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Permission to Come Home: Reclaiming Mental Health as Asian Americans

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“Dr. Jenny T. Wang has been an incredible resource for Asian mental health. I believe that her knowledge, presence, and activism for mental health in the Asian American/Immigrant community have been invaluable and groundbreaking. I am so very grateful that she exists.”—Steven Yeun,  actor, The Walking Dead and Minari Asian Americans are experiencing a racial reckoning regar “Dr. Jenny T. Wang has been an incredible resource for Asian mental health. I believe that her knowledge, presence, and activism for mental health in the Asian American/Immigrant community have been invaluable and groundbreaking. I am so very grateful that she exists.”—Steven Yeun,  actor, The Walking Dead and Minari Asian Americans are experiencing a racial reckoning regarding their identity, inspiring them to radically reconsider the cultural frameworks that enabled their assimilation into American culture. As Asian Americans investigate the personal and societal effects of longstanding cultural narratives suggesting they take up as little space as possible, their mental health becomes critically important. Yet despite the fact that over 18 million people of Asian descent live in the United States today — they are the racial group least likely to seek out mental health services.   Permission to Come Home takes Asian Americans on an empowering journey toward reclaiming their mental health. Weaving her personal narrative as a Taiwanese American together with her insights as a clinician and evidence-based tools, Dr. Jenny T. Wang explores a range of life areas that call for attention, offering readers the permission to question, feel, rage, say no, take up space, choose, play, fail, and grieve. Above all, she offers permission to return closer to home, a place of acceptance, belonging, healing, and freedom. For Asian Americans and Diaspora, this book is a necessary road map for the journey to wholeness.  .


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“Dr. Jenny T. Wang has been an incredible resource for Asian mental health. I believe that her knowledge, presence, and activism for mental health in the Asian American/Immigrant community have been invaluable and groundbreaking. I am so very grateful that she exists.”—Steven Yeun,  actor, The Walking Dead and Minari Asian Americans are experiencing a racial reckoning regar “Dr. Jenny T. Wang has been an incredible resource for Asian mental health. I believe that her knowledge, presence, and activism for mental health in the Asian American/Immigrant community have been invaluable and groundbreaking. I am so very grateful that she exists.”—Steven Yeun,  actor, The Walking Dead and Minari Asian Americans are experiencing a racial reckoning regarding their identity, inspiring them to radically reconsider the cultural frameworks that enabled their assimilation into American culture. As Asian Americans investigate the personal and societal effects of longstanding cultural narratives suggesting they take up as little space as possible, their mental health becomes critically important. Yet despite the fact that over 18 million people of Asian descent live in the United States today — they are the racial group least likely to seek out mental health services.   Permission to Come Home takes Asian Americans on an empowering journey toward reclaiming their mental health. Weaving her personal narrative as a Taiwanese American together with her insights as a clinician and evidence-based tools, Dr. Jenny T. Wang explores a range of life areas that call for attention, offering readers the permission to question, feel, rage, say no, take up space, choose, play, fail, and grieve. Above all, she offers permission to return closer to home, a place of acceptance, belonging, healing, and freedom. For Asian Americans and Diaspora, this book is a necessary road map for the journey to wholeness.  .

30 review for Permission to Come Home: Reclaiming Mental Health as Asian Americans

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Espinosa

    Permission to Come Home is unlike any “self-help” book that I’ve read, not only because it is one of the firsts that I’ve read specifically targeted toward Asian Americans wanting to explore their mental health, but because of the compassionate, tender relationship between the author and the reader. This book reads like a long walk with a wise but comforting companion, as Wang not only guides you through various exercises of introspection and self-exploration but also includes her own personal e Permission to Come Home is unlike any “self-help” book that I’ve read, not only because it is one of the firsts that I’ve read specifically targeted toward Asian Americans wanting to explore their mental health, but because of the compassionate, tender relationship between the author and the reader. This book reads like a long walk with a wise but comforting companion, as Wang not only guides you through various exercises of introspection and self-exploration but also includes her own personal experiences through thoughtful self-disclosure. Although she challenges the reader to reflect on the more harmful aspects of AAPI culture, it is done with nuance and respect for how these values may have helped our ancestors survive, but perhaps no longer serve those of us in later generations. Though this book challenged some harmful yet deeply-rooted beliefs, I nevertheless felt supported and encouraged throughout the entire reading process. The book is divided into ten sections, each one offering you permission to explore the various aspects of Asian American culture in all its nuances and complexities. Examples include Permission to Take Up Space, Permission to Fail, and Permission to Say No. In each section, Wang invites you to reflect on how society, culture, and family influenced your upbringing, values, and relationships with others and yourself. Each section includes little “rest stops” that invite the reader to take a moment of introspection to reflect on how various cultural values and lessons serve you (or not.) I am so happy and thankful this book exists as an Asian American therapist; this book has been long-needed and I am beyond eager to share it with all of my clients, colleagues, friends, and family. Permission to Come Home is a triumph and I am so thankful and in awe of Dr. Jenny Wang for sharing her knowledge, heart, and vulnerability with the world. **Note that while I did receive an advanced copy, I was not paid to review or promote this book. All opinions are genuinely my own and I genuinely adore this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sharlene

    what a read and self-discovery. i’ll be going back to this book as reference to remind myself of the personal journey that is messy, triggering and hard. through constant self-reflection and the questions that jenny has laid out, she provides compassion and grace to unpack the engrained feelings and behaviors embedded from being a child of asian immigrant parents.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Lee

    Permission to Come Home is an invitation to question, feel, take up space, grieve, PLAY, and to come home. This book gently challenges and encourages readers via “rest stops” to reflect on how their own cultural and background has influenced their ways of thinking and feeling. This book beautifully captures so many topics that I have explored and processed with myself and my own clients. This is such a great resource for the AAPI community, and I am so thrilled that I can add another AAPI mental Permission to Come Home is an invitation to question, feel, take up space, grieve, PLAY, and to come home. This book gently challenges and encourages readers via “rest stops” to reflect on how their own cultural and background has influenced their ways of thinking and feeling. This book beautifully captures so many topics that I have explored and processed with myself and my own clients. This is such a great resource for the AAPI community, and I am so thrilled that I can add another AAPI mental health book to my shelf.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thanhnguyen926gmail.Com

    As an Asian American therapist myself, I couldn’t be happier to see this book. There’s been a dearth of research and writing in this area in my experience and this book does a concise introduction for individuals exploring issues prevalent within the community. I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I said it’s comprehensive because Asian isn’t a monolith by any means, but this book has breadth for a general introduction. I recommend for the casual reader and practitioners alike, there’s bound As an Asian American therapist myself, I couldn’t be happier to see this book. There’s been a dearth of research and writing in this area in my experience and this book does a concise introduction for individuals exploring issues prevalent within the community. I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I said it’s comprehensive because Asian isn’t a monolith by any means, but this book has breadth for a general introduction. I recommend for the casual reader and practitioners alike, there’s bound to be something in there for you:) Please note, I was sent an ARC to review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mikaela

    Note: I received an ARC to review. While none of the information has been really new to me, it provided language to the different layers that impact my experiences as the child of Asian immigrants - some of which I have struggled to name in my own healing journey. I felt really seen and understood as I read through these chapters. I'm excited to explore some of the themes discussed in this book (such as grief, boundaries, etc.) with my own Asian clients, and to recommend it to my colleagues who Note: I received an ARC to review. While none of the information has been really new to me, it provided language to the different layers that impact my experiences as the child of Asian immigrants - some of which I have struggled to name in my own healing journey. I felt really seen and understood as I read through these chapters. I'm excited to explore some of the themes discussed in this book (such as grief, boundaries, etc.) with my own Asian clients, and to recommend it to my colleagues who are seeking to better understand this specific population and our varying cultural experiences.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Low

    As someone who has been interested in mental health for many years, I acknowledge that this book is very comprehensive in covering many different topics of self exploration. In particular, I think it is incredibly helpful in opening up conversation for Asian-American families, who historically have had a lot of stigma towards talking about subjects of boundaries, grief, and guilt. Dr. Wang answers a lot of questions as they came up, often in the immediately next paragraph. I appreciate her thoro As someone who has been interested in mental health for many years, I acknowledge that this book is very comprehensive in covering many different topics of self exploration. In particular, I think it is incredibly helpful in opening up conversation for Asian-American families, who historically have had a lot of stigma towards talking about subjects of boundaries, grief, and guilt. Dr. Wang answers a lot of questions as they came up, often in the immediately next paragraph. I appreciate her thorough account, her life experiences, and the various steps in her life that she pulls anecdotes from. They are very powerful. I think chapter five and six are her strongest chapters (talking specifically about immigration guilt and fear of setting boundaries). The others are drawn from TED talks and other popular social psychologists. I wish that this book centered more on the Asian-American experience and it’s effects of guilt on decision making, which was the subject that really drew me in. The other chapters felt more generic and unfocused in comparison, especially the chapter on guilt (which is a very heavy topic that felt squeezed in). Also, I would’ve liked it more if it wasn’t in a self help format with exercises and rest stops, but that is my personal preference. Overall, still a great book on mental health and conversations starter for those wanting to learn more emotional literacy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Toni Rose Deanon

    Another amazing book. 🙌🏽🙌🏽

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Coggins

    I highly recommend this book for any reader who considers themselves part of the Asian diasporas. While it is geared mainly toward first, second, third, etc. generation immigrants, there were some really valuable takeaways that I read even as an Asian transracial adoptee. I love how this book is helping to destigmatize mental health in the Asian community. Thank you GCP Balance for the gifted copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. thank God someone wrote this!! now someone write a better one - focus on parallelism/thematic elements sometimes took away from more poignant or impactful points - tendency to go abstract, whereas concrete examples (albeit personal) were much more powerful

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Dang

    As an Asian American psychotherapist, this book is a much needed resource and invaluable to our community as we break down stigmas of mental health and learn to take up the space we are worth of. Jenny has written a beautiful invitation that gently and compassionately and guides the reader through areas that are crucial to re-evaluate and challenge if we are to live a whole and healed and free life. What she has done is a crucial blend of sharing her own journey and laying forth tools to help th As an Asian American psychotherapist, this book is a much needed resource and invaluable to our community as we break down stigmas of mental health and learn to take up the space we are worth of. Jenny has written a beautiful invitation that gently and compassionately and guides the reader through areas that are crucial to re-evaluate and challenge if we are to live a whole and healed and free life. What she has done is a crucial blend of sharing her own journey and laying forth tools to help the reader navigate what healing looks like for them. This is going to remain a book I reference in sessions and let clients know about.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kevina Wang

    So much respect for Dr. Wang; She is a trailblazer in mental health activism and destigmatization for Asians, as we are so underrepresented in the field and our culture works against it. Takeaways: -welcome and expect discomfort in every aspect of life if you want to find home -continual exploration and effort is a necessary part of life; welcome the failure and grief that it inevitably brings, as these are both growth opportunities. -you can balance empathizing with others (boundaries, cultural So much respect for Dr. Wang; She is a trailblazer in mental health activism and destigmatization for Asians, as we are so underrepresented in the field and our culture works against it. Takeaways: -welcome and expect discomfort in every aspect of life if you want to find home -continual exploration and effort is a necessary part of life; welcome the failure and grief that it inevitably brings, as these are both growth opportunities. -you can balance empathizing with others (boundaries, cultural values, etc.), while also honoring yourself -give yourself permission to question, feel, rage, say no, take up space, choose, fail, play, grieve, and come home. -live values-based living, and frequently reflect (i.e. once a quarter) on how you've lived your values and if your values have shifted (what matters to you? what type of person do you want to become? what do I stand for? what do I do when no one is watching? what brings me passion, joy, and excitement?) -Dealing with rage: 1. Name your anger 2. Calm the Body 3. Dig and Explore 4. Accept or Act -Setting boundaries: 1. Pay attention to you emotions "not necessarily as absolute facts, but as signals for deeper investigation." 2. Define the borders of the boundary 3. Find a healthy or workable boundary 4. Expect counterreactions; hold that boundary -Allowing and rebounding from failure: 1. Get comfortable with discomfort and negative emotion 2. Name the shame that has been wrapped around the failure 3. Consider what the failure is bringing to you instead of what it is taking away 3. Consider what next step you can take with the information failure offers you 5. Try again through action (pg. 180) This book was touching and heartwarming as I felt understood and seen. Her naming of sources of grief and personal anecdotes were relatable and it touched me deeply. My only critiques are that while heartwarming, I feel as though I didn't learn very much from this book, insights were self-evident and surface-level, and sentences didn't communicate thoughts clearly. Sometimes, even after re-reading I couldn't understand what exactly Dr. Wang was trying to say.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shana

