Most psychology programs only require future counsellors to take one 13-week course on diversity, so many counsellors are not experts on cultural differences. In contrast, psychologist Tom Rapacki sees clients from different backgrounds on a regular basis, and specializes in adjusting counselling to their needs, values, and cultures. This is important because research has shown that therapy is more effective and more satisfying when it is responsive to culture.
As a psychologist that specializes in cross cultural counselling, Tom:
- Respects values that differ from Western values.
- Understands ways in which people from non-Western cultures communicate differently, including indirect ways of communicating.
- Supports clients when they experience racism and prejudice.
- Recognizes that every person is unique. He works to understand your own personal values, not just your culture.
- Works to explain counselling concepts by relating them to ideas from your own experience.
- Has lived in several different countries, and speaks Polish and Mandarin, in addition to English.
- Is skilled in communicating with people for whom English is not their first language.
- Reflects about his own racial and cultural identity --because everyone has a culture, not just immigrants and people of colour.
- Has experience with issues unique to immigrants, such as language learning, culture shock, differences in values, and acculturative family distancing --disagreements that occur when family members adopt Canadian culture to different degrees.
In addition, Tom is the only psychologist in Canada offering an evidence-based, culturally-adapted depression therapy for Asian-Canadians (in English & Mandarin), which is associated with higher satisfaction and better outcomes.
Ready to take the next step?
If therapy that respects your values, strengths, and culture is important to you, consider seeing a psychologist with cultural training and experience.