Cathy Wasserman, LMSW
Cathy Wasserman, LMSW

Cultural Therapy

Cultural Therapy. If you feel the need for a holistic experience that integrates your thoughts, feelings and ideas about larger cultural issues into your personal, career or executive coaching you may benefit from a process enriched by cultural therapy. I offer coaching, facilitated conversations, workshops and talks on strategies for dealing with the potent social issues of our moment.

Cultural Therapy

Support for staying strong and seizing opportunities in turbulent times

 

Looking for support while you work for critical change as our world veers dangerously off the path of democracy and patriarchy tightens its grip?

Concerned that cultural conflict could be eroding your team’s performance?

Feeling anxious, angry or worried about serious problems such as gun violence, racial injustice, immigration detention, exploding economic inequality and serious climate change?

The turbulence in our government, economy, environment and culture have profound impacts on people’s minds and emotions. It’s time for a new modality to deal with the impact of a culture that is becoming less predictable and more dangerous, yet also more filled with opportunities to make a difference.

Just as you go to a therapist to work on personal issues or to a coach when you want to take a professional leap, I think it’s critical that there are more venues for addressing the impact of world events — both the difficulty they pose to your equanimity and the opportunities, challenges and moral obligations they throw into your path. Cultural therapy provides a space where it’s okay for you to express your deepest fears and wishes while receiving the support and inspiration you need to step into your power and participate in making positive changes in a world that urgently needs us all to contribute.

I’ve long been passionate about social justice and supporting individuals and organizations who care about the world and work to change it. I began my career as a feminist organizer and have been on the front lines of empowerment issues for decades, helping women, people of color, transgendered people and other marginalized groups claim their unique value and leadership.  

If you feel the need for a holistic experience that integrates your thoughts, feelings and ideas about larger cultural issues into your personal, career or executive coaching you may benefit from a process enriched by cultural therapy. I offer coaching, facilitated conversations, workshops and talks on strategies for dealing with the potent social issues of our moment.

Sample cultural therapy Tools and Topics

  • Managing strong feelings and stress related to current political, economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions

  • Building your ability to connect with your own voice as you communicate empathically with others around charged issues

  • Defining what maximum empowerment means for you, personally and professionally

  • Growing your capacity to maintain your leadership in the midst of complicated cultural dynamics such as persistent pay inequity and age discrimination

  • Dealing with boundary-crossing behavior, including sexual harassment, on and off the job

  • Curating your cultural intake: determining what you do and don’t want in your visual, intellectual and emotional space

  • Exploring your body image and taking more ownership of your sexuality in a culture that continues to objectify and fetishize the body, especially for women

  • Achieving a healthier, more balanced relationship with technology

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“Culture does not make people. People make culture.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists


A cornerstone of cultural therapy

Starting as early as 1916, Swiss psychoanalytic pioneer, Carl Jung, posited the existence of the “collective unconscious,” or an inherited set of unconscious mental structures that is universal to all humans. It consists of “archetypes,” or symbolic images that represent whole categories of reality and human experience. Each of these archetypes (for example, “the hero”) has both “light” and “shadow” sides.

Jung stressed that, for individuals, understanding these archetypes and integrating our shadow side is essential for growth. Societies also benefit from learning to recognize their shadow and making long-term commitments to managing them (e.g., the #MeToo and ongoing civil rights movements in the U.S. or Germany’s post-WWII efforts to avoid a return to fascism). A society composed of individuals who are working to integrate their shadow side is one that can achieve progress and opportunity for all. The world needs societies like these more than ever. I seek to help my clients find their unique path to becoming citizens of this more self-aware societies that we are charged with creating together


“I didn’t realize at first that it was OK or how it would help to include my feelings about social issues that were distracting and upsetting me, but Cathy welcomed this into our sessions. As a result, I felt much less isolated and saw how my relationship to the culture played out in other areas of my life. My progress with Cathy jumped to the next level when I was able to more holistically access what she offers.”

—Anonymous client

Me Too, in a lot of ways, is about agency. It’s not about giving up your agency, it’s about claiming it.
— Tarana Burke, Me Too founder