To provide a range of services specializing in sexual, gender & relational diversity, recognizing that this is an expansive category, intersecting with all other identities and requiring deliberate opportunities for access, cultural humility on the part of providers, and bespoke collaboration with clients to meet their unique needs.
We recognize that access to mental health services is a privilege that is systemically withheld from many in our world. We commit to working to expand services to provide sliding scale, lower cost and increasingly accessible services to clients. Where this is not possible, we are committed to engaging in a referral process that assists clients in finding services that are accessible to them, even if we are not that provider.
We recognize that, as an organization, and as individuals, we hold unintentional attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that influence our perceptions of, and interactions with, others. We commit to actively working to explore these beliefs, to hold one another accountable when these become apparent, and to support one another in unlearning systemic and personal biases.
We believe that all bodies are worthy and deserve compassionate, inclusive care that critically examines cultural messages regarding bodies and value, includes current science on weight and the impact of sizeism, and encourages each person to define their own wellness. We are committed to celebrating body diversity, promoting inclusivity in this area, and advocating for awareness and change in this area in which fat-shaming and fat-phobia contribute to personal and societal distress and illness.
The opportunity to support a client through their difficult times is a privilege of which we are constantly aware - the client’s consent is at all times essential to the process. We work to center collaboration between the client (the expert in their own life) and their provider, who has skills and perspective to share. We are also committed to collaboration between practice members and professional peers in the service of the needs of each client.
We strive to work from a culturally humble orientation in all aspects of our professional work, recognizing that no one culture is superior to another, and that no textbook information can supercede the lived experience of the person in our office. We are committed to increasing our knowledge and awareness of, and our dedication to, all aspects of diversity and the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.
We recognize that education in the areas of sex, gender and relationships continues to rely on heteronormative, gender binary and mononormative stereotypes, and that the diverse range of sexual behaviors, genders and relationships are underrepresented in professional training, scholarship and public education. We are committed to providing training for other mental health professionals, trainees and the general public that is based in scholarship and professional ethics, and will help reduce bias in this area.
INCLUSION & AFFIRMATION
We recognize that all humans hold multiple intersecting identities, and that many of these have been historically stereotyped or pathologized. We commit to critical consideration, in collaboration with our clients, about whether these labels are useful for them, and to work to see both challenges and strengths in areas such as neurodivergence, mental health diagnoses, gender roles, etc. We are committed to affirmation of the authentic self of the client, rather than profiling based on externally applied labels.
We recognize that even when not specifically focused on trauma, the events of our lives (traumatic and otherwise) enter the therapy room with us. We strive to provide services that are informed by best practices on the impact of trauma across identities, diagnoses, and experiences, and to integrate these into our work with clients on any treatment goals.
On Ethics, Social Justice, and Universal Human Rights:“…recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…” – Preamble of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The StorieBrook therapist team consists of individuals with various professional licenses. In addition to our intentional and willing adherence to the professional codes and considerations of each, we also examine the ethical work of related fields to ensure consistency and learn what we can from related professions. These include the American Psychological Association (APA), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and the American Counseling Association (ACA). As a therapeutic team, no matter our individual training, we are dedicated to upholding the inherent dignity of our clients. We place a particularly high value on social justice in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Our practice rejects discrimination in all forms. We welcome clients of all races, ethnicities, immigration statuses, faiths, religions, gender identities and expressions, sexual and affectional orientations, socioeconomic statuses, ages, regions of residence, physical and mental statuses, sizes, and political beliefs. We strongly endorse our commitment to advocate for and protect the human rights of others. As an organization, we are committed to social justice and multiculturalism, to increasing equity and inclusion among all our clients, and to reflect this in the staff within our organization. In this spirit, we are committed to collaborating with historically marginalized groups, and/or social and intersectional identities, to combat racism and other forms of prejudice as we seek to promote diversity in our society.
We recognize that, as an organization, and as individuals, we may hold unintentional attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that influence our perceptions of, and interactions with, others. We strive to work from a culturally humble orientation in all aspects of our professional work. We are committed to increasing our knowledge and awareness of, and our dedication to, all aspects of diversity and the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.
Information on relevant ethical codes (and a link to each) in included below:
“Psychologists are committed to increasing scientific and professional knowledge of behavior and people's understanding of themselves and others and to the use of such knowledge to improve the condition of individuals, organizations, and society. Psychologists respect and protect civil and human rights and the central importance of freedom of inquiry and expression in research, teaching, and publication. They strive to help the public in developing informed judgments and choices concerning human behavior. … This Ethics Code provides a common set of principles and standards upon which psychologists build their professional and scientific work.”
Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
Fidelity and Responsibility
Respect for People's Rights and Dignity
“The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s dual focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.” … The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective”
Dignity and worth of the person
Importance of human relationships
“The mission of the American Counseling Association is to enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.
“Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”
“The fundamental principles of professional ethical behavior [in counseling] are
autonomy, or fostering the right to control the direction of one’s life;
nonmaleficence, or avoiding actions that cause harm;
beneficence, or working for the good of the individual and society by promoting mental health and well-being;
justice, or treating individuals equitably and fostering fairness and equality; • fidelity, or honoring commitments and keeping promises, including fulfilling one’s responsibilities of trust in professional relationships; and
veracity, or dealing truthfully with individuals with whom counselors come into professional contact. “