Bias & Inclusivity
A Word from Our Founders
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. Even with these expanded offerings, we recognize we may not be the best-fit provider for all clients. Therefore, we frequently make referrals to other community agencies which offer specialized or lower-cost services.
We are also dedicated to training and mentoring our counselors toward becoming 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.
We acknowledge the harm of discrimination and oppression and pledge to confront bias and create more inclusive policies to address the inequalities that can impact our profession and our clients.
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.
Identity Consultation Group
Therapy Austin began hosting the Identity Consultation Group in June 2020. It was created to cultivate curiosity, reflection, and understanding. 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.
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.
Anti-Racism Trainings & Workshops
In 2020-21, 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. The outcome was increased transparency and accountability and culminated in a report highlighting our successes and opportunities for further growth. This report led to how the Committee enacted change within Therapy Austin. Additionally, as part of our Continuing Education series, we actively seek presenters of differing identities and orientations to train our staff from an anti-oppressive stance. The trainings we have offered in the past two years include, Addressing Culture, Identity, and Incongruence Within the Therapeutic Relationship, Preparing the Conversation: Identifying Biases and Practicing Cultural Humility and Engage: Strategies to Engage Culture and Identity in the Clinical Setting.
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.