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Talking therapies for Asian people

Traditional Asian beliefs about mental illness and sources of support can differ from the assumptions that underlie Western models of talking therapy. These differences may have implications for the acceptability and relevance of talking therapies for Asian people. Therapist and service user feedback form a New Zealand consultation and papers from international experts note that there is sometimes misalignment between talking therapy and the needs and goals of Asian people. Research also suggests that Asian people are less likely to access talking therapy and that those who do access therapy have high rates of drop-out. Talking therapies aim to alleviate diagnosed symptoms of mental illness, help people who are experiencing stress relating to difficult life events, or assist people who want to learn more about themselves. This guide provides an overview of what is known about the most effective ways to deliver talking therapies with Asian service users. The guide is based on a combination of evidence from research, expert opinion and consultation with New Zealand therapists. In many cases, recommendations are based on expert opinion in the absence of relevant empirical research evidence. This guide is intended as a starting point for gathering information on the delivery of talking therapies for Asian communities.

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