What does it mean to be multicultural?  For some, it describes two or more cultural identities inherited by birth or created by life events.  For others, it can be a lived experience as global nomads or Third Culture Kids.  A common feeling is that our sense of self is not tied to one group or one language…our identities move in between spaces and places.  As a result, many multicultural people find themselves constantly aware of the interplay of self, other, and environment. 

Code-switching is a skill that facilitates these transitions as our identities shift internally, as well as when we shift between physical cultural environments.  Most times we can see the switch happening through a change in language, or behavior.  But what about the internal experience of code-switching:  the nonverbal signals we receive, the way our movements change, our sense of personal space - even the thoughts and emotions that go along with code-switching?  What do our bodies know before our minds (and our actions) make that transition from one culture to another? 

Embodied Code-Switching offers clients the opportunity to explore a deeper way to code-switch by integrating somatic awareness into the experience of moving between cultures and identities.  Using tools such as the Embodied Code-Switching Feedback Loop and the Identity Expression Infinity Loop, together with cultural embodiment exercises and experientials, clients can discover their own signals and sensations of code-switching and how to support resiliency in their identities. 

This work offers the potential for multicultural people to interact with their environments on not only an inter-personal level by responding to social cues and symbols, but also on an intrapersonal level through body sensation and mindful observation.  By doing so, those who hold multiple identities and move in between various cultural groups can begin to build a cultural “home” through their sense of self, while simultaneously increasing their range of somatic and behavioral choices in different environments. 


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