For many Black, Indigenous and racialized people, discussions of racism and discrimination surely come up in sessions with our therapists. We do not live in bubbles and we're not exempt from the current social and political climate. Therapists need to make room for their clients culture in the therapeutic process and acknowledge what is happening in the world outside of the therapy room.
When you're looking for a therapist as a person of colour, asking the right questions is crucial, especially if your therapist is not a person of colour. Even an incredibly skilled, compassionate and well-intended therapist or mental health professional might not be a good fit for YOU.
According to Dr. Bergen, a clinical psychologist, a major indication that your therapist isn’t a great fit for you would be “if they don’t try to adapt their approach to fit your needs.”
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy
If your therapist works in a one-size-fits-all approach and “they try to sell you on it,” that’s a strong indication that they may not be the right fit for you. There are so many ways of viewing the world, and you deserve to be heard and fully seen. It's your mental health and you're allowed to advocate for yourself by vetting your therapist and shopping around until you find the best fit.
Bonus: I put together a full list of questions to ask your therapist to see if they're the right fit for you. Download the free checklist here.
You're allowed to look around for the right fit, ask intentional questions and choose the mental health professional who you feel will best help in your mental health journey.
If you currently have a therapist who is not a racialized individual and you're looking to do a gut-check to see if they're the right fit for your mental health journey, here are three questions to get you started:
1. Do you feel comfortable talking about white and/or male privilege?
2. Have you been trained on the ways discrimination and racism impact someone's mental health?
3. Are you comfortable talking about the cultural/racial differences between us?
PS. If you're looking to connect with a culturally responsive therapist, click here.