram share like being Asian and American, or Japanese or Korean, even though they’re very close together in East Asia, they do have a difference. They speak different languages. They have different culture and South Asian and Southeast Asians who are often kind of forgotten. A lot of people think of East Asians when we say Asian Americans know that they are also included in this term. So I think it’s just really about education, being mindful to be culturally sensitive, by gaining those knowledge right? I’d also released listening to people, you’re individualizing as well,

Curt Widhalm  10:05

Can you give us a little bit of a deeper dive into the model minority myth? I think many of us have heard it in one capacity or another. And I think it probably just gets shortened down into kind of like that. Oh, yeah, model minority. But there’s apparently a lot more to this.

Linda Yoon  10:22

Yeah. So a lot of history context is, in this term model, minority myth. A lot of people don’t know about it, why it was created, why it was pushed, why is there we have to kind of go back to World War Two, actually, when Japanese internment camps happen, and they came out and they’re given, you know, just a little government, a compensation or a to rebuild their life. And a lot of Japanese Americans worked hard and really rebuild their lives. Around 1960s when there was rising of civil rights, right, black Americans civil rights movement, why society media really started create this propaganda of, Oh, look, look at this Japanese Americans, they’re thriving out of ashes, you know, look at them, they were, everything was taken away. And they got a little aid that black Americans also got. And they made a very successful businesses and successful people. And they will cherry pick this people write the success stories, right? To create this opposing view, to discourage and diminish the effort of civil rights movement, in 1960s. So much of America, including other people color, I say, really took this narrative, even Asian Americans themselves out of survival, right? So they want to survive. And to survive, it’s just really embracing this model minority destined to have some advantage and privilege and position themselves more like, you know, quote, unquote, white, right? However, this really created this opposing there between a lot of people color, and make Asians really invisible, that Asians are not, sometimes we’re like, oh, they’re not people color, or they’re just honorary whites, right. And they really made it difficult and harder. And that’s that model, minority myth was created, not to maintain the systematic racism for all races. And the narrative was created as if the racism was just binary in a black and white. And then systemic racism doesn’t exist, and they’re different THERE IS THAT COUNTLESS model minority myth to put the blacks at the bottom, white Americans at the top and Asian Americans like somewhere in our chart, but not white. Not Wow. Yeah. So that really asked to how Asian American experience has been dismissed. And that was not taken seriously for a long time. And that led a lot of self gaslighting dismissing of their personal rates and experiences, because like, Asian Americans, especially East and South Asians, who really embraced this model, minor e myth, live up to pressure to this myth,

Katie Vernoy  13:09

What are the questions that you would ask a new client coming in to make sure that you understand the different elements of their story and the uniqueness of their experience?

Linda Yoon  13:18

I mean, there is definitely standard intake a lot of people use as a therapist, and I would like to always ask, you know, their cultural background or ethnicity and kind of go beyond that, you know, immigration story, their immigration stories, you know, do they identify themselves in the culture, cultural biracial cultures that I have seen in my clients, sometimes, they might look in a past more like one ethnicity more, but they actually family or relate to more to another culture they grew up in. So kinda like that aspect, you know, just not have assumption. Now biases asking, and how was it growing up by culturally, you know, how was language book in the family? Because it makes difference in the relationship dynamic, you know, with different speaking languages at home, like I had a client whose parent was Japanese or Korean, and they spoke in English, and then, you know, they never really got to really learn each other’s language. So that was kind of hard, you know? And that how did that impact that? So we wouldn’t know unless really go deep into their, you know, cultural history, immigrants history, like, how did they How did that family resettle? Because that also has that identity, generational identity that they bring where the immigrants, were they refugees, you know, one of the reasons they moved, right, so all those questions that could be considered

Curt Widhalm  14:51

What kind of barriers do Asian Americans face in seeking out mental health services?

