Microaggressions have been identified as a common and troubling cause of low retention and poor psychotherapy outcomes for people of color. All therapists want and intend to be helpful to their clients, but many unknowingly committing microaggressions due to unconscious biases and misconceptions about people from ethnic and racial minority groups.
Managing Microaggressions: Addressing Everyday Racism in Therapeutic Spaces (Oxford UP, 2020) is intended for mental health clinicians who want to be more effective in their use of evidence-based practices with people of color. Many well-intentioned clinicians lack the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively engage those who are ethnoracially different. This book discusses the theoretical basis of the problem (microaggressions), the cognitive-behavioral mechanisms by which the problem is maintained, and how to remedy the problem using CBT principles, with a focus on the role of the therapist. Not only will readers learn how to avoid offending or harming their clients, they will also be better equipped to help clients navigate microaggressions they encounter in their daily lives. Managing Microaggressions will endow clinicians with a clear understanding of these behaviors and the errors that underpin them, leading to more successful therapy.
Debbie Sorenson is a psychologist in Denver and the host of the podcast Psychologists Off the Clock.