Afrocentric approaches to mental health care.

Afrocentric approaches to mental health care. In this episode we counter the narratives that all mental health care is based solely from a Eurocentric perspective. The best approach to care for people of color is to take a “generalist” approach to care that leads the individualized client experience and needs as the basis for your treatment plan. 

Finding happy seven steps to relationships that will not steal your joy is the new book by me Nikita Banks, a licensed psychotherapist and life strategist, leverage the knowledge and you’ll receive in this book to help you with the process of obtaining absolute clarity. Through the use of Guided Self exploration. This process is necessary to help you master all your relationships in 2019 and beyond going to or black therapists podcast calm and grab your copy of the book guaranteed to help you redesign all your relationships based on two basic principle, health and happiness. Get your copy today. Welcome to the black therapist podcast, the black therapist podcasters podcast where we discuss the unique issues people of color face with dealing with mental health issues and mental health diagnosis. Now if you are new to our show, I am your host author a life strategist. psychotherapist Nikita Banks in private practice in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. I am available for adult psychotherapy and coaching sessions. And you can find more information about that on my website Nikita Banks. com you can listen to our podcast everywhere podcasts are found Apple podcast, Google Play YouTube, SoundCloud, PIPA, Stitcher, I Heart Radio and black therapists podcast com. If you are mental health advocate or a therapist and you want to buy our podcast merchandise, you can do so by visiting our site. And if you want access to our free mental health tips, free online trainings, discounted selective services and resources do so by joining our mailing list by texting get happy, all one word 266866 if you love the podcast, please like comment and share. We love to hear from you. And if you want to send me some feedback, guest suggestions or simply to say hey, you can contact us at our website, black therapists Please be mindful that this episode and all the information that we provide here is just a resource and a tool to help get you started on your mental health journey. If you are feeling any mental health distress or you having any significant issues, please feel free to reach out to us so that we can find you a mental health provider in your area. Okay, let’s go. Hey, hey, hope you miss me. Now, it is a second week in October we had survived. I think black Mental Health Week was that wasn’t what it was or mental health awareness week. I don’t know something was last week, but it was also my birthday last week. So if you are a subscriber, then you noticed that there wasn’t a show last week. If you haven’t subscribed, subscribe. I don’t know why you haven’t. But yeah, last week, we we took I took some time off because I celebrated my birthday. And you guys have been following me for a while. You know, my birthday is super duper duper charged with emotional triggers. All over the place. And so I planned an evening out with my friends something low key, I usually try to do something like really simple. going out with my friends, I believe next year I’m just going to go on vacation. Hopefully I can take a few friends with me. But if I go by myself, that would be really really cool too. And so

yeah, I have plans with my with my partner but I was like, My birthday is kind of charged. I really rather just hang out with my friends. So that’s what I did. And it became an impromptu


party ish thing. Like we really supposed to go out to this party that I like going to because I get to go there and not be pretentious and I get to drink and have a good time and hang out with my friends and the guys all love me and the girls cool. And there’s never been any violence or any issues at this party and the DJ is Usually rum. So I’m like, let’s just go where we usually go. So I celebrated a week early. And if you’ve listened to the show before, obviously, you know that my son’s birthday and my birthday is the same day. And so I’m really used to spending celebrating my birthday either not on my birthday or before my birthday or after my birthday because you know, if you’re, you have a kid on your birthday, you end up making cake and ice cream for somebody else on your birthday. So I don’t know if you guys have noticed. A few weeks ago, we started a new segment called what would you do? And I don’t remember what the last what would you do? Was I’m sorry. But the what would you do for this week is about events, right? So I did have a lot of people that showed up for me for my birthday. Shout out to everybody that showed I did have some people who was like, You know what, I’m not going to be able to make And then I have some people who always come and they weren’t able to make it and I’m, I’m appreciative of them. But then there are those people who RSVP and said they was going to come and they gave me excuses and they called and they called in and they didn’t show up. Or they gave me some stupid excuse

