The immigrant population faces specific challenges and issues. Each individual has a different experience with a range of factors impeding or facilitating their acculturation and adjustment within a new country, community and neighbourhood. Some may experience a traumatic journey or traumas experiences within their country of origin which can have long-lasting effect on health and happiness.
Some have issues connecting with their new community or may feel overwhelmed by controversy concerning immigration policies. With all experiences a qualified Therapist can assist the individual with understanding the impacts which immigration is having on their life as well as providing useful tools for facing a range of challenges.
Acculturation – two-way adoption of cultural aspects and issues of marginalisation and discrimination.
Acculturation is a process through where an individual or group from one culture comes to take on practices and values of a different culture, while at the same time keeping their own distinctive culture. The process is usually discussed in terms of a minority culture taking on aspects of a majority culture. This is commonly seen with immigrant groups who are culturally or ethnically different from the majority in the location to which immigration has taken place.
Acculturation works both ways and individuals within the majority culture may also commonly take on aspects of the minority culture with which they are in contact with. The process plays out between groups when neither culture is a majority or a minority. Often interaction may be between both group and individual and can occur as a result of in-individual contact or contact through schooling or social events.
During the process of acculturation, adopting of cultural aspects, and steps towards assimilation there may be issues, often felt strongly by the minority culture, such as including rejection, marginalisation and discrimination. These issues can cause individuals major stress, anxiety and even depression and speaking to a qualified Therapist can help with addressing issues and taking practical steps to cope with problems encountered.