Greetings! In my last WDC blog article I wrote about some of the challenges in accessing mental health therapy in communities of color. In this piece, I would like to share a few helpful tips on how to address some of these challenges.
If affording mental health therapy has been a challenge for you, there are a few options available that might be of assistance:
- Ask therapists if they work on a sliding scale. Sliding scales are based on a person’s income and can often result in a good percentage of the cost of therapy being reduced for the client.
- Ask therapists if they are willing to take on one pro-bono client. In my practice, I always keep a pro-bono client as part of my personal community service. Many other therapists do the same in their practices.
- Ask therapists if they offer therapy packages. For example, some therapists offer 6 therapy sessions in a package, which when compared to the cost of several individual therapy sessions, clients are saving a lot of money in the long run.
There is no easy solution to time being a barrier to attending therapy. Attending sessions is a personal commitment every client must make. Make therapy appointments a regular part of your schedule like you do other activities in your life. There is no easy way around it.
Access to Clinicians of Color
Most clients of color are seeking therapists who share similar cultural backgrounds. If you are having a difficult time finding a therapist, go online and research clinicians of color in your area. Thankfully, there are plenty of websites now that offer lists of clinicians of color with various backgrounds and specialties from which to choose. Take note if your friends or coworkers discuss their therapy sessions. If they seem pleased with the progress they’re making, ask them for their therapist’s contact information. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the right therapist for you the first or even second time around. Eventually, you will find someone who fits your style and who can address your wellness needs.
I hope these tips were helpful. If you are thinking about starting therapy, please decide to take the leap. Make mental wellness a regular part of your self-care and assist in ending the stigma attached to it in communities of color.
About the Author
Dr. Francis provides mental health therapy services for clients ages 17 and older. This includes individual and family sessions. She has expertise in working with clients who have a history of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem due to experiencing various traumas. She also specializes in working with women who have been diagnosed with Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Dr. Francis is currently in training to become a certified Brainspotting therapist and offers this treatment modality to all patients.