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.
Authored by the Bias & Inclusivity Team, 2021
At Therapy Austin we are committed to creating a community that promotes antiracism, accountability and inclusivity for clients and staff alike. 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 inspire awareness of 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 further commit ourselves to awareness, inclusivity, transparency and accountability.
Bias and Inclusivity Team
The Bias and Inclusivity Team is a group of Therapy Austin counselors who meet regularly to guide the agency in ways to advocate for clients and clinicians through anti-racist, anti- oppressive work. This involves recommending policy changes and training opportunities that promote diversity and inclusion.
Identity Consultation Group
Therapy Austin began hosting an “Identity Consultation Group” in June 2020 which is open for all staff counselors to attend. The group provides therapists the opportunity to explore the ways identity can impact a counselor and client’s experience in therapy. It was created to cultivate curiosity, reflection and understanding.
In 2020, Therapy Austin hosted a series of anti-racism workshops and conducted two agency-wide anonymous surveys to begin to unlayer power dynamics and discover areas of bias, power- dynamics and structural oppression. The outcome was increased transparency and accountability and culminated in a report that highlighted both our successes, as well as opportunities for further growth.
We are in the process of enhancing our Mentor Program by adding specific training to help staff practice and improve their skills of openly talking about identities and power differentials in their work with each other and with their clients. As part of our Continuing Education series, we actively seek presenters of differing identities and orientations to train our staff from an anti-oppressive lens.