Linda Yoon  14:58

So Asian Americans are Actually, three times less likely to seek out mental health services in the US. So, you can see how little the service is utilized by Asian Americans. First there is lack of understanding of what mental health is, because it can be very poor and concept. In many traditional Eastern medicine, wellness confirm body and mind is a balance of body and mind concept is connection between body and mind in traditional Western concept of mental health and separating, right, that mental health and physical health, so it really wasn’t in Asian people to capillary Asian medicine vocabulary, when this concept of mental health in a Western psychology was introduced. So that’s one of them. And there’s also cultural collectivism, which values family community over individual needs. Many Asian Americans as you grew up in a household that don’t really talk about mental health, or emotions in general, and it can, when you seek out mental health services, it can seen as kind of personal failure, that not just on you, but also as a family earlier, it brings shame to the family, because whatever you do, whatever you represent, is not just a reflection of you, but also your family and community. So a lot of Asians will comment, not seeking our mental health services earlier was afraid of how their family will perceive it. And if they will bring shame to the family and their community. This is really true, especially for the first generation immigrants, and then older generations. But I do want to note that second American born, younger generations are more open, and perhaps more westernized, you say, and have more understanding of mental health. And they’re utilizing mental health more and encouraging older generation to seek out help and it’s needed. Some other external barriers that I might point out is for those who need therapy services, in their native language, or they need a therapist that understands the culture, because the issue is very cultural. There just isn’t enough, culturally or linguistically competent service providers and programs out there. And I mentioned earlier that Asians are less likely group to understand or report to US Census, because it has historical context to it like Japanese and campaign, that census was used against them. So census means that you get representation, right, and you get funding. So when we don’t know who’s there, the funding and resources do not go there. So there is this lack of research done on Asian mental health and funding for the programs that Asian Americans need. So those are some barriers, I will say that are more prominent.

Katie Vernoy  17:55

When we’re looking at Asian Americans seeking mental health services, I just think about it, you know, and Kurt nodded to this earlier in the episode, just how much there could be a huge need right now, given all of the anti Asian hate crimes that microaggressions and just terrorism, I mean, like there just seems like there has been big attacks on Asian Americans. And maybe some of it has been more of a spotlight because of, of the time and that the the kind of worse. I think, as a society, we’re trying to pay attention to this more. So we’ve got the model minority myth that basically made this experience invisible, but there’s also kind of the objectification of Asian women and the fetishization that occurred. Can you talk with us a little bit about what that is?

Linda Yoon  18:47

Yeah, definitely. There has been a fetishization of Asian woman like historically that a lot of times Asian woman was seen as no going again perpetrator foreigner right, like foreign exotic in some rumors know about Asian woman’s body. And I think it really has to do with military like wars, right, where military personnel will go for a long time, you know, Korea, China, Philippines, and then they you know, they needed you know, quote, unquote, they will call comfort woman or they call it a prostitute, but I wonder if they had a choice to do so. They all really added up to this idea of Asian woman because model monetary myth also said, you know, Asian woman’s are quiet, obedient. Just Good, good woman. If you want a non troubling woman and give your sexual pleasure is Asian woman so that that narrative, you know, with the military, seeing woman, Asian woman’s exotic husband there, and I’m not sure why he was invisible because there’s a lot of movies that also fantasize Asian woman, right? Yeah, I’ve heard penetrating that ideas. And I personally got stories to a lot of Asian woman will have the stories that this you know, creepy old man will come and talk about how they always want to be with an Asian woman, like, out of nowhere. And I know I’m not the only one a lot of Asian women actually do share similar experiences on that. And it’s led to the spouse shooting right at once a shooting in March, he really associated the shooter associated Asian woman, as sexual beings in I think he may have statements something about that he wants to eliminate, kill all sexual because he has sex addiction. So he has sex addiction, and then he blamed that on Asian woman. So there are some narratives that came out that he stated around sexual distractions he was trying to fight off, and he blamed Asian woman, associated Asian spouse, you know, with a lot of sexual services. And that was one of the his intention of going to Asian spouse and creating this mass shooting killing of eight people.

Katie Vernoy  21:11

I feel like I know, enough to kind of know what I don’t know a little bit. And so I just wanted to get from, from your perspective, what you’re seeing what you’re hearing what Asian Americans are facing today, because I think therapists need to know. And they need to be prepared to support their clients in in the sessions that they’re having with them.

