Diversity

Consideration about how a clinical social worker, therapist or psychologist, works with diversity is often important to people who are looking for a therapist.

The presence of the University of Illinois creates a diverse community in Champaign-Urbana. While many cities have rich histories of diverse backgrounds, Champaign and Urbana’s diversity really defines the city and surrounding areas. Champaign-Urbana is a highly educated community with the University of Illinois being a top employer and home to more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Champaign-Urbana also offers employment in other service fields, the information industry, and various factories. The community has strong Latino/a, African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, and middle Eastern populations. Native American and multiracial backgrounds are also part of the city. The twin cities offer a wide variety of ethnic foods from many different cultures. When people from all backgrounds, including Caucasians, search for a therapist with whom they can feel safe to talk about their most intimate thoughts and feelings, it is important to know that the psychologist or clinical social worker they choose understands how culture and religion affect our concerns about ourselves, the world, family, and close relationships.

Champaign Urbana is also diverse in its political ideology; both cities offer their own unique political atmosphere and the University of Illinois campus encourages political dialogue that is stimulating and enriching. Norma Fournier, LCSW, has 18 years postgraduate experience working with clients from all these different histories and world views. With 8 years experience working with students on campus at both McKinley Mental Health Center and the Counseling Center and 11 years in private practice, Norma Fournier has a deep commitment and understanding of diversity issues. She also works to stay open and aware of how her own background may interfere with the therapeutic relationship so that any interference, transference, or counter-transference, can be dealt with, keeping the therapy on track and focused on the client. In this way, the relationship between the therapist and the client remains authentic and in the moment.