Cross/intercultural relationships are in the increase. The development of the internet and the culture of electronic communication has not only made the world feel smaller but also developed another culture of its own. There are many problems being in cross cultural relationships and failure to understand the cultural issues within the relationship, often leads to disastrous family conflict. For example, the ignorance of traditional family structures, gender roles or religious beliefs can lead to misunderstandings. Expectations of the partner from ones own culture can lead to disappointment. Nothing of another's culture can be taken for granted. Exploring these are not enough. How these can be addressed, resolved or accepted can be a challenge for clients and therapists.
Therapy models are western culture based. Therapists need to be clued into the dynamics of cross or intercultural relationships without which the therapy work may lead to major diagnostic and therapeutic errors. This is a specialised area of work. I am bilingual and work in India with both in Indian and English languages.
Every person is affected by their own culture so culturally competent psychotherapy is needed for every client irrespective of their ethnic, racial, cultural or socio-economic background. Often, couples from different backgrounds form a third culture. I have a keen interest in cross cultural relationships because I have personal experience of the complexity of such a relationship.
Children of intercultural relationship may have identity issues, which need acknowledging and working with. I have experience of working with race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability and other related issues and I feel rewarded working with the difference because it personally enlightens me of the diversity that exists in the UK and informs me of the specific issues within different or specific cultures.