What does inclusion mean, and why does it matter when seeking care?
Katy Kandaris, LPC
Inclusion is on more people’s minds these days than it used to be. Many privileged people still go through life not realizing they have it better than others and that something needs to change, but things are looking up. Creating diverse and inclusive environments where all people feel welcome is essential. When it comes to seeking care, ensuring spaces are welcoming is even more vital.
What does inclusion mean?
The word diversity, and the word inclusion, are often seen together. People can differ in their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, education, and many other ways. Diversity is understanding that we are all different. This representation matters, but it is slightly different from inclusion.
Inclusion means accepting and welcoming others regardless of our differences. A vital part of inclusion is ensuring that all people have equal access to resources and opportunities. This sense of community and togetherness is valuable in all areas of life.
Inclusion is not a privilege; it is a human right that all people deserve. Everyone brings something unique to the table. We all have different backgrounds and life experiences that result in distinctive perspectives. Encouraging inclusion is beneficial to all people.
Many businesses and organizations see the benefit in our differences and want to create a welcoming environment for everyone. They may notice the lack of diversity within their environment and strive to fix it. To do so, they have to create inclusive practices.
Why does inclusion matter when it comes to mental health?
Inclusion is beneficial in all areas of life, including mental health. When seeking out a therapist, no one wants to find one that is judgmental and biased. If they are not open to what makes you who you are, then they are not the right person to help you through what you are going through.
Inclusion makes people feel comfortable when seeking care. Whether or not a practice considers inclusion directly impacts the level of care you receive and the success you have with it.
Inclusive therapists like the ones found at Inner Balance believe being open-minded is a priority. These therapists are eager to help all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or other factors. With an inclusive therapist, you don’t have to worry about being judged for who you are. You should feel comfortable walking into your session knowing that you will receive exceptional care regardless of any stereotypes you face in the world.
Therapy is supposed to be helpful but also empowering. Choosing a therapist that cares enough about diversity and inclusion to make patients feel safe and comfortable is vital. Without this, you will not get to enjoy the benefits of therapy.
We have made inclusion a part of our mission. That is why we have an LGBTQIA+ team that understands the unique fears and worries this community faces. We also have licensed therapists with extensive training with the LGBTQIA+ community. Their goal is to be open-minded and ensure your experience is positive.