me, well, I’m a

I’m a whole human being and a fully grown being right I’m, I’m fully grown highly seasoned right with Lowry’s, I get that everybody has their own personal stuff, but I also don’t understand why we live in an age of people who don’t show up for you expect you to show up for them and then they go radio silent after, like some people haven’t heard from at all like not a birthday wish. Well, my actual birthday came which was Friday, not a phone call. And so I got into a conversation with a friend of mine. And we started talking about an event that she had recently shout out to you. I don’t want to call your name but she Was she was very disappointed because she had celebrated an event and nobody showed up for her. And I really want to know how you guys handle that. I mean, I think I handled it pretty well. I’m going to probably have a conversation with the person with several people but one person in particular, I’m going to have a conversation with because I feel like friendship is about who you can, who you can depend on, especially at this day and age like you get older. You want to have good friendships you want to be able to count count your friend

in for certain things you want to know that you can show up for that I’ll show up for you. And if you can’t just tell me like I’m a big girl, I can make other plans for myself.

All right, so guys, if you have a friend or family member or somebody that you always show up for and they don’t show up for you, what would you do? If you invited them to an event and they did not call you did not cancel on you. They just didn’t show up and then you haven’t heard from them for a few days later. Like what was You do? How do you resolve this issue? And and, and not calling them at all is not an option or not speaking to them at all. It’s not an option like we have to be adults about how we resolve issues. And so what approach was you would you, you take to

resolve the issue in a adult,

more evolved manner. Alright, there’s somebody that you love and you care for and you support not somebody that you can throw away. When that’s somebody that you you feel it that you want to throw away because you’re saying I never speak to them again. That’s, that’s the easy way out sometimes emotionally. So I’m saying this is somebody that you love and you support you want them to know that, hey, I need you to show up for me the way that I show up for you like how would you address that? Okay, and I will tell you how I would deal with that on next week’s show. And so, I’m going to get into this show, so I follow someone’s count on me. Graham and I saw this post and I’m not gonna lie rub me a little bit the wrong way. So I’m going to read it. I’m not going to call no names. Not today, no shots fired on this is definitely not subs but I thought that it was a really good topic to talk about today. It was emotional for me. When I read it, I kind of felt like it rubbed me the wrong way and I feel like it needs addressing in this forum, so I’m gonna have Yeah, I’m just gonna read the post. Okay. All right. So the post says, therapy is an inherently colonial Eurocentric, individualistic, misogynistic paradigm.

Who, okay,

the comment or the caption? I have concerns about therapy therapy plus 2019 equals archaic people need a variety of tools to embark on healing period. I’m a critical lover of music. Crap hands before you become defensive therapist check your shit and look at how you to have become colonized by the systems. First of all, this person is a therapist, honestly that off top, who identifies themselves as therapists. I don’t know what you know, I don’t know nobody on lot. Right? There is a heavy emphasis on individual issues as though a person’s life is in a vacuum. The person seeking support is viewed as sick or mentally ill. Why do we use these medical words to depict support once a week 45 to 60 minutes per session. What are the structures in place for the other six days and 23 hours? treatment periods I don’t know what that means. Groups are inherently a part of most therapy for outside groups aren’t inherently a part of most therapy practices. is not as a choice as a collective necessity. Presenting problems that’s in quotes. A board gets to the I’m sorry, a board gets to decide who should practice therapy and who shouldn’t despite years of schooling and unpaid labor, internships, no contact for two years post therapy. This is violent Eurocentric AF and traumatic especially for those living with attachment released late it difficulties. See one therapists slash practitioners at a time. No duplication of services. God forbid we collaborate and provide a person with the agency to ask for what they need. Trauma etymology, but etiology sorry, symptoms and theories. Plural should be man Dettori Foundation. courses and grad programs with therapists, social workers, counselors and psychiatry SCBT, which is cognitive behavioral therapy? Yes helpful. I love a good cognitive distortion combo and what’s wider than focusing on your thoughts over and over and willing yourself to stop it? I know I know. I’m simplifying sounds like restriction to me. We treat grief abort, Bush and miscarriage and infertility as one time events to get past rather than points of complex trauma. We are not mandated to look at our own histories of privilege and oppression and incorporate it into our therapy. No focus is placed on helping those we work with to connect with activists, organizations, groups to facilitate change outside of the room. Are we create I’m sorry, are we considering economic barriers to care? We need to prescribe rest We expect the systems that harm us to bring us to the river of health. This is the definition of insanity. Tell me people what would you like to add to this song? I read this post and immediately I was like, Damn, this is cringe worthy. And I’m I hope that the goal was to start a dialogue. You know, I love me a good dialogue. I saw I think I commented on the post something very simple like girl you oversimplify simplifying what it is that I do. But I wanted to take time today to number one, explain to you dismantle this, this this thinking. I’m going to dismantle this making completely. Number to explain to you why this is. Is adds to the stigma of black people not getting therapy and it feeds into this narrative that this is just the white institution and think something that’s good for white people to do and black people Shouldn’t be involved in it. And it’s not made for us. It’s a system not built for us. We know that.


