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Importance of Diversity in Therapy

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

Why is diversity important in therapy?

Therapy is a place where you go to be heard and seen, and where you can express your deepest thoughts without fear of judgment. Many people use therapy as an opportunity to work through difficult situations from the past and present. Therapy is also a place to go to feel understood in your experiences and that is one reason why diversity is so important.

Diversity in therapy offers just that – a better understanding of a client’s background, race, culture, and belief system. We live in a diverse society, so why shouldn’t the field of therapy reflect that? It should.

The importance of therapists and psychiatrists of different backgrounds, races, and cultures

While it is possible to still receive great therapy from someone who does not share a similar background, race, or culture as you, there could be potential situations where you just might not feel completely understood. If you are experiencing something called “within-group” differences with someone who is a different ethnicity than you, it can affect your psychological development, according to the RESPECTFUL method.

The RESPECTFUL method involves ten different factors that influence your psychological development in addition to your sense of personal well-being. The ten factors are religious, economic, sexual identity, psychological maturity, ethnic, chronological, trauma, family, unique physical characteristics, and location and language differences.

No matter someone’s background, race, and culture, it’s only natural to want to talk to someone that may have similar lived experiences as you. We all walk through this world differently and by having someone whose life somewhat aligns with yours can be extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to therapy. For example, if you identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community or someone close to you does, you may want to consider seeing a psychiatrist or therapist that specializes in LGBTQ+ issues.

On the other side of the table, you can also greatly benefit from working with a therapist that doesn’t share the same background, race, or culture as you. They can potentially give you another point of view on certain situations and the world as a whole. That’s the beauty of diversity in therapy; providing you with options of who you think you’ll be able to be your truest self in front of.

How to find a therapist with similar lived experiences to you

If you go to Google and type in ‘female psychiatrist,’ ‘black therapist near me’ or ‘LGBTQ+ therapist’ you will be handed pages and pages of results. How will you know if someone is the right fit for you? First, you can start by going to their website and viewing their profile.

Harmony Bay Wellness has numerous therapists that can be a potential match for you. If you are looking for someone with similar lived experience as you, all you have to do is go to our About Us-Care Team page and look through all of our therapist bios. From there, you will be able to learn a little bit about each therapist both personally and professionally. Most bios will tell you the general area the provider is from, what their therapy treatment style is, what types of therapies they specialize in providing, why they are passionate about working in mental healthcare, and sometimes even a personal detail or two.

Contact Harmony Bay Wellness today to find a therapist that can help you be the best version of yourself by calling 855.857.6050.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.