Cultural and Systemic Oppression

The term cultural and systemic oppression refers to the mistreatment of people of a specific group that is supported and enforced by society and its institutions. It can be formal or implicit, and appears in many forms, including racism and sexism. Oppression of any kind, especially over an extended period of time, can deeply affect your mental health and your sense of self. Working with a therapist who is well-versed in these constructs can help you better recognize when they are influencing your life, and how to better manage that influence. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s cultural and systemic oppression specialists today.

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The assumptions of Western psychology focus primarily on factors within the individual. However, for many individuals, the source of their suffering emerges from oppressive forces within their social environment. Therapy needs to be able to offer alternatives to adjusting to or coping with oppressive forces. I utilize liberatory strategies to empower clients experiencing marginalization, alienation, and other forms of oppression.

— Louis Hoffman, Psychologist in Colorado Springs, CO
 

Living in this world can take a toll on your sense of self, your self love, and your self-esteem. In our work together, I seek to understand the forms of oppression that have impacted you most so that we can start to unlearn the harmful systemic messaging that has taken away some of your sense of self-wonder and (re)introduce you to your own majesty.

— Sam Krehel, Mental Health Counselor in , WA

I consider myself a strong activist and work hard to understand how issues of oppression impact the problems presented in therapy. I understand how racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any form of bigotry both on an institutional level and personal level, create huge amounts of stress in different populations. I taught for over a decade in a masters level course around understanding issues of oppression and internal biases and how they impact therapy.

— Deann Acton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
 

I identify as a queer Latinx cisgender female who became a psychologist to try and help the world heal from systemic oppression in whatever way I can effect change. This includes working from a feminist multicultural depth perspective that focuses on understanding the root contributors to your symptoms, including individual, family and societal systems. I am honored to accompany you on your journey as we work collaboratively to create and maintain brave spaces where healing is possible.

— Geneva Reynaga-Abiko, Clinical Psychologist in Washington, DC

As an adolescent and adult, I observed the violence that is inflicted upon marginalized bodies when spiritual leaders attempt to act outside of the scope of their training and provide counsel to people with needs beyond their grasp. I saw how their limited understanding as well as their internalized white supremacy hurt multiple generations of families. As an active participant in my own healing, I have devoted my life to helping others reclaim their own power, and fight for their healing.

— Julius Peterson, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA
 

We believe that often many mental health issues are the result of systemic oppression. We take a stance that our job is to explore your needs and what is important to you. We take your experiences as valid and support you in processing your experiences as an individual.

— Karen Rothstein Pineda, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Oak Park, IL

In my graduate education, I have both taken and taught classes on racism and systemic oppression. In my clinical practice, I see systemic oppression to be more then race; it also includes gender, sexuality, ethical non-monogamy, ability, citizenship, etc. Much of my experience working with cultural oppression include the manifestations of anxiety and depression.

— Ajay Dheer, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Beaverton, OR
 

Humans are brilliant learners, absorbing messages from our environments — families, society, culture, whether these messages are positive or negative. These external influences shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc., which then shape our realities. Knowing who we are requires understanding these influences and how it has influenced our lenses and behaviours. Only with this deeper insight, can we feel empowered to regain control of our lives.

— I-Ching Grace Hung, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

My dissertation investigated body image across diverse populations including WOC. In particular I am interested in how WOC use their bodies as a commodity in order to compensate for systemic-level oppression and white-cis-heteronormative dynamics. Clinically, I work from a holistic, relational, empowerment focused and intersectional feminist perspective. I recognize that areas of oppression are linked and cumulative. I strive to use my privileges to help others create clarity and

— Olivia Carollo, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL
 

As a Women's Studies major at the University of Minnesota in the early 90's, my knowledge of and interest in oppression of all sorts grew enormously. It was truly one of the most valuable aspects of my education. That interest has only increased since the 2016 election. From that time on, our political and social climate has felt surreal. Unfortunately, it seems the progress we've made since the 1960's has been crumbling before our eyes. Ultimately I'm an optimist though, and I still have hope.

— Molly Nicholson, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

Humans are brilliant learners, absorbing messages from our environments — families, society, culture — these external influences shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc., which then shape our realities. Knowing who we are requires understanding these influences, and how it has influenced our lenses and behaviours. Only then, can we be empowered to feel in control of our lives.

— I-Ching Grace Hung, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA
 

Humans are brilliant learners, absorbing messages from our environments — families, society, culture — these external influences shape our identities based on creed, gender, colour, etc., which then shape our realities. Knowing who we are requires understanding these influences, and how it has influenced our lenses and behaviours. Only then, can we be empowered to feel in control of our lives. Let’s sift through these layers to find your true self.

— I-Ching Grace Hung, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

Learn more about how you can benefit from a culturally sensitive approach and heal from cultural and systemic oppression. Issues that can deeply affect your sense of self and your mental health as a whole. This therapeutic approach, will help you better recognize the oppressive constructs that are influencing your life, and how to better manage that influence. As an expert in the field, I can help you find your core beliefs, values and emotional self in your unique path of individuation.

— Dr. Nadia Thalji, Mental Health Counselor in San Francisco, CA
 

The need for social justice comes from the heavy emotional and physical toll that cultural and systemic oppression takes on us. Many of us carry the symptoms of oppression. It is in our bodies and spirits and shows up in work and in our relationships. I work with clients by teaching somatic techniques that help create inner support as well as strategize for ways to develop nourishing practices and cultivate interpersonal and community supports.

— Jamila Dawson, Sex Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

Clinically, I work from a holistic, relational, empowerment focused and intersectional feminist perspective. I recognize that areas of oppression are linked and cumulative. In response, I work to help clients navigate these complex dynamics and improve their quality of life. As a Cis-White, Able-Bodied female, it is my job to do the background work and create a space where clients can explore, learn and understand themselves better. You are the expert of your life.

— Olivia Carollo, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL

Facing daily sociocultural pressures can be incredibly painful. Regardless of what brought them to therapy, many of my patients have a social identity that has impacted their mental health in some way. My goal is to help you harness resources, both in your environment and within yourself, that can help you navigate persistent and oppressive social forces. No matter how you identify, my door is always open.

— Saira Malhotra, Therapist in Denver, CO
 

The historical system of oppression (white supremacy) that our society operates under impacts all of us regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, body size, etc. Our seek therapists seek to understand dynamics of power, privilege, and oppression that have shaped our clients identities and lived experiences & work towards helping you heal the wounds from racial stress and racial trauma (microaggressions, racism, violence, & discrimination).

— Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy, Psychologist in Atlanta, GA

Research shows that the impacts of discrimination and marginalization can manifest in both mental and physical health. I strive to take into account factors related to culture, context, privilege and marginalization, as we explore therapeutic concerns.

— Dr. Luana Bessa, Psychologist in Boston, MA