Culturally Competent Psychotherapy
MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
Our East Bay couples and sex therapists are not only trained in multicultural competence, but are culturally self-aware, aware of the client’s culture, and willing to bring culture into the discussion during therapy with clients.
WHAT IS CULTURAL COMPETENT COUNSELING?
Cultural competence is established through the therapist’s capacity to be self-aware in regards to their own identities and cultural norms, the therapist’s abilities to be sensitive to the nuances of the realities of human difference, and the therapist’s capacity to hold and value a philosophy of difference, allowing for creative responses to the client. This model of cultural competence is inherently integrative in that it focuses on individual people, not theories, and on distress, dysfunction, strength, and resilience, not specific diagnoses that may be culturally biased or limiting. We believe in treating our clients holistically, as a complex human being rather than reduce them to a diagnosis or symptoms.
Our SF East Bay couples and sex therapists are committed to maintaining a keen awareness of the many strands of their personal identities which influence their work as psychotherapists, including but not limited to sex and gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, indigenous heritage, immigration experiences, disability, and spirituality, and to understand how those strands of identity combine. Culturally competent therapists develop awareness of what they represent to their clients and what those clients represent to them in the context of those strands of identity. We are dedicated to truly being advocates for our clients. At North Berkeley Couples Therapy Center we are committed to ongoing education and engagement in becoming more culturally sensitive in our own personal lives as well as in our clinical work.
“Our couples counselors and psychologists are open to listening to and helping clients with goals and objectives without imposing their own cultural values or biases. We value cultural, ethnic, gender and sexual diversity and are sensitive to our clients’ unique cultural beliefs, values and experiences. Our clinicians are respectful in the therapist-client relationship and meet our clients where they are in their lived experience.
— Dr. Christina Nelsen, PsyD
AS MULTICULTURALLY COMPETENT THERAPISTS, WE DO NOT IMPOSE OUR OWN CULTURAL VALUES OR BELIEFS ONTO OUR CLIENTS
Our multiculturally competent couples counselors do not judge clients by their own values or their own core cultural beliefs, and do not engage in negative stereotyping. Rather, we understand that being multiculturally competent in therapy is an ongoing process; it is having the awareness that we are not omniscient and therefore we do not impose our own cultural values or beliefs onto our clients. As culturally competent couples and sex therapists, our psychotherapists strive to own and analyze their own biases, and to accept the reality of bias as an aspect of being human. Our therapists understand and own their own experiences of privilege and oppression.