Mental Health Care for African Americans in Maumelle, AR—Culturally Sensitive Therapy

When she was in high school, Jinneh’s mother died, and she developed a deep depression. Jinneh went to counseling, but when her therapist prescribed an antidepressant, she never filled it. Jinneh’s friends and family members were not sure the therapist had Jinneh’s best interest in mind, and they convinced her to stop treatment. Several years later, she was still depressed when her college roommate convinced her to start treatment again. This time, Jinneh filled her prescription, continued with her treatment, and recovered from the depression. She now dedicates her life to educating others about mental health issues. Jinneh is not alone. Distrust, inadequate care, and inaccessible treatment has kept many African Americans from receiving the mental health care they needed, but times are changing according to The Washington Post story, “Therapists say African Americans are increasingly seeking help for mental illness.” Many African Americans are going to therapy and finding the treatment they deserve.

Thriveworks Maumelle understands that many roadblocks hold people back from getting therapy and that African Americans often experience more of those roadblocks than others. Our office hopes to remove as many barriers as possible, and we offer therapy that is culturally sensitive to the needs of our African American clients.

Therapy and Trust

Even though they experience the same rates of mental illness, African Americans receive therapy at half the rate as Caucasian Americans do, according a study conducted in 2010. Many reasons account for this inequality, but two big factors are inadequate and inaccessible care. In a 2012 NPR interview, Psychiatrist, Dr. William Lawson, explained, “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.” The distrust that many African Americans feel is certainly grounded and understandable, and yet, many within the African American community and many within the mental health community are working hard to rebuild trust.

What does it look like for a therapist to build trust with an African American client? At Thriveworks Maumelle we work hard to offer individualized care that also accounts for a client’s cultural context.

Some therapists talk about a “colorblind” approach to therapy, but Thriveworks Maumelle believes ignoring or downplaying race is not the best way to build trust. Instead, our therapists believe that a client’s context is important. Their race and ethnicity contribute to their identity. Instead of trying to be colorblind, we aim to be understanding and empathic. We want our clients to speak openly about anything and everything—including how race has shaped their experiences and their mental health. Our therapists work hard to understand a client’s perspective.

As trust is built and as clients feel free to share more about their lives, our therapists offer individualized care. Everyone needs a safe place where they can openly speak about their fears and struggles, traumas and triumphs, dreams and hopes, opportunities and challenges. Our therapists work hard to make counseling that safe space where clients can open up without fear or shame. Clients often set the pace for therapy and delve into issues as they are ready. No list could ever contain all the topics a client might address in therapy, but examples of issues that African American clients often raise include…

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

Dr. Jeffrey Gardere is a psychologist who runs a practice in New York City. He has observed trust being built between African Americans and therapists. He explained how 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.” Dr. Gardere’s practice has seen 20-25 percent more African American clients in the past few years.

Scheduling a Therapy Appointment at Thriveworks Maumelle

Have you considered therapy, but something is holding you back? We understand that there are many roadblocks to seeking out mental health care, but we want to remove as many as those barriers as possible. If you think that therapy is the right next step for you, know that Thriveworks Maumelle is ready to help. We have appointments available.

When you contact our office to schedule a therapy appointment, here are a few things we have done to make that process as easy as we could…

  1. A real person answers our phones and helps our clients schedule their appointments.
  2. We do not have a voicemail or an automated response system.
  3. Weekend and evening sessions are offered.
  4. We do not keep a wait list so you will never be put on one.
  5. Our office works with many different insurance companies, and many different insurance plans are accepted.

If you are ready to meet with a therapist, the professionals at Thriveworks Maumelle are ready to meet with you. We offer culturally sensitive therapy, and we have appointments available. Call today.

Thriveworks Counseling

People Love Our Providers!

Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 16
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Thriveworks Counseling Maumelle

Better than I imagined!!!

I cannot say enough good about this place. They honestly do strive to get you in to see a practitioner quickly...Read more

. And the importance of being seen soon to someone who is at a bad psychological point cannot be understated. It can, literally, mean the difference between life and death. After years of no longer being able to trust mental health providers due to so much misdiagnosis I reached out to Thriveworks. I asked for a particular practitioner, and they had me in to see her the following day. Kristy's approach was welcoming, empathetic, friendly, and down-to-earth. She did not speak down to me as a patient, but she made a comfortable effort to connect from the beginning. Gaining my trust over several weeks she was able to start showing me some things no one ever took the time to extract. She found me at the precipice of a terrible situation and worked me back from the ledge. Her input to Zack, along with his personable and empathetic personality, finally got me on medications that actually have improved my situation more than I could have ever imagined. The combination of her therapy and the medications have me, for the first time in decades, recognizing a hope for the future. All I can say is if you are that person who has lost hope and feels as though you have no purpose, let the Thriveworks team have a chance to show you a you even you didn't know existed. Without hyperbole I can honestly say I owe my life going forward to Kristy and Zack.

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Thriveworks Counseling Maumelle


After working with Zack for a year I would say that he is very dependable and does show concern for his patien...Read more

ts. There is never any problem with following hospital policy. Always a good man to have on your team.

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Thriveworks Counseling Maumelle

Zack’s Great

Zacks a wonderful guy to see. He really listens to all your concerns and explains your treatment options in de...Read more

tail. Anyone that sees him is going to feel comfortable talking to him and not have that feeling as if your talking to a stranger.

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Thriveworks Counseling

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

  • 102 Country Club Pkwy a
    Maumelle, AR 72113

  • Mon-Fri:8AM-9PM

It’s Time to Start a Relationship with a Thriveworks Counselor

It’s not easy, but we’re extremely selective about the counselors, psychologists, and coaches that join our practice. Experience a provider with skill and passion for helping clients make meaningful advances in their lives, relationships, careers, and happiness.

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