How and why should we talk about race, class, sexuality, gender, politics, religion, etc. in therapy? Should you bring these topics up in the first place? In my NYC therapy practice, the definitive answer is yes.
I find in my therapy practice that people come in with a specific topic of concern: anxiety, stress at work, wanting to leave a job, fear of flying, riding the subway, panic attacks, stress in their relationships, or a traumatic event. All reasons to get “in the chair” so to speak.
But we bring more with us than just the topics listed above, we also bring our cultural realities. Whether we like it or not, religion, gender, sex, politics, class and race accompany us all in the therapy room. We need to include it as a topic for discussion in therapy because, most likely, these topics and experiences play into the issues that the patients walk in with.