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Raina LaGrand

I’m a mixed (Black and white), Queer, neurodivergent, cisgender woman with invisible disabilities. 

I’ve lived my entire life at the intersection of this and that. I understand firsthand how complicated finding community can feel when you have multiple cultural or racial identities, and how hard it can be to feel secure in your relationships when the people you are in relationship with have different identities than you.


It is so important to remember there is context to our experience. Most of our suffering is not because we have done something "wrong" or we are not "enough." Our struggles with our bodies and our relationships are shaped by the cultures we live in.

One of the people I'm inspired by in my work is the late organizer, speaker, and writer Grace Lee Boggs, who said that "we need to embrace the idea that we are the leaders we've been looking for."

While she meant it in a political context, it’s also extremely relevant in our personal lives (the personal is political, after all).


Choosing to embrace the leader within us means that despite ideologies like white supremacy, which perpetuate stress and trauma, we also have to find ways to heal and create what we want more of in our lives.


I use a holistic approach to help clients embody their identities with confidence and build relationships where they can be their full selves.

This is a photo of Raina reading a book and working on a presentation

My background and training is in trauma treatment. I landed in this field as a result of my own lived experiences and my focus on working with clients who were racially marginalized like myself.

Early in my career I was fortunate to receive training from the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute that helped me integrate my pre-grad school certification as a Yoga teacher. This training showed me just how to translate mindfulness, movement, and nervous system knowledge to the therapy room.


I felt alive and excited to be bringing together various healing modalities in pursuit of helping my clients care for themselves, manage their symptoms, and build community. It also felt extremely pleasurable for my body to be able to move and experiment with clients, rather than sitting still and silently listening to my clients vent about their challenges.


A colleague introduced me to the work of Resmaa Menakem in 2018 and a couple years later I was able to participate in one of his programs for Black folks which led me deeper into understanding the historical and intergenerational contexts of trauma and what we can do about it now.


As I integrated my learnings into my work with BIPOC clients, I found that many of them were able to let go of the hold shame had on their lives and ability to connect with other people. Instead of feeling like a problem or like something was wrong with them, they felt there was systemic context to their suffering.


However, I noticed many of my multiracial clients continued to struggle and weren’t able to integrate this perspective into their self-perception. For these clients, they constantly worried about whether they were “enough” of something to claim it, and they often verbalized feeling like they had to atone for the elements of their identities that were more aligned with racial privilege.


In doing so, they were too distracted to turn inwards, find their center, and really move towards the transformation they were desiring. In order to support my fellow multiracial humans I realized I needed frameworks and practices to hold space for the extremely layered, sometimes contrasting, experiences of multiracial people.


Resmaa Menakem’s concept of somatic abolitionism, which he defines as “an individual and communal effort to free our bodies—and our country—from their long enslavement to white body supremacy and racialized trauma,” is one framework that has become central to my work with clients.


Yes, multiracial people might carry both lineages of white supremacy and racialized oppression in our bodies. But we still deserve to free our bodies from these constructs.


In fact, it’s a primary way we can contribute to larger efforts of healing and liberation. One way we resist anti-Blackness is by understanding it within us. When we unearth what is within us, we can more clearly see and address what is happening in our environment.


You can read more about my perspective on how multiracial people can ground into a sense of Self and build the community they’ve always dreamed of here.


I also see my work with interracial couples in a similar light. (Interracial couples are where multiracial people come from, after all!) I noticed the interracial couples I worked with were navigating not just the “usual” relationship challenges related to conflict and communication, but also layers of cultural difference that complicated their ability to communicate, connect, and integrate one another into their families and lives.


I knew interracial couples needed dedicated space where they could address the fullness of their relational experience and I was excited to ‘go there’ with them. You can read more about how interracial couples can have conversations about identity, privilege, power, and oppression here.


As a result, after years of providing more broadly focused somatic therapy for trauma, I steered my practice in the direction of specifically supporting multiracial people and interracial couples. I feel SO lucky that each day I get to wake up and help people navigate things about their identities, trauma, racism, and white supremacy that they often believed would never reach resolution.


Therapy with me is not just about healing but about reimagining what’s possible. If you’re ready to reimagine what’s possible for your relationship to your body and your loved ones you are in the right place. I look forward to the possibility of joining you in your journey.

My Background at a Glance

Licensed Masters in Social Work (Clinical) & Masters in Public Health, University of Michigan

Integrative Somatic Parts Work Certificate, The Embody Lab

Trained in Gottman Method for couples therapy

Extensive training in trauma treatment, including Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level 1 & Jane Clapp's Movement for Trauma

Certified Yoga Teacher, A2 Yoga

Background in health education & health coaching​, including sexual health, consent, sexual assault prevention, and more

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