Cultural Trauma and Asian Mental Health: A Diverse Experience

Monday, October 25, 2021 8:43 AM | Summer Katz (Administrator)

Cultural Trauma and Asian Mental Health: A Diverse Experience

Presented by Dr. Kai Zhuang Shum, Ph.D., NCSP, Dr. Kelly Kit, Psy.D., Johnny Nguyen, MA, LMHC, Yanan Bai, MA, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, Collen Andre, MA, LMHC, EMDR Certified

The recording of this collaborative event will remain available for viewing on the as well as the websites. Please note, the panel discussion is no longer applicable for CEUs (CEUs were provided to live attendees only), and may be viewed at no cost. Thank you for your interest and consideration of this important material to enhance your awareness of black mental health and wellness needs.


Original Air Date: September, 2021 at 6:00 PM

The Asian community has historically experienced cultural trauma. COVID-19 has magnified the discrimination experienced by the community. This is an important time to have the conversation about Asian mental health. This will be a panel discussion on cultural trauma and the diverse experiences within the Asian community. The panel will consist of professionals with various backgrounds who will share their perspectives on understanding the impact of cultural trauma, identity differences among the group, impact of social-political issues and ways to help clients cope with cultural trauma. We aspire for attendees to gather an understanding of diversity behind the Asian experience.


1. Participants will develop an understanding of the impact of cultural trauma.

2. Participants will come away from the panel discussion understanding the difference between universal, group and individual identities within the Asian community.

3. Participants will gain awareness of socio-political issues such as Covid-19 and its impact on Asian mental health.

4. Participants will learn ways to help Asian identified clients cope with cultural trauma.


Dr. Kelly Kit is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in working with adolescents and adults. Since 2010, she has been providing individual, group, and family therapy. She takes a strengths-based approach to therapy, utilizing insight-based therapy along with cognitive-behavioral techniques to promote growth in clients. She specializes in using solution-focused, multicultural, attachment-based, and client-centered therapies. Dr. Kit especially enjoys working with professional women, parents, college students, and diverse populations, including people of color and the LGBTQ community. She received her B.A. in Psychology from The George Washington University. She then went on to obtain her master's and doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hartford. Dr. Kit completed an APA-accredited internship at the Florida State University's Counseling Center. Additionally, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She currently owns her own private practice in Northern VA.

Colleen Andre is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has been practicing for the last 9 years. She spent 3 years working in the Orange County Public schools running psychoeducation groups and implementing crisis counseling for teens. Through her experience in crisis counseling, she developed a passion for trauma work. As a means to better equip herself and allow for better healing for her clients, Colleen pursued and acquired an EMDR certification. She has also undergone various training through Postpartum Support International (PSI) to better help women struggling with perinatal and postpartum issues (including but not limited to postpartum/perinatal anxiety, birth trauma, and perinatal/postpartum depression.) In addition to individual counseling, Colleen has presented in various settings on the topics of cultural diversity, unconscious bias, and cultural framework/competency. She has a particular heart to assist those facing multicultural or race-related issues. From her life experiences, Colleen is familiar with the feeling of being different and not quite belonging. Therefore, she desires to help others find peace and embrace their true selves as she has found within herself.

Johnny Nguyen is a Vietnamese Chinese American born clinician (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) who was born and raised in northern California. He currently resides and practices in the Tampa Bay area as an independent therapist. He obtained his Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University School of Medicine. He has been in practice for over 10 years with experience spanning from mobile crisis, inpatient hospitalization, community mental health, Partial Hospitalization Programs, in home therapy, and now outpatient private practice. His focus is working with communities of color and intersectionality. In practice he serves the AAPI community in addressing intergenerational, intercultural issues and intersectionality. Some other areas of focus include, nerd culture, video games, anime, and comic books as a medium.

Dr. Kai Zhuang Shum is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) and a doctoral-level Psychology Resident at Rice Psychology Group in Tampa, FL. She also serves as a postdoctoral research fellow and project coordinator on a multi-site national grant designed to promote well-being among middle school students through a Tier 2 social-emotional intervention created by Dr. Shannon Suldo at the University of South Florida – the Well Being Promotion Program (WBPP). Dr. Shum has experience working with children/adolescents, families, and adults in various settings, including public schools, counseling centers, research, and private practice. She has worked with individuals, groups, and families with diverse profiles, including minority students who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islanders (AAPI), high-achieving teenagers who are burnt out, youth who identify as gender minorities, individuals with various challenges such as trauma, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), as well as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dr. Shum aims to help her clients achieve goals that are important and meaningful by utilizing her clients’ strengths and values. She believes in individualized assessment and therapy, tailoring each session to fit her clients’ needs. Most importantly, Dr. Shum strives to make sessions fun and engaging. She also provides testing and assessments in the areas of gifted identification, learning disabilities, ASD, ADHD (e.g., executive functioning and attention deficit), anxiety (including OCD), depression, and more. It is noteworthy that Dr. Shum speaks multiple languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Shum earned her Ph.D., Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), and Masters in Arts (M.A.) degrees in School Psychology from the University of South Florida based in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Shum has also presented at various local and national conferences and published several research articles.

YaNan is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and is from East Asia. She speaks fluently both in Mandarin and English, as well as conversational Korean. YaNan has 7 years of cross-cultural experience working alongside people from various ethnic backgrounds, including: Europe, North America, and Eastern Asia. She is a passionate advocator for cultural minorities with extensive experience and training in cultural competency. YaNan believes healing happens in relationships. She enjoys working with individuals facing a multitude of symptoms, especially with minorities facing significant emotional problems due to dysfunctional family dynamics, trauma, or cultural persecutions. YaNan finds life in creating arts with her hands, going on walks with friends as well as cooking innovative food with raw ingredients.


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