Linda Yoon  21:30

How difficult it is a lot more awareness, especially with anti Asian hate crimes getting more attention. But I do want to note that racism and violence against Asians always been in the US history for centuries. And some notable things that people don’t know about as there were anti Chinese movement that causes massacres and lynching of many Chinese people in 1800s. All the way to Chinese Exclusion Act, and more. You know, with the visor model, minority myth narrative, I think that narrative really try to make Asians struggles really invisible. Because like, oh, they’re doing so well, right. And although there always been this discrimination and racism, it wasn’t really shown. And that really caused a lot of Asians to invalidate their own experience dismissible. They want to experience this because nobody did the media and why society didn’t really believe in racism against Asians. And actually, as the pandemic started, like, it’s officially started recording. In America, there were a lot of hate crimes being reported, especially shared through social media. However, media didn’t really get that on like, there wasn’t really attention to it. And it was when the shooting in Atlanta that killed eight people, six Asian woman, that’s when media actually really started. agonize, but for many Asians, the rise of hate crimes were very distressful. Even before, it was almost like we had to wait for mass shooting to happen to get some attention. Wow. Yeah, we sell attention and of anti Asian racism, and the hate crime rising made a lot of Asian Americans reflect on their everyday quiet, you know, racism microaggressions, you know, we can say, and as we know, micro aggression is like a paper cut, right? It’s like a small paper cup, but you get so much the wound become bigger, and it actually really hurts and it can get infected. Right? And for many, many years, microaggression against Asians were considered acceptable, or even funny, like, I internalize it myself, too, and made myself by identity as Asians, you know, some kind of joke and then people laugh about it. I’m like, okay, but inside of myself, it doesn’t feel right and no, I so, I can share some common microaggressions that Asian people do get very most common one is like, Where are you from? Right, because we’re professional foreigners, you know, no matter how many generations you have been here, you’re a third fourth, fifth generation, you still have the Asian Look, you’re not from here, right? And then not taking answer like oh, I was born in the US as an answer. It’s like no, where are you really far off? And sometimes, you know, without the person, you know, letting the other person know like, they struggle with English you just say oh, you speak good English. It’s not like usually a compliment unless the person you know says something about it insecurity about English, or Asian look the same. Or I’m not attracted to Asian boys. That’s a big one. As if that’s a preference right for the whole, putting hallways like this regarding whole race just because of race. Or assuming all Asians are good at math. All It seems like a good myth. It really overlook a lot of students who really hate math or not good at math, and not be able to get the proper health. And big one that I shared earlier is you know, Asians are homogeneous monolith, I definitely got some comments like, Oh, where are you from? Right. And I actually was born in Korea. So when they like, Oh, where are you born? And then I’m like, Oh, I see. I was born in Korea. And they start talking about how their niece was adopted from China. Like, that’s a poor cultural connection that has no relevance to what I’m talking about. So as if that connection was appropriate, you know, yeah. So my hope is that there will be continual dialogue and education around how harmful motto My name is, has been for everybody, and the stereotypes and biases that come with it, as we really try to validate the Asian experiences that have been on Santa invisibles for a long time. So and that’s, I think, May, there’s a lot of different things Asian Americans really struggle today. But I think that’s one of the main things that this stereotypes and biases are harmful and hurt people.

Curt Widhalm  26:13

For a lot of clinicians who may not have much experience of working with Asian American clients, and their first Asian American client overcome some of these barriers that you’ve talked about. They finally, you know, feel, hey, I’m going to seek out some services. For those clinicians in those first sessions. There’s probably a lot of opportunities to just stumble all over yourself trying to fit in all of these questions in the first place. And trying to say, you know, hey, I’ve listened to Linda’s episode with Curt and Katie. And there’s both kind of this taking what’s going on with them right now, in all of this current Zeitgeist of what’s going on all of the Asian hate, that’s, you know, being finally kind of seen in a consistent way across media, social media. What’s the best advice that you can give those clinicians kind of in that first experience, as they are trying to create a good therapeutic environment for those clients that invites them back to therapy and isn’t just kind of reinforcing some of this mental health divide that exists here,

Linda Yoon  27:30

I believe it will be really balanced of, you know, doing work, to be aware of knowledge and education of, you know, Asian American culture, and also not having any assumptions of the client who comes in who’s, who stood in front of you, right, like the basic therapeutic therapy process, like hear their story. Now, there are so many different intersectionality, of individual and Bellamy’s story that we might not, we might miss it, we have preconceptions of who they are. So but then we also don’t want to not have any cultural background, right? So I think it’s just really about balance all of it. But if you don’t know a lot about Asian culture, and you know, hopefully, you’re committed to it, but you have this client that you just don’t have a lot of knowledge at this point. How is it just hear the story and be mindful not to ask the client to be a teacher, though, because it really puts a lot of burden on the client to teach their culture. So really, really hard lineup, like finding that balance, listening, understanding, but also not putting that burden? Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a simple answer to it. But if you are present, and you are listening, and doing your own research and understand the consultation, if you need to, I think that will be a good place to start

Curt Widhalm  28:57

Broadening that out for even some of the more savvy clinicians or clinicians who might be more familiar with some of the nuances here. What’s kind of the best way to support Asian clients and larger Asian American community for mental health professionals right now.

