Reaching out for mental health care may be the right next step for you, but that does not mean it is an easy next step. Certain barriers can keep people from seeking the help they deserve, and some people bump up against more roadblocks than others. African Americans, for example, receive therapy at half the rate as Caucasians do even though they suffer from mental illness at the same rates, according to a 2010 study. A number of factors contribute to the inequality. Accessibility and quality of care are two significant barriers to African Americans receiving the mental health care they deserve. In a 2012 radio interview, Psychiatrist Dr. William Lawson expounded, “Dr. Satcher in his surgeon general’s report noted that there was less accessibility of mental health services for people of color for a variety of reasons. Part of it is that many of the systems simply aren’t located proximity to where people of color are.” Dr. Lawson went on, “Part of it is that many professionals simply don’t know how to diagnose properly African-Americans.” Dr. Lawson told a story of when he was in medical school and was taught that African Americans do not develop depression—a gross untruth. Many within the African American community and the mental health care community are working to correct this history of inaccessible and inadequate care, and they are fighting for a better future where African Americans receive the mental health care they deserve.
Thriveworks Conway believes that everyone deserves access to quality mental health care. Our office hopes to remove roadblocks and make it easier for African Americans to reach out for therapy.
Building Trust between a Therapist and Client
When Jinneh was in high school, she struggled with depression after her mother died. When a mental health professional prescribed something for her depression, Jinneh’s family and friends did not trust the counselor’s intentions. They convinced Jinneh not to fill the medication. In college, Jinneh was still depressed when her roommate recommended she start therapy again. With treatment, Jinneh’s depression healed, and now, she works in the mental health field. Her story is told in The Washington Post’s article, “Therapists say African Americans are increasingly seeking help for mental illness.” Jinneh’s story is not unique. Many others have not trusted mental health professionals, but that trust is growing.
Therapists have to establish trust with their clients for mental health care to be effective. In many ways, trust can be built before therapy begins. At Thriveworks Conway, we believe that transparency is a big part of trust. We want to be transparent about what therapy involves and to equip future clients with information about what they can expect from our professionals.
First and foremost, our office provides individualized care. Each client has unique experiences, goals, strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and dreams. As clients become comfortable with the therapeutic process, they can delve deeper and deeper as they set the pace. Along the way, therapists are guides, working at a pace that clients feel comfortable. It is the therapist’s job to create a space where clients feel safe and where they can share honestly about anything, including their cultural, ethnic, and racial context. At Thriveworks Conway, our professionals understand that an individual’s context matters for their mental health. In therapy, African Americans often work through difficult topics they may be facing such as…
- Career advancement
- Racial trauma
- Grief counseling
- Sexual identity issues
- Child therapy
- Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
- Anger management
- Executive coaching
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance use
- Eating disorders
- Suspected abuse of a child
- Psychiatric testing
- Job loss
- Couples and marriage counseling
Another area where the therapists at Thriveworks Conway seek to earn trust with their African American clients is by working with their community support. Religious leaders, family members, and friends can all play a part in holistic care. Therapists and community members are all on the same team, working toward the same goal—an individual’s well-being. Each has a unique and important part to play. Religious leaders can support an individual’s mental health in ways that therapists cannot. Therapists can support an individual’s mental health in ways that friends cannot. Family can provide support in ways that pastors cannot. Friends can give care that counselor cannot. Every aspect of an individual’s support community is important.
Setting Up an Appointment for Counseling at Thriveworks Conway
When you read through the list of issues that may be discussed at therapy, you may have recognized something. You also may not have recognized something. It would be impossible to list every challenge people face. Whatever may be happening in your life right now, know that you are not alone. Help is available. If you are thinking of going to therapy, Thriveworks Conway has appointments available. Our therapists are licensed professionals who care. We know that life is challenging, and so, we think that scheduling therapy should not be. When you call our office to make an appointment, here are a few things you can expect…
- Our scheduling specialists answer our phones and help our clients schedule their appointments.
- Weekend and evening sessions are offered.
- There is no waitlist, so our clients are never put on one.
- We accept many different insurance plans.
Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks Conway today.