Why a black therapist?
Research shows that black clients are more likely to continue therapy beyond the first few sessions when seeing a black therapist
Therapy should be a place where you don’t have to be on guard, where you aren’t concerned about how you might be seen or understood. Where your pauses, indirect gaze and body language are not misinterpreted. And where the provider is likely to know intuitively what you mean.
Most people call or email us, saying “I’m so glad I found you!” Our satisfaction, as black therapists, is in saying,
“Welcome! We think you’ll feel right at home.”
Research shows that black clients are more likely to continue therapy beyond the first few sessions when seeing a black therapist. In addition, there is much research that indicates a more accurate, less severe diagnosis is provided by black therapists to black clients. Where medication or other factors are part of an evaluation, the consequences for exaggerated diagnoses can be dire.
Where can we be found?
In years past, there were few therapists of color and many of us were in addiction clinics, working with the courts or city and county mental health clinics. Most blacks did not seek therapy voluntarily or for everyday problems. They were usually in crisis or experiencing severe mental illness. Access to preventive mind health services was limited to the wealthy, usually white middle class. That is no longer the case, as more of us have attained an education and been exposed to the effectiveness of psychological services. Many young therapists now are opening private practices where they can offer the depth of services that can result in lifelong change for their clients. Most private practitioners provide individual therapy for anxiety & depression, couples therapy for predictable couples’ issues and therapy for children to identify and solve behavior and learning problems.
Local private providers can provide confidential, accessible and comfortable support and education.
Perhaps we are just far enough removed from blatant racism to recognize the distinct power we have over our own life experiences. We know that by learning and exercising new ways of thinking we can not only reduce the impact of subtle racism on our self-esteem, but we can enhance our own personal growth and well-being in the process.
Many brothers and sisters are simply affected by the adverse circumstances of their environments. One wonders if Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is not a permanent resident of black neighborhoods. When one takes a look at the numbers, death, loss, economic disadvantage, educational inequity and inequities in medical services reflect overwhelming barriers to stress-free living for most blacks.
What can we do about this?
Begin to repair and protect our lives, one session at a time. Educate ourselves about the possibilities. Exercise gratitude for the many gifts that naturally bless us. Experience the great joy & peace of connecting with Spirit through mindfulness and meditation whether in group settings or alone.