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ISSN : 2233-6710(Print)
ISSN : 2384-2121(Online)
Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling Vol.11 No.1 pp.111-124

Strengths-based Counseling with International Students of Color: A Community Cultural Wealth Approach

S Anandavalli1
1Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Southern Oregon University
Corresponding Author
S Anandavalli, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland OR 97520


Faced with multiple interpersonal (e.g., isolation), and systemic barriers (e.g., biased national policies) due to their intersectional racial and immigrant identities, international students of color (ISC) may particularly stand to benefit from interventions that foster resilience and a sense of agency. Extant research indicates that counselors’ focus on strengths (e.g., strong community ties, resilience) of minoritized clients has several benefits, including increased resilience and empowerment. However, counseling literature fails to offer counselors an explicit strengths-based framework to support ISC. In this article, the author outlines the unique challenges ISC face as a result of their marginalized identities. Next, using Yosso’s theory of Community Cultural Wealth, I offer counselors specific suggestions on ways to explore and leverage ISC’ strengths in mental health settings. Lastly, future directions and limitations are discussed.