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.

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I can accompany you in your journey of navigating the complexities of being your true self in a society that may not value your unique point of view. You may face competing demands to fit into mainstream American society and into your respective cultural groups. This may lead to having double or triple the expectations, as you are trying to please various audiences. I can assist you in making sense of the different contexts you have existed in and how these have influenced your wellbeing.

— Dr. Alina Aloma, Psychologist in Saint Paul, MN

Professionally, working in Eastside San Jose for the bulk of my career has meant that most of my clinical experience is with people of color. Additionally, this clinical focus is a deeply personal one as well. As a child of a Chinese immigrant father and white mother, I've done deep dives into my own racial identity and the impact that it has on my mental health and family. I feel a great sense of purpose in walking alongside my clients as they work on racialized issues and racial identities.

— Sarah Lesko, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in EL DORADO HILLS, CA

As a multiracial person myself, I understand the complexity of race and culture and it impacts our sense of identity, self and belonging. In order to develop a positive sense of self, it is imperative that we be allowed to explore and connect to these aspects of ourselves. It is my passion and pleasure to be able to provide this space to my clients of all backgrounds and experiences, and especially to those who are trans or interracially adopted or those from multiracial homes.

— Elliott Odendahl, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Bloomington, MN

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

I facilitate healing and growth, acknowledging the intersectionality of identities through earned wisdom and lived experience as an Asian American. I navigate sensitive issues, fostering trust and empowerment using cultural healing and incorporating decolonized approaches to therapy. My practice integrates evidence-based techniques with cultural sensitivity, ensuring clients receive affirming and effective support on their journey towards self-discovery and resilience.

— Harry Dixon, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in San Diego, CA

As a person of color, the world may not understand the things that we go through or how it impacts us. Do you feel misunderstood, ridiculed, unwanted or out of place? External pressures sometimes feel unbearable - as though you aren’t allowed to exist in the way you would like. You deserve a place. Through a culturally sensitive lens, I will meet you where you are and bring strength to our therapy as you grow in confidence and self-acceptance.

— Rian Richardson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL

As a Black therapist, I will give you the space to process your identity and racial trauma, as well as, any challenges that come with navigating a white supremacy society.

— Marc Campbell, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in ,

Through my own journey and working with others I know the challenges facing those with mixed or complex identities. So many people can't know how the world, even family, is going to treat them at any given moment and it's exhausting. Some of us are fluent in two or more cultures that don't feel compatible. Also exhausting. Increasing your own inner resources will help you find you relief in a world that wants labels on everyone.

— Rafe Stepto, Psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY

I use a mixture of lived experience and clinical knowledge to support my clients in exploring and feeling empowered within their racial identities. It can be a complex and vulnerable thing to explore what your racial identity means to you. Having a therapist that can guide and support that exploration and self-understanding without judging or having any kind of feels about it can be liberating! I love creating that space for BIPOC folks to exist and explore themselves without judgement.

— Alexis Castro, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor in San Diego, 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 Littleton, CO

I have over 17 years of experience - both clinical and research - in racial identity development.

— Jacquelyn Strait, Psychologist in Friendswood, TX

Exploring topics of racial, cultural, and ethnic background as it relates to one’s family origins and personal identity.

— Ruann Ibrahim, Creative Art Therapist in New York, NY

Race means a multitude of things depending who you ask. I have been working with BI&POC communities my entire career with a specialization in mixed individuals navigating their own identity.

— Daniela Sawicki Rivera, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

I have experience working with folks who want to process their racial and cultural experiences and the ways in which they are impacted. I have also worked with people who feel disconnected from their racial and cultural identities.

— Meli Leilani Devencenzi, Psychologist in Cedar City, UT

At my other practice, Anise Health, I work with clients from the Asian and Asian American community, and we specifically specialize in giving culturally-responsive care. I have been working with clients who are first-generation immigrants, children of immigrants and refugees, and biracial clients and helping them understand their racial identity more, in addition to helping them understand their generational trauma and relationship with their parents.

— Anju Okamura, Licensed Master of Social Work in Brooklyn, NY

I am a cultural worker and community organizer of Historic Filipinotown. Additionally, I have provided mental health services and inclusive programs for BIPOC communities that address ethnic development, acculturation, and cultural values.

— Eddy Gana, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Monterey Park, CA

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

As a Black woman, I bring a unique perspective to my practice that is rooted in both professional expertise and personal experience. I understand the complexities and nuances of navigating racial identity in today's society. I provide a safe and affirming space where individuals can explore their racial identity, process experiences of discrimination and oppression, and cultivate a sense of empowerment and resilience.

— Alexis Gilliam Lerner, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA