PrairieCare Education Series October 2022

THINK GO THINK COME:  Cultural and Mental Health Considerations When Working With Hmong Patients

Presenter: True Thao, MSW, LICSW

TitleTHINK GO THINK COME:  Cultural and Mental Health Considerations When Working With Hmong Patients

True Thao, MSW, LICSW, is the founder and principal therapist of True Thao Counseling Services.  He is a well-respected and experienced clinician in the Twin Cities with thirty-one years of clinical experience.

Through his work in the mental health field, he has primarily focused on treating clients with anxiety, depression and trauma and is trained in trauma-focused evidence-based modalities. He has also worked with a range of clients from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds but specializes on Hmong refugees.

Outside of True Thao Counseling Services, True is a well-known consultant and trainer within the Twin Cities.  Over the last twenty-six years, he has provided training and consultation on cross-cultural mental health to other mental health providers, the court system, companies in the private sector, managed-care organizations, specialty groups, and community members.  He has received many awards for his leadership and services to the community.



In challenging situations, the Hmong often expressed the slogan “yuav tau xav mus xav los” or in literal English translation “think go think come”.  When used, this slogan reflects a circumstance in which the Hmong experienced great uncertainty about the problem and options to solve the situation at hand.  This slogan serves as a perfect reminder of the complex relationships between patients and providers who are ethnically and culturally different.

This workshop will provide participants with information on the Hmong.  The presenter will cover factual information on the Hmong clanship system and its implications as resources or barriers to the patient/provider relationship; how the Hmong historically think of as causes and first-thought of remedies for health issues; the intertwining effects of the spiritual and living worlds and implications for wellbeing; how the Hmong explain feelings, emotions and personality traits; the expectations of roles for healer and help seekers; and how the lack of words in the Hmong language cannot explain psychological-caused issues or treatments like psychotherapy a challenging process.


At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have learned::

  • How feelings, emotions and personality traits are defined
  • Spiritual healing rituals
  • Expectations for roles of healers and help seekers
  • The complex transformational process the Hmong adult has to endure when in psychotherapy treatment
Video Recording (Available until November 30, 2022).
For those seeking the CEU certificate, complete/submit the following Attestation