Counselling Obtsacles for the Immigrant

Posted by: Hailing Huang on August 30, 2013 2:41 pm

The obstacles of receiving counselling service that many people are facing today such as high cost, long waiting list, and distant location are also the obstacles for immigrant population.  As for the immigrant population, there is another obstacle that they have to face is that  they lack of the knowledge about counselling. Most of immigrant do not receive or heard of this kind of services in the countries that they came from; counselling services are an unfamiliar term for them to grab.

During the past 30 years, counselling topics have branched out to many areas of life issues such as: parenting, communication skills, self-esteem and others. Counselling services no longer focuses on pathological issues, dysfunctional patterns, personality disorders or mood disorders, depression and anxieties. At the same time, the immigrant population does not have the same lever of understanding about counselling as North American’s populations have. 

In order to invite immigrants to receive counselling, immigrants have to be educated first.  Education also means focusing on prevention instead of intervention, with the knowledge of self care, they could integrate into local culture more smoothly with fewer struggles and become more efficient in the workforce for society.

Canada is a multicultural society and immigrant families are under served in the current counselling service system. Not so many counselling agents provide service other than in English. Every family when they have just arrived from different countries, many have adjustment issues that need to be addressed:  language, culture, support system, social statues, self- identity, family generation conflicts and others.

Providing language services that suit the client’s need, allows clients access services easily. At the same time, because the counsellor has the same cultural background and language, the conselling result will be more effective. With the help of counselling, immigrants will be able to bounce back and integrate into new culture much more quickly and smoothly

Hailing Huang, MTS, MA, CCC

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

3 comments on “Counselling Obtsacles for the Immigrant”

  1. Jung Hoon Lee says:

    Where can I get a help in Montreal?
    Recently I got Permanent Residence, still I feel lack of information and need some counselling about family matters.

    1. Andreea Andrei says:

      Good morning Jung Hoon Lee,
      Thank you for your email.
      CCPA has a directory on the website where you can look for certified counsellors by province, city, or specialization. Please visit the following link:

      Also, as psychotherapy is regulated in Quebec, most psychotherapists and psychologists are members of the Ordre des Psychologues du Quebec. You can also go on their website and look for psychologists or psychotherapists in the area:
      Please note that this website is in French only.

      I hope this helped.

  2. Namara Gibram says:

    I want to work as a counsellor for immigrants that speak Portuguese or Spanish. I am a Phd Psychologist from Brazil and I would like to immigrate to Canada to join my family (son and daughter citizens). I had all my degrees accredited by the University of Toronto. Can I provide other immigrants with counselling without being a registered counsellor or psychologist in Alerta?

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