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

 

I practice liberation counseling from an anti-oppressive lens and focus on how oppression impacts relationships, health (physical, mental, spiritual), work, and all other life domains.

— Cathy Harrington, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Everett, WA

We believe that often many mental health issues are the result of systemic oppression. We take a stance that our job is to explore your needs and what is important to you. We take your experiences as valid and support you in processing your experiences as an individual.

— Karen Rothstein Pineda, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Oak Park, IL
 

We work with BIPOC. We live in an indoctrinated society. Stigma runs rampant and most of us operate from a narrative and language that perpetuates, support and often complies with oppression and indoctrination. Is it a surprise we are suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety and the likes? If we can begin to unpack how society has victimized us we can begin to alter our stories around shame and self-blame towards a more holistic view of inner and societal healing.

— Moushumi Ghose, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, 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. To know who we are requires understanding these influences, and 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. Let’s sift through these layers to find your true self.

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

I am no stranger to the deep wounds systemic and cultural oppression has inflicted on communities and individuals. My international work, experience with marginalized populations has given me great insight. I understand the deep rooted systems at work and believe in activism in therapy. We will work together to dispel stories of hate so you can reclaim your culture, your identity and your confidence. You were born beautiful and unaffected by these systems. Now its time to kick them out!

— Maile Grace, Therapist in Denver, CO
 

I consider myself a strong activist and work hard to understand how issues of oppression impact the problems presented in therapy. I understand how racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any form of bigotry both on an institutional level and personal level, create huge amounts of stress in different populations. I taught for over a decade in a masters level course around understanding issues of oppression and internal biases and how they impact therapy.

— Deann Acton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

Living in this world can take a toll on your sense of self, your self love, and your self-esteem. In our work together, I seek to understand the forms of oppression that have impacted you most so that we can start to unlearn the harmful systemic messaging that has taken away some of your sense of self-wonder and (re)introduce you to your own majesty.

— Sam Krehel, Mental Health Counselor in , WA
 

I completed my pre-doctoral internship at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at Boston Medical Center and continue to engage in personal and professional development in relation to experiences of cultural and systemic oppression.

— Mimiko Watanabe, Psychologist in Philadelphia, PA

I identify as a queer Latinx cisgender female who became a psychologist to try and help the world heal from systemic oppression in whatever way I can effect change. This includes working from a feminist multicultural perspective that prioritizes empowerment, authenticity and support as we interrogate oppressive systemic forces while finding hope and strength throughout the journey.

— Geneva Reynaga-Abiko, Clinical Psychologist in Washington, DC
 

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

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
 

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

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 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

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
 

Learn more about how you can benefit from a culturally sensitive approach and heal from cultural and systemic oppression. Issues that can deeply affect your sense of self and your mental health as a whole. This therapeutic approach, will help you better recognize the oppressive constructs that are influencing your life, and how to better manage that influence. As an expert in the field, I can help you find your core beliefs, values and emotional self in your unique path of individuation.

— Dr. Nadia Thalji, Psychotherapist in San Francisco, CA
 

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