Multi-Cultural and Diversity Issues in Therapy

Multi-Cultural and Diversity Issues in Therapy

Issues surrounding diversity have become a hot button topic for so many of us. 

As your mental health providers, we get it, and are here to help. 

When encountered over and over, discrimination and stereotyping can really do a number on us, even leading to low-self esteem and mental health problems.

Our trained therapists have the awareness, knowledge, and training to address these issues for clients of ALL cultures, genders, religions, sexual orientations, and more. 

Through research-based, scientifically validated therapy methods, we help you unpack, explore, and work through your mental health issues, keeping culture and diversity concerns front and center. 


  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Racial Identity
  • Socioeconomic Status (SES)
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender
  • Gender Identity
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Age


Culture, beliefs, and race can play a major role in relationships and how we engage with others, and sometimes, when these values clash, people can make insensitive and hurtful comments––or worse.

Hate crimes can pose a serious threat to our lives and discrimination has very real consequences on our job prospects, earnings, and overall well-being.  


Identity-based discrimination is unfortunately “both common and often prohibited by law,” so understanding the specific issues at hand is important to start bringing about meaningful change. 

Some issues individuals face when it comes to culture, racial identity, and ethnicity include discrimination, prejudice, and bias. 

Discrimination means acting upon negative stereotypes against a group of people, while prejudice is when people form unfavorable assumptions about a group of people, but don’t necessarily act upon them. 

Although “over half of young people [in the United States] are children of color,” issues of diversity, racism, and discrimination continue to remain prevalent in today’s society. 

Unfortunately, examples of this are not just found in the history books: racism and discrimination continue today in very real ways. 


For example, in a recent study, African Americans with non-“white” names, had to submit more resumes than their white counterparts just to receive a job callback. 

In another study, interviewers displayed more warmth, openness, and enthusiasm when interviewing white candidates and were more closed off and cold when interviewing black applicants. 

Through these examples, we see how discrimination and unfair treatment can be direct and explicit or subtle and implicit and can have very real effects on our daily lives and opportunities. 

Discrimination can also come into play with regard to socioeconomic status (SES). Some common ostacles can include discrimination in the workplace, such as being rejected because a candidate doesn’t “fit the image of the company” or being turned down if an applicant can’t afford a car.  

Another form of discrimination is rooted in gender dynamics, especially among women with regard to equal pay in the workplace. 

Women still only receive 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. 

Statistics also show that “black women working full-time, year round typically make only 62 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.”  

The gap is even larger for Latina women, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and is the largest for Native American women, who make 57 cents for every dollar a man makes.

This disparity can impact all aspects of life and have reverberating effects on a person’s well-being, productivity, and quality of life.


Harmful gender norms do go both ways, and some of the issues men face can stem from gender roles for men that have been normalized in our society (See our Men’s Issues page for more information on therapy for men). 

The cultural message that “boys are aggressors and girls are weak” can be damaging, especially to boys who grow up learning that they must either conceal their emotions or constantly display toughness to achieve status or approval. 

As therapists, we want to help men understand how to find a healthy balance of masculinity and emotional awareness that allows them to create a new paradigm of manhood.


In addition, discrimination and prejudice also occur against people of non-straight sexual orientations. 

Sexuality is a central part of life and often people feel the need to hide their sexuality to avoid being stereotyped, discriminated against––or worse. 

This has only recently been addressed with anti-workplace discrimination and hate crime laws being passed.  

We believe it’s important to address these issues head on in order to collectively strive for equality and acceptance of people of all sexual orientations. 

Please see our LGBTQ+ Therapy, Transgender Therapy, and BDSM/Kink pages for more information on therapy for these specific issues and communities. 

We have specialists who work with each of these issues and specifically with non-traditional relationships including polyamory and dom/sub relationships. 


Some faith groups, ethnicities, and religious adherents are targeted for their beliefs and traditions. 

Religion and spirituality are central aspects of our experience and these parts of our identities are important to incorporate into the therapeutic process. 

Check out our Spirituality page to learn more about our therapy services that integrate faith and spirituality. 

It’s our commitment to work with you from a place of cultural sensitivity, with awareness of experiences and issues unique to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, BDSM/Kink, women, men, and diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds.

Diversity is valuable and essential. 

Our diversity-sensitive, educated, and compassionate therapists are here to listen and to offer our expertise to guide you in this complicated terrain. 


Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated to be effective for overcoming mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and trauma (and much more). 

Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page. 


If you have any questions, contact one of our diversity experts for a free consultation any time.

Multi-Cultural and Diversity Therapists

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