12th House Psychotherapy
Located in Oakland, CA
Telehealth services for all of California
Sabrina Sierra, MA, Associate MFT #120483
Supervised by Karla Amanda Brown
"there is no person without family, no learning without culture, no madness without social order; and therefore neither can there be an I without a We, a knowing without symbolic system, a disorder that does not have reference to moral and social norms"
SPECIALIZING IN WORK WITH MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUALS,
INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS, & MULTICULTURAL GROUPS
Differences in language, country of origin, customs, culture, religion, spiritual beliefs, family traditions, legal rights and status, and varying experiences of privileges and oppression can present relationship challenges. Politically, I continually consider how legacies of white supremacy, anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, colonization, ethnic genocide, American imperialism, Eurocentrism, colorism and other forces shape histories, social locations, and relationships with various people and places.
Along with these considerations, I bring in intersectional considerations around gender identity and expression, sexuality, class status and background, age, religious and spiritual beliefs, ability, size, and other important aspects of lived experiences. Diverse connections nurture innovation, creativity, empathy, and solidarity. Learning to work through differences helps us grow individually while strengthening our relationships and communities.
My background includes being raised by an immigrant mother and a biracial father in the Bay Area. I self-identify as multiracial and mestiza and come from Asian, Latinx, and European lineages. I hold a variety of experiences working with others from diverse backgrounds in the U.S., abroad, and within international organizations. Cultureshock, reverse cultureshock, codeswitching, social location, and cultural hybridity are all familiar themes for me.
I grew up in a household where multiple languages and dialects were spoken. My family, friends, and co-organizers live on different continents and in various time zones. Moving to a foreign country as a young adult gave me experience in immersion into a culture with a different language, history, set of social expectations, relationship to time and money, geopolitical identity, and diet.
I am grateful and inspired by the opportunities I have had to experience life around the globe. At home in the Bay Area, I continually learn from difference within my diverse social circle and invest in my relationships with an open heart and mind.
Do you identify as multiracial, bi-racial, mixed race, mixed heritage, multiethnic, mestizx, hapa, part [fill in the blanks], or simply "mixed"? I support you to identify (or not) in the way that is true for you and captures your wholeness.
Your race and ethnic background do not define you fully or have to relate to every issue you may bring to therapy. However, you hold a unique social location in our highly racialized and often black/white society. Navigating overlapping cultures within your family and communities presents a particular set of gifts and challenges.
Honoring your personal values and therapeutic goals, I welcome exploration of racial and intersectional identities and how they relate to your sense of self and lived experiences.
Individual Therapy for Multiracial People
Common issues for
Self-image, identify formation, and self-esteem
Not belonging or being forced to "choose sides"
Dealing with microaggressions from strangers, colleagues, friends, and loved ones
Being exoticized, objectified, or fetishized
Feeling "othered," unseen, or unwhole
Relationship to whiteness, passing, and colorism
Interracial Relationship Therapy
By "interracial relationship," I refer to couples and intimate partners (including polyamorous and non-monogamous relationships) who are differently racialized in our society, or within their communities. I welcome partners of all gender identities and expressions and of any sexual orientations and preferences.
In societies that categorize people by race and assign them different liberties or status based on that categorization, interracial relationships have threatened hierarchies and been stigmatized or even illegal. Relationships between people of different skin-tones and backgrounds have existed throughout history, but have only recently had more positive representation in our society.
Your relationship has the same types of challenges and joys that any other couples and intimate partners face, and your embodied experiences in community and in political contexts deserve attention. I provide a nuanced understanding of these topics and bring a multicultural lens to common relationship topics, such as sex & intimacy, communication, building trust, and balancing needs.
Common CHALLENGES for
Differences in conflict and communication styles
Managing family and community expectations; experiencing rejection, skepticism or judgement
Navigating differences in cultural gender roles and expectations of parents and children
Understanding the social realities of your partner
Building a home, family, and lifestyle that merges cultural backgrounds and values
Multicultural Group Therapy
Families, housemates, coworkers, collectives, and related groups have their own set of struggles that disrupt harmony, functionality, and shared goals.
Racism and racial identity show up in our families, friendships and working relationships. Understanding intersectionality and building awareness of power dynamics are central themes I focus on while working with groups.
Familial, platonic, professional, or significant in another way, I will support you to better understand your relationship dynamics and manage conflict and concerns. I can help you identify shared values and commitments while improving communication and building compassion for each other.
Common STRUGGLES for
Differences in conflict and communication styles
Managing time, money, and other resources from various cultural perspectives
Members feeling "othered," unseen, or unwhole
Navigating microaggressions and fragility
Understanding power dynamics and interaction patterns
Creating a group culture that honors the experiences of all members