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Therapy for first-generation Americans in New York City

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therapy for first-generation americans in nyc

Being a first-generation American in New York City can be overwhelming.

It’s easy to feel stuck in the “in-between” like you don’t have a place where you’re accepted for who you are. Understandably, this experience can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, frustration, and sadness to name a few.It’s easy to feel stuck in the “in-between” like you don’t have a place where you’re accepted for who you are. Understandably, this experience can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, frustration, and sadness to name a few.You may feel pressure to live up to your family’s sacrifices and wonder if the goals you’re working toward are good enough. With that often follows feelings of guilt and shame.Oftentimes, finding connection and community is challenging when adjusting to a new place or culture as you reconcile how to connect with your native home and recently adopted one.

Being a first-generation American means many different things to different people. For example, as a first-generation American, you may experience that your abilities are unfairly underestimated and misunderstood.

In everyday settings – academic, professional, social, personal, and romantic – you may feel like an outsider because you’re not American enough. Yet with your family abroad, you’re unlike them because you’re too American. You may have been raised by your family’s beliefs and traditions, but in professional, academic or social settings, you’re constantly trying to prove that you’re just as “American” as everyone else.

You may have grown up feeling shame about the native food you enjoy, only to come to the painful realization that people will clammer for a table at a Michelin star restaurant starring the same authentic foreign cuisine. As a first-generation American, you may have had to translate documents and feel obligated to take care of your parents into adulthood.

You may feel an internal conflict between being authentic and loyal to your race, country, and culture, and also wanting to feel accepted and like you truly belong to your community. It’s easy to feel stuck in the “in-between” like you don’t have a place where you’re accepted for who you are. Understandably, this experience can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, frustration, and sadness to name a few.


what you may be experiencing
  • Feeling anxious, lethargic, sad, or depressed

  • Feelings of imposter syndrome at school or at work

  • Feeling like you’re not good enough despite evidence of acheivement or successes

  • Avoiding or withdrawing from activities or hobbies that previously brought you joy

  • Irritation over minor frustrations

  • Not feeling “at home” or a sense of belongingness, feeling like an outsider

  • Feeling misunderstood by others which may lead to feelings of embarrassment or shame

  • Reluctance to communicate or engage with others at work, school, or socially

  • Stress or fear surrounding issues with immigration status

  • Dealing with the deleterious effects of racism and prejudice


NYC Therapists Who Specialize in Therapy for First-Generation Americans

Connecting with the right therapist is the most important factor in your search. We’re here to help you find a great match.

How Therapy Can Help

There are a variety of therapeutic approaches for helping first-generation Americans

Therapy allows you to connect with a supportive person who can guide you through your process and to develop new ways of coping to help to feel better. We want to help you find meaning. In addition to connecting with the right therapist, There are many psychotherapeutic approaches to helping individuals who experience issues unique to first-generation Americans, including:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This process is focused on addressing thought patterns, physical symptoms, and behaviors. Research shows that CBT is a very effective form of treating a variety of issues. Through compassionate and supportive care, we hope to create a safe space for you to feel comfortable in starting the process toward growth and reducing the feelings of depression and anxiety you may be feeling.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) works by analyzing all parts of reality—not only looking at a single element of the subsystem (one’s behavior), but also exploring how the other parts of reality (one’s environment) and larger systems (culture, global climate, etc.) operate together. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a research-based therapy stemming from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy that helps people develop the necessary skills to better control emotions and emotional reactions.

LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapy

Individuals in the LGBTQ community share many common issues, sometimes unrelated to their sexuality and identity. Oftentimes, one might come to therapy with relationship issues, identity issues, self-esteem concerns, and more. Affirmative Therapy is defined as the acknowledgment and acceptance of the person’s sexual orientation and identity, working toward developing a better sense of self, building authenticity, and strengthening one’s voice.

Multicultural Counseling

Multicultural counseling recognizes how race, ethnicity, gender, income, ability, culture, religion and other social factors influence a client’s identity and life experiences. Therapists and clients spend time developing mutual trust and respect in the early phases as your therapist begins to understand your concerns, needs and expectations of therapy. Together with your therapist find solutions to your issues and address aspects related to your relationship with your culture and the dominant culture you live in.

looking for a therapist who speaks your language?

We offer therapy in Cantonese, Portuguese, Polish, and Spanish.

We understand that being an immigrant, a first-generation American, or far from one’s family and country can be stressful. Our diverse therapists help clients from all around the world work through issues related to culture, race, identity, and adjusting to a new place. Connect with a multilingual therapist who understands and speaks your language.

Not ready to start therapy?

Connecting and relating to others who are going through something similar can help.

If you’re not ready to invest in therapy, please explore these helpful resources:

need support as a first-generation american?

Get in touch today.

Together we can equip you with the skills that will help you thrive. To learn more about how we can help, schedule a complimentary consultation with a therapist today.


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Alyssa Digges, MA
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Amy Schell, LMHC
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Ariel Zeigler, Ph.D
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Begoña Núñez Sánchez, LP
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Carole Taylor-Tumilty, LCSW
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Caryn Moore, LCSW
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Christina Mancuso, LCSW
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Courtney Cohen, LMHC
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Daniel Rich, LMHC
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Elena Beharry, Psy.D
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Eliza Chamblin, LCSW
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Fanny Ng, Ph.D
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Gary Brucato, Ph.D
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Gavin Shafron, Ph.D
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Janel Coleman, LMSW
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Jen Oddo, LCSW
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Jessa Navidé, Psy.D.
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Joanna Kaminski, LMFT
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Josh Watson, LMSW
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Justin L.F. Yong, LMHC
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Karen Kaur, Ph.D
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Kristin Anderson, LCSW
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Logan Jones, Psy.D
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Lucas Saiter, LMHC
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Monica Amorosi, LMHC
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Nicole Maselli, LMHC
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Peter Gradilone, LMSW
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Regina Musicaro, Ph.D
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New York, NY 10001






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