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But What Will People Say?: Navigating Mental Health, Identity, Love, and Family Between Cultures--Sahaj Kaur Kohli in conversation with Dr. Mariel Buqué

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 8, 2024 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

Charis welcomes Sahaj Kaur Kohli in conversation with Dr. Mariel Buqué for a discussion of But What Will People Say?: Navigating Mental Health, Identity, Love, and Family Between Cultures, a deeply personal, paradigm-shifting book rethinking traditional therapy and self-care, creating much-needed space for those left out of the narrative. This event is co-sponsored by Raksha, Inc. Raksha's mission is to promote a stronger and healthier South Asian community through confidential support services, education, and advocacy. Raksha works towards healing, empowerment, and justice for survivors of violence.

Writer and therapist Sahaj Kaur Kohli grew up knowing exactly what it means to straddle multiple cultures at once. Like many children of immigrants, she has often found herself plagued by questions: Can I establish my own values and embrace where I come from? Is prioritizing my mental health really rejecting my culture? How do I set boundaries and care for myself when family and community mean everything? Even after becoming a therapist herself, she saw those same gaps in the mental health world, leading her to wonder, like so many children of immigrants: what about us?

While conversations around mental health are becoming increasingly open, our models remain largely Eurocentric and focused on individuality. Sahaj has sought to challenge these long-held models, using deep personal reflection, therapy, community building, and a whole lot of trial and error, eventually navigating her own way to understanding and acceptance. Here, she shows us how to get there, all the while reminding us that personal healing is inextricably connected to collective healing.

But What Will People Say? elegantly weaves together personal narrative, anecdotal analysis, and comprehensive research. Sahaj offers advice and tools for everything from navigating generational trauma, guilt, and boundaries, to breaking down stigmas around therapy and celebrating cultural duality. Democratizing and decolonizing the way we think about mental health and self-help, Sahaj’s incredible work is nothing short of a revolution.

Sahaj Kaur Kohli is the founder of Brown Girl Therapy (@browngirltherapy), the first and largest mental health and wellness community organization for adult children of immigrants, a licensed therapist, and a columnist for the Washington Post’s advice column Ask Sahaj. Sahaj’s words and work have been featured in Today, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, HuffPost, and others. Sahaj also serves as a consultant, educator and international speaker. She has sat on panels and delivered workshops and keynotes for The White House, Amazon, Google, Athenahealth, Merck, JPMorgan Chase, LinkedIn,  UNICEF, among others.

Dr. Mariel Buqué is an Afro-Latina psychologist and CEO of Break the Cycle of Trauma, where her mission is to help reduce the recurrence of Intergenerational ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). She earned her doctoral degree in psychology at Columbia University, where she also trained as a holistic mental health fellow within Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). In this role, she helped to build and implement an integrated system of care in specialty clinics across Columbia Medical, with a focus on helping Black and Latine community members overcome trauma and build better overall health. She continues to carry this mission into her consultation with health organizations and Fortune 500 companies. Dr. Buqué is the author of the bestselling book Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma.

Dr. Buqué is widely sought out for her clinical expertise and trauma approach and her work, newsletter, and can be found at

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.

Please contact us at or 404-524-0304 if you would like ASL interpretation at this event. If you would like to watch the event with live AI captions, you may do so by watching it in Google Chrome and enabling captions: Instructions here. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

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Event address: 
But What Will People Say?: Navigating Mental Health, Identity, Love, and Family Between Cultures By Sahaj Kaur Kohli, MAEd, LGPC Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593491195
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Life - May 7th, 2024

“This wonderful book is a compass, a blueprint, a mirror, and a friend. Kohli gives language to what many of us feel but can’t yet articulate.”—Erika L. Sánchez, New York Times bestselling author of I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma By Dr. Mariel Buqué Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593472491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - January 2nd, 2024

***The Instant National Bestseller***

A Next Big Idea Club must-read title for January 2024

Event Summary: 
A deeply personal, paradigm-shifting book rethinking traditional therapy and self-care, creating much-needed space for those left out of the narrative.