Racial Identity

Racial identity is a multifaceted construct, the development of which is a lifelong process that involves how a person interprets messages about racial groups. Racial identity has been described as the significance and meaning of race in one’s life. Our racial identity is an important part of how we see ourselves and how others see us. Racial identity development is relevant to all racial groups – but typically plays a larger role in the experiences of minorities. Many things can influence an individual’s racial identity, including pop culture and current events. If you are working through issues related to racial identity, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today.

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I am a mixed raced/Black person. Living in this body has come with lots of experiences connected to race. Unfortunately, I have experienced more than my fair share of racism in my life. However, I also have a White mother and have experienced some light-skinned privilege. In short, I am no stranger to exploring and processing racialized experiences. I am excited to work with people seeking to express and step into their full selves and welcome client of all racial backgrounds.

— Mahesh Francis, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

While our cultural identity is a significant part of who we are, there is often conflict, confusion, and avoidance that can occur when it comes to integration of it with our individual identity. As an AAPI therapist, I practice with awareness of the challenges that are AAPI community-specific within the scope of mental health. Therapy is the perfect place to explore one's cultural identity, but to integrate that into one's concept of self to live a more authentic and meaningful life.

— Tsuilei Mace, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

Exploring topics of racial, cultural, and ethnic background as it relates to one’s family origins and personal identity.

— Ruann Ibrahim, Creative Art Therapist in New York, NY

I use a mixture of lived experience and clinical knowledge to support my clients in exploring and feeling empowered within their racial identities.

— Alexis Castro, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor in San Diego, CA

In the U.S., colonization and imperialism have functioned to extract power and voice from many. As a result, the line between trauma & culture for many folks of color (especially Black & Indigenous) can become blurred. My approach is rooted in celebrating & exploring identities, and understanding how our stories can nourish connection to self and others.

— Alex Subbaraman, Psychotherapist in Richfield, MN

I have appreciated helping clients to re-discover their racial identity, understand the systemic nature of racism (and how this can affect families of color), and cope with racialized trauma.

— Semi Grey, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Vancouver, WA

Much of my graduate level research and training has been in understanding the complex racial identity development of people of color and White individuals. My dissertation research included examining how Black clients responded to White therapists who overtly broach cross-racial differences in the therapy session.

— Catherine Bitney, Clinical Psychologist in Austin, TX

As a multiracial/mixed person, I have several years of experience learning about mixed race identities and racial identity development. In addition to my own lived experience, I draw on academic research, films, novels, personal accounts and more in my approach to this topic.

— Matt Bouse, Therapist in Ann Arbor, MI

As a multiracial person myself, I understand the complexity of race and culture and it impacts our sense of identity, self and belonging. In order to develop a positive sense of self, it is imperative that we be allowed to explore and connect to these aspects of ourselves. It is my passion and pleasure to be able to provide this space to my clients of all backgrounds and experiences, and especially to those who are trans or interracially adopted or those from multiracial homes.

— Elliott Odendahl, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Bloomington, MN

The journey of my own racial identity and my work with a group of anti-racism trainers informs this part of my specialty.

— Abhishek Dutt, Therapist in Kansas City, MO

There are many individuals who are facing multiple forms of violence through relationships with toxic systems. In my work, I stress that real love does not require one to give up their freedom for the sake of belonging. It’s in the power of our ability to use our voice and to think and feel for ourselves that we find the power to stand alone and stand with others. The ability to do both is what real freedom and real love requires. You deserve to be free and to feel love.

— Julius Peterson, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA

As a black man in America i first hand understand and have the lived experience of what it is like being black in this country. As a first generation African American, i also have the lived experience of being raised in two different cultures and navigating the different cultural dynamics.

— Eric Katende, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

As a person of color, the world may not understand the things that we go through or how it impacts us. Do you feel misunderstood, ridiculed, unwanted or out of place? External pressures sometimes feel unbearable - as though you aren’t allowed to exist in the way you would like. You deserve a place. Through a culturally sensitive lens, I will meet you where you are and bring strength to our therapy as you grow in confidence and self-acceptance.

— Rian Richardson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL

As a West Indian immigrant, I offer support and guidance to individuals navigating the complexities of their racial and ethnic backgrounds. I assist clients in exploring their cultural heritage, addressing racial discrimination or biases, and building a positive and confident sense of self. My approach is rooted in fostering cultural awareness, resilience, and a deeper understanding of one's identity within a diverse society.

— Deron Perez, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Rye, NY

Through my own journey and working with others I know the challenges facing those with mixed or complex identities. So many people can't know how the world, even family, is going to treat them at any given moment and it's exhausting. Some of us are fluent in two or more cultures that don't feel compatible. Also exhausting. Increasing your own inner resources will help you find you relief in a world that wants labels on everyone.

— Rafe Stepto, Psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY

As a Black therapist, I will give you the space to process your identity and racial trauma, as well as, any challenges that come with navigating a white supremacy society.

— Marc Campbell, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in ,

I prioritize greater contexts of generational, ancestral and community strength as we navigate difficulties you may be experiencing. I also strive to support you in re-discovering your power by examining the sociopolitical histories of the many physical places we inhabit.

— Alex Subbaraman, Psychotherapist in Richfield, MN

The focus of our practice is work with people who have been stigmatized due to otherness. Often this is the result of systemic oppression. In addition, we have experience working with people trying to make sense of who they are due to issues surrounding transracial adoption.

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