Diversity and multiculturalism

Bring your full self to therapy at your own pace, and I’ll do my best to meet you there with respect and humility.

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

— Lilla Watson

I am a white, heterosexual ciswoman who is able-bodied. I grew up solidly middle class, was raised in a mainstream Christian church, and was the oldest child in a loving education-oriented and achievement-focused family in the North Texas suburbs. There are a tremendous number of unearned privileges I have been lucky to benefit from.

My awareness of differences started in elementary school, when I watched racism, sexism, and ableism play out in my first-grade classroom before I had the words to describe it. I knew how it made me feel, however: A little superior if I benefited, scared when I was targeted, angry when it was unfair and cruel, and overall confused about why these things seemed to matter.

My awareness grew throughout my high school and undergraduate years as I learned first-hand about anti-Semitism, homophobia, and classism with close friends and loved ones. I fancied myself open minded and progressive when I intentionally chose a counseling psychology program for its strengths-based perspective of mental health and the field’s commitment to social justice.

However, it wasn’t until the last year in my program, when I got to work with an incredibly diverse student body under the supervision of feminist psychologists, that I truly began to understand the meaning behind Lilla Watson’s quote and the blinders privilege create.

The most personally impactful part of my work is how humbling it has been to recognize the ways in which we are all trapped by the -isms our world perpetuates. It is not until we can all learn to undo those beliefs and celebrate each other for the ways that we are unique that any one of us can be truly free.

It is my commitment to my clients to be in a constant process of doing my own work to challenge my biases, recognize my privileges, and provide culturally sensitive care. I aspire to be an intersectional feminist personally, politically, and professionally. I sincerely invite you to let me know when I stick my foot in my mouth. I do not assume you trust me, and I know I have to behave in a consistently trustworthy and respectful, sensitive manner to earn that trust.

Therapy is a safe space we create together, not something that is a given, and I’m humbled every time I am given the chance to build that trust with my clients.