Bias & Inclusivity
You Belong at Therapy Austin
At Therapy Austin we believe every voice matters. We are devoted to creating, maintaining and supporting a heart-centered, relational, and inclusive culture where authentic change and healing can occur. We are committed to being curious about ourselves and our clients in an ongoing way, to having the hard conversations, and to using what we learn in ways that engender equity and inclusion for both our clients and our counselors.
It is our mission to make high-quality private-pay therapy more accessible in Austin by offering a range of fee options, easy-to-navigate request matching services at no cost to the client, and extended hours outside the 9-5 norm. We are also dedicated to training and mentoring our counselors into compassionate, curious, clinically astute practitioners with the experience, skills and depth of knowledge we believe every client deserves.
From the Bias & Inclusivity Steering Committee,
At Therapy Austin, we are committed to creating a community that promotes anti-racism, accountability, and inclusivity for clients and staff. We strive to provide mental health care that acknowledges differences and includes awareness and acceptance of identity, experience, culture, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and all bodies.
Therapy Austin has intentionally created spaces to increase awareness of personal biases, prejudices, and judgments. Facing our own internalized oppressive or biased thinking can bring vulnerability and discomfort. We aim to make room for gently holding these feelings while continuing to reflect and explore.
In the following paragraphs, we hope to show how we are taking action to commit ourselves further to awareness, inclusivity, transparency, and accountability.
Bias and Inclusivity Steering Committee
The Bias and Inclusivity Steering Committee aims to provide Therapy Austin with support, guidance, and oversight regarding our stated agency's commitment to creating a community that promotes anti-racism, accountability, and inclusivity for clients and staff. The Committee is composed of members of Staff and Leadership and meets monthly to discuss and propose policy, training, and other opportunities to achieve this goal. Committee Members actively engage in our community via training and consultation groups to solicit feedback, increase agency awareness of and accountability for bias, and increase wellbeing, inclusion, and safety for our agency’s clients and clinicians. The Committee considers recommendations and requests submitted by staff, discusses and prioritizes new projects and ideas under consideration, and is actively engaged as change agents to guide staff in navigating anti-oppressive work.
Counselor Mentoring Program
All incoming Therapy Austin counselors attend an 18-month Mentoring Program, which has a predominant focus on learning to work from an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens. Mentors help our counselors practice and improve their skills of openly discussing identity and power differentials in their work with each other and their clients.
Identity Consultation Group
Therapy Austin began hosting the Identity Consultation Group in June 2020 and continues to meet weekly. With a focus on diversity in the clinical setting, the goal is to provide therapists the opportunity to explore how identity can impact the counselor and client’s experience of therapy, as well as our experience as therapists and colleagues. As therapists, we are change agents and are called to hold each other first and then share this experience with our clients and community. The group is open and welcomes all staff counselors.
Neurodivergent Peer Support Group
Starting in 2023, BISC sponsored a peer led support group for TA clinicians focusing on the ins and outs of being a neurodiverse clinician and working with neurodiverse clients. The purpose of this group is for counselors to process their experiences as clinicians, what works, what doesn’t, and how we can support one another with compassion and advice.
Anti-Racism Trainings & Workshops
Between 2020 and 2021, Therapy Austin hosted a series of anti-racism workshops and conducted two agency-wide anonymous surveys to begin to discover areas of bias, power dynamics, and structural oppression. This series began our commitment to anti-racist and anti-oppressive trainings for our staff. As part of our Continuing Education series in 2023, we offered 18 CEU hours of training from a diverse group of professionals, that focused on inclusion in our field. Some of the topics offered were,
Facing the Fault Lines: A Practical Approach to Relational Rupture and Repair, Presented by Marlon Johnson, Ph.D., LPC-MHSP, NCC
Gender Fragility and the Gender Affirmative Model: A New Framework to Conceptualize Working with Gender, Presented by Noah Garcia, LPC-S, NCC
The Oppression of Connection- Examining the Impact of Racism on Couples, Presented by Akilah Riley-Richardson, MSW, CCTP, RLT
Is This ADHD or Autism or Both? - Decoding the Overlap and Differences, Presented by Christine Molina, LCSW
Inclusive Eating Disorder Treatment, Presented by Neathery Falchuk, LCSW-S, CGP
Counseling Asexual Clients, Presented by Kara Nassour, LPC, NCC
Navigating Ruptures Within Groups, Presented by Akilah Riley-Richardson, MSW, CCTP, RLT
Please visit our training opportunities page for our 2024 offerings.
Meet the B&I Steering Committee
Anne Johnson, LPC
Asha Ramkumar, LCSW
Maru Cordero Robinson, LPC Associate
Bias & Inclusivity Steering Committee Timeline
The Bias & Inclusivity Steering Committee was launched with the mission to advocate for safety for clients and clinicians through anti-racist, anti-oppressive work. This team of therapists meets every two week to brainstorm and help implement policy changes for Therapy Austin. Featured below is a timeline of our accomplishments.