Diverse clientele in an inclusive practice
About 85% of my clients are erotic, sexual, gender and/or relational minorities. About 25% of them are people of color and/or ethnic minorities. The fluid color display at the top of every page represents my full 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.
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)
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 develop my awareness of racism and constructing (stereotyping) anyone as an Other. (Nazism destroyed my father’s eastern European Jewish family line. I’m still tracing my maternal Romanian Jewish history.)