Identity, idioms and inequalities: Providing psychotherapies for south asian women
Bhui K., Black T.
Editors' introduction Identity is a multilayered and multifaceted concept. Every individual has several identities, but at any given time one identity takes precedence over the others. Of these, cultural identity, especially among migrants, presents great challenges and a strong aspect of personality is needed to cope with changes related to settling down in the new culture. The processes of acculturation will influence cultural identity. Expressions of distress are key to seeking help and these may or may not change even if an individual's cultural identity has begun to shift. In this chapter, Bhui and Black describe the link between culture and expression of symptoms and distress, and how culture influences help-seeking and affects recovery and health inequalities. Using clinical examples from South Asian women, they illustrate clinical management issues and what clinicians may find useful in dealing with the problems with which patients present. Changing notions of self and the importance of some symptoms in help-seeking will influence the presentation styles. Introduction In this chapter, South Asian refers to people with origins in or immigrant from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. Migrants from these countries arrived in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s from India and Pakistan and Bangladesh, with a slower flow later; South Asian migrants arrived in the UK to improve their quality of life and to fill employment demands in the UK, and to avoid harsh treatment in the 1970s in Uganda.