Culturally Sensitive Therapy

Culturally sensitive therapy is an approach in which therapists emphasize understanding a client's background, ethnicity, and belief system. Therapists that specialize in culturally sensitive therapy will accommodate and respect the differences in practices, traditions, values and opinions of different cultures and integrate those differences into therapeutic treatment. Culturally sensitive therapy will typically lead with a thorough assessment of the culture the client identifies with. This approach can both help a client feel comfortable and at ease, and lead to more positive therapeutic outcomes – for example, depression may look different depending on your cultural background. Think this is approach may be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapDen’s culturally sensitive therapy experts today.

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Culturally sensitive therapy is important to me because it helps me to understand a client’s background, ethnicity, and belief system. With me practicing culturally sensitive therapy, I am able to communicate an awareness of my client's culture, beliefs, and practices, and I have an awareness of the client's goals and expectations.

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

I am working every day to learn more about people who are different from me. I seek to understand your own experience as you have it, not as I think you should or how I assume it must be. My work as a white person involves constantly checking my assumptions and bias. I will not assume that your identities are the reasons you want help in therapy (if you're trans, you might just want help because your boss is a jerk), yet I will invite discussion of them so I know what it is like to be you.

— Lisa Wenninger, Counselor in teletherapy only, CA

This sensitivity implies knowledge borne of dialog with other cultures in and outside the workspace. Cultural sensitivity includes ethnic, religious and national differences with the cultures created by the dispossessed populations of poor, aged, and LGBTQ+ individuals. This practice is based on not harming others because in doing so, we are harmed. We can draw boundaries in functional ways.

— Antonia Allison, Marriage & Family Therapist in Diamond Bar, CA

It's my responsibility to stay aware of my privilege and bias in the therapy room, and acknowledge mistakes when I get it wrong. I demonstrate respectful curiosity about an individual's belief system and cultural background, as well as their unique experience in the world. I work to validate past and present experiences of systemic racism, misogyny, homophobia, and marginalization .

— Pamela Hamer, Psychologist

Many of the clients who see me experience identity issues or trauma symptoms related to racially based or intergenerational traumas. My professional training and experience as an activist and advocate spanning decades underlies much of my focus on racial and social justice. I'm particularly attuned to issues of "difference" among those whose experiences do not reflect dominant thinking regardless of whether that experience reflects marginalization: Mixed-race, interracial and multicultural.

— Meira Greenfeld, Psychotherapist in Phoenix, AZ

I believe that context matters, and recognize that each individual exists in a larger system (family system, cultural context, etc). I am curious about how issues that present themselves in therapy may be informed by these larger contexts and systems, which also includes an awareness of issues related to power, privilege, and marginalization. I bring this curiosity with me, while honoring you as the expert in your own experience.

— Dr. Luana Bessa, Psychologist in Boston, MA

As a therapist I not only welcome but celebrate all the “stuff” that comes with my clients’ identities and I will work within my professional role and in my personal life to advocate for the needs of my clients living in marginalized communities. Which is why I operate from a fat positive, sex positive, social justice, anti-oppression, and allyship framework.

— Amber Lynn Connell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Hatboro, PA

I received a great graduate and post graduate education where culturally sensitive therapy was emphasized and in addition through additional training annual training.

— Sandra Nunez, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in san diego, CA

I have special expertise in bilingual assessment and multicultural competence in both graduate school and internship training. I have extensive clinical experience working with culturally diverse clients and continue to stay current in culturally sensitive therapy through workshops. I have published, conducted workshops, and served as an expert consultant in several states in the area of bilingual assessment.

— Marylyn Sines, Psychologist in Southlake, TX

As a bicultural/bilingual therapist, I am attuned to the profound impact of my clients‘ cultural background on their communication.

— Antje Hofmeister, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

All of us are conditioned by our surroundings — our families, communities, societies, culture — without exceptions. No matter your creed, gender, colour, etc., we carry experiences from our past, tinted by the world around us. Understanding who we are requires understanding these influences; otherwise, we cannot tease out who we are at our "core," from what we've been taught. Even if there is overlap, there is also a difference! I look forward to sifting through the layers with you.

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

I continuously educate myself on culturally sensitive skills I can apply to my therapeutic approach. I educate myself on the different cultural backgrounds of my clients. After all, it's my job to educate myself, not my client's job to educate me.

— Diamond Rodgers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Las Vegas, NV

As a white clinician, I strongly believe it is my job to orient my work around acknowledging systems of oppression, because I know the therapy room exists in the world, not in a vacuum. I believe therapy can be a liberation tool against oppression because the more we can feel, grieve and talk about these systems, the more fortified we are to resist them. Your ancestral roots, intersecting identities, and cultural practices are an honor for me to make space for in our work together.

— Talia Chanoff, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

I was raised in a family that were open minded. Throughout my life I have sought to be involved in social justice activities. I acquired a minor in ethnic studies and surround myself with people different from myself to continue to grow. I seek opportunities for additional training in cultural competency. The most important thing that makes me an expert in this area is knowing that I am not an expert in others' lives and learning never ends, it is ongoing.

— ShannonElaine John, Counselor in Fort Morgan, CO

Cultural backgrounds have an enormous effect on the ways in which we operate in relationships (both with ourselves and others), work, school, and in the world at large. It is crucial to understand the influences that are present in your life in order to understand who you are, how you feel, and what you want to create in your life. It is possible to exist in the world in a powerful way despite the ways in which your identities may be marginalized. I can help you do that.

— Jennie Wang-Hall, Psychologist in San Marcos, CA

Personal life experience and 6 years professional experience

— Myra Flor Arpin, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Shoreline, WA

Our culture, ethnicity, and race play a big role in how we define ourselves as humans. I am sensitive to the intersecting identities we hold and address the issues pertaining to our respective groups. I am attuned to how being a culturally sensitive in therapy allows space to build the relationship between you and I and foster a safe space.

— Julio Garibay, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Gardena, CA

My healing framework is explicitly trauma-informed, anti-racist, queer and trans-affirming, fat and body positive and anti-oppressive. I also offer anti-racism coaching for white folx seeking a well-held supportive container to unlearn whiteness and racism.

— horizon greene, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

More westernized modalities focus on symptoms, whereas other cultures may include other facets of life like one's story and legacy. Communal trauma exists and can influence biographical change. Without the inclusion of one's culture and communal history; it is possible that both areas of dis-ease and appropriate treatment methods may be overlooked.

— Brittney George, Licensed Professional Counselor in , VA