Recently, we polled a Facebook Group and asked this question. 100% of those who replied said they have gone or would go, but that most black individuals don't. Stigma, money, bad experiences, and talking to family and friends instead were mentions often used in regards to why our people don't go. Do you go? Would you go? Why or why not?
In our research, we've found that black people often get therapy in non-traditional ways. We'll go see a relative, close friend, or talk to a mentor before we talk to a licensed professional. We appreciate the good natured intent of a barber or hairdresser, who, while doing our hair gives seemingly good advice how to deal with a relationship issue, our "bad" kids, or job related stressors from that person that gets on our nerves.
Still what happens when the stress, anxiety, or personality issues from underlying complex trauma impacts how you are seeing the world, and you had no idea your lens was impacted that way? What would you do? In our opinion, there are some people around us who we become the most comfortable with, that can't properly treat our mental health challenges.
In a world where black individuals are often forced to compete, face low wage rates, are impacted by making their own way instead of building on other's legacies, and rely on two home upbringings, multicultural counseling is one way that appreciates what makes our inner thoughts, and reveals avenues to healthier mindsets. Growing to love the complex, inner workings of our chronometers, despite the barriers, boundaries, and trauma we've faced takes time. In therapy, healing takes time too. Its one of the few places, like a religious institution, or a hospital, where surgery is done to repair the broken, reveal the hidden, provoke better choices, and improve overall functionality.
So here's a jumpstart for you if you've gone, haven't been in awhile, or have never been at all... What do you have to lose? It doesn't have to be us, because every therapist and agency is someone that is a best fit for you. If you know something has been bothering you, want to unpack the past, or work to making your marriage, family, or relationships with others better, lets talk! Mental Illness can become Mental Health sooner than you think.