Unfortunately, the field of psychotherapy has been slow to recognize the changing, boundary-dissolving ethnic and national complexity of our society, and still adheres to a model of psychotherapy that assumes a client base of largely European origin. In this Reading Course, we explore the increasingly complex culture of American society and how these various ethnic and national identities shape the kinds of problems many clients bring to therapy. Michael Ventura examines the immense task mainstream psychology must undertake to understand how the intersection of personal and group identity has changed in America, and how it’s continuing to evolve. Priska Imberti describes her own life as an immigrant and her current work with clients, new to this country, struggling to find themselves while bereft of the families, traditional customs, cultural values, and status they left behind. Tazuko Shibusawa describes the difficult experience of Asian immigrants who don’t fit the image of the idealized “model minority.”
The New Social Mind: Immigration and Our National Identity Crisis by Michael Ventura
The Immigrant’s Odyssey: Trauma, Loss, and the Promise of Healing by Priska Imberti
Living Up to the American Dream: The Price of Being the Model Immigrants by Tazuko Shibusawa
1. Discuss the impact of America’s identity crisis on immigrant culture.
2. Describe the changing face of America today.
3. Explain the losses and sacrifices faced by immigrants.
4. List three ways that Asian Americans are under stress to “prove themselves.”