Diverse clientele in an inclusive practice
About 85% of my clients are erotic, sexual, gender and/or relational minorities. About 25% are people of color and ethnic minorities (the fluid color banner on every page represents my embrace of all client identities.)
Erotic, sexual, gender, racial, ethnic and relationally diverse clients experience multiple levels of minority stress. Their kinky and/or non-monogamous lives are at various levels of self-validation and ownership. I support every client who sees these parts of themselves as being growth-oriented.
Identity and empathy
In this intensely personal work, it’s vital to recognize that in some way my identities are always different from those of my clients. Psychotherapy is partly about whether real empathy bridges those differences.
Like other healthcare professionals, psychotherapists must be competent or proficient with clients from family origins, cultures and life experiences that are very different than their own. (Clinical Social Work Code of Ethics, Section 5). Working with kinky, non-monogamous and authority transfer clients is a key area of my cultural proficiency.
The core of bias & prejudice is how we perceive people as Others: unknown, unequal, mistrusted stereotypes. A psychotherapy practice must be a safe harbor from the stifling effects of privilege, which by its nature bypasses and suppresses open dialogue and growth.
I will always be learning how to communicate more directly about race, culture, sexuality, gender, relational choices, nationality, health status, socio-economics, and more. It means acknowledging and examining errors and inherent bias, even those that have negative effects on mental, medical and social health. I continually develop my awareness of constructing (stereotyping) anyone as an Other.
Personal cultural information
Nazism (white supremacism) destroyed a generation or more of my paternal Ukrainian Jewish family line. My maternal line is Romanian Jewish. I pass for white, but that doesn’t entirely define how I think & see the world.
I grew up in middle class New York, America’s most diverse city. I’ve lived in Chicago and Los Angeles (practicing in South Central, Watts, Downtown.)