Mental Health For BIPOC And Ways To Find Support
You finally made the decision to reach out for additional support. Your friends all rave about going to therapy, but you haven’t made the jump quite yet. You’re aware of all of the positives of going to therapy. That isn’t what is preventing you from going.
For some reason, whenever you start looking for a therapist, it just doesn’t feel right. You spent your time scrolling, clicking, and navigating through different counseling websites in your area. The content and reviews match what you’re looking for, but the faces staring back at you don’t even come close to what you had in mind.
They don’t look like you. None of them look like you. You never want to judge a book by its cover because that’s been done to you way more times than you’d even like to admit, but in this case, it feels different. You want to be able to speak with someone who will listen but also understand what you’ve been going through. Sure, all therapists have the education, time, and training, but not all of them have dealt with the same hardships that you have.
Let’s learn more about mental health for BIPOC and ways to find support.
How to Find a BIPOC Therapist
Therapists specialize in a variety of different areas. That being said, a lot of them don’t actually have the personal experience that some of their clients deal with on a day-to-day basis. This can be very disheartening for clients.
When it comes to therapists, a study that the American Psychological Association (APA) conducted in 2015 stated that over 83% of psychologic are white. This means that only 14% of therapists are Black, Latinx, Asian, or another underrepresented community.
How are you supposed to seek help and support from someone who doesn’t actually have the background or understanding personally? Here’s how to find ways to support your mental health journey as a BIPOC:
Create a List
If you haven’t started researching for a therapist yet, start by creating a list of what you’re looking for. If you have started looking, put a pause on your search, and turn to a pen and paper instead. Creating a list of what you’re looking for and what you’re looking to get out of therapy can help narrow down your search criteria.
Your list should consist of things you’re wanting help with, any signs or symptoms you may be experiencing, what you’d like to get out of therapy, as well as what you’re looking for in a therapist. If possible, get specific! You want to make sure your wants meet your needs, especially when it comes to therapy.
Date a Few Therapists
Okay, okay, we do not recommend actually dating your therapist, but finding a therapist should feel similar to interviewing or building a relationship with a friend. Communication should feel easy, and you need to make sure that it feels like a good relationship for both sides. Make sure they’re crossing off the checkmarks on your list.
Be prepared to try out a few different therapists. The first therapist you visit may not be the perfect fit for you, and that’s okay! When you find the right one, you’ll know.
Check On Your Insurance
Therapy sessions can be costly, which is one of the reasons a lot of people decide not to go through with the therapy. Don’t let financial reasons be the deciding factor in your mental health journey. First, check in with your insurance carrier. Some carriers actually cover therapy appointments. A lot of therapists offer free consultations to first-timers as well, which is a great way to get started and see if it’s right for you.
There are a lot of great mental health resources that are completely free to you as well if you want to dip your toe in the water before jumping right in.
Finding a therapist that meets all of your wants and needs, especially as a BIPOC, can feel like a bit more of a challenge. Try not to get discouraged, and don’t feel like you have to settle. If we seem to cross the boxes off of your list, let’s see if it’s a good fit. We’d love to help you on your mental health journey.
Reach out to us today to set up a consultation to treat anxiety, depression, life transitions, trauma, couples or individual counseling.