Linda Yoon  29:13

Best way to support Asian clients and larger Asian American community right now? is being proactive on being anti racist. Like I want to make a point that and being anti racist is not same as not being racist. Yes, it’s a proactive term. It’s a proactive way of approaching values that work towards fighting racism. You know, not being racist, just not being racist means that you know, I’m avoiding racist situation. I’m not making racist statements. You know, it’s very neutral, non active, it doesn’t really add to, you know, any work of eliminating racism and we are just holding into Asian American issues because There has been on the news on the media. In the last year, we saw with George for us that there were a lot of attention towards racism against black Americans. And this year, not so much corporate anymore. And Asians racism against Asians will lose interest. And then I can still, I can see the media is covering less and less, even though it is still happening. But the racism because media is not covering, it doesn’t go anywhere. It still exists, people still experiences, trauma happens. And fighting and speaking out against racism is not a trend. Right. So regarding the topic, I’m speaking up today, the question I want to ask people is, ask yourself, how am I going to support and be inclusive of my Asian clients and colleagues, now invest in my career, and it really comes down to one thing, being mindful of studying the culture and getting to know the person individually, and really just being less open to listen and learn? I think really being teachable learnable is the biggest thing and ask if you need to, like, Is there something you need individually? or do some research google it different ways that Asian clients or Asian colleagues may want to be supportive? I mean, there’s definitely fundraise for anti Asian hate crime prevention, right? Like, I think donations are good way, and just letting people know, hey, like, I’m thinking of you. One thing that I do want to point out is like, if you haven’t spoken, this one particular agent, colleague, you know, that you have for years, you know, don’t just you know, are polluters contact, it just feels a little impersonal. And then there are some agent clients, actually, and other people that are here to me that they felt a little bit like out of blue, a little insensitive. It’s like, now this is a time that you make connection, like you didn’t try it for years. So we do want to be mindful that but if you have a relationship with this particular colleague or community, yeah, let them know your support or get involved, really educate yourself on Asian cultures and how it is impacting the Asian cultures or an Asian American culture.

Katie Vernoy  32:17

Yeah. I really liked that advice. It’s something where we had some similar advice with Dr. Joy Cox came on and talked about intersectionality, as well as kind of how to support diversity and inclusion. And, and that was one of the things she was saying is like, build real relationships. You know, that’s really important. And, and I think that’s, that’s what you’re saying as well. It’s like, reach out to the people you actually have relationships with, whether it’s therapy clients, or colleagues or friends in that caring, connected way, not as a checkbox or not as like, Hey, can I pick your brain on what’s going on in the world right now? Because I think either of those things are very impersonal and harmful. Yeah, definitely. So to summarize kind of what I am hearing, because I think this is this is very, very, very helpful. Thank you, Linda, I think being able to to hold the space for each person’s experience is unique, there’s going to be a lot of complexity there. You don’t say Where are you from? I was, you know, even though that’s one of the things that that may be important for therapists to know. But maybe what’s your cultural heritage? Is there, you know, is there an immigration story that’s relevant to you and your family, kind of being able to get to a place where you can learn more about this individual in front of you, and understand the uniqueness of their experience? And then do research and not have them teach you about all of their culture? Because I think that’s important. I just, I’m reflecting on some of the conversations I’ve had with Asian colleagues, clients, friends, and there is so much that I didn’t know about the Asian experience in the United States that I’ve started learning more about, especially the model minority myth, fetishization and kind of the exotic nature of for Asian women. I think there’s just so much that is happening just all over the place that we’ve been so unaware of. It’s been hidden. It’s been, it’s been invisible. And so I’m so glad we’ve had this conversation. And I just really encourage people to reach out like you had suggested within their relationships to, to learn more about that person’s experience and to support them in whatever way we can. Yeah, definitely. Where can people find more about you? Because this has been very helpful. I’m sure there’s gonna be folks that want to learn more about what you’re doing and potentially seeking out some consultation.

Linda Yoon  34:40

Yeah, I mean, you can definitely find more about us at yellow chair collected calm. As a psychotherapy group. We do provide individual couples family therapy for all ages. We also run Asian American teen and adult support groups where Asian American teens and adults can come together and learn about how their Racial, intergenerational trauma and Asian American experiences has been. And we are also actively providing trainings and consultation right now to government sectors, corporations, nonprofits, communities on creating dialogue and, and learning about Asian American culture. All of our Asian Americans need to be acknowledged and acknowledged in our communities and workplaces. We have trained therapists that can lead this conversation in safe manner. And we also provide individual consultations for any clinicians who are working with Asian clients and community with any capacity. Thank you.

Curt Widhalm  35:40

And we will include links to yellow chair collective and where you can get more information as well as our past episodes about working with the greater Asian American Pacific Islander communities. And you can find those in our show notes at mtsgpodcast.com, be sure to follow us on our social media as well or we’ll continue to share some resources in being able to support the AAPI community. And check out the therapy reimagined conference website where you can get all the latest updates on our little conference that we’re putting on at the end of September, here in the Los Angeles area and hybrid streaming to wherever you may be. So check that out at therapy reimagined conference calm. And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy and Linda.

Katie Vernoy  36:32

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Curt Widhalm  36:34

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Katie Vernoy  37:03

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Announcer  37:19

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