Racial Identity

Racial identity is a multifaceted construct, the development of which is a lifelong process that involves how a person interprets messages about racial groups. Racial identity has been described as the significance and meaning of race in one’s life. Our racial identity is an important part of how we see ourselves and how others see us. Racial identity development is relevant to all racial groups – but typically plays a larger role in the experiences of minorities. Many things can influence an individual’s racial identity, including pop culture and current events. If you are working through issues related to racial identity, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today.

Meet the specialists

As a black man in America i first hand understand and have the lived experience of what it is like being black in this country. As a first generation African American, i also have the lived experience of being raised in two different cultures and navigating the different cultural dynamics.

— Eric Katende, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

One's racial identity is a complex component of who their are. People of color must navigate a world that increasingly is pushing them to reject their own culture, while internally containing their sense of self. If you work with me I promise to help you navigate the minefield of self-identity, mass culture identity, and your culture's views on your racial identity. Together I know we will be able to find the You that you want to be; not the you society claims you should be.

— Austin Knight, Counselor in Grand Rapids, MI

America is full of diversity, hope, and opportunities. But for many International students and professionals, settling into a new culture can bring about anxieties, self-doubt, and feeling out-of-place. The process of acculturation can bring about unique challenges in their career, personal life, and relationships. But adaptation does not mean surrendering to social pressure and changing the core of who you are. You will master the confidence to live as your most authentic self wherever you are.

— Biyang Wang, Psychotherapist in Chicago, IL

Race is something that has been ingrained in us for many years. It can be difficult to cope with many of the obstacles, experiences and questions when it comes to race. I have worked with many people to help explore and resolve these issues in order to gain clarity and confidence in a person and who they are. I look forward to helping you as well.

— Alvin Jackson, Counselor in Cincinnati, OH

You hold a unique social location in our highly racialized and often black/white society. Honoring your personal values and therapeutic goals, I welcome exploration of racial and intersectional identities and how they relate to your sense of self and lived experiences. I self-identify as multiracial and mestiza and come from Asian, Latinx, and European lineages. I support you to identify (or not) in the way that is true for you and captures your wholeness.

— Sabrina Sierra, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

I work with people who are struggling with racial, ethnic, and cultural identity. This includes multi-racial,multi-ethnic and multi-cultural individuals, and couples in mixed racial or ethnic/cultural partnerships. As well as first generation immigrants and the children of immigrants. I also work with folks who are struggling with their identity at the intersection of their sexuality, gender, spirituality, and dis/ability status.

— Jennie Powe Runde, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Identity encompasses every aspect of who we are as a person, a part of a community, a sexual being, and much more. It is not just genetic markers, it is also sex, gender, orientation, likes and dislikes. Identity is wrapped up in the question: who am I as a whole person? Specializing in the minority experience, complex trauma, and systemic race issues, Romeo’s Sensation LLC focuses on navigating this complex question.

— Romel Santiago, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Clearwater, FL

I'll never forget the first time I filled out a standardized test in school. I was in elementary school and I remember the words "Choose One" being written in bold under the heading "Race." Biracial was not an option. I remember choosing white because I was the only nonwhite student in my class and I didn't want to be different. Thus began a long and complicated relationship with my racial identity. It's hard when you are forced to choose a box and it's hard when others automatically put you in a box. I enjoy helping clients explore the complexities of racial identity and the very real stress that it can cause.

— Anne Rice, Licensed Professional Counselor in Avondale Estates, GA

Your race, culture, ethnicity, and experiences are all uniquely yours. No one can speak for you on how your multi-faceted identity shapes and guides you or how your experiences have impacted you. I understand how one’s race, culture, and ethnicity can add a dimension that may be difficult to articulate but is often deeply felt. If you’re here to explore, let’s have those discussions together in a way that feels healing, honest, and right for you.

— Lynn Nishimura, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

I love working with multiethnic/multicultural clients. Examples of that are mixed race or ethnicity, people of color, women of color, and second generation immigrants. Containing multiple identities means holding multiple truths within. I bring my clients' personal stories as valuable to the work, and I connect from my own lived experience.

— Deva Segal, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Self-identity is a cornerstone of an authentic life. It encompasses your values and how you want to relate to others. However, finding who you are is a journey itself, and can be suppressed due to systemic oppression, family expectations, or cultural changes. I offer the existential approach and internalized oppression model for you to explore your identity and how to share it in a safe and gentle manner.

— Kaori Oto, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

There are many individuals who are facing multiple forms of violence through relationships with toxic systems. In my work, I stress that real love does not require one to give up their freedom for the sake of belonging. It’s in the power of our ability to use our voice and to think and feel for ourselves that we find the power to stand alone and stand with others. The ability to do both is what real freedom and real love requires. You deserve to be free and to feel love.

— Julius Peterson, Clinical Social Worker in Decatur, GA