you know, there are leading psychological theories that are based on Afro centric care and treatment for our complex trauma and our shared history across the diaspora. So the fact that a therapist who calls herself being inclusive, being culturally competent, being culturally responsive would give such a well thought out argument against general therapy with generalize therapists in this manner, and trivialize what it is that

I do as a black therapist. And what

this person does as a therapist of color. I’m not sure if she’s black or whatever, cuz I mean, I just see a lot of memes and stuff like this on her page, but I don’t know if this end and the patient’s pretty popular? I don’t know if, if they understand that it is not a positive view of what we do in therapy. Okay, so I’m gonna break this down point by point. And then I’m gonna try to make the points that I just made, but I probably forgot what the three points that I just made. I know. I’m just gonna break this down. Hopefully I cover those points because I’m going to forget, okay. Therapy is an inherently colonial Eurocentric, individualistic, misogynistic paradigm. I don’t know about anybody else. But when I, when I studied restorative practice, there’s restorative practices, nothing but Indian healing circles. If you don’t know anything about restorative practice or restorative justice, it is this dis brand new. And I say that in air quotes, why people got got a hold of what we use as a talking stick. If anybody knows anything about Native American history, a talking steak and sitting in a perfect circle to to hash out your issues that is Native American. So to you to say that all therapeutic practices are based and I’m generalizing because I feel like this is general is based on a Eurocentric, colonial and individualistic practice is not true. The majority of the things that we heal in my practice is family dynamics. teaching people how to work within their family system, teaching them how to succeed and largest society. Now Now we do live in a cot colonial lies society. You will never hear me not say that, you know white, white thinking. Your centric ideas are dominant in most environments. Yes, it is predominant in therapy. But that doesn’t but to say therapy isn’t inherently colonial, Eurocentric, individualistic, misogynistic paradigm, that’s a large leap, and it negates the people who are people of color in this environment that are doing the work. Like this person says that they’re doing like Dr. Ralph Billings is doing with dismantling racism, and I’m going to name a lot more because it’s not just I know most of us know about Freud and Gestalt, and Freud’s daughter, and Maslow. I know that a lot of if you think about it, yes, it is Eurocentric because a lot of these the theories that we studied in school, a Eurocentric, but but the theories that I employ in my practice, is all Afro centric, their Afro centric So to generalize all therapies and therapeutic values to Europe, and Eurocentric idea is Bs, and it feeds into the stigma and the narrative that black people should not be going to therapy. I have concerns about therapy therapy plus 2019 equals archaic. Okay, I guess if you think so, people need about variety of tools to embark on healing, who doesn’t employ a variety of tools who doesn’t employ a variety of tools, if you are a therapist and you are only doing 14 days diapers or step therapy,

