Psychology, in theory and in practice, is not immune to the biases that have permeated every aspect of our culture. We strive to be equitable, inclusive, and just in our approaches. I consider this a long journey, and we are not at the end of that journey.
I was lucky enough to attend the first doctoral psychology program with a multicultural emphasis. My doctoral research explored the perceptions of those seen as "other," and the connection to systemic and structural oppression, specifically as it relates to violence. I have been mentored by diverse colleagues, taught multicultural graduate level courses, and I continue to learn about these issues. I believe we must continue to learn for the rest of our lives. A determined growth mindset is essential. The growth mindset assumes we will not arrive at a destination that frees us of the misconceptions that we are taught explicitly and subtly, and we must dedicate ourselves to constant exploration and learning to continue that journey in earnest.
Challenges in providing therapy for diverse groups affects all aspects of treatment. The stigma about asking for help, fears of being judged or misunderstood, and a field that has historically pathologized responses to oppression, have prevented marginalized people from seeking our help. Limited financial resources due to generations of discrimination and lack of access to health insurance make access to all forms of healthcare inequitable. I never turn people away for financial reasons. We can discuss a reduced fee or a payment plan. Please ask if you need this consideration. I also ask that clients who can afford my fee not ask for a reduced fee so I can reserved reduced fees for those who truly need it.
Psychotherapy requires an open and collaborative approach. We must be able to discuss concerns about equity, inclusivity, and justice within the therapeutic relationship. In addition, events in the world and in the news have profound effects on us. Discussing these issues, which can be uncomfortable, is often essential to trust and the quality of care. This includes concerns about race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, and ableism. Whether you have personally experienced the pain and trauma of discrimination, have feelings about what you learning or seeing in the news, or want to learn more and embrace your journey to minimize misconceptions and understand systemic oppression, I will always provide an open place in our sessions to discuss these challenges, I commit myself to regularly attend conferences and seminars, and to read, listen, and learn about these issues. I am on my journey, and I welcome the uncomfortable conversations when I get something wrong.
As a white, cisgender, and heterosexual woman, who was raised in an LGBTQ family, I have both great privilege, and first-hand experience with the impact of biases and oppression. My experiences are different than yours. I look forward to open and uncomfortable conversations in our work together.