Posts Tagged ‘People of Color’

Sojourner’s Truth

March 20th, 2015

build your confidenceI’m not man enough, says one trans male client. I question my masculinity, says another cis male client. Am I as much of a woman as a cis woman?, asks a trans female client. Why doesn’t my life matter?, asks an African American cis male client. Questions like these pop up with much regularity in my work. People questioning their authenticity because cultural “norms” and life experiences make them feel out of place, invalidated, and just plain crappy about themselves.

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Racism and Self-Image

April 13th, 2011

What happens when you grow up in a society saying you’re less-than for being black?  Or that you must be meek if culturally competent therapistyour Asian?  Most likely, you reject these sterotypes and be yourself.  There are many prejudiced stereotypes you know aren’t true for you.  However, from what I know from my work with People of Color, these harmful messages can sometimes linger, distorting the way you think about yourself.

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Internalized Racism

June 14th, 2010

anti-racist therapistIn The Noonday Demon - Andrew Solomon’s book on depression – internalized racism is defined as self-doubt predicated on dominant social attitudes (pg. 196, Scribner, 2001).  In other words, the oppressive social attitude of white society that People of Color are less-than can manifest in a Person of Color as a lack of self-confidence.

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The Trauma of Oppression

December 29th, 2009

oppression and therapyBeing a Person of Color or a member of any marginalized group in America has it’s challenges.  You already know that.  You don’t need a therapist to tell you about how -isms affect you and your life.  What I would like to tell you about, however, is how therapy can help relieve trauma-based symptoms which are caused by social conditions, like racism, sexism, and the like.

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Race Relations in the Therapy Room

November 19th, 2008

I am sitting across from a new client – a person of another race.  I make a statement like “Often times, the fact of our different races can influence the process and outcome of our work together.  I’m going to do my best to pay attention to this.  I’d also encourage you to speak up if you think our cultural differences are getting in the way of our work.”  The client looks at me with a smile, pulls out her/his wallet, and shows me a picture of her/his child – clearly a biracial kid.

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