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Sam Louie      

Psychotherapist, Author, Poet & Emmy Award-Winning Former Broadcast Journalist

Sam Louie is a psychotherapist, author, and spoken word artist based in Seattle, Washington. His specialty is in multicultural issues and addictions. He holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. He addresses life issues of the heart and mind which touch on topics ranging from cultural issues, professional burnout, addictions, and emotional wellness.

Louie comes from an extensive journalism background as he's also an Emmy Award-Winning former journalist. Currently he writes a popular blog on Psychology Today, "Minority Report: Candid Conversations on Race, Culture, and Psychology." In addition, he has written "Slanted Eyes: The Asian-American Poetic Experience", a powerful poetry collection touching on the themes of discrimination, prejudice, and other cultural struggles. "Asian Shame and Addiction: Suffering in Silence" is his seminal therapeutic work focusing on the impact of Asian collectivism and cultural shame and its impact on the mental health of Asian cultures especially as it pertains to addictions.

Louie’s keynotes and workshops are not only educational but also inspirational and personal. Louie shares personal anecdotes, clinical examples, and current events while weaving them together in his messages and workshops with spoken word poetry, videos, and group exercises.

On a personal level, Louie is a first generation, Chinese-American immigrant who grew up in a poor, predominantly African-American neighborhood where he persevered through poverty, stereotypes, bullying, job discrimination, while living amidst three generations of addictions.

Speech Topics

“Slanted Eyes: The Asian-American Experience”

“Chink!”, “Jap!”, "Gook!", “Where are you from?”, “Do you eat dog?”, “Why don’t you go back to where you came from?!”, “Do you know Kung-Fu?”. From the racist to the innocuous, issues of culture, ethnicity, and discrimination are prevalent themes for Asian minorities in the U.S. This message explores the history of Asian-American immigration, racism, and challenges Asian-Americans face growing up in the U.S. By incorporating his own Spoken Word poetry, audiences get a fresh and unique perspective on minority experiences.

"Your Culture, Your Roots, Your Identity: What it means to be Asian-American"

In this exploratory workshop, Sam uses his skillset as a psychotherapist trained in group work along with other creative modalities to help participants engage more deeply into their ethnic story. This can include drawing, poetry, psychodrama, and a myriad of other avenues to tap into one's understanding of family, ethnicity, and cultural obligations.

"My Story, Your Story, Our Stories: Exploring Our Identities & Privileges"

What are your privileges? What are you social identities? How do these make you who you are -- and who would you be without them? A vibrant experiential workshop filled with activities and interactions with others where you can see, hear, and share your experiences with others in a creative and engaging atmosphere. Participants will be follow structured group exercises to maximize learning and growth.

"Asian Shame & Addiction: Suffering in Silence"

Asian collectivist cultures are prone to cultural shame, trauma, and emotional neglect. Consequently, the need to cope with the trauma of shame leads many to find addictions as a coping mechanism. Food, gambling, alcohol, work, sex, and a plethora of other addicts occur as Asians "suffer in silence".

"I Wish I Was White: The Desire to Fit In, Yet Always Standing Out"

Sam didn't choose to be Chinese. Sam didn't choose to stand out. Instead he tried his best to fit in. Yet, because of his immigrant Asian background, he endured racism, stereotypes, job discrimination, and overt messages that he wasn't wanted in certain places and professions in society. It's not easy being a silent minority, so mainstream culture not only ignores the injustice but also capitalizes on the caricatures. In this riveting keynote, you will hear not one man's story, but the collective story of Asian-Americans and the battle against the societal perception that they are "always Asian" yet "never American".

"Losing Face & Finding Grace: Counseling & Care within Asian Christianity"

Asian Christians can be susceptible to a superficial faith due to the cultural underpinnings of cultural collectivism, honor, and the need to "save face" to keep the stigma of disgrace, humiliation, or failure from setting in. Yet, a core Biblical principle is addressing one's shame and finding grace and healing from it within a church body. This workshop will allow participants to honestly deal with their emotions and past in a safe, engaging, and creative atmosphere.

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