Experiences with Counselling for Individuals Within the South Asian Community I: Rationale and Literature

Experiences with Counselling for Individuals Within the South Asian Community I: Rationale and Literature

by Alisha Mann, MPsy

This series was originally completed as a Major Research Project in partial fulfillment of Adler Graduate Professional School’s Master of Psychology degree. 

Scope and Limitations

As grounded theory was utilized for analysis of this research, the results can be dissected, examined, scrutinized, and even built upon. Another researcher may look at the results through a completely different lens and derive a different question and answer.

Thus, future research may find different or additional answers for what allows South Asian individuals to seek counselling. This process can help future researchers alter their questions and, in turn, alter the results they reveal.

However, as this is a qualitative article, replication of results may be difficult to achieve, as the generalization is limited to the subjective experiences and demographic characteristics of the participants. If the research were to be expanded to include more participants, a more generalizable trend might be revealed. Also, although results presented here may be seen regardless of someone’s culture or religion, the framing of those results is highly influenced by education, hegemonic gender norms, and cultural beliefs, as well as demographics. Other factors, such as socioeconomic status (SES), that were not looked into in depth are also factors that influence help-seeking behaviours and may be more suitable for a quantitative analysis. Future research may combine the quantitative and qualitative approaches for a more in-depth understanding on a broader scale.

What the Literature Shows

The notion of seeking and participating in mental health counselling can be difficult for any individual, let alone someone from the South Asian community. Much of the research available has looked into why South Asian individuals refrain from seeking professional help for mental health concerns. Stigmatization, cultural differences, and intergenerational differences in help-seeking behaviours have been noted as the major barriers. However, not much research has looked into what allows individuals to seek counselling or professional help. The following looks into what some of this research has shown.

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