Cultural and Systemic Oppression
Systemic oppression, be it racist, patriarchal, or cultural, can have a strong and negative impact on your life and sense of self. Systemic oppression refers to the mistreatment of people within a specific group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions. A mental health professional specializing in cultural and systemic oppression will specifically focus on facilitating your journey to understanding your experience with oppression and its influence on your life.
Local Experts in Cultural and Systemic Oppression
Intersecting systems of oppression broadly and uniquely impact us all. They are at the root of much of our suffering and disconnection from each other. While systemic change is beyond the scope of therapy, therapy can help to reduce internalized oppression, to shift your participation in systems of oppression, and to support you in any work you are doing to fight oppression.
My work with clients often explores the impacts of oppression on mental health. Activism and art making focused on making and envisioning change can be part of our healing process.
Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, I received training as a facilitator on issues of diversity and systemic oppression. Thus, my clinical lens is honed to not only recognize our individual and family experiences, but our group identity traumas as well. In therapy, we work with both your unique personal experience and your group identity experience.
I believe that the workplace is inherently oppressive, with those above you profiting more off you than you are of them. By acknowledging this unfairness we can work to get our own mental and emotional needs met. Burnout is the problem of the system, yet it\'s our task as individuals to cope with it.
In addition to helping people to recover from \'Big T\' traumas like childhood abuse and domestic violence, it is also so important to address day-to-day \'Little t\' traumas such as being treated negatively as a result of race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, socioeconomic status, religion, and other identities. These experiences often lead to self-blame and shame.
As a person of color, I understand the reality of coping with systemic oppression when one is of a cultural, sexual, gender or other minority. I make efforts to be sensitive to how this appears in my clients’ life, including challenging therapeutic modalities that are often conceived by and for those of majority status. I offer a safe space within today’s political climate.
I specialize in working with differences across race, class, gender, ability, religion and nation. Racism, sexism, and homophobia, etc are pervasive and subtle in every interaction I have with people no matter their background or culture, and my work also explores and unpacks the profound impact these issues have on people’s lives.
I help people address the impact of cultural trauma on their lives, including that intense emotions can be a rational response to oppression. We work together to seek ways to feel safe, empowered, and grounded, to cultivate resources and support, and to address systems of oppression in your life. I will never ask you to justify your experience. Oppression is real & exists in PDX, I believe you.
As a person who has a bachelor\'s degree in women\'s studies, I have a strong foundation on intersectionality and the importance of including social justice in my work.
I have over a decade of experience in studying social justice theory and participating in social movements. I have engaged in many community organizing efforts throughout the years and taught social justice workshops centered on issues around race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and others.
Often, our 'problems' are the result of social injustice (poverty, oppression, powerlessness) and not the fault of our own personal failings. Awareness of privilege and oppression informs our work as we identify and navigate internalized oppression in its many forms.
Psychological theories and practices have historically perpetuated the cultural and systemic oppression of marginalized identities. Using the best of psychoanalytic and somatic modalities, I offer a safe space to challenge these inherited stories to support your growing into an identity that is truly authentic to who you are.
I work from an anti-oppression stance that focuses on helping you to liberate your internal experience from cultural and systemic oppressions as well as recognizing how you may perpetuate the oppression of others through the privilege you hold as well.