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S2 Epi 5 What Happens to Skin-folk who are Sold the American Dream w/ Mike Valdez



And what the heck is acculturation? In this episode, Nadia Imafidon speaks to Mike Valdez, a first-generation Dominican who recently left a 15-year career in tech to pursue counseling psychology because of the freedom therapy has brought into his own life. We chat about resilience as the new kale, how the process of "acculturation" led Mike to shed his Latinx identity in favor of American ideals, and what it feels like to struggle with finding a balance between the values and beliefs of his country of origin and of the United States.

Mike hopes to work with underrepresented communities that need mental health support but struggle due to the many systems that make life more difficult for them. Mike believes that we can all use mental health support to not only rewire our past, but to also know how to better empower ourselves against the oppression that we may face day in and day out. He knows that therapy tends to be stigmatized, that access to it privileged, and sees this as part of his duties to improve for all, in becoming a culturally aware and attuned therapist.

For those interested in the reading, see Yung Pueblo's, Clarity & Connection.

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