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Postcard from India

Type: Word Doc

I am an Asian counsellor and psychotherapist trained in London, and my current field of interest is in working with Asian women. In UK, the suicide rate of Asian women is three times national average, and there are also high rates of self-harm. Clearly there are specific needs that apply to Asian women that are not being addressed. As an Asian woman myself, I have found that my cultural context plays an important role in my psychological functioning. So too with clients, I have found it important to bear in mind: their Asian cultural context, the fact that they are in effect bicultural, and are also minority community in Britain. These different and often conflicting identities bring with it layers of meaning and difficulties, which are rarely explored in counselling or psychotherapy training courses. In fact training courses are mostly geared towards the English culture and it’s value systems and beliefs. Hence I decided to come to India, my homeland, to observe how counselling is applied where the majority culture is Asian. I am here for a total of eight months, travelling through different regions of India. I have already been here three months; in Bombay (the financial capital), Delhi (the capital city), and have also attended the IAC (International Association of Counselling) conference in Lonavla, outside Bombay.

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