Role Of White Therapists On The Body Of The Latino Identity

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Important topics such as racism, poverty, education and microaggressions must be discussed in order to establish the therapeutic relationship. White therapists may feel uncomfortable discussing issues such as skin color in the therapeutic environment, however it is often welcomed conversation by the frightened and surprised Latino clients who already feel ashamed about entering therapy. In the beginning stages of therapy non-minority therapist must take a risk in recognizing the meaning of skin color and nationality on clients. Color and oppression often go hand in hand and cannot be avoided. It is often that Latino clients feel that White therapist are the experts and most knowledgeable to solve “problems.” The systematic issue of the White paradigm often leaves clients of color feeling inadequate to solve their own problems. The “dumbing down” of existing knowledge not only devastates the therapeutic alliance it also wounds the pride of the Latino identity.
Removing therapists from the expert role and empowering clients through mutual collaboration, positions individuals who have a history of being rendered powerless, in a position of power where they can make decisions that impact treatment. It is not harmful to collaborate with clients and inform them of their diagnosis and ask if it “fits.” Instead, this recognizes the client’s expert knowledge that is not found in the DSM-5. It is important to acknowledge how the clients are making meaning of what is being rendered

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