Episode 39: On Allyship & Cultural Competency: A conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford

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People of color--black women in particular--have always been an underserved population when it comes to therapy.  Though there are many factors, one important one that we therapists can work on changing is a matter of trust and safety.  A lot of black women want a black therapist because of fear of being misunderstood by a therapist who can’t relate to (or worse, disbelieves) their experiences.  In this present social climate, this is a conversation we all need to have with ourselves and our colleagues.  It starts with seeing ourselves.

This is what Dr. Joy Harden Bradford and I are talking about in episode 39 of the #POBScast.  Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is the host of the podcast, Therapy for Black Girls and saw a need for a Therapist Directory for therapists of color for clients of color, so she took the initiative to create one. She talks about following her heart in her work, our need to curate the media we consume, how to be better allies, and what she’s got percolating for future projects.

  • What “cultural competency” means and why our clients need us to demonstrate it.  
  • Ways that both therapists and clients can begin taking steps toward improving cultural competency in the therapeutic space.
  • Power differentials in the therapy room.
  • Importance of trust in the therapeutic relationship and opening a door into the conversation of difference and allowing the client to choose whether they want to enter. 
  • Being in flow in your work by doing the things that matter to you, being of service.
  • Being intentional with the platforms we have and showing up for the communities that need us even when we feel like we just can’t show up as fully as is expected of us.
  • Our urgent need for safety in these disruptive times of social and environmental turmoil and adjoining together in that truth.
  • The media as an “assault to our psyches”, filtering as self-care, and when and how to not just filter what we consume, but also curate it.
  • The conversation we really need to be having first in order to make progress on issues like gun control, which we as a culture feel more apt to debate.
  • Why the problem isn’t in that we aren’t aware of our own biases, but in our insistence that, because we don’t see something, it doesn’t exist...and what we should do instead.
  • Taking a knee, splitting, and the “right way” to speak up.
  • What allyship really means and what we all can do right now for minorities and people of color.

Referenced in the episode:

Robin DiAngelo’s work on white privilege. And, the “lady with glasses” mentioned is Jane Elliott. (You’ve likely seen her videos on social media before.)

You can find Dr. Joy Harden Bradford and her therapist directory online at TherapyforBlackGirls.com.  Check out her podcast Therapy for Black Girls on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher.  Connect with her on social media:  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Birthing new projects is no small act.  I’m thrilled to invite you to consider joining my newest project, the Connectfulness® Method Mentorship Program for

Therapists & Healers.  The themes and feedback that have arisen in the work I’ve been doing on the #POBScast have, in part, informed what I am bringing into this new offering.  And, for that, I am grateful to each and every listener and guest. So, if you’ve been desiring deeper support for integrating more YOUness into your work, consider joining us. The Mentorship Program begins 11/27!