Therapy with an Accent
An interview with Namrata Rindani, LMFT on her experiences as an immigrant from India getting re-trained as a therapist in the United States. Curt and Katie talk with Nam about the systemic problems in the American graduate education system, her insight into how education can improve, and how she navigates having an accent with other professionals and potential clients.
It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.
Interview with Namrata Rindani, LMFT
Nam Rindani is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in working with men and therapists in California through her teletherapy practice as well as owner and Relationship Coach at Ebonessence Coaching and Consulting for Men. Her 17-year clinical experience spans two continents and multiple languages as she practiced therapy in India serving the marginalized before moving to the United States. Nam served as Prelicensed Chair of San Diego CAMFT in 2015 and is also founder and comoderator of large online community, Therapists In Private Practice, where she found her passion for engaging and moderating difficult yet necessary conversations about topics of systemic injustice, marginalization and oppression within and outside the therapy field. Nam believes that by opening up conversations where the marginalized are heard and the unassuming oppressive groups are informed, we can begin to build bridges and close gaps that have plagued communities for generations.
In this episode we talk about:
- Nam’s journey to becoming a therapist in the US after practicing in India
- The training differences between India and the US
- The gatekeeping and barriers to practicing when moving to the US
- The differences she found between herself and her colleagues in her program
- Balancing how much to speak up with how to avoid dimming her own light
- The view of expert status and humanity within the therapy relationship
- The fear in the American system related to the person of the therapist and the relationship
- Nam’s experience as a graduate student in the American system and the pressure to be the “good immigrant”
- How to navigate the system as an international student
- The problems of an oppressive system keeping students from achieving their goals as therapists
- “We need you to edit who you are and then we will accept what it is that you have to say.” – Nam Rindani
- The challenges of not having support to walk through requirements of the US system
- “When it comes to places and space where our immigrant identity is going to be a problem – the way you respond to that is where the change needs to occur.”
- How to address an accent or a foreign background – taking a leadership role in the difference you come into the room with
- “For those of us who have accents and we come from other countries, YOU are the ones who have an accent.”
- Why it is safer to call out difference in the beginning of a conversation
- “When does my supervision begin and I stop being a museum specimen?”
- Immigrant trauma within the profession
- Looking at the framework of each person’s view of relationships within the training (both in how it is trained and who is performing treatment)
- How people define normal is very culturally bound and the need to check in with each person’s perspective
- A grassroots approach to systemic change
- How she has shaped her practice to align with her identity and to support the work while also avoiding working with people who are unsafe for her as a therapist
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Who we are:
Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, the CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: http://www.curtwidhalm.com
Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also Past President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: http://www.katievernoy.com
A Quick Note:
Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.
Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.
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