In 2016, four women of color — therapists who worked in various clinical settings — founded DivaDiversity. They recognized the need to address human diversity issues as part of their clinical work with blended families, children diagnosed with neurological disorders, and couples and families dealing with cultural and ethnic bias and racism in the workplace, high levels of homophobia, and trauma related to issues around religious institutions.
A New Way of Viewing Diversity
The Need for Change
Even today, many graduate psychology schools exclude human diversity issues from models of treatment. While therapists collect client demographics, they often do not consider the relationship between the client’s treatment and his or her demographic information.
Collectively, therapists’ felt experiences from clinical trainings and supervisions were simply inadequate when treating clients struggling with racism, gender bias, sexual orientation and religious issues. Additionally, therapists typically do not have ways to address their own biases when faced with diversity issues in therapeutic relationships with clients.
Recently developed theoretical models attempt to focus on human diversity issues, but they do not offer a practical way to implement or apply them to clients experiencing the pain and suffering that result from biases. That’s why DivaDiversity came into existence.
Aloha Model of Inclusion
Aloha means more than hello or goodbye; it is the Hawaiian word for love and affection. The Spirit of Aloha is a way of achieving self-perfection, acknowledging our own body and soul, treating one another with love and respect, and living in harmony with everything around us. DivaDiversity has adapted these ideals into our “Aloha Model of Inclusion,” in which the need to incorporate human diversity in therapy is undeniable.
The ancient wisdom of Aloha — and its modern transformation into inclusion — is not spoken; it is experienced. Inclusion is who we are. It’s a part of how we treat our clients, how we relate to others, and how we create relationships with schools, businesses and everyone we encounter.
Our Therapeutic Treatment
Our holistic approach to therapy is based on the mind-body-spirit connection. By helping our clients grapple with and understand their underlying issues, we promote awareness and self-acceptance.
DivaDiversity provides our clients with helpful experiential activities, which permit them to rehearse new communication styles, experience behavior modification and benefit from full integration. As clients acknowledge the issues brought up after exploring their diversity challenges, their resistance gradually fades, and they become more open to meaningful human connections.
Even as we utilize it, we persist in developing and refining our “Aloha Model of Inclusion” through our continuing education program.