BIPOC Therapy / Racial and Cultural Identity-Affirming Therapy

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At Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy, we believe Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities are at a critical intersection of trauma and resilience.

Over the last several years, there has been an increase in the number of hate crimes toward BIPOC communities. A simple Google search will reveal utter atrocities being committed daily against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in this country. Notably, there has also been an alarming rise in violence toward the Asian-American population.

Mental health for BIPOC communities is acutely vulnerable and never more important than right now. Daily microaggressions as well as larger instances of racial violence, hate crimes, and the effects of systemic racism can be felt emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Our bodies response system alerts us to hostile environments where power dynamics — white supremacy, privilege, toxic masculinity, gender and sexual expression, etc. — threaten our sense of safety or belonging. We feel activated and elevated and yet unable to share our truth.

These events, and so many others we don’t hear about in the news, cause pain and trauma that can last long after the events have occurred. In addition to unspeakable levels of present day trauma, or the triggering effects of past trauma, these events can contribute to a stigma of shame surrounding racial and cultural identity for BIPOC communities.

It is not uncommon or unusual for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) to feel unheard or unseen. It is also not uncommon for BIPOC communities to be traditionally underrepresented in therapy — presenting a challenge for people who are struggling to resolve past and present trauma and who want to heal.

We believe there is value in being seen, being heard, and being understood. We may not be able to change the past, but our trauma-informed therapists at Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy can help you resolve past traumas so their effects no longer cause harm to you.

As a Native American and Filipina therapist, Shelby Remillard, LMHC knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of discrimination and racism and to be made to feel as if she didn’t belong.

If you’re looking for a therapist who gets it, who has the personal experience of knowing what it feels like to be made to feel invisible, ignored or “less than,” who knows what it’s like to carry a legacy that is both deeply painful and extraordinarily beautiful, consider our practice. We see you and we are here to help.

There is power when two or more people come together for a common purpose. But too often, BIPOC communities feel isolated. Perhaps they wrestle with feelings of shame or unease.

There can be shame when the dominant white culture insults or demeans the traditions, clothing, ceremonies, food, or other cultural attributes of a non-white person. Were you ever told you weren’t native enough? Or black enough? Or Asian enough? Or Hispanic enough? This can be threatening to a person’s sense of identity. It becomes a part of you, but the reality is it is not a part of you. It’s something you internalized because the dominant culture force fed it to you.

Coming together in community, either through therapy or in other venues, can be incredibly freeing. It’s an opportunity to exhale and share your truth with others in solidarity and understanding. It’s a time to open up about all that you are experiencing and feeling free from the constraints, judgment, and oppression found in the outside world.

Race and cultural ethnicity is one part of you. But there are other parts as well. Therapy is an excellent place to reconcile all these other parts of you. In fact, that is the essence of our holistic approach to therapy. We are focused on getting to know all of the different parts of you so we can maximize resilience and healing.

There are so many pockets of shame surrounding racial and cultural ethnicity and heritage. But if we as members of BIPOC communities wish to be true allies in solidarity with the disabled, LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and other underrepresented groups, we must first acknowledge the privilege, patriarchy, toxic masculinity, discrimination and stereotypes of sex and gender expression and identity, and more which cause harm.

Through therapy, we help you make sense of what can be a very convoluted and confusing topic. Feelings that you aren’t doing enough in your own community or in the world at large, or acknowledging that perhaps you have financial or economic privilege but aren’t quite sure how to help, can be frustrating. But they don’t have to be. Therapy can help you operate from a more authentic place.

Cultural expectations is the lens we all see through. We rely on the cultural knowledge we are taught from a young age to help us through difficult life transitions.

Community and close friend or family relationships are one of the best things you can have as part of your wellness counseling journey. But too often, cultural expectations cause a sort of roller coaster of grief where we are torn between an expectation of self-reliance (aka going it alone) and relying on the interdependence of community or therapy to help navigate the journey.

In some cultures, it is common for young adults to live close to their parents or grandparents, in multigenerational homes or in close proximity to one another in the same city or town. There is an expectation that this is the way we do things, and this may present a challenge when the person wants to break with cultural tradition and expectations. Or, it may cause unwanted scrutiny if a person adheres to the cultural expectation, going against societal norms.

