Cultural and Systemic Oppression

The term cultural and systemic oppression refers to the mistreatment of people of a specific group that is supported and enforced by society and its institutions. It can be formal or implicit, and appears in many forms, including racism and sexism. Oppression of any kind, especially over an extended period of time, can deeply affect your mental health and your sense of self. Working with a therapist who is well-versed in these constructs can help you better recognize when they are influencing your life, and how to better manage that influence. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s cultural and systemic oppression specialists today.

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Meet the specialists

 

Humans are brilliant learners, absorbing messages from our environments — families, society, culture, whether these messages are positive or negative. These external influences shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc., which then shape our realities. Knowing who we are requires understanding these influences and how it has influenced our lenses and behaviours. Only with this deeper insight, can we feel empowered to regain control of our lives.

— I-Ching Grace Hung, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
 

My dissertation investigated body image across diverse populations including WOC. In particular I am interested in how WOC use their bodies as a commodity in order to compensate for systemic-level oppression and white-cis-heteronormative dynamics. Clinically, I work from a holistic, relational, empowerment focused and intersectional feminist perspective. I recognize that areas of oppression are linked and cumulative. I strive to use my privileges to help others create clarity and

— Olivia Carollo, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL

Humans are brilliant learners, absorbing messages from our environments — families, society, culture — these external influences shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc., which then shape our realities. Knowing who we are requires understanding these influences, and how it has influenced our lenses and behaviours. Only then, can we be empowered to feel in control of our lives.

— I-Ching Grace Hung, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
 

Facing daily sociocultural pressures can be incredibly painful. Regardless of what brought them to therapy, many of my patients have a social identity that has impacted their mental health in some way. My goal is to help you harness resources, both in your environment and within yourself, that can help you navigate persistent and oppressive social forces. I specifically have experience working with those who identify as LGBTQ+, people of color, or second-generation Americans.

— Saira Malhotra, Therapist in Denver, CO

As an adolescent and adult, I observed the violence that is inflicted upon marginalized bodies when spiritual leaders attempt to act outside of the scope of their training and provide counsel to people with needs beyond their grasp. I saw how their limited understanding as well as their internalized white supremacy hurt multiple generations of families. As an active participant in my own healing, I have devoted my life to helping others reclaim their own power, and fight for their healing.

— Julius Peterson, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA
 

I am an HIV positive single mother of an adult child with a significant developmental disability - I have a deep understanding of systemic oppression and the impacts it can have on your well-being. In addition, I have a close relationship with poverty and have spent 16 years working with underserved and marginalized populations. Prior to entering private practice, I worked with individuals living in permanent supportive housing.

— Kelly Hill, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Systemic oppression can be damaging to your life, mental health and impact your sense of self. As a Black therapist, I understand the damage that this can cause and I also understand that there are times when western psychology practice is not always sufficient in addressing the mental health concerns of the historically oppressed and marginalized.

— Chioko Grevious, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Sacramento, CA
 

I am an HIV positive single mother of an adult child with a significant developmental disability - I have a deep understanding of systemic oppression and the impacts it can have on your well-being. In addition, I have a close relationship with poverty and have spent 16 years working with underserved and marginalized populations.

— Kelly Hill, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Humans are brilliant learners, absorbing messages from our environments — families, society, culture — these external influences shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc., which then shape our realities. Knowing who we are requires understanding these influences, and how it has influenced our lenses and behaviours. Only then, can we be empowered to feel in control of our lives. Let’s sift through these layers to find your true self.

— I-Ching Grace Hung, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
 

Everything happens within a larger context/system, and often that system is based in settler colonization and white supremacy. My justice-focused lens helps to hold those pieces that feel challenging when we're navigating a world that isn't set up to support everyone in an equitable way. That often includes intergenerational and racial trauma being passed down within families, as well as ongoing anti-fatness, anti-transness, and anti-Blackness.

— addyson tucker, Psychologist in Providence, RI

I chose to complete my studies in Social Work, specifically to study systems of oppression in our society, with a strong focus on religious systems of oppression. I am well-versed in religious systems of oppression, but this understanding translates to any hierarchical system: racism, workplace discrimination, family systems of oppression, interpersonal oppression (abuse and neglect), and financial oppression (capitalism). Where you have humans in societies together, there is always risk.

— Julia Krump, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Nashville, TN
 

Did you know that research indicates that microaggressions have the same effect on our systems as a Big T Trauma? If you live with cultural and systemic oppression, its effects on your wellbeing and health cannot be understated. If you live in a world where your experiences are minimized and silenced, it's especially important to seek spaces where you can fully exist and express what it's like to be you. And therapy can be one of those safe spaces where you can take up space without apology.

— Ji Eun Ko, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

Personal empowerment is inseparable from transformative sociopolitical change. This conviction infuses all that I do, including my psychotherapy approach. Since 2016, I have offered workshops and courses on Racism, Diversity, and Psychoanalysis. I also have years of experience as a grassroots environmental and social justice community organizer.

— Aleisa Myles, Psychologist in Media, PA
 

The assumptions of Western psychology focus primarily on factors within the individual. However, for many individuals, the source of their suffering emerges from oppressive forces within their social environment. Therapy needs to be able to offer alternatives to adjusting to or coping with oppressive forces. I utilize liberatory strategies to empower clients experiencing marginalization, alienation, and other forms of oppression.

— Louis Hoffman, Psychologist in Colorado Springs, CO

We examine racism and its impacts on mental health and provide positive psychology techniques o manage the impacts of racism on one's life.

— Ebony Davis, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor
 

Humans are brilliant learners, absorbing messages from our environments — families, society, culture — these external influences shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc., which then shape our realities. Knowing who we are requires understanding these influences and how it has influenced our lenses and behaviours. Only with this deeper insight, can we feel empowered to regain control of our lives.

— I-Ching Grace Hung, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA