With therapists also from the international community...
Navigating the Cross-Cultural Odyssey
Stepping into a new culture is an adventure that brings a myriad of challenges. As newcomers, they often feel like "Outsiders," observing customs and traditions different from their own. The decision of whether to "stay or return" becomes a profound contemplation, balancing the allure of the unfamiliar with the pull of their roots. The struggle to communicate in a foreign language leaves them "Tongue-tied," wrestling with self-expression. Amidst this journey, societal pressures echo relentlessly: "Good GPA = Good Job?" Doubts and insecurities may arise, whispering that they are "invisible" or "not good enough."
Ally Counseling and Therapy recognized those challenges. We believe that amidst these trials, a path of growth unfolds, allowing individuals to discover resilience, acceptance, and the strength to embrace their unique identity.
You want to justify the journey as meaningful and rewarding no matter how painful the process of loss and separation has been. You remind yourself every day, it’s for freedom, better education, a better future for your children, better boundaries with your overbearing family back home, a better career, financial success… However, every day seems to remind you that you are an“outsider” in the US, or perhaps, also in your home country.
Stay or return
You keep questioning the decision to come to the U.S., yet going back home seems to be impossible, or horrible…
So you only have two bad options to choose from…Run away and be a loser or fight for it…You choose to fight, you try to show your best self to this new country.
You tell yourself you have to be better than those who were born and raised here because you don’t have a home to run back to. Yet you realize you never learned how to “present” yourself in a confident way. Your American peers seem to be natural at selling themselves. You feel “tongue-tied” in group discussions, class presentations…Fine, you work extra hard, so that even if you “undersell” yourself in social settings, you can still look good enough on paper. Perhaps you can still graduate with a good GPA.
Good GPA= Good Job?
You wish the job market was easier with your advanced degree(s). You came to realize that “outsiders” really have to prove they are unique or better than American workers to be “worthy” of work sponsorship, and then be super lucky to win the H1B lottery.
Perhaps you’re the lucky one. You thought you could finally make your parents proud after getting a good job, yet you don’t feel the sense of accomplishment you thought would naturally happen…
You started working, knowing you still need to do more to be noticed because you’re the “outsider”. You say yes to all the demands, work extra shifts, never complain about anything, and never use any sick days, yet you still seem to be invisible at work. Well, you tell yourself you have to get used to being invisible to survive in a foreign land. You bury your voice, duck your head and keep working hard…
Perhaps the caring and selfless act of mask-wearing made you a target. Or perhaps you were lucky to escape the overt racism by pushing yourself into the “model minority” group, yet you realize you can’t escape being the target of microaggressions. You cannot be silent anymore. You’ve been rehearsing that speech over and over in your head, the speech to defend your race, your color, your identity and to educate those who are ignorant, but when the opportunity arises,
You freeze again…
We really know!
We know what it’s like to separate from your home countries and loved ones.
We know what it’s like to an outsider.
We know what it's like to only have bad options to choose from or have no choice at all!
We know what it’s like to be tongue-tied.
We know what it’s like to be good on paper, but your gut tells you you’re never enough.
We know what it’s like to have to be overqualified to fight for a mediocre position.
We know what it’s like to be invisible when you want to be seen, yet so visible when you when to hide yourself…
Let us create a safe space for you to express your inner conflicts. We’ll work together to develop new and compassionate relationships with these unpleasant experiences. We’ll address current concerns and challenges. We’ll explore your values and goals together, and utilize them to motivate you to overcome current challenges—to become who you really are.