Dr. Ammara Khalid: Family Issues and Mental Health in the South Asian Diaspora

South Asian immigrants face a number of mental health challenges associated with the pressures of straddling two different worlds. The stress that comes with acculturation, trauma, and discrimination has been linked with depression, anxiety, and more, and getting help isn’t always as easy as it seems.

Most traditional psychotherapy has been modeled on Western families, which is why today’s guest takes a more collaborative and multicultural approach. Today, we sit down with Dr. Ammara Khalid, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in individual, couples, and family therapy with children, adolescents, and adults of diverse backgrounds.

In 2012, Dr. Khalid, together with Dr. Amanda Rios, co-founded the Center of Relational Empowerment (CORE), which helps individuals, couples, and families strengthen their core selves and, in doing so, empowers them to strengthen their relationships with others.

Mental health in the South Asian diaspora is a key component of The Shelly Story, so we’re grateful to have the opportunity to speak to a mental health professional like Dr. Khalid, who is deeply knowledgeable and compassionate about this topic.

Ultimately, an understanding of different cultural perspectives and experiences is vital to how we shape mental health services for different populations of people. Tune in today to learn more!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How Dr. Khalid’s background informed her interest in psychology
  • Insight into CORE’s multicultural philosophy
  • The collaborative approach of internal family systems (IFS) therapy 
  • Stress related to acculturation that many South Asians experience
  • Why the model minority myth is so harmful
  • Overcoming stigma around mental health issues in South Asian communities
  • A look at CORE’s community outreach efforts
  • Incorporating Eastern elements into Western psychology
  • Couples therapy, love, and divorce in South Asian cultures
  • Generational differences in perceptions of mental health
  • Making mental health more accessible through social media
  • Shifting away from strict binaries and toward understanding

Want to connect with Dr. Khalid? You can find her on LinkedIn.

To learn more about CORE, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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