July 14, 2022
When you hear, “therapy”, what comes to mind? The word “therapy” can mean a myriad of things. For us, therapy is a safe and healing space. A space where ALL experiences, feelings, struggles, needs, goals, dreams, and desires are welcomed and explored–whether through talk, somatic interventions, mindfulness interventions, or other approaches.
As a diverse team of therapists and wellness practitioners, addressing the needs of women who belong to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities is a privilege we take to heart. We understand that compassionately listening to the unique stories of women and building upon their inherent strengths is a fundamental practice of creating accessible integrative wellness support.
Following in the footsteps of Rising Women such as Bebe Moore Campbell — who [w]ithout her tireless dedication to the unique needs of Black and minority communities, the month of July would not be dedicated to promoting the mental health of BIPOC people.” (Schroeder Stribling, President, and CEO of Mental Health America) — we highlight the fact that BIPOC communities face various stressors and struggles that their White/Caucasian counterparts may not such as experiencing microaggressions related to the intersecting identities of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, religious identity, disability status, etc.
Microaggression events refer to everyday derogations, slights, and invalidations that are often delivered to people of a minority or marginalized background (APA, 2019). These can be statements or behaviors and frequently are very subtle—they may even be believed to be a compliment by the person engaging in the microaggression. See the image below for examples.
Studies have repeatedly shown that experiencing microaggressions is closely associated with internalizing problems (such as anxiety, depression, etc.) as well as increased levels of stress and negative affect. Having these types of experiences can be deeply hurtful, angering, and frustrating, and take a significant emotional toll. For BIPOC communities, these types of experiences can happen on a daily basis and impact whether or not they feel welcomed, safe, and respected in various spaces and settings such as work, social settings, etc.
At Women Rise, therapy includes providing a safe and healing space for BIPOC and those that have these types of experiences while navigating the world so that healing and thriving can occur. We recognize that not all healing and wellness spaces are open to or create space to address such issues. While we are highlighting here one common theme that many of our BIPOC clients experience, we recognize that there are many others. As always, we are here to support you—-through it all—-from a culturally responsive lens. Providing space to process, and exploring with you the tools, strategies, and resources to respond to microaggressions, racism, systemic oppression, and the ongoing impact of oppressive systems overall.
During Mental Health America’s #BeyondtheNumbers campaign, we promote the belief that any person undergoing therapy is not defined by their challenges, obstacles, or any stigma of mental health, and that each person deserves to be cared for in a way that is culturally-responsive and reflective.
In order to start having meaningful conversations regarding mental health, we invite you to consider reflecting on the following questions:
- How do you and your loved ones feel and think about mental health
- How do you and your loved ones communicate best – individually and together?
- What kind of support are you looking for?
- Other considerations: time, money, immigration status?
As a diverse team of therapists and wellness practitioners, we know that numbers alone don’t tell the whole story.
All throughout July, Mental Health America (MHA) will be promoting their campaign, #BeyondthenNumbers, through whose toolkit you can dig deeper on the questions above. For more resources, please visit their compiled list of selected culturally-reflective resources here.
You are #beyondthenumbers.
Schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with us today and see how we can help you build upon your strengths so that you can thrive.
Please Note: The information provided on or through this website or blog is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. Engaging with this material does not constitute a client/therapist relationship*