At Laksman Doell, we are dedicated to cultivating an environment that both recognizes and acknowledges the importance and impact of diversity in identity and experience. We are firmly committed to the delivery of culturally competent psychological services that are grounded in the principles of respect and inclusion and that are responsive to the needs, strengths, and identities of the clients we serve. We recognize that our experiences are informed by the diverse aspects of our lives, and that this is something that needs to be acknowledged in the provision of psychological services.
We are committed to maintaining an atmosphere of openness, trust, and safety where all individuals feel comfortable to explore and discuss their attitudes, beliefs, values, and experiences. We provide services for individuals and couples with a range of backgrounds, identities, and lived experience, and we aim to provide high-quality and culturally competent services that affirm the dignity, autonomy, worth, and value of all individuals. We strive to provide a welcoming and enriching environment that is conducive to the intellectual, emotional, and social development of our diverse community, and we approach engagement with our clients and staff in a spirit of humility, empathy, honest dialogue, and self-reflection. We acknowledge the power inequities which are inherent in the therapeutic relationship and we actively refrain from imposing conventional ideas of ‘normal’ human functioning on the individuals and couples we work with. Rather, we hold the attitude that it is not our place to define the reality of those we work with, but to understand it, and at times to help clients clarify their own understanding of themselves and where they are encountering difficulties in their lives. We are committed to seeking ongoing development in our awareness of, and capacity to think critically about, issues of diversity and we recognize that this is work that never ends.
There are many barriers that impact the accessibility of mental health services. We recognize that in addition to tangible barriers such as cost or the physical accessibility of our spaces, the mental health field has historically contributed to the mistreatment of many visible minorities and marginalized groups. We further recognize that mental health services need to continually evolve with this history in mind, in ways that incorporate the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. This includes acknowledging the impact of systemic and sociopolitical inequities, as well as individuals’ experience of prior negative interactions with mental health services. These values and considerations are essential to fostering a safe environment in which the therapeutic relationship can thrive.
As part of Laksman Doell’s effort to contribute to the accessibility of mental health services, we want to use our knowledge to help bridge the informational gap between communities and resources – to connect individuals with the resources that fit their unique needs. These services may not always be our own. When this is the case, we are happy to refer you outside of our practice.
We believe that thoughtful and critical engagement with diversity is essential in every aspect of the core domains of our professional activity; through ethical practices, assessment, intervention, supervision, and consultation. We are committed to ongoing professional development and self-reflection and to staying up to date on, and working in accordance with, national and provincial guidelines related to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the provision of psychological services. In addition, Laksman Doell has made the following specific commitments related to increasing access to services for marginalized or underserved populations.
At Laksman Doell, we are dedicated to helping individuals who have historically not had access to evidence-based psychotherapy. As such, the psychologists at Laksman Doell each have their own vision of pro bono work that is aimed at giving back to underserved populations, and to promoting high-quality training, supervision, and practice.
Moreover, as an organization, Laksman Doell believes in giving back to our community through support of charitable organizations that make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals who are struggling with mental health challenges.
Connecting you with the services you need.
We offer remote therapy via secure videoconferencing platforms for those individuals who have mobility concerns or who would otherwise prefer not to meet in person. In addition, with respect to equity of remote services, we acknowledge that not everyone has access to video technology or to a private space at home. We offer phone sessions to accommodate this, and to allow you to attend sessions from wherever you feel most comfortable.
You may prefer to receive services from someone who has similar lived experience to you, and who you do not see reflected currently in our team of psychologists. We can provide you with resources that include names of helping professionals who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+, and as living with disability, as well as those who come from different religious and cultural backgrounds. We will also endeavour to provide individuals with resources for psychological services conducted in other languages, where available.
Engaging in ongoing self-reflection and cultural humility.
We recognize the importance of practicing cultural humility, particularly when providing services to individuals and couples from marginalized communities and those who have lived experience of identity-based trauma and/or discrimination. We are committed to working to understand diversity in experience, including the intersectionality between aspects of one’s experience and identity and the manifestation of their psychological distress and current functioning.
We are also committed to ongoing examination of our own cultural identities, privileges, values, beliefs, and biases and to ensuring that these do not interfere in the therapeutic relationships that we form. This includes our commitment to seek out ongoing professional development and training opportunities that are designed to enhance our understanding of the experience of diverse communities and to allow us to more appropriately and effectively meet the needs of our clients.
Listening and continuing to learn what it means to be an inclusive and accessible space.
It is important to us to maintain an environment where people feel safe and welcome. This includes a zero-tolerance policy for hateful language or discriminatory behaviour.
It also includes our ongoing commitment to creating a space that feels welcoming and comfortable and where your privacy and confidentiality are prioritized. We are dedicated to providing information and services in a manner that is experienced as inclusive and accessible to our diverse clientele, and this includes considerations such as ensuring that our forms and important information can be made available both verbally and in writing, are respectful of diversity, and are gender-inclusive.
If you have any concerns regarding the services or environment provided by Laksman Doell, please connect with either of our co-founders, Dr. Zoë Laksman or Dr. Faye Doell. We promise to hear your concerns and to reflect on how we can address them as we continue to build our practice.