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Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Identity with Cathay Che | Beyond the Couch S3E4

This week, Christie chats with returning guest Cathay Che about her personal experience navigating the complexities of being both Asian American and Native Hawaiian. Cathay recounts her childhood move to Hawaii, highlighting the cultural shock, melancholy, and sense of alienation she experienced. They discuss cultural messages about giving back to one’s community, cultivating reciprocal relationships, shedding light on the complexities within contemporary Hawaiian culture that stem from a history of colonization and immigration. Together, they discuss misconceptions and the lack of representation faced by Hawaii and Pacific Islanders in the broader U.S. context. Drawing from her background as a former travel writer, Cathay shares her insights from exploring other Pacific islands like Rapa Nui, encouraging listeners to approach their travels with curiosity and intentionality.

Cathay Che is a Japanese American and Native Hawaiian LCSW, with a virtual Private Practice treating clients in New York, California and Rhode Island.  She earned her MSW from Columbia University in 2013 and was part of the clinical treatment team at The Hazelden Betty Ford outpatient clinic in New York City from 2012-2020. Connect with Cathay on Zencare


Bridges Mental Health aims to connect Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian Americans (APISA) with culturally responsive mental health professionals and resources. We hope to make mental health care more accessible and approachable across the Asian diaspora.
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