    Permission to Come Home is a great starting place for Asian Americans to begin considering the intersections of their cultural/ethnic heritage and their mental health. Dr. Wang narrows in on areas of similarity between diverse Asian communities, such as values, beliefs, immigration experience, and more. She draws references from her own life as a Taiwanese American, and uses her experiences to exemplify lessons she seeks to impart. Because of her own background, I do see the book as speaking mos Permission to Come Home is a great starting place for Asian Americans to begin considering the intersections of their cultural/ethnic heritage and their mental health. Dr. Wang narrows in on areas of similarity between diverse Asian communities, such as values, beliefs, immigration experience, and more. She draws references from her own life as a Taiwanese American, and uses her experiences to exemplify lessons she seeks to impart. Because of her own background, I do see the book as speaking most closely to the East Asian experience, but that does not mean it wouldn't be or isn't helpful to those of other backgrounds as well. This is also a book that is for a person who wants to do some self-reflection with a useful aid, as opposed to one that teaches mental health practitioners how to work with Asian Americans. That said, it certainly wouldn't hurt for them to read it! The ideas in this book aren't new; Dr. Wang takes the existing knowledge around these topics and applies them within a specific context. She curated them for this population in a way that reflects a respect and understanding for the kinds of challenges faced by Asian Americans. In my own work with Asian American clients, I can definitely see the value and necessity in this. Many of my clients seemed to seek me out after having negative experiences with other therapists who othered them and pathologized aspects of their identity and experience out of ignorance and lack of care. I also recognize the importance for me to do this deeper reflection for myself so that I can support my clients through their own journeys. I've already utilized the book in my practice of bibliotherapy and I think it is perfectly set up to be a guide for a structured group. I wonder if Dr. Wang saw it that way at all, and I'd be curious to see if that is something she would cosign as I could see it as a powerful tool for healing and growth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Yu

    idk exactly what I was expecting, but this was more of a generic self-help book than I expected. the beginning I found quite generic, and if you've been to therapy regularly, it's all the same stuff. however, I did really like the chapter on grief, as well as the final chapter, permission to come home. i guess i wanted this book to really help me on my own asian american journey with mental health but it didn't really do that. it didn't help me that much, but i support reading this if you think idk exactly what I was expecting, but this was more of a generic self-help book than I expected. the beginning I found quite generic, and if you've been to therapy regularly, it's all the same stuff. however, I did really like the chapter on grief, as well as the final chapter, permission to come home. i guess i wanted this book to really help me on my own asian american journey with mental health but it didn't really do that. it didn't help me that much, but i support reading this if you think it'll help you

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pris K

    Dr. Jenny Wang's writings and reflections on Asian Americans mental health was validating and reassuring. The work she's done in her personal life felt like it applied in my own life- it's as if I can take all the work she has done, and the realizations she's had, and just use. I feel like the scenarios she brings up are ones that I struggle to maneuver through at times in daily situations. I'm thankful for her book and her courage to share some personal and vulnerable things that have happened Dr. Jenny Wang's writings and reflections on Asian Americans mental health was validating and reassuring. The work she's done in her personal life felt like it applied in my own life- it's as if I can take all the work she has done, and the realizations she's had, and just use. I feel like the scenarios she brings up are ones that I struggle to maneuver through at times in daily situations. I'm thankful for her book and her courage to share some personal and vulnerable things that have happened in her life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    1

  16. 5 out of 5

    Varsha Ravi

    She read me like a book. Hard to face but good for me to face. Love her and this book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rahadyan

    Dr. Jenny T. Wang's book is overdue and was much needed. It helped me in my understanding of myself and my parents (Indonesian father, Filipino mother). Each of them died years ago. Dr. Jenny T. Wang's book is overdue and was much needed. It helped me in my understanding of myself and my parents (Indonesian father, Filipino mother). Each of them died years ago.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Helen Geng

    Signing May 3, 2022: 6pm Yu & Me Bookstore, 44 Mulberry St., in NYC Chinatown Read May 2022

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Becky Chen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abi

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elsie Dang

  25. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

  26. 5 out of 5

    S

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Yang

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jane Hong

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jason Fleming

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thanh Tran

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