African American Men, Mental Health & The Importance of Culturally Competent Therapy
Mental health is an important aspect of overall well-being, yet the unique challenges faced by African American men and mental health care representation are often under-acknowledged. The intersection of race, gender, and socioeconomic status can contribute to a range of mental health issues in this population. Black men and men of color may experience discrimination, racism, and other forms of trauma that can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
As mental health professionals, it is important that we acknowledge the need for culturally competent therapy. To create such an environment, providers practice culturally sensitive care and recognizing and addressing the role that systemic racism and discrimination play in mental health outcomes.
Culturally Competent Therapy for African American Men in Grief Counseling
Grief is a natural and normal response to loss. However, people of color, specifically African American men, are less likely to receive grief counseling and support. The black community has a long history of resilience and strength in the face of adversity, but this can also lead to a culture of silence and stoicism when it comes to grief and loss. Additionally, many black men may feel pressure to “tough it out” or to hide their emotions, which can lead to unresolved grief and other mental health issues.
As stated above, mental health providers must acknowledge the role of grief and loss in the lives of African American men and work to create a safe and supportive space for them to process and heal. This may involve using culturally sensitive approaches to grief counseling, such as incorporating rituals or traditions that are meaningful to the black community. Moreover, it may involve addressing the stigma around seeking help for grief and loss, and working to empower black men to take an active role in their own mental health and healing.
Culturally Competent Therapy
Don’t be afraid to ask potential therapists for what you want and need, as you have the right to seek the services you’re paying for.
- How familiar are you with African American culture and background.
- What type of training and education do you have in working with diverse populations.
- How comfortable do you feel addressing BIPOC issues?
- What do you do to maintain cultural competence in mental health care?
- Do you treat many patients who are black or persons of color?
- How much antiracism training have you done?
- What sorts of culturally specific resources do you refer your patients to?
- Will you let me know if you don’t feel you can support me in the way that I need?
Finding A Black Therapist
To begin your search for a therapist, it’s important to consider what factors are most important to you in finding the right fit. This may include the therapist’s race and gender, as these can play a significant role in how comfortable and open you feel in therapy.
If you’re unsure about therapy, or getting linked with the right therapist for you, that’s okay! You can try out a few different therapists and see who you connect with best. Remember, you have the right to ask for what you want and need from your therapist and they can tell you if they’re able to provide the service you’re looking for. If not, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals until you find the right match.
Meet Kristin Justice, LAC
Kristin’s culturally competent approach to grief therapy allows her to reach individuals of diverse backgrounds
FAQ's about Online therapy in NEW
How do I get started as a new client?
What is your cancellation policy?
We ask that clients provide at least 24 hours notice in the event that they need to cancel to avoid the 50% cancellation fee. we understand that life happens and do our best to be flexible & reschedule.
Does my insurance cover my visits?
Do you offer traditional talk therapy?
Is Online Therapy As Effective As In-Person Therapy?
Online therapy is essentially face-to-face counseling, just conducted remotely. Studies show that teletherapy is as effective as traditional counseling. Professional organizations and state governments recognize its benefits and have set regulations for it. However, like any therapy, its success in achieving your goals isn’t guaranteed. It’s important to discuss with your therapist whether teletherapy is working for you.
Can I Change Therapists If I'm Not Happy?
Yes, you can switch therapists to another provider within the practice, or we can provide you a referral if preferred. We want to ensure that your time and effort are well spent, and that you are getting the relief you need, that’s why we work collaboratively with each other in the practice, as well as outside therapists who we know and trust.
How Do I Know If Therapy Is Helping?
You should feel like you’re making progress. Signs it’s working include:
Feeling comfortable talking to your therapist
Your therapist respects boundaries
You’re moving towards your goals
You feel listened to
You’re doing better in life
Your self-esteem is getting better
Is Online Therapy Easy to Use for Non-Tech-Savvy People?
Yes, it’s pretty simple to access sessions. You’ll need basic internet skills, such as opening and visiting the patient link sent to you via email. It’s similar to video chatting like Facetime or Zoom. We can also walk you through it on the phone the first time to ensure a strong connection
What Questions Should I Ask My New Therapist?
Feel free to ask anything. Some good questions are:
- How often will we meet?
- What do you specialize in?
- What experience do you have with my issue?
- What outcomes can I expect?
- How will I know I’m progressing?
- How long do you usually work with clients?
- How will we set my treatment goals?
How Should I Prepare for My First Session?
Showing up is all that you need to do! But if you really want to get the most out of session, it could help to take some time to think about what you want from therapy. It helps to write down your goals, questions you have or things that you feel are important to share.
What is the difference between associate therapists & fully licensed therapists?
Our founder, Rebecca Sidoti, is a highly qualified, state-licensed therapist and supervisor with extensive training in anxiety related disorders and innovative treatment such as Ketamine Therapy. Mind by Design Counseling adheres to standards set by the our governing counseling boards.
To see each providers credentials, training and licenses, visit our “Meet the Therapists” Page to learn more.
- LAC/LSW are therapists who may practice clinical work under the supervision of a fully licensed therapist.
- LPC/LCSW are therapists who have completed the necessary clinical hours post-graduation under supervision and can practice clinical work independently.
What Geographic Areas Are Served?
Currently, we serve clients in New Jersey and are expanding to other states as telehealth laws evolve. While telehealth offers the convenience of attending sessions from anywhere, state laws require clients to be in-state during their session.
Is Virtual Counseling Suitable for Everyone?
Online therapy might not be as effective for individuals with chronic suicidal thoughts, severe trauma, significant mental health history, or those recently in intensive care. Such cases often benefit more from traditional, in-person counseling. We’ll help you decide if our online services are right for you during your intake and evaluation.
What Equipment is Needed for Online Therapy?
To join a session, log in using the credentials we provide. No downloads are needed. Our platform, compatible with both individual and group sessions, requires:
A computer or mobile device with a webcam and internet access.
We’ll help you test your setup before your first appointment to ensure a reliable connection. iOS users should use the Safari browser for mobile and tablet sessions.
What Questions Will Therapists Ask Me?
It depends on your goals. Expect questions about your thoughts, feelings, relationships, work, school, and health. They’ll ask to understand your therapy goals.
How Do You Keep Client Information Secure?
Security and Confidentiality of Sessions:
Your privacy is crucial to us. We use TherapyNotes, a HIPAA-compliant platform, ensuring secure and confidential teletherapy sessions. This platform’s security features include encrypted video connections, secure data transfers, and encrypted databases, ensuring your information is safe at all times.
What is VRT used for?
VRT not only helps with exposure therapy for phobias, but is great for ADHD, mindfulness, PTSD and social anxiety.