Dear Black People, let’s normalize therapy.

Posted by Shemari Jones on

Healing. Safe place. Correction. Wisdom. Understanding. These are just a FEW of the benefits that you reap when you’ve found a good therapist. With all these pros (and many more) and little-to-no cons, you’d think everybody would flock towards therapy. We’re still healing from a traumatic year and learning to navigate through this pandemic; not to mention our own personal obstacles we overcome daily. But it’s no secret, in minority cultures therapy is not widely accepted. Specifically, in African American culture therapy is frowned upon and come alongside labels and negative stigma.

We’ve been taught to suffer in silence. Cope on our own. Keep “family business” in the family. If/when talks of seeing a therapist arise, we’re now viewed as either crazy, emotionally unstable, dramatic, or all of the above. Why is seeking help to heal viewed so negatively in our culture?

As an African American Christian woman, I can only share insight on what I’ve seen from the inside. The reality is “the church” has the tendency to push the idea that God is the ONLY answer to EVERY problem. Christians will often overlook the idea that He is not confined to healing us through deliverance sessions, laying on hands, and miracles. God can speak to us through a therapist in the same way he speaks to a prophet. The fact is that God will not restrain himself to the four walls of the church, but I digress.

Enough is enough! It’s time to revolutionize our culture. Yes, we’re oppressed, we’re traumatized. And honestly, we’re exhausted! Being black is one of the greatest honors, yet is one of the most challenging things to navigate. How can we start to change things for each other? It’s easy, when therapy comes up be open, be accepting. Be someone’s safe place. Respond in a way that will motivate them to aggressively seek the healing they need. Just like them; we deserve to heal. We deserve to have a safe place. We deserve correction. We deserve wisdom. We deserve to be understood.


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