Counseling for the African American Community in Beverly Hills, MI
Many social stigmas plague those with mental illness and those who seek mental health care. Regrettably, some people feel that stigma more than others. A 2010 study showed that Caucasians receive mental health care at double the rate as African Americans do, while each community experiences mental illness at the same rate. Many factors explain the disparity. The health care community has historically given inadequate or even harmful care to African American communities, causing a breach of trust. Many communities do not have access to mental health care at all. Further, mental health care is often seen as a replacement for traditional support networks within African American communities. While the stigma runs deep, more recent studies are showing that it may be changing. African Americans are seeking mental health care at greater rates, and they are also receiving a higher quality of care from their culturally informed therapists.
Jinneh’s experience illustrates this shift. Her mother passed when she was in high school, and Jinneh struggled with depression, explains The Washington Post’s article, “Therapists say African Americans are increasingly seeking help for mental illness.” When a doctor prescribed an antidepressant, Jinneh’s friends and family members convinced her not to fill it. Several years later, Jinneh was still fighting her depression when her college roommate suggested she go see a therapist. Reluctantly, she went. This time, she took her medication and continued with her treatment. Jinneh’s depression healed, and now she dedicates her career to teaching others about the importance of mental health care. Jinneh is not the only person who is overcoming the stigma of mental health care. Psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere has a practice in New York, and he observed, “I’ve seen an increasing number of African Americans who feel increasingly less stigmatized about coming in and seeking therapy and who also recognize the healing power of therapy.”
Access to mental health care is improving. Therapists and counselors are learning how to offer better care to African Americans. These positive changes mean more and more people are receiving the help they deserve. Thriveworks Beverly Hills hopes to contribute in a positive way to this trend by offering therapy that is aware and sensitive to unique challenges that those in the African American community face.
Community, Religion, Therapy, and Family: Mental Health Care as a Community Effort
Many African American communities have deep and rich support systems—religious communities as well as caring friends and family members. The valuable role these play in an individual’s life has not always been acknowledged by the mental health community. Far too often, mental health professionals and community support have been on opposite sides instead of on the same side. The stigma around mental health care is decreasing. The mental health field’s understanding of how to integrate community support is increasing. The therapists at Thriveworks Beverly Hills see themselves as one piece of a client’s mental health care support network. We are on the same team as a client’s family, friends, community, and religious leaders.
Community support can play a role in an individual’s life that a mental health professional cannot. A therapist can play a role in an individual’s life that community support cannot. When everyone plays their part, individuals can often thrive because they have received holistic care.
Therapy requires trust to be built between a counselor and a client. As access to mental health care is expanding, it is also important to educate people on what they can expect from therapy. The professionals at Thriveworks Beverly Hills know that transparency is an important aspect of growing trust. Here is a transparent look at what therapy at Thriveworks Beverly Hills involves.
We offer individualized care to each of our clients. Clients have control over the therapeutic pace and goals. Our counselors are guides, and their goal is to provide a space where clients feel safe to share their challenges, joys, wounds, stories, weaknesses, strengths, and more. A key element to safety is respect. Our therapists do not approach issues of race and ethnicity with a “colorblind” lens. Instead, we emphasize understanding and empathy. We know that each therapist has their own cultural biases, and we want to become aware of them so that they do not interfere with a client’s care. As trust and respect are built, African American clients may discuss what is truly happening in their lives, including…
- Career advancement
- Grief counseling
- Racial trauma
- Sexual identity issues
- Child therapy
- Substance use
- Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
- Anger management
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Suspected abuse of a child
- Psychiatric testing
- Job loss
- Executive coaching
- Couples and marriage counseling
Scheduling Therapy at Thriveworks Beverly Hills
Did you recognize anything on that list of issues discussed in therapy? It is ok if you did. You are not alone. It is also ok if you did not. Not every mental health challenge fits into a neat label or onto a list. You are not alone. The therapists are Thriveworks Beverly Hills are ready to help. We have appointments available. When you contact our office, you will not reach a voicemail, but a scheduling specialist will help you make an appointment. You will not be put on a waitlist, but you may have your first appointment within 24 hours of your first call. We also offer weekend and evening sessions. Many insurance plans are accepted as well. Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks Beverly Hills.