Learn the Unique Needs and Challenges of BIPOC Clients

Private Practice

Undoing the harmful impact of the social work profession on Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC) individuals begins with the education of social workers, say Ieeia Currie, LMSW-C, LICSW; and Neva Morrison, LCSW. “When therapy is individualized and autonomous, clients can be made to feel solely responsible for their mental health issues,” they say in a recent SPS Private Practice Section Connection newsletter. “And, of course, clients hold responsibility for their own mental health. However, this individualized and autonomous approach is harmful to BIPOC clients.”

“Often, the needs and struggles of BIPOC clients are overlooked, or the BIPOC person is responsible for doing the work, holding empathy, and educating clinicians about their lived experience, thus remaining unheard,” the authors say.

In addition, they point out the willingness of academic programs to admit racism, prejudice, and biases in the teachings of social work practice, as well as to engage in effective dialogue, may aid in restructuring curriculum to be more inclusive of holistic/cultural practices, allowing for more ancestral, spiritual, holistic methods and less coercive and combative approaches to help BIPOC individuals.

Social Work Advocates National Association of Social Workers Spring 2024 Cover

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