What does anti-racism work mean? How can you create a truly inclusive space in your group practice by doing anti-racism work? Why is it important to keep these conversations going?
In this podcast takoever, Whitney Owens speaks with fellow private practice consultant, LaToya Smith about how you can start doing the work to have an anti-racist practice.
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Meet LaToya Smith
LaToya is a consultant with Practice of the Practice and the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. In addition to this, LaToya encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.
She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.
In This Podcast
- What does it mean to create an anti-racist practice?
- How you can battle blind spots
- Anti-racist work in the practice
What does it mean to create an anti-racist practice?
In a modern world that is still heavily tainted by racism, it is not enough to simply say that you are not racist because, in order to create positive, real change people need to be actively anti-racist.
[It is about] what a practice is actively doing; to be inclusive, to be diverse and to not harm somebody because of race, to not harm somebody because of life choices or decisions … we can fold it all in there together [so it] becomes a part of the mission and the vision [of the practice] and that is how the practice will move. (LaToya Smith)
Another reason why group practice owners should be active members in making their practice anti-racist is that often people have blind spots that they are not aware of, even if they are truly kind and aware people at heart.
Therefore, having accountability and active anti-racist work at the core of the practice will help to ensure that those blind spots are all examined and that a truly inclusive space is created.
How you can battle blind spots
That is the automatic reaction [and] we’ve all done it because it’s almost the best defense in the moment. We defend ourselves because it’s hard to hear … it puts us in a different light to what we think we’re giving off. I think it’s important that when somebody identifies that blind spot, that we do take some time to sit with it. (LaToya Smith)
It is important to sit with it and mull it over, to allow the possibility to yourself that you can improve as a person, instead of becoming defensive, shutting off and thus not allowing yourself to grow and understand more of the situation, or how you can help it.
However, this does not mean that you take on these names, although you can be open to the possibility that at that moment, you had or have something more to learn.
A lot of the times you will find [if] you have a blind spot or not is by engaging in conversations with different people. It’s about watching certain programs or putting yourself in different places with different cultures where you can see life different – but you are going to have a hard time seeing blind spots if you are constantly surrounded by people who look, think and act like you do. (LaToya Smith)
Anti-racist work in the practice
The practice culture will follow on from the actions of the group practice owner.
Therefore, it is vital for the group practice owner to encourage these conversations, bring in seminar leaders, encourage their clinicians to check themselves, and provide resources for the practice to learn from so that a truly inclusive space is created, because the group practice culture follows on from the actions of the CEO.
It is important to keep these conversations going throughout the years, and to have anti-racism work not only exist as a fad but to encourage it to become a part of the group practice’s mission.
One of the other great things that came from the training that I’ve seen on my end is just more conversations, more openness and getting [clinicians] to think more about their bias views about their clients … it really challenged us to rethink how we work with our clients, the way we talk about them and the way we meet their needs. (Whitney Owens)
Creating this culture will also encourage clinicians to call one another out on their blind spots, not in aggression, but in upholding the culture of awareness and openness and having a willingness to learn more about yourself and what you can do to bring more sensitivity to this space.
Books mentioned in this episode:
- Live Consulting with Stephanie Korpal: How Do I Manage My Group Practice From Another State? | PoP 563
- Group Practice Boss
- Group Practice Launch
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Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
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