Racial/Cultural Trauma and Adversity

Racial/Cultural Trauma and Adversity

Racial/Cultural Trauma (or race-based trauma) refers to the cumulative effects of stress, both physical and emotional, due to racism, exploitation, and/or oppression. Racial/Cultural trauma involves ongoing exposure, re-exposure, and injury on the collective and the individual levels. It happens through unintentional and intentional comments, passive aggressive and aggressive actions, omission or exclusion due to the color of someone’s skin or culture, failure to intervene or offer support during overt racism, or obvious behaviors routed in racial and cultural biases. It also includes discrete events that look like harm or injury, humiliating or shaming, and witnessing harm to others based on race and/or culture.

People of color experience higher levels of trauma and adverse life experiences compared to their white counterparts and racism and race-based violence are fundamental causes of physical health and mental health inequities. There is an increased risk of PTSD, depression, and substance use due to chronic experiences of stress, threats, and violent events that occur in direct relation to race and aspects of identity.

I am a Black therapist that acknowledges historical and current racism and I give you permission for it to be a core component of trauma treatment within psychotherapy. I am aware of and responsive to a client’s racial and/or cultural experiences which can significantly improve mental health outcomes.

I am a therapist that deeply understands your fears which allows us to have a foundation of trust that makes a significant difference within in the therapeutic relationship and process. I am mindful of how the fear of perpetuating stereotypes can lead to racist, negative judgments about ourselves. I know what it is like to be a person of color and you have permission to be your true, authentic self without fear of judgment.

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