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

I help folks explore and connect with sources of cultural and racial respect, identity, & resilience. I believe racism is a collective and systemic trauma that can result in the fragmentation, denigration, erasure, & invisibilization of the narratives, stories, & experiences of BIPOC communities. By working to reconnect with your direct embodied, cultural, & ancestral sense of your social body, you can reclaim cultural and racial empowerment.

— Nima Saalabi, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Rosa, CA

As a multiracial/mixed person, I have several years of experience learning about mixed race identities and racial identity development. In addition to my own lived experience, I draw on academic research, films, novels, personal accounts and more in my approach to this topic.

— Matt Bouse, Therapist in Ann Arbor, MI

Helping you work through racial identity and the trauma created by systemic racism and intolerance.

— Kwabena Siaka, Psychotherapist in PORTLAND, OR

The focus of our practice is work with people who have been stigmatized due to otherness. Often this is the result of systemic oppression. In addition, we have experience working with people trying to make sense of who they are due to issues surrounding transracial adoption.

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

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

Multicultural and racial identity was an area of focus and training while completing my graduate degree. I continue to implement these ideals in my practice with clients.

— Kyle Woodson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

As a son of Filipino immigrants, I can understand the challenges and conflicts of living in the United States and being brought up with immigrant values. An aspect of this exploration can be the process of decolonization, which is a process of rediscovering one's own indigenous culture.

— David Javate, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in South San Francisco, CA

Race informs every area of our lives--relationships, social, familial, financial, educational, medical, gender, class, safety and more. I believe deep and profound healing can happen through the exploration of racial identity. I use a decolonizing framework to assist clients in defining the impact of race in their lives and work to develop and recognize the client's strengths and inner resources to navigate race-related stress and trauma.

— Camara Meri Rajabari, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

Much of my graduate level research and training has been in understanding the complex racial identity development of people of color and White individuals. My dissertation research included examining how Black clients responded to White therapists who overtly broach cross-racial differences in the therapy session.

— Catherine Bitney, Clinical Psychologist in Austin, TX

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

Multicultural and racial identity was an area of focus and training while completing my graduate degree at the University of Colorado Denver. I continue to implement these ideals in my practice with clients.

— Kyle Woodson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO