Asian cultures are rooted in shame. Consequently, our lives, families, and mindset revolve around some aspect of shame. Our identities are forged by upholding our honor while trying to avoid any shame-producing feelings, thoughts, or beliefs. Few have the courage to break the cultural shame that binds them. Instead, they suffer in silence and see therapy as a sign of weakness.
Part of Sam’s work as a therapist is to help Asian clients break this negative mindset about counseling and see it instead as a sign of empowerment. In therapy, he helps Asians process emotions that have been deemed unacceptable and shameful by their culture, families, or religious upbringing. Whether it’s anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, or past wounds that have never been processed, clients learn through time to become more authentic to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. They are then able to gain a better appreciation of who they are as individuals but also a deeper connectedness to the Asian culture as well.
Sam has also written a book on Asian culture and shame and its impact on addictions.