Shades of Awareness: Exploring Racial Consciousness with Claude King, LCPC

Claude L. King is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Employee Assistance Consultant based in the Chicagoland Area with 13 years of experience in the mental health field. He specializes in working with teens, young adults, and working professionals with a focus on work-life balance, employee mental health, emotional regulation, stress-management, mindfulness, positive parenting, and healthy masculinity. In addition to his therapy practice, Claude is the founder of CK Psych and conducts trainings and workshops on various mental health and wellness topics for corporations and community-based organizations. Through his work, Claude is committed to promoting mental wellness, improving emotional health, and empowering individuals to live their best lives.

In this episode, Claude shares that his earliest experiences with consciousness were around race. As he grew up, he recognized that the phenomenon of race extended beyond physical appearance, to things that had happened historically and even that were still happening now, such as educational disparities. He questioned why this was the case.

Now he works as a therapist, with a passion for men’s mental health, specifically men of color. We discuss Gabor Mate’s insight about trauma being not what happens to you, but what happens inside of you as a result of what happens to you, and that having support can make a huge difference in processing difficult or traumatic experiences. Claude wants people to know that therapy is a process, that it’s not necessarily an immediate deep dive into one’s darkest traumas and secrets. It takes time to build rapport and develop trust, and that is part of the therapeutic process.

We touch on shame, the stigma around mental health, trying to conform our authentic selves into the norms society deems to be appropriate, and the need for therapists to recognize the societal context we are in and to look at how it’s impacting us and our mental health. Finally, we discuss honoring the coping mechanisms that we’ve had to develop out of survival as an integral part of shifting into new coping mechanisms and ways of looking at the world, and giving ourselves grace as we learn something new.


Claude King, LCPC (@ckpsych) | TikTok

(24) Claude L. King, LCPC | LinkedIn


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