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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The historical system of oppression (white supremacy) that our society operates under impacts all of us regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, body size, etc. Our seek therapists seek to understand dynamics of power, privilege, and oppression that have shaped our clients identities and lived experiences & work towards helping you heal the wounds from racial stress and racial trauma (microaggressions, racism, violence, & discrimination).

— Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy, Psychologist in Atlanta, GA

Our approach brings in consideration of our clients’ cultures and unpacks societal factors and forces of systemic oppression. We use a values-forward style that curiously explores your environment and context, and considers how issues of social justice and (in)equity may be contributing to your distress.

— Kindman & Co. Therapy Practice, Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

All of us are brilliant students of our society, — our families, communities, societies, culture. These factors shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc. — which then shape our realities. To know who we are requires understanding these influences, which reflect this imperfect world as well as how it has shaped who we are. By doing so, we can tease out who we are at our “core,” from what we’ve been taught. I look forward to shifting through these layers with you to find your true

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

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

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. No matter how you identify, my door is always open.

— Saira Malhotra, Therapist in Denver, CO

Systemic oppression, be it racist, patriarchal, or cultural, can have a strong and negative impact on your life, mental health and sense of self. As a Latina Therapist who myself have experienced the negative impacts, my goal is to help POC heal wounds from internalized oppression and systemic inequality.

— Valeska Cosci, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Venice, CA

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

Being Hispanic myself, I want to make a big change in what the system tells us as minorities. Most have been lies!! I also want to help with Transgenerational PTSD. Trauma is like ghost that haunt our families for generations . Until we heal from those traumas!! Then they can become ancestors and spread wisdom to future generation. Let me help you make ancestors that spread wisdom!

— Jose Feliciano, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in La MESA, CA

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 utilize a blend of boundary-setting modalities to address historical and intergenerational trauma. Survival instincts and ways of coping are often passed down in a family system, even if they don't always serve the present moment. Understanding why we react to certain situations, and why others may react, can increase compassion. Once we have cultivated that compassion we can articulate and implement boundaries from a place of acceptance and respect.

— Dwight Bejec, Licensed Professional Counselor in Naperville, IL

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

I believe that being targeted for cultural and systemic oppression can create or amplify experiences of trauma, depression, and anxiety. I believe that intersectional oppression can amplify this more. My approach to therapy includes looking at a client's cultural identities and including these perspectives in addressing any presenting therapeutic concerns. It is important to me to listen to a client's experience of these identities, and provide empathy, support, and strategizing as needed.

— Caera Gramore, Mental Health Practitioner in Arlington, WA

In my graduate education, I have both taken and taught classes on racism and systemic oppression. In my clinical practice, I see systemic oppression to be more then race; it also includes gender, sexuality, ethical non-monogamy, ability, citizenship, etc. Much of my experience working with cultural oppression include the manifestations of anxiety and depression.

— Ajay Dheer, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Beaverton, OR

I believe in calling out and speaking the truth to the systems of oppression that surround and us and impact our healing journey. This may look like us having a conversation about your frustrations at work being compounded by the overt sexism in your industry or it could involve a safe place to unpack the microaggressions your mother in law drops at every famiy gathering. I think it's important to discuss these moments in therapy and I work to be an ally and a advocate for my clients.

— Michelle Desmond, Clinical Social Worker

Systemic racism puts marginalized groups at an economical disadvantage; and the social structures, policies, and institutions that serve to oppress people of color both take an extreme toll on their mental and physical health. It's crucial to take time for self-care and reach out to a therapist who can help. I'm that therapist.

— Roman Haas, Counselor in , CO

As a Women's Studies major at the University of Minnesota in the early 90's, my knowledge of and interest in oppression of all sorts grew enormously. It was truly one of the most valuable aspects of my education. That interest has only increased since the 2016 election. From that time on, our political and social climate has felt surreal. Unfortunately, it seems the progress we've made since the 1960's has been crumbling before our eyes. Ultimately I'm an optimist though, and I still have hope.

— Molly Nicholson, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

Clinically, I work from a holistic, relational, empowerment focused and intersectional feminist perspective. I recognize that areas of oppression are linked and cumulative. In response, I work to help clients navigate these complex dynamics and improve their quality of life. As a cis-white, able-bodied female, it is my job to do the background work and create a space where clients can explore, learn and understand themselves better. You are the expert of your life.

— Olivia Carollo, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL

I practice using a liberation framework where I understand that traditional, Western psychology practice are often not sufficient in addressing the mental health concerns of the historically oppressed.

— Taryn Hodison, Licensed Professional Counselor in Kansas City, MO