psycho analysis,

or CVT, or DBT or NDMR, whatever, that everybody’s the rage about right now, or tapping or attachment theory. If you’re only using one of those theories, shame on you. Shame on you. I’m an artist. With my shit and I like to use all the tools at my, at my disposal. If I’ve tried, I’ve trained in it if I’ve learned it, if I’ve mastered it, if it if it brings a reduction of symptoms to some of my clients and an improvement in life to others, then I’m happy to use it

in my practice,

so people need a variety of tools to embark on healing. I am a critical level of my friend, my craft hence before you come, become defensive, yada, whatever. Look at how you two have been colonized by the systems. I fight the system every single day. Because I’m a black therapist, who works in all black neighborhood who sees the majority black clients that I choose. That choose me. This is not that what I see when I see clients on a psychiatric unit, their Jewish clients that don’t want to be bothered with Me, because they will tell me straight off the bat, Yo, I go to somebody in my my mom, synagogue, my rabbis gonna find me somebody let me know immediately you’re not in my community, I’m not really messing with you but they don’t have a choice but to see me because of the nature of the work that I do in that setting. But even in that setting, as a clinician,

I have a choice to say whether or not I want to see that client, I transfer clients all

the time.

So me as a therapist, I have the autonomy,

the autonomy to see what clients I want to see. And me being a black therapist, in private practice in in the hood in the hood that raised me see my community is an act of revolutionary act. So to say that I’m colonized by the system is, I take offense to that, personally and I’m not getting defensive One thing about about me and I’ve probably said it 1000 times on the show, I’m extremely introspective. Okay, so there’s that. There’s a heavy emphasis on individual issues as though a person lives in a vacuum.

The only

variable you can control in society is yourself. And even God, if you believe in God, even God allows us the ability to choose to worship him or not. Why would there not be an emphasis on individual issues when when you have to deal with yourself as an individual? This is a treatment. This is a treatment of mind, thoughts, feelings, emotion and behavior, mastery. That’s what we do in therapy.

So why would it not be

about the individual you have to start at with the individual with your own individual experiences with where you are. So yeah, there’s a lot of work and a heavy emphasis on individual issues. That is not all we do. That’s not all we do. If you grew up in in a traumatic environment and you suffered trauma, you’ve been molested, you’ve been raped, you’ve you’ve had your experience dismissed and denied by your family. Your mother was a crackhead or you grew up in foster care. You never knew your father. Like how how can you deal with the family system? Well, a lot of us are in denial about the these situations that we’ve grown up in a lot of our families still shame us into silence. How are we going to deal with the family stuff that we don’t deal with the individual issues? So yes, there is a heavy emphasis on individuality because we all have the individual freedom and autonomy to choose and decide who we become in life, how we are represented in society, how we move to life in this system and become very successful with the roles that we we choose to to involve ourselves in the roles that we play in society, at large in our community and in our families. It’s just


That’s not all we do. I do couples counseling, I do family counseling, I do

critical intervention. I do work with children, which is family work, which is systems work, I do all of that stuff. So let’s not make an assumption. The person seeking support is viewed as sick or mentally ill. Why are we using these medical words to depict support. I don’t have a choice in that because most black people would pay my rate. I would not legally be obligated to put that the person is sick or mentally ill the majority of the clients that I see they don’t they’re not sick or mentally ill, the majority of clients that I see they have mental health issues. The majority of the clients, I see if I have to give them a diagnosis, it’s adjustment disorder with mood disturbance or mood regulation, or this idea where anxiety not that doesn’t mean you’re anxious all the time. That means that you have your say sense of safety is in jeopardy. I don’t have a choice of whether or not I put a diagnosis on the one I’m let me Okay, well, I guess in that point that yes, how I have been colonized by the systems. I work in a system. I don’t know any anybody that doesn’t work in a system. Most of us all work in a system. So I work in a system and in order to get paid, I have to put a diagnosis down on a piece of paper unless you pay Me cash. And even still, if you pay me cash, I still have to give you a diagnosis that’s between you and I. And it can be grief. It could be bereavement,

it could be adjustment disorder. It could be, it could be loss, it could be a personality disorder, it could be a personality type. It could be a particular presenting issue that we’re treating, like it’s not everything is not all schizophrenia, and labeling or labeling or like it’s not all that bad. But if more people invested in what happens inside of their heads and spend money on that instead of like, bundles in like earrings and stuff, and I’m not judging because I got bundles and right now. We wouldn’t have to work within the system. I have to work it within the world that I am presented with you guys. How was born in 1800s I’m not born in 2027 This is where I am right now. And I have to succeed in the environments that I am and I have to make the changes and investments that I’m making right now. Okay, once a week 45 minutes away, I want to go back person seeking support is you that sick or mentally ill? Why do we use? Are we using medical words to depict support we work in a medical system number one, number two, we do that for billing. Number three, we do that so that we can use evidence based practice to help people reduce symptoms and when I say reduce with symptom reduction, that means whatever emotional disturbance or life disturbance or issue is discernment, that is, is there as a result of the stressor. We need to be able to find out what the symptoms are, what the problems are. Most people don’t come to me, some people come to me and they say, Well, I think I’m depressed. Right? And I say what does that mean? They have a lack of concentration. They have a, you know, mood regulation issue. They’re crying a lot this You’re thinking about death or preoccupied with dying or they have a fear of death that’s overwhelming. They’re eating too much or eating too little. They’re, they’re suffering from insomnia or they’re sleeping too much, right? They have a lack of energy. I’m not nobody comes to me to treat depression, everybody comes to me to treat those symptoms. So I have to know what what makes you believe that you are depressed? It’s no different than when I go to a mechanic and I say, Oh, my car won’t start. And then they asked me, Well, what happened? You put the key in and then what? Did you hear the noise? Did it make? You guys know what I mean? When I say when I say it, that means the starter is going right if it made that little noise, if nothing happens, and there’s no lights on, that means that the battery is dead, right? If it starts and then it rumbles a little and it shuts off. That means that Yes, again, you probably don’t have no gas, right? It may be the alternator. Like you can’t fix it if you don’t know what the problem is. That’s all symptoms are symptoms is what’s wrong now? What’s wrong with you? Okay, um, once a week, 45 minutes, 60 minutes per session. What are the structures in place with the other six days and 23 hours not everybody comes in for 45 minutes, 60 minutes per session once a week. There are people that go to therapy five days a week. There are people that go to therapy three days a week, there are people that come to therapy twice a week. There’s people that come through once a week, there’s people that come to therapy once every other week. The structures are in place the other six and the six days and 23 hours. Guess what? I can’t control my clients. My clients can’t control me. There. They’re not. They don’t live inside of my therapy practice. They have to live in society. So you have to take what I teach them. Let’s take what I give them and see if they can actually go out in society and function. to kind of go outside society and function. I go to therapy every week, myself. And then I gotta go outside and see if I remember what I was taught. Same with school, saying with church. These are systems. No, I don’t know what’s wrong with that treatment period. I don’t know what that means.

I don’t know that means.

Groups are inherently apart. Oh, I’m sorry. I keep saying art. Groups aren’t inherently a part of most therapy practice, not as a choice as a collective necessity.

Not everybody needs to be in groups.

There are a lot of people who have trust issues.

I was recently asked to to run a women’s group in Brooklyn, New York.

I have Saturday hours, I’m really considering doing one for Saturday.

My only concern with it is that


is a factor for a lot of us. We don’t trust other women, a lot of us we don’t trust other members of our community, it becomes very hard to share. Somebody usually dominates group time. You even if you have group therapy, you should get individual


That’s just my thought.

