Working With Women of Color
Specializing in working with women of color was a complete accident. If I recall correctly, I was the only women of color at my interview day for graduate school to be a Marriage and Family Therapist. I only applied to the UNLV program and thankfully was accepted. I was the only black women out of 29 students in my cohort. Each cohort has their unique constellation of students and we were diverse in regards to nationality.
I had already realized there was a trend but it continued to be more and more prominent. As I attained higher education and higher positions in my career field I saw fewer people that looked like me. There were three black men in my cohort of 3, which was impressive because there were only about 7 men in the class total. This made it apparent to me that if my cohort was any indication of the amount of representation for people of color in the community, that there must be a small number of clinicians of color to serve the many people of color in the community.
I originally hoped to specialize in working with couples helping them reconnect and overcome obstacles, which I still do. However, what I noticed as I began to practice was that the majority of clients seeking me out were women and the majority of those clients were women of color. What do I mean by women of color? Any person identifying as a female that is not apart of the dominant group. Because I am in Las Vegas that means a lot of Hispanic and Latina women, as well as, Persian, African American, African, Hawaiian, Asian, you name it.
I started to see the pattern and unfortunately working heavily in this population also means addressing trauma. Most of my clients have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. A lot of the time it was sexual trauma. This forced to learn more about helping my clients recover and heal from their past hurts in order to move forward with their lives.
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