But what will people say? Navigating mental health, identity, love, and family between cultures

Sahaj Kaur Kohli

Book - 2024

"A deeply personal, paradigm-shifting book from therapist, writer, and founder of @browngirltherapy that rethinks traditional therapy and self-care models, creating much-needed space for those left out of the narrative"--

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616.8914/Kohli
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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 616.8914/Kohli (NEW SHELF) Due Aug 14, 2024
Subjects
Genres
autobiographies (literary works)
Informational works
Instructional and educational works
Autobiographies
Personal narratives
Self-help publications
Published
[New York, New York] : Penguin Life, Viking [2024]
Language
English
Main Author
Sahaj Kaur Kohli (author)
Physical Description
420 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780593491195
  • Introduction
  • Our stories matter, too
  • Communication tips for healthier conversations
  • When things don't go according to plan
  • Reflecting on your achievement behavior
  • But what will people say?
  • Tips for talking to immigrant parents about mental health
  • What's faith got to do with it?
  • How to reflect your own relationship with religion and culture
  • Feeling my way through
  • Learning emotion regulation and exploring your shame-based behavior
  • Where do my parents end and I begin?
  • Learning about boundaries and your values
  • Investing in community care and self-care
  • How to find a therapist and how to be in therapy
  • When you're the only one
  • Reflections on being "the only" or "one of few" in the workplace
  • Love or loyalty
  • Identifying your core beliefs and tips for navigating guilt
  • Getting out of my own way
  • Combatting self-sabotaging behaviors and mindsets
  • Exploring my bicultural identity development
  • Reflecting on and understanding your bicultural identity development
  • Uncovering my family history
  • How to cope with cultural bereavement and disenfranchised grief
  • Epilogue.
Review by Booklist Review

Kohli, founder of Brown Girl Therapy, a mental-health and wellness organization, straddles two worlds, the Indian culture of her family and the American culture into which she was born. As a therapist and journalist, she has explored the struggles of children of immigrants searching for what's normal and where they can fit in. Bravely using her own story as a template, Kohli recalls trying to live up to her parents' expectations, suffering sexual abuse and failures in college, and, finally, finding herself through therapy. All immigrant experiences are not alike, says the author, and accepted practices in one family may be dysfunctional in another. Kohli covers a lot, including religion, tradition, emotions, therapy, and boundaries. She urges readers to open communication with their families and offers suggested exercises and prompts. Kohli formed Brown Girl Therapy to help multicultural and multiracial readers relate to their families, balance their cultures, and find their own paths. This book is the result of her findings. It's the book she longed for in her youth; hopefully, it will be a guide for others facing similar challenges.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Psychotherapist Kohli ventures beyond traditional Western therapeutic approaches in her innovative debut guide to mental health. Born to Indian immigrant parents, Kohli grew up grappling with her identity, finding only "white and therefore culturally individualistic" perspectives in self-help books. She became a therapist and in 2019 founded the online community Brown Girl Therapy to "raise awareness of ways in which we can decolonize therapy and mental health care." Drawing on personal anecdotes, client stories, and online polls, Kohli digs into such issues as the "internalization of societal, cultural, or familial standards" that shape immigrant kids' "dominant narratives" ("It can feel like we are characters written into our parents' stories") and the tension between retaining one's heritage and assimilating for the sake of safety or ease. Kohli's own narrative--growing up feeling trapped between two cultures; dealing with academic pressure; telling her parents she was dating a white American who became her husband--forms the backbone of the book, providing a solid foundation for thoughtful reflection questions, exercises, and tips on such topics as "cultural imposter syndrome," in which one lacks a sense of grounding in both host and heritage cultures. Those seeking self-help beyond "eurocentric and colonial" models of care will be eager to dive in. (May)

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