• Why Black Therapists Are Indispensable?

    Two people sitting at a table with a mug and book

    Black people are often discriminated against at the workplace or school and experiencing racial discrimination negatively affects mental health.

    Black therapists can help improve access to mental healthcare in their communities. Many black Americans with mental disorders seek therapists who look like them and can relate to their experiences. They are more comfortable sharing their problems with black therapists and see them as someone who can help them work through their specific problems.

    A black counselor near you may have experienced similar situations as you. As a result, they may understand your perspective better than other therapists. When you see an experienced black therapist, you can rest assured that you won’t spend hours explaining your issues to them. They will ensure you get specialized attention and employ techniques to make therapy more enjoyable and profitable.

    Oftentimes, black people see black therapists as their friends and are more able to be open with them. They trust them and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, emotions, and feelings with them.

    A black therapist lends their clients an ear to listen, not to hear. When a client feels cared for, heard, and understood, healing begins. Studies have linked a healthy therapeutic relationship to improved treatment outcomes.

    Black therapists have a deep understanding of the mental and emotional problems that blacks face. They are able to come up with customized mental healthcare treatment plans for their black clients.

    Do You Have Trouble Finding a Therapist of Color?

    Use apps such as Ayana and Shine that are geared toward people of color. Check out online directories. Ask your insurer to suggest a black therapist in their network.

    What Are Signs That You Need a Therapist?

    Here are some signs you need to see a therapist:

    • You are having difficulty regulating your emotions
    • You are experiencing changes in your sleep pattern
    • You are struggling to build and maintain personal and professional relationships
    • You no longer enjoy your favorite activities

    Why is Therapy Important in the Black Community?

    Studies show that black folks face racial discrimination even today, and are more vulnerable to mental disorders. African Americans are underserved and less likely to seek care independently. Thus, therapists who can specialize and empathize with the black community are key.

    How to Find a Black Therapist?

    • Search for online directories such as Virtual Therapist Network, Therapy for Black Men, and Find Black Therapist
    • If a black friend, colleague, or family member was seeing a black therapist and has recently completed therapy, ask them about their experience working with the professional
    • Visit the social media profiles of therapy centers near you. See if they have any black therapists who have experience treating the mental health problem you’re experiencing
    • Check out mental health apps that connect black people with therapists of color. Typical examples include Shine, Ayana, and The Safe Place

    Some Questions to Ask a Black Therapist

    Ask these questions to gauge the expertise of the black therapist you are considering:

    • What experience do you have treating black people with mental disorders?
    • Can I talk about racism and racial injustice?
    • What is your understanding of diverse sexualities and gender identities?
    • What experience do you have treating people with mental disorders similar to mine?

    Cooper Mental Health Counseling offers culturally affirmed therapy. We are committed to helping people of color improve their mental health. To make an appointment with one of our therapists, call (347) 244-7873.

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