Individual Counseling To Help Heal Racial Trauma
Individual counseling is available at Take Charge, Inc. to help heal racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress, and the complicated feelings around it. Racial trauma is the cumulative effects of racism on a person’s mental and physical health, which can be profound and crippling. Those of us who have not had the experience of being Black in the United States can never fully understand this trauma in the same way that Black people do. It is our responsibility to acknowledge and bring awareness to it, however.
In 2000 the U.S. Surgeon General stated that racial and ethnic health disparities were likely due to racism. Many studies have shown that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color’s (BIPOC) experiences with racism, discrimination, and microaggressions affect their mental and physical health. Racial trauma is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, except that it involves ongoing individual and collective injuries due to continued exposure and reexposure to race-based stress. Individual counseling can help to heal these wounds.
As therapists, we deal with people’s pain, hurt, trauma and “isms” (racism, sexism, ageism, etc). Trauma work, usually in individual counseling, is necessary for healing to occur. We all have much to learn, and learning can sometimes be uncomfortable. Just as when a partner struggles to listen to the pain they have caused the one they love, yet for healing it is transformative. We are here to listen, validate and address these pains.
The American Counseling Association’s (ACA) statement regarding racial trauma says “The American Counseling Association is built on enduring values and a mission that promotes: human dignity and diversity, respect, the attainment of a quality of life for all, empowerment, integrity, social justice advocacy, equity, and inclusion. If we remain silent, and do not promote racial justice, these words become harmful and meaningless for our members and the counseling community. Given the rapidly evolving double pandemic of COVID-19 and the continued exposure of Black people to institutionalized racism, ACA wants to be clear about where we stand and the ongoing actions we will take. As proactive leaders, counselors, mentors, supervisors, scholars, and trainers we will break away from this structure of racism trauma, and the violence born on the necks of Black people.”
We at Take Charge, Inc. take this very seriously. Love thy neighbor as we love ourselves is spoken so often, and today we need to live these words and act and do. When clients are hurt, this needs to be addressed and not invalidated or silenced. When we open conversation about race, injustice, and violence in individual counseling, it provides opportunities to validate the experiences and feelings of BIPOC clients, and they can start to process their grief and trauma. I want this experience for all my clients.
If you have experienced any trauma with racism, sexism, ageism, etc, please reach out for individual therapy at Take Charge, Inc. at 913-239-8255.
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