Drawing from the founder’s extensive clinical work in the last thirty years with community-based mental health organizations and clients of many ethnic and cultural heritages, True Thao Counseling Services (TTCS) was established in 1997. With a diverse staff, who are well versed in contemporary evidence-based clinical practices, TTCS has been a steady presence in the Twin Cities, committed to serving diverse inner-city clients of all ethnics and cultural backgrounds.
TTCS also has a unique focus on serving clients who are refugees and their descendants. Drawing from the founder’s own experience as a refugee and extensive clinical work over the last thirty years, TTCS offers a cultural-specific perspective of counseling services that combines contemporary evidence-based clinical practices in the context of the refugees and their descendants’ heritage, traditional values, and beliefs to effectively address issues, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and/or issues arise from the integration of a new life in the US.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Refugees are people whose bodies arrive first then the minds.” Thus, refugees and their families have significant opportunities as well as unspeakable challenges as they maneuver new socio-economic, cultural and political realities in the United States. These new norms and expectations add tremendous challenges as well as confusions to the already overwhelmed individuals and families who have limited time, skills and resources to cope with the avalanche of changes in the interphase of the old and new norms.
Adult refugees experience significant confusion due to the changes in social and cultural norms, which creates unforeseen friction between husband and wife and parents and children. Many arrived in the US with significant anxiety, depression and trauma, which can easily be exacerbated by the complex struggles to make ends meet. All these changes impede their ability to transition into a sustainable and productive life in the US.
Descendants of refugees tend to have a more natural integration to the new life in the US. However, maneuvering the interphase between the cultural norms at home and new contemporary fast-paced society can be confusing. Even the most positive changes experienced by the children can at times be perceived as threats to the traditional norms at home, creating unintended friction between parents and children, which affect their wellbeing and productivity.