f you’re a person of color, you should have access to the same level of care that’s available for everyone else. However, a one-size-fits-all treatment isn’t necessarily appropriate for your situation. Therapy for people of color must address the specific issues that you deal with as a minority.
People of Color Are Less Likely to Get Help
Approximately 20 percent of Americans struggle with mental illness. Mental conditions occur more frequently in people of multiple races than Caucasians. However, white adults are more likely to get treatment than Hispanics, Blacks or Asians.
People of color are less likely to seek help for psychological conditions. When they do access treatment, minorities usually attend fewer sessions than whites. They tend to drop out before they’ve completed an adequate course of treatment.
Beverly Hills is 89.2 percent Caucasian, 5.8 percent Asian, 5.7 percent Hispanic and 2.2 percent African American. Approximately 1 percent of the population of this area is multi-racial.
Do you ever feel unheard or unrecognized because you’re in the minority? You deserve access to the same valuable resources as everyone else.
We understand that discrimination can be a barrier to mental health access. Your quality of care is often influenced by cultural racism. You may mistrust the Western medical industry because of the long history of unethical practices involving people of color.
At Beverly Hills Therapy Group, we provide compassionate, high-quality therapy for people of color. We aim to integrate cultural context into every component of treatment.
Are You Avoiding Psychotherapy?
In California, it’s not unusual for people to seek counseling for their mental wellness. When you live in a region where almost everyone talks about their therapist, it may surprise you to learn that people of color still stigmatize therapy.
Research shows that black people often delay or shun treatment because they’re worried about what others may think. They’re not wrong; once they’re in therapy, they commonly deal with judgmental responses from their friends and family.
This may be due to cultural differences in philosophies about what causes mental conditions. For example, people of color are more likely than whites to believe that psychological illnesses are caused by character weaknesses, moral wrongdoings or an inappropriate lifestyle.
You probably face a great deal of adversity in your life. You may believe that getting help for a psychological disorder is incompatible with your values. You were told that you have to just be strong enough to handle this
Mental conditions have nothing to do with your character, strength or integrity. Seeking treatment for a psychological condition doesn’t mean that you’re non-functional.
You don’t deserve to suffer. This isn’t the way that life has to be.
What if you don’t believe that therapy will help? Many people of color are apprehensive about seeking treatment for this reason.
Studies show that African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans may even attribute mental health issues to supernatural causes. They may be more likely to seek assistance from alternative healers than counselors or therapists.
According to Psychology Today, people of color often worry that their world-views will clash with those of the therapist. They fear that they’ll be locked up for sharing their psychological problems.
Going to a therapist who doesn’t understand the unique issues that you face can make you feel unseen and unheard. Finding a professional that recognizes where you’re coming from and can address psychological problems appropriately is important.
Why Psychotherapy Must Address Cultural Differences
You don’t want to be labeled as unpredictable or dangerous for enrolling in therapy. However, this is what many people of color experience. Stigmatization lowers self-esteem. It can result in someone being shunned from social and professional settings. It can bring up feelings of shame or embarrassment.
In some social circles, seeking treatment for depression or anxiety can cause people to label you as crazy. As if that’s not stressful enough, racism, economic inequalities and discrimination arguably cause additional anxiety for certain individuals.
Psychotherapy was founded by white males. In a world where racial profiling, police violence against minorities and white supremacy are still very real, you might be worried about airing your dirty laundry to a professional in the field of psychotherapy.
Social hostility affects your mental health. You don’t want to experience more of this opposition at your counseling appointments.
The best therapy for people of color encompasses an understanding of your place in your community. It validates your feelings without making you feel like you’re oversensitive to the very real issues that plague this society.
You don’t need someone telling you that you misunderstand your social situation. You don’t need to doubt yourself more than you already do. You need someone who is familiar with the experiences that people of color deal with every day.
Those experiences have shaped you. They’ve created your reality. It’s time to unpack the messages and limiting beliefs that you’ve internalized and embrace the incredible person that you are. Staying silent only perpetuates the problem.
Get Help from Someone Who Understands
Feeling misunderstood is a huge barrier to treatment. At Beverly Hills Therapy Group, we know this concern all too well. If you’re feeling skeptical about psychotherapy, let us know. If you’re worried about what others may think, express your fears. We want to demystify the process of psychotherapy and help you learn how it will benefit you.
We know that it’s easy for people of color to feel as though other people control their lives. We want to put you in the driver’s seat.
Your mental health is a priority. It can be hard to take on this level of self-care when you’re busy with your career, taking care of your household and dealing with subtle or blatant oppression every day.
Plus, you may find it challenging to seek treatment when your friends and family don’t seem to understand. Let’s change this pattern together.
We aim to support you with specialized counseling that’s designed to fit your needs. Our group therapy sessions allow you to find strength in numbers. When you’re immersed in an environment with others who get you, you can let down your guard, fully express yourself and cultivate healing.
Ron N. Gad, PhDFounder
Ron N. Gad, PhD is the founder of Beverly Hills Therapy Group in California. Dr. Gad holds a PhD in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Along with his staff of licensed therapist, Beverly Hills Therapy Group provides mental health services for many disorders including anxiety, trauma, depression, and several others.