By Ryan C.T. DeLapp, PhD, Director of the Racial, Ethnic, And Cultural Healing (REACH) Program
We each have goals for our life, no matter who we are, where we come from, or what our background is. Part of reaching these goals is identifying a path for our lives and following it until our goals become reality. However, along the way we can experience barriers to our paths based on who we are or how we identify, which can complicate our efforts to stay on path towards our goals. Welcome to the Racial, Ethnic, And Cultural Healing (REACH) Program – a program that is all about understanding the impact of these barriers and how to navigate them so that you can recover and continue taking meaningful steps towards your goals.
My name is Dr. Ryan DeLapp, and I created the REACH program to help BIPOC youth and adults find ways to cope with cultural stressors (like racism). I have personally experienced and witnessed how cultural stressors can impose major barriers in the lives of BIPOC. These effects can include:
- Complicating your ability to achieve the academic or career performance you desire
- Feeling unwelcomed, unsafe, or as if you don’t belong within your surroundings
- Making it difficult to feel a sense of love towards one’s own cultural background
Altogether, cultural stress can be an important life stressor for BIPOC youth and adults, and can intensify symptoms of anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress.
Ultimately, we cannot always control how cultural stress obstructs our paths and may not be able to control when, where, or why cultural stress occurs. However, in the REACH Program, you will learn to:
- Clarify your path: Defining what makes a path meaningful and important to you by exploring your values and strengths that are informed by your cultural background
- Identify barriers to your path: Exploring what cultural stress is and how it may make it hard to do what is meaningful and important to you in your daily life
- Strengthen your ability to stay on path: You will learn skills that help you make decisions and pursue goals that are meaningful to you even when faced with cultural stress (referred to as “Staying on Path”).
This program translates decades of culturally informed research into evidenced based interventions (such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to help BIPOC strengthen their ability to Stay on Path! I designed this program so that BIPOC youth and adults can find a community where their cultural backgrounds are respected and celebrated. Where their unique lived experiences are validated and understood. And, where there are opportunities to strengthen a sense of empowerment, self-acceptance, and overall healing.
So, if you have experienced or anticipate experiencing any form of cultural stress, and you are looking for a supportive community to heal, then please come join us. The REACH Program is here to help! Learn more about the REACH program here.