The Therapy for People of Color™ directory serves to connect people of color with competent therapists.
Are You A Culturally-Competent Therapist?
• 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?