Grand Rapids African American Counseling

Therapy for African Americans in Grand Rapids, MI—Culturally Sensitive Counseling

Jinneh was just a teen when her mother passed away, and like many who lose a parent, depression overtook Jinneh’s mind and body. When her doctgor prescribed medication, her friends and family members were skeptical. Like many in the African-American community, it was hard to trust the medical and mental health profession. Jinneh did not take her medication, and years later, she still struggled with depression when her college roommate encouraged her to see a therapist. With treatment, Jinneh’s depression lifted, and now, she dedicates her time to educating others on the importance of mental health. Jinneh’s story is not unique. It is chronicled in the Washington Post article, “Therapists say African Americans are increasingly seeking help for mental illness.” Many other African Americans, like Jinneh, have gone without the mental health care they needed. Times are changing, however, and many other African Americans, like Jinneh, are now receiving the therapy they need and deserve.

The therapists at Thriveworks Grand Rapids understand how difficult it can be to start therapy and that African Americans feel that weight more acutely. Our goal is to be a part of the positive trend that is giving African Americans more access to mental health care that is sensitive to their particular needs.

Therapeutic Relationships and Trust

Caucasians go to therapy at twice the rate of African Americans according to a 2010 study, and there are many reasons for this disparity. One of which is that African Americans have not had adequate access to the care they need. Another reason is that American Americans have all too often experienced poor care from medical professionals. “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. Part of it is that many professionals simply don’t know how to diagnose properly African-Americans,” said Psychiatrist, Dr. William Lawson in a 2012 NPR interview.

It is understandable that many African Americans are skeptical of mental health care, and Thriveworks Grand Rapids hopes to offer care that meets these needs—care that is accessible and meets the needs of our African American clients. How can this happen? We believe in building trust into the therapeutic relationship. Here is what therapy at Thriveworks Grand Rapids involves.

Our therapists build trust through demonstrating understanding of and respect for our client’s social and ethnic context. We reject a “colorblind” approach that minimizes and denies a client’s unique challenges and experiences, and instead, we know that cultural context matters to who they are as an individual. Race, ethnicity, and culture all play a role in who people are. Our professionals work hard to make the therapeutic relationship a safe place where trust is the foundation. Our hope is that clients feel free to speak openly about their hopes and dreams, struggle and fears, challenges and opportunities without shame and without fear.

Building trust also means offering individualized care. Culture matters, and so does an individual’s unique experiences. Each client has their own perspective, their own goals for counseling, their own experiences. The therapists at Thriveworks Grand Rapids spend significant time getting to know each client and allowing each client to feel comfortable. As the therapeutic relationship progresses, clients often feel free to share more and go deeper. There is no limit to what clients can explore, but often, African Americans choose to work through many issues with their therapist, issues such as…

  • Grief counseling
  • Discrimination
  • Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
  • Racial trauma
  • Executive coaching
  • Depression
  • Couples and marriage counseling
  • Eating disorders
  • Career advancement
  • Child therapy
  • Divorce
  • Anger management
  • Substance use
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Suspected abuse of a child
  • Job loss
  • Addiction
  • Infidelity
  • Psychiatric testing
  • Sexual identity issues

Psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere owns a counseling practice in New York City, and he has “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.” In the past few years, the African Americans who seek care at his practice has increased 20-25.

Scheduling a Counseling Appointment at Thriveworks Grand Rapids

Is it time for you to meet with a counselor? If so, know that a counselor at Thriveworks Grand Rapids is ready to meet with you. Some issues in life need the guidance and care from a mental health professional. You are not alone. Thriveworks Grand Rapids offers culturally sensitive care that is respectful of your individual needs and experiences. We know that life is hard. Scheduling an appointment for counseling should not be. We have done what we can to make that process as easy as possible. Here are some important things to know about our office:

  1. We have scheduling specialists who answer our phones. When you call, one will answer and help you schedule your appointment. You will not reach a voicemail or automated response.
  2. New clients frequently meet with their therapist the day following their first call. When you are ready to start your therapy, you should not have to wait.
  3. We know that people have busy lives, so we offer evening and weekend sessions.
  4. Many different insurance plans are accepted, and we work with many different insurance companies.

Call Thriveworks Grand Rapids today to meet with a therapist who offers culturally sensitive care.

Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

People Love Our Providers!

Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 23 5 1 23 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Angel

★★★★★
Angel was the sweetest person! I’m so glad I chose this place for help! I felt like a crazy person at first but she made me feel like I was just normal and just going through a lot! I really appreciate angel!
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

So Thankful

★★★★★
Thriveworks is a blessing. I got an appointment with a counselor within a week. Margaret Rose was wonderful. She was kind and insightful and I felt safe with her. I highly recommend Thriveworks Grand Rapids
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Denise-NP

★★★★★
My son saw Denise for the first time recently and she was great. She seemed very well informed in every area and so willing to help my son with his anxiety. She actually spent time with us and seemed to care. I'm so glad we found her.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Denise Skonieczny NP

