Embracing diversity in therapy: A counsellor's perspective

In today's world, we're all part of a big melting pot of cultures. As a therapist, understanding and appreciating these differences can really make a difference in how we help our clients.


I've learned this firsthand as a counsellor originally from Poland, now living in the UK. My own journey of adapting to a new culture has taught me a lot about loneliness, grief, and finding a sense of belonging. And it's made me a better therapist.

Why understanding cultures helps in therapy

Getting where clients are coming from

When we understand where our clients are coming from culturally, it helps us connect with them better. We can understand their values, beliefs, and traditions, which makes them feel heard and understood.

Talking the right way

People from different cultures communicate in different ways. By being aware of this, therapists can make sure they're communicating in a way that makes sense to their clients, making them feel more comfortable opening up.

Respecting everyone's story

Each person's cultural background shapes who they are. Recognising and respecting these differences makes the therapy room a safe space for clients to share their experiences and feelings.

My story as a therapist

Moving from Poland to the UK wasn't easy. I felt lonely and lost, grieving for the sense of belonging I had left behind. However, going through therapy helped me understand those feelings, and it made me realise how important it is to embrace my cultural identity while fitting into my new home.

How culture makes therapy better

Connecting on a personal level

Sharing my own story of cultural adjustment helps clients feel like they're talking to someone who gets it. This builds trust and makes therapy more effective.

Talking about cultural stuff

Clients from different backgrounds might have issues related to their culture that they want to talk about. By acknowledging these, we can address them in therapy and help clients feel more understood.

Finding yourself

Going through therapy myself has helped me guide clients in exploring how their own cultural background affects them.

It's all about understanding yourself better and growing as a person.

Tips for clients looking for culturally aware therapy

Find a therapist who gets it

Look for therapists who have experience working with people from different backgrounds. They'll understand where you're coming from.

Speak up about your needs

If there's something specific to your culture that you want to talk about or need help with, don't be afraid to bring it up in therapy. Your therapist is there to help you.

Be open to exploring

Your cultural background is a big part of who you are. Being open to talking about it in therapy can help you learn more about yourself and grow as a person.

In the end, understanding and embracing different cultures in therapy is crucial for helping clients from all walks of life.

My own experiences have shown me how important it is to recognise and respect these differences, creating a space where everyone feels valued and supported on their journey to better mental health.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Rochford SS4 & Southend-On-Sea SS2
Written by Gosia Grabowska, MNCPS (Acc.) Parenting, Family Issues, LGBTQ+, Couples
Rochford SS4 & Southend-On-Sea SS2

Gosia is a bilingual therapist originally from Poland. She loves to travel by train and is curious about people's stories and experiences. She is passionate about navigating relationships, supporting parents, and addressing LGBTQ+ and cultural diversity issues. Her sessions are available both online and in person.

Show comments

Find the right counsellor or therapist for you

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals