Therapists, Minorities and Discrimination

We don't think about encountering racism at a therapist's office, but it happens more than you'd think.

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Most people would say a therapist's office is a safe place to talk about anything. But what happens when discrimination and racism get in the way? A story in Psychology Today discusses how racism can influence mental trauma and how therapists can exacerbate the problem with their comments to clients.

Insensitive remarks can be particularly harmful to vulnerable clients, who may already feel stigmatized and exposed by even attempting therapy. Minority clients may find it difficult to respond to racist comments in counseling situations due to self-doubt and power dynamics. These problems contribute to feelings of distance from the therapist, unwillingness to disclose sensitive information, and early termination from treatment. Thus clients may be unable to overcome the condition for which they sought help due to undesirable therapist factors, creating a barrier to treatment. The degree of harm therapists may cause in this way is unknown and likely underestimated.

Read more at Psychology Today.

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