Our objective is to help you achieve a deep, reciprocal balance of wellness that honors your culture and your history while also helping you fulfill your own desires and move forward with peace, clarity, and purpose.

Through therapy, we can help you pull the thread through these different lives so you can honor your cultural heritage and traditions and also be true to yourself and your needs and desires. BIPOC and racial affirming identity therapy can help you draw healthy boundaries that allow you to focus on your wellness while also respecting your family’s heritage, culture, and expectations.

BIPOC communities are no strangers to intergenerational trauma. You may know this feeling firsthand. It runs through our bloodlines and is passed through our DNA from generations before us. However, it’s important to know that alongside this intergenerational trauma line is another line that runs parallel to the trauma. This parallel line is intergenerational RESILIENCE, and that lives inside you, too.

Resilience is a powerful grounding anchor to who you are at your core. There is deep meaning there and we will explore this as part of our BIPOC and racial and cultural identity affirming therapy practice.

We can’t build and cultivate resilience without acknowledging the pain and hurt in our lives. This pain and hurt does not define you, nor does it define your group or cultural identity.

White supremacy, and the world for that matter, may give you constant invalidating feedback. ‘You’re not worthy, not good enough, not worthy, not equal, not welcomed.’ But these are things you don’t need to give to yourself. You don’t need to internalize these toxic messages because they aren’t true. The key is to find places and people that validate your experience and your place in this world. Whether it’s through activism or spirituality or online groups or through therapy — this is a gift you give to yourself. And it is a gift of peace, belonging, validation and restoration of the soul.

At Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy, our practice is rooted in holistic therapy, which seeks to look at all of the different parts of the self, including the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, cultural, and social aspects of your life. Ultimately, our goal is to become curious about past and present traumas, work toward healing them, and then creating a path toward healing the whole person.

Choosing to enter into therapy is perhaps one of the bravest and most important things you can do. Therapy can help you operate from a more authentic place by helping you reconcile all the parts of you.

We believe everyone can benefit from therapy. And we believe that choosing to begin therapy can be a valuable and life-affirming experience, particularly for BIPOC communities.

Shelby Remillard, LMHC, along with the therapist team at Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy, provides effective therapy for BIPOC communities to overcome shame and trauma and discover the power of intergenerational resilience so you can be heard, seen, and acknowledged by others…and also by yourself.

At each of our therapy sessions, you’ll discover a safe, supportive, shame-free, and judgment-free environment where we walk with you on a journey where you can freely share your truth. And where, together, we can work toward resolving and healing any past or present trauma so you can move forward into a future of your creation.

COVID-19 UPDATE

During this unprecedented time, you may be experiencing increasing feelings of uncertainty, loss, anxiety, fear, grief or rage. We are all experiencing a different reality and it can and will affect everyone very differently.

Whether you’re performing an essential job that requires long hours and potential risk to your health, or you’re navigating school re-opening, returning to work or continuing to work from home and practicing social distancing, please know that you are not alone.

We are pleased to offer the same level of compassionate care through the convenience and confidentiality of TeleTherapy services, accessible on your computer, tablet, or phone. We are welcoming fully vaccinated clients to return to the office for in-person sessions on a case by case basis.

Please stay safe and know that we are with you.

Have Questions?

Payment can be cash, check or credit card. (Please note: there is a surcharge of $2.50 per invoice.) Payment is expected at the time of each session. We are an out-of-network provider with all insurance companies. On a monthly basis we will be happy to provide receipts and/or completed insurance forms for you to submit for out of network reimbursement.
We request that you provide no less than 3 days (72 hours) notification to cancel appointments. We will make every effort to reschedule cancelled sessions within the same week, at no additional fee. If you cancel within the 72 hour period, and we are not able to reschedule within that time frame, you will be responsible for paying the full amount of our session. Note: this cannot be submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
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Free Phone Consultation

We offer a free phone consultation prior to making an in-person appointment. Schedule online or call us today to get started.

SCHEDULE FREE PHONE CONSULTATION
Call Us: (347) 983-2233