May 2018 Collab Salon: Race & Privilege in the Therapy Room

As a Woman of Color and as a new private practice intern, I have had the experience of seeing many People of Color (POC) clients. Recently, I have noticed, an increase in Potential POC clients specifically seeking out a POC therapist.  At first glance, this increase seemed to be coincidental; I just thought that I was lucky to be receiving so much traffic from Psychology Today as well as many personal referrals.   After speaking to many of my clients in detail about their experiences, I inquired about why it was important to them to seek out a POC therapist.   Through that questioning, I began to recognize that many of my client's reasons were similar: they felt like a non-POC therapist would not understand them, or that they had a White therapist in the past with whom they felt they couldn’t be vulnerable or honest. Many of them acknowledged that these thoughts and feelings around race and privilege have increased exponentially in the present political climate.