Asian & Asian-American Therapists

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While it’s not uncommon for therapy to have a certain stigma attached to it, for many Asians, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), that stigma is especially pronounced.

As a result, AAPIs may feel most comfortable working with a therapist who is also AAPI, as therapists from this community may be more in a position to understand their culture, values, and experiences.

Read more below about stats on Asian and Asian-American therapists, what topics they can help clients with, and how to find the right therapist for you!


Asian and Asian-Americans therapists by the numbers

The percentage of Asian psychologists is increasing

From 2005 to 2013, there was a surge in the number of Asian and Asian-American individuals in the psychology field of 79.5% – from 2.4% to 4.3%.

Despite rising numbers, Asian and Asian-Americans remain underrepresented in the psychology workforce  

Though 5.6% of the US population is of Asian descent, Asian Americans account for the aforementioned 4.3% of the psychology workforce – with a total of 3,576 Asian and Asian-American psychologists.

(Note: This only accounts for psychologists; there are additional Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists. [1])

While there are more Asian-American therapists in certain parts of the United States – such as NYC, California, and Hawaii – it can be difficult to find AAPI therapists in other parts of the country.

Unique concerns that Asian-American therapists can help clients with

While Asian Americans experience mental health challenges as any other demographic, therapists in the field also identify potential causes of additional stress. These include:

How to find Asian and Asian-American therapists near you

Determine which type of therapy you want

When you first start looking for a therapist, you may notice different letters and titles following a therapist’s last name. The letters indicate the services the therapist is licensed to provide and the level of training they have received.

The most common abbreviations are:

Prioritize personal fit

Finding a therapist you trust and who puts you at ease is the absolute most important part of a successful therapy experience!

More than any other factor, look for a therapist you connect with – and who makes you comfortable being open and honest.

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If you can’t find the perfect therapist who shares your background, don’t give up

If you are struggling to find an Asian therapist who fits your schedule, budget, and/or specific mental health needs, try looking for therapists who explicitly address topics around multicultural counseling in their online presence. Keywords to look for can include:

Use your initial call to ask questions about what clients and cultures they’ve worked with, and how they might be able to help you.

Start your search on an up-to-date platform where providers are vetted

Use a site like Zencare to find therapists with up-to-date listings on availability, payment info, and location. Watch intro videos of each provider, and book a free call to assess whether you feel comfortable with each therapist!

Additional reading and resources