About Us

The Therapy for People of Color™ directory serves to connect people of color with competent therapists.

Are You A Culturally-Competent Therapist?

Cultural competence is dynamic, ever-evolving and cannot be achieved, but aspired. It is not inherent to the race of the therapist. A culturally-competent therapist is one who is:

 • Actively in the process of becoming aware of his or her own assumptions about human behavior, values & biases.*

• Actively attempts to understand the worldview of his or her client.*

• Actively developing and practicing appropriate, relevant, sensitive intervention strategies and skills in working with his or her culturally different client.*

• Honoring the client’s individual, group and universal levels of identity.

*Counseling the Culturally Diverse Theory and Practice, Sue & Sue, 2008

So Why Culturally-Competent Therapy?

In the therapy process, culturally-competent therapists are able to use approaches, modalities and specialties that are consistent with one’s racial, ethnic and cultural values and identity. The therapeutic space is a place of safety and respect. Individuals need to comfortable so they can speak freely without fear of bias, prejudice or judgement. One out of every 5 people in the U.S. experience a mental health crisis or difficulty yet minorities access care 50% less than the majority (NIMH, 2017).

Barriers to therapy for minorities can include:

• Language, dialect or vernacular barriers

• Comfort level

• Cultural stigma associated with mental health issues

• Fear of bias, discrimination and prejudice

• Misunderstanding of culture, beliefs & faith For some of us to feel comfortable, it may be necessary for one to connect with a therapist of similar background, ethnicity, race or belief

When considering therapy, a person of color may wonder:

• What is the therapist’s experience with someone of my background, beliefs, or ethnicity?

• Will I be able to discuss my worldview without judgement?

• Can I speak freely about racism, discrimination and my experience in this world?

• Will they understand how my culture or family impact my decision-making in therapy?

• Will I be able to discuss my struggles with immigration and assimilation without fear of repercussions?