Should Black People See a Black Therapist?
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Should Black People See a Black Therapist?

Not necessarily

18
Should Black People See a Black Therapist?

I was listening to the podcast "Therapy for Black Girls" by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford and came across an episode that addressed the issue, should black people see a black therapist? In an effort to add to this conversation, I'm going to share my own thoughts and perspective on the question at hand.

From my experience, the answer to this question is no; however, this "no" comes with a few qualifiers.

I'm able to answer no to this question because a therapist should be someone who is able to empathize with their client. A strong therapeutic alliance is necessary for the session to be helpful and a part of that alliance is the therapist's ability to empathize with their client to ensure their client feels heard and understood. Technically speaking, this can be undertaken by a therapist of any race. One does not need to be black to understand the struggles involved in being black.

With that being said, it is up to the therapist to acquire the necessary information to ensure they are truly understanding and addressing the needs of their black clients. Unfortunately, not all therapists are willing to do this. Often times, traditional therapy revolves around the client's childhood and their thoughts and feelings. I've been asked about my parents and childhood experiences, shared my thoughts, been prompted to reflect on certain experiences, but never once was my race explored (even with a black therapist!). It took me, self reflecting on my own, to figure that out for myself.

This is not to say that therapists are not helpful or that they ask the wrong questions. I bring this up because I believe it is imperative for therapists of ALL races to explore race with their black clients as, whether the client likes it or not, that is how society sees them and it is bound to affect their mental health in some way, even if it is not obvious at first.

So the final answer is no, black people do not need black therapist. It's possible that black therapist will understand the black experience more intimately, but that's not a guarantee. Instead, I think black people would benefit from seeking out a therapist who is knowledgeable on what it is like to be black in America and is willing to explore race just as eagerly as they are to explore their client's thoughts, feelings and past experiences.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Chris Barbalis

One of the best things about summers in college is getting to go home. Yes, we work ungodly hours but at least we get to come back to our own bed and mom's cooking. I sat in my dorm back in May counting down the finals that I had left until I was able to go back to where I grew up. It's hard to think though that I'll never have the chance to count that down again.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

I Love You, Summer Love

Summer love isn't just for the summer this time.

1959

Ahhh, summer love.

Keep Reading... Show less

When in your life will you have the opportunity to live in a foreign country, to explore a new part of the world, not as a tourist? The answer is right now. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Do Millennials Suck Because Of Their Parents?


You, our parents, gave us the tools to become the entitled, lazy people the millennial generation is filled with.

6944
Do Millennials Suck Because Of Their Parents?
Unsplash

Baby boomers and older generations are constantly referring to millennials as entitled. Constantly claiming that we have been babied and handed everything; we lack morals and work ethic. We are unable to hold conversations because we don't know how to pull ourselves away from a screen, and we are self-absorbed. In reality, some of this may be true. But you made us this way.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

My (Mis)adventures In Online Dating

A/S/L? Cupid get lost!

6925
pexels.com

Tinder, JDate, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, Chemistry.com, Match, Zoosk — just a few of the names of big companies that promise to get you a date/potential partner. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I haven’t tried all of these options, because I have. I haven’t been on a date in over a year and I haven’t actually dated anyone in almost two and a half years. Now, I won’t lie, I’m not the prettiest color in the box, but aside from that, I do have plenty to offer. I have a brain that I use on the daily, I’m pretty freaking smart and I’ve been told that I’m funny in the form of my total sarcasm. But alas, this isn’t a personals ad hoping that someone out there will see this and start sending me emails (but hey, if that happens, that’s OK too).

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments