I, frankly, did not realize these statistics about therapists, but if I stop to think much about it, I’m not surprised.
According to a 2015 study by the American Psychological Association, 83.6 percent of psychologists are White, while only 14.6 percent combined are Black, Latinx and Asian (and that doesn’t even account for Native Americans and other minority communities). While therapists specialize in a variety of areas regardless of their background, I found these stats so disheartening. Identity is important and it’s hard to speak up about the struggles plaguing our society (aka racism, economic disparities and microaggressions, to name a few) to someone who has the privilege to not see those issues in their everyday life.
I’d also assume that a very low number are male either, so imagine trying to find a Black male therapist to work with sexual abuse survivors?
We’ve talked about this in numerous ways, mostly from the perspective of seeing that inner city and rural areas of the country have little to no services, minority communities tend to get less insurance coverage for mental health, and have less opportunities to seek any kind of treatment, and now we can add that even if somehow they can get to a therapist, the chances that therapist will be from their own community are next to nil.
Look, any treatment is better than no treatment, I’ll grant that, but we are lacking in overall resources, as well as diverse resources. We talk a lot about ending stigma when it comes to mental health, and that’s a good thing, but we also need to figure out better ways of making sure people who overcome that stigma to seek treatment, can get what they need.
So, when I see posts like this one, trying to help a minority community find treatment specifically for them, I’m going to share it.