★★★★★
I was in need of a psychiatrist for chronic depression and anxiety. I came across thrive having only a 4 month wait instead 9 to 12 month wait with any other psychiatrist. This was wonderful news. I met Denise as my clinician. She is very empathetic very knowledgeable. She has helped me alot sine my first vist. She is very dedicated to her patients which I truly appreciate. I would highly recommend her for any psychiatric needs. I think she goes above and beyond her role. She is a caring individual. There should be more people like Denise. She needs to be recognized for her work.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Wonderful

★★★★★
I am so pleased with my therapist, Lori. She does an outstanding job. When I read her specialties online I knew I had the right person, but when I met her for the first time I was convinced. I’ve raved about her to numerous people and have recommended Thriveworks a few times to people I know - everyone could use a Lori in their lives to help sort things out. The old adage comes to mind: “if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime.” I am learning the skills to live and navigate life circumstances. I am calmer, happier and better off than I was when I first walked through the door. I’ve been given a gift and I am most grateful for all her help.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

No compassion

★☆☆☆☆
I saw Nancy. I specifically asked for someone who SPECIALIZES in domestic abuse. I am in an abusive relationship and she kept telling me "it's your choice to stay." She always questioned why I felt things or did things, like I should have this all figured out. I'm seeking therapy because I feel like I cannot leave and I know that's not a good thing. She had no compassion for what I have been through and just said it's my choice. No addressing the pain I've been through and how I have been affected by this. I feel like I can't leave because I feel like I would fall apart if I left, but I feel like I'm dying inside the relationship. This is a whole process that occurs over a long period of time. I have no self esteem, I have tried to leave and there are so many threats and manipulation, etc. I get shit from everyone about leaving, like its as simple as that for me. I wanted compassion from a counselor. I needed validation of my feelings, not another person telling me that I choose to live like this, like I want my life to be a living hell. I realize that I do make this choice ultimately, but there is so much more to this situation and I needed to process it. I am a doormat to everyone and she just asks why I do this. I NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHY and how to change! Her tone and questioning made me feel like she was being judgemental. She is a nice person, but she is not therapeutic. I couldn't move on with her after this. It felt like she was invalidating my feelings just like the rest of the world, like nothing I feel is real and I'm crazy. I shut down. I got a letter about being non compliant, that's why. It was no longer a priority for me to go and get treated like that. She never tried to help me process my feelings, just to say positive phrases to myself and eat healthy and exercise. This stuff is good, but doesn't help me deal with the things I have been through.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Awesome!

★★★★★
I have nothing but good things to say about my therapy with Lori. I was hesitant to begin a therapy regimine without knowing anything about the therapist. After the first session I knew I had found the right person. Lori is so adept at pinpointing the problems and gives very useful ideas of how to handle them. She is very personable and easy to talk with. I will miss these sessions but I have the confidence to know I have the tools to deal with whatever comes my way. I am a much happier person!
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

All is well!

★★★★★
All is well!
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Fantastic. Look forward to future sessions

★★★★★
Fantastic. Look forward to future sessions with my son!
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

My therapist is amazing

★★★★★
My therapist is amazing she listens to everything I say she is very nice and kind I would recommend her to anybody that needs help i am so blessed to have her
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Good grasp of my problem.

★★★★★
Good grasp of my problem.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Very professional

★★★★★
Very professional. Counselor is engaging and helpful.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

I actually did not get to

★★★★★
I actually did not get to bring in my daughters due to a personal issue, but when I spoke with their therapist over the phone she was very helpful and although she isn’t my therapist she talked to me about my issue and helped me calm down preventing a panic attack that was starting. I am very thankful to her and will be rescheduling my daughters to see her.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Everything was great.

★★★★★
Everything was great. Alot of information given
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

I look forward to

★★★★★
I look forward to working with Jason.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Lori is amazing.

★★★★★
Lori is amazing. Relatable, fluid conversation. Going back next week!
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Amazing availability

★★★★★
The therapists availability is amazing. The scheduling was smooth as well as paperwork. Thank you!
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Work Wonders

★★★★★
I've had one lesson so far and I can already tell that this place is going to work wonders.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Enjoyed

★★★★★
I enjoyed having my visit at your location.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Highly Satisfied

★★★★★
My meetings with my therapist were thought provoking but humorous. We clicked together the first time I met her ten years ago. As she moves on, I know that I am able to move forward also.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Integrity!

★★★★★
Grand Rapids is an awesome place, filled with caring employees and overflowing with integrity. You can be sure that you are in good hands, and will see great changes in your life after a few sessions with these counselors.
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Wonderful

★★★★★
is wonderful - the office is beautiful, the therapists are amazing and everyone makes you feel so comfortable. Thank you, thank you!
Thriveworks Counseling Grand Rapids

Great Therapy!

★★★★★
You won't find a better therapist than Olja Haglund! She moved here recently from another practice where I originally was her patient and I "moved" here with her. If you are looking for a therapist who will give you what you need, not what you want, look no further....I highly recommend and the professionals who work here!
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Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 710 Kenmoor Ave SE Suite 100
    Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 49546

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-9:30PM
    Saturday:7AM-6PM
    Sunday:8AM-5PM

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