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Why I need a Woman of Color Therapist

This is the title of Gloria Oladipo's deep and comprehensive article. She discusses the difficulties she's had with previous therapists who were white. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard similar experiences including victim blaming, reduced empathy, microaggressions, pathologizing of one's culture, and a focus on tools to accommodate oppression rather than work toward liberation. A couple of common misdiagnoses I have repeatedly encountered include naming a family from a more collectivist culture "enmeshed," or incorrectly diagnosing Black children and teens with Oppositional Defiant Disorder instead of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. While there are increasing numbers of therapists doing the self-work and learning needed to provide appropriate care beyond the dominant White patriarchal framework and approaches, we have a very long way to go. I myself feel very much in the beginning stages, but I hope that my efforts are getting me closer each day.


Just know that you should be able to ask any questions you want of a potential provider that feel important to you. Their responses (and reactions, if present) can help determine if that particular provider can be therapeutic and effective.


For examples of questions to ask a potential therapist, and for resources on finding clinicians of color, please see my earlier blog: Having Trouble Finding a Clinician of Color?


ARTICLE: Why I Need a Woman of Color Therapist - Gloria Olapido


If you want to read more, check out this article too: As a Person of Color it's a Struggle to Find Therapists Who Look like You - Arti Patel






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