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Culturally Competent Therapy

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Have Your Struggles With Mental Health And Identity Been Invalidated?

All of us have cultural identities: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, size, disability, among others. And when we hold one or numerous marginalized identities, we may notice patterns. Perhaps we are passed over opportunities at work or school, or perhaps people put us down in conversations. It can be challenging to give voice to our experiences, as people may dismiss us and say it's all in our heads. These are microaggressions, sometimes known as "death by a thousand paper cuts." In other words, they are subtle behaviors that single out a person for their membership in a cultural group. Discrimination of any kind can feel traumatic, and it can impact the way we function: difficulty staying focused, irritation, restlessness, hesitation to connect with others, or avoidance. 

These identity-based traumas (whether it's racial trauma, queer trauma, size trauma, etc.) can have physical impacts because mental and physical health are deeply connected. You may experience symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, or lightheadedness. These things can lead to us feeling depressed, anxious, or angry. It can be shocking to realize that discrimination can play such a huge role. Many of us navigate this society for the entirety of our lives, and this can lead to hypervigilance and difficulty trusting others. These are signs of minority trauma, and these reactions are valid.

Culturally competent therapy looks at all of these pieces with understanding. Our therapists can help you understand the systems at play in all of our lives. We help you feel empowered to overcome them by setting boundaries and highlighting your strengths.

Microaggressions Can Take A Toll On Your Well-Being

Systemic oppression refers to the societal structures and institutions that are created with inherent bias against those with marginalized identities. It can make marginalized folx feel isolated through microaggressions. These include things like strangers holding their bags closer to their bodies when you walk by, people giving you unsolicited advice about your body weight, or being misgendered. These can occur frequently and unconsciously due to misinformed biases. It leaves us feeling singled out for being being different than those with privileged identities. It leads to greater distress, maladaptive (unhealthy) coping strategies, and physical health problems. It doesn't matter if someone meant to do it on purpose or not; the impact is still very real.

Because systemic oppression has such a vast impact, it makes it difficult for others to take these concerns seriously, even when there is an obvious act of racism, homophobia, ableism, sizeism, or other -isms. This is especially the case if a person holds privileged identities and cannot see the other's perspective. Normalizing these behaviors leads to more pain for those who are impacted, as their concerns are invalidated. This form of gaslighting is highly demoralizing and can make one wonder if their reactions are warranted.

We want you to know this: we hear you. We see you. We believe you.

Research has revealed that simply disclosing these experiences of prejudice can help reduce chronic stress. Sharing your story with a culturally competent therapist helps you process and learn deeper meanings about your experience.

That's where Cultured Space comes in!

Opening Up In Culturally Competent Therapy Can Help You Heal

At Cultured Space, we understand that being truly seen and heard is essential. Our progressive therapists are prepared to engage in identity-affirming conversations to help you analyze your thoughts, make sense of your experiences, and find ways to move forward that feel empowering to you. All of our therapists emphasize the importance of culture and identity. Our practice ensures a place of safety for our clients in honoring their BIPOC/REM, LGBTQIA+, disabled, religious, and other identities.

There are many therapists in the mental health field who might microaggress clients, but Cultured Space is different. With our therapists, you will enjoy an open-minded, affirming environment. Nothing is off the table—you’re free to discuss your experiences without fears of being invalidated. As you work with your therapist, you'll talk about things to help you succeed at work, school or anywhere else important to you. 

At our practice, all therapy sessions are held online. If you want to learn more about culturally competent therapy, you can schedule a free consultation call before scheduling an appointment to ask questions. 

Prior to your first session, we’ll ask you to fill out an intake form detailing your reasons for seeking therapy. Then, throughout the initial session, your therapist will gather information about your upbringing, core values, current stressors and emotional symptoms. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your overarching treatment goals.

With respect to your individual background, your therapist can develop a strengths-based treatment plan while acknowledging the effects of oppression. You'll be able to talk about racial trauma, queer trauma, or any other identity-based trauma you've lived through. You'll also work on skills related to stress management, setting boundaries in the workplace and your personal relationships, and building healthy relationships.

Our therapists draw from several therapeutic orientations to individualize your treatment. You can learn to break down negative beliefs and establish adaptive thought patterns through Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), embrace your thoughts and feelings while letting go of guilt and shame in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), or even take the lead and simply be heard from a person-centered approach. All of this is done while also holding your important identities.

Through culturally competent therapy at Cultured Space, you can finally find validation, fullness, and flexibility!

But you may still have questions about culturally competent therapy…

How do I know my therapist is safe for me to talk to?

While we hope you're able to see for yourself, Cultured Space is a progressive practice that sees value in identity-affirming work. All of our therapists consistently make time for psychoeducation and diversity training to learn how to better support our clients. In addition, our therapists have a thorough understanding of intersectionality and what it means to grapple with multiple forms of oppression. No matter what your background is, our therapists have the tools to help you.

Can therapy really help me with the stress in my life?

If you have repeatedly suffered from discrimination, or identity-based trauma, you may be doubtful that therapy can help you deal with these barriers. But by pursuing culturally competent therapy, you can learn how to make yourself heard in spaces where you may have been dismissed in the past. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to develop skills that will allow you to analyze and critique systems of oppression. Oppressive systems work to take away your voice, but Cultured Space therapists will let you turn up your volume and use it!

I don’t think there’s anything I can do about systemic oppression and discrimination.

While it's hard to change a system, we each have our part. Although these forms of prejudice persist, learning how to create strong boundaries can help you navigate toxic environments with dignity. Therapy is often the first step in challenging and healing from the oppression. In therapy, you can take ownership of your own story and establish agency in your life.

What we believe

Your mental health matters. Period. We know that it is closely tied to your physical health, spiritual health, relational health, and others. We know that the identities you hold are woven into each facet of your well-being. We also know that accessing services can be challenging. This is why we provide you with telehealth and online therapy services that you can use from the comfort of your own home. Our goal is to make quality mental health care accessible so that you can get help for your anxiety. We will support you as you live flexibly and joyfully, free from the fear, doubts, and worries that come with anxiety.

 

We can help you take more control in your life.

when you're ready,

we're here for you

you deserve to live

Image by Gemma Chua-Tran

freely and authentically

Cost of sessions will range between $200-$350 per session.

Our therapists are out-of-network providers.

Our staff can support you verifying your current insurance benefits to know your payment options.

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