People of Color Issues

People of Color Issues

There is no one way to be a person of color. However, there are often common experiences among the African American experience, and other minorities that are not traditionally acknowledged and addressed. The experience is complex as it is often layered, unseen, and unspoken. Overlapping worlds of gender and race may make you feel as though you are never good enough. Do you feel you have to wear multiple roles with no true appreciation of who you are?

In addition to normal pressures, you have to interact in spaces with others who misunderstand you, see you as a threat, or would wish that you were not present at all. The experience of constantly trying to figure out the intentions of others can be emotionally draining and discouraging to your self-worth.

If the conflict is not at work, pressures within your own family, relationships, or church may further affect your self-esteem and mental well-being.

You may not be fully aware how the dynamics within your childhood have shaped your fears and relationships. Was a primary parent missing? Did you experience the provider parent who was not emotionally available? Or did you grow up with the parent who was overly involved and controlling? Often, childhood pain and stress are not identified as trauma if it was not physical or sexual in nature. However, instability, under-involvement, over-involvement, punitive parenting, and unpredictability as a child, can also contribute to the experiences of anxiety and depression that you may be experiencing now. Sometimes, what was not said, such as “I love you,” or “You are worthy,” are just as important as what was said.

In a nutshell, our bodies accumulate the pain and trauma of these experiences from childhood throughout adulthood. We are often subconsciously reenacting our childhood in our adult relationships. Without healthy tools and processing of these experiences from a place of validation and support, these experiences often manifest in negative behaviors and coping strategies. The fears of being hurt again or the need to control others and situations, often result in a complicated, stress-filled and anxiety producing life.

At Whole Journey, we aim to break the stigma of weakness and silence that negatively affect your well-being. Our commitment to counseling with consciousness affirms the experiences and voices of people of color.

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Common Challenges:

  • Self-Esteem
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Faith & Church Issues
  • Identity issues (Bi-racial, Role Confusion)
  • Sexuality
  • Acceptance within Interracial Relationships
  • Survivor’s guilt (emotional, mental, and financially)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Post Traumatic Stress Injury
  • Discrimination and Racism- Hostile, Aversive-Hostile, and Avoidant
  • Colorism- Prejudice and discrimination based on skin color due to the social and cultural implications of one’s value, typically occurs within minority group
  • Racial Microaggressions- Subtle, yet consistent acts of racism; brief remarks, vague insults, or even non-verbal exchanges, refusing to participate and show respect due to one’s perceived value
  • Race Based Trauma – Experiences by people of color not excluded but may include threats of harm and injury, humiliating and shaming events, and/or witnessing racial discrimination of other minorities