Therapy for Black Girls – It’s Necessary!
Style Magazine Newswire | 7/6/2018, 12:12 p.m.
I have faith in therapy. There’s something special about working through your life with someone who doesn’t want anything from you. A few years ago, Huffington Post described a few of the benefits of therapy, with emotional assistance and accountability being among them.
Sadly, there is the belief that Black people and therapy don’t mix. Some families/communities still operate under the “don’t tell your business to strangers/be strong” system, even though it’s not effective. Jay-Z spoke about the aversion to therapy with Van Jones for CNN earlier this year, saying, “it’s a stigma,…as you grow, you realize the ridiculousness of the stigma attached to it.”
Black women in particular need therapy more than ever. From dealing with microaggressions and pay gaps in the workplace, to combating the hateful attitudes of the administration, we have situations and conversations to navigate and we can’t be scared to ask for help.
The misconception that we have it all under control is the result of decades of stereotyping – Black women have been crushed by the weight of the strong black woman trope. Tamara Winfrey Harris penned a piece for Bitch Media that dissects and aims to annihilate the idea that Black women have a physical and psychological strength that makes them superhumans. Essentially, she shared that we are people too.
My life has gotten better since I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable, with the right individuals of course. My therapist is one of those people. She’s an older Black woman who is honest, but never cruel and she doesn’t force ideas on me.
She listens, even when I talk in circles or when I get choked up. I think I appreciate her so much because she’s a reflection of me. We’re both career-focused Black women who have a deep capacity for compassion. Plus, we keep in touch when I move, which is great because I wouldn’t know how to find anyone with a skill set anywhere near hers.
When I got pregnant late last year, my therapist was one of the first people I told. I knew that she wouldn’t come with dated judgments and that she would be there to walk me through my next steps. I had friends (whom I love), but the majority of them are my age. I couldn’t really look to them for advice for every angle of the ordeal. Having an older, Black, female therapist was just what I needed in that moment, and in the moments that followed.
I encourage all Black women to reach out for therapy, even if it’s only once. You’d be surprised what can be uncovered in a single hour. There are resources out there to help you get started with your search.
One of the ones that are getting attention right now is Therapy for Black Girls, a site that “list[s]…mental health professionals across the country who provide high quality, culturally competent services to Black women and girls.” This comprehensive listing breaks it down by state and its creator is genuinely in the mental welfare of Black women. I urge you to transcend your reservations so you can get the assistance you need.