But I’ve worked in plenty of places I don’t do do groups where I am right now. And like I said, that’s just for a matter of time. However, I’ve been telling you guys I’ve been I’ve been planning to do online therapy groups for a really long time. And that’s something that I’m definitely going to going to be starting In 20 2022, was in 2019. If you are interested in our online therapy groups, make sure that you sign up to our mailing list and whenever I send you the next email, just let me know you want to be on our group therapy stuff and we can we can discuss any issues that you want to I think online group therapy, actually will probably work a little bit better because people will be able to kind of maintain a sense of anonymity and say what they want to and be able to feel included. But for a lot of people group work is really really difficult and not something that they can do because there are trust issues, and group cohesion has to be done. For a clinician it’s extremely difficult to do group work. That’s why you heard me give out my rates early $240 is what I charge for two people in the room. I really charge a lot more for group rates and I’m I know that for a lot of people $240 for me making seems like it’s it’s expensive, but number one I live in Brooklyn, New York, my brain is expensive. The number two is a lot of work. Because when you do group work, you have to hold space for everybody in the group, you have to make sure that everybody is respectful, you have to make sure that any issues in the group is resolved in the group before you leave the group. And you have to make sure that everybody is respectful of the fact that what is said in the group is anonymous, kind of like, what is the Alcoholics Anonymous or


I’ve never gone to those groups, but I have sat in the groups just because of the nature of my work. But


it becomes a very difficult and specialized form a therapy that not everybody can take to analyze if you are paranoid schizophrenia, you’re not supposed to be in a group with a bunch of people talking to you. You got trust issues. If you are a narcissist, you may not want to be in a group or you are you don’t may not want a narcissist in the group. So the SR insights of personality disorders and certain types of diagnosis says that do not do well in groups. So that’s very general it should not group should never be should never be mandatory, unless it’s part of a judicial system. And that is what it is, unless you’re mandated and you’re mandated client, you got to go to groups for whatever reason, and you are dangerous to society, then yes, that that’s a whole nother thing. I don’t have nothing to take. I don’t really have an opinion on that. But in terms of like general people seeking therapy, they should not have to be in groups on a mandatory basis, not helpful.

What I will say is that I do find that group work for certain environments for certain people is extremely helpful. If you have social anxiety groups could could present a challenge to you, but they may also help you get over those things. If you are dealing with grief or dealing with a family member who has mental health issues, you definitely want have groups support. So I’m not saying no to groups as a whole, but I am saying that groups should be voluntary to a certain to a certain extent. And there are some therapeutic reasons that people should be put in groups for their own benefit.

Okay, so where was I?

A boy gets to decide who should practice therapy and who should and despite years of schooling, unpaid labor internships, yes, yes, we should have award. We should have a board and if you if you don’t like the way things are doing at the board, you should fight for your seat at the table. There’s NSW, there’s black Association of Social Workers. There’s black association of psychologists. There are a lot of our own boards that we can be on and be heard and make sure that we have a cultural, culturally competent platform on these Boys, but yes, I want my therapist to be board certified. And I want them to know, I want to know that they are able to meet the necessary standards and criteria across the board, despite years of schooling and despite being able to pass internships because let me tell you, as somebody who has supervised interns, there are some people out here who can go to school who could pass the school work who have absolutely no business working with people of color.

Absolutely no business working with vulnerable populations.

Absolutely no business working with people who are marginalized.

Absolutely not.

So So if there’s one extra barrier to weed out bad apples, I’m for it.

And for it,

no contact for two years post therapy. This is violent. I don’t even know which wishy washy means because I speak to my therapist all the time. Not all the time. I’m not calling him on the phone. It’s not not crossing the boundaries. But there have been times that I’ve, I’ve not gone to therapy for a year and I called them and I was like, I need to come in and he was like, come in. And there’s been times my clients and I have terminated but they were like, you know what I like to come in and I’ll let them come back. So I don’t know what that’s about no contact post therapy. That’s not a New York thing. What thing you need to stay said I’m licensed MC one therapist practitioner at a time they’ll duplication of services, God forbid we collaborate and provide a person with the agency to ask for what they need. That’s not true. I have clients who are in individual counseling with me. I have clients who are in marital counseling with someone else. I have clients who I include counseling somewhere else.

Clients see psychiatrists that I collaborate with.

I’ve referred clients who come to me for couples counseling to a colleague for individual counseling and we we collaborate, so I’m not really sure where I don’t know what that means. Trauma etiology symptoms and theories, plural should be mandatory foundational courses in grad school. For therapists and social workers that’s pre supposing that they’re not like I took courses on trauma, I took courses on complex trauma. Lots of courses on trauma symptoms. So I’m not really sure what she’s talking about. CBT Yes, how awful I love a good cognitive distortion combo and what’s wider than focusing on your thoughts over and over and willing yourself to stop it. I know I’m simplifying with you know, you simplify and then why would you put that out there to the world. Like why would you put an incorrect depiction of what it is that we do when we’re doing cognitive behavioral therapy? And you’re teaching somebody to master their thoughts to master their emotions to master their actions. Why would you simplify it?

We treat grief abortion miscarriage infertility as a one time events to get past rather than points of complex trauma who treats them like that it is complex trauma.

Nobody treats it as a one time thing.

Nobody does

if you’re a good therapist, so I don’t know what they mean. We are not mandated to look at our own histories of privilege and oppression and incorporate that into our therapy. Who is we ci Hey,

Because I checked my privilege every single day.

I know that I’m privileged.

I live in an environment where I have access to the best social services care, probably in any other state. I have access to

top notch medical care whether I, whether I do or don’t have

medical services, get Medicaid or whatever. There’s no barriers to that. Our state facilities in New York City are top notch. I mean, relatively speaking, I wouldn’t say that if you went to Brookdale or wood Hall.

You know what I’m saying? Like, even in those places, you’re going to get decent psychiatric care.

I know that. I’m probably more employable than some black men but still earn less than them. I still I know that I’ve gone to an Ivy League university or what postgraduate have I’ve gone to, like, I’ve gotten a pretty good education. I’m educated, I’m smart, I’m black, I’m able body. I have two legs. Both my eyes and ears work. I’m not mute. I’m in my right mind. So yeah, I got privileges and I know those things and I bring them into standard, hetero. I bring all those things to my sessions, who says that I don’t think about them. And we are mandated to look at our histories of privilege and oppression. But not a lot of us are able to incorporate it into our therapy. That I will agree with more people who are not people of color Have to do more work. That’s one thing I will say about NYU, the dismantling racism course that I took an NYU it was an elective, and it shouldn’t have been. So that’s one thing that I will agree with that some are not mandated or we’re not mandated. That’s a fact not an invite us program. I can’t speak about anybody else’s. But you do have to take oppression, racism, diversity, and privilege in it at NYU square. So then we are mandated because you have to take that as a drop class, diversity, racism, oppression and poverty. That’s a mandated course. And you do have to examine your race and your privilege and the oppression of marginalized societies in America and look at the history of that in American society. You do have to do that in that class. But whether or not you do that the individual work, there’s no gun to any of our heads telling us we got to do any of this. No focus is placed on helping those we work with connect with activists organizing groups to facilitate change outside of the room lies. I am a social worker. Which means and I’ve said this many times what I love about social work is I don’t only do diagnosis and treatment, but I also create access to services that that are outside of me. You have heard me on the shows that I’ve done some of my clients resumes, I have sent them for housing, I’ve done housing applications. I’ve saved people from losing their section eight

SSI apps.


Community, what is it called? community based organizations. blanked out. Yeah, for me, oh. And most of most of the social workers that I know do do that.

And we do it wherever We are

they are hospital social workers that I know that do that to to how we say this wrong to 2010. If you live in New York to 2022 2010, he is a housing application that you can apply for if you are, if you have a mental health diagnosis. Anybody here knows that New York housing is a commodity. But if you could get somebody to do that application for you and to submit you a bio psychosocial you are

ahead of the game. That application is not done in hospitals, but I know hospital social workers who do them.

I know hospital social workers who buy clothes for the clients.

And make sure that when they’re discharged from hospitals, they have places to live and places to go. So don’t tell me that we were not connecting them with community based organized organization. Because a lot of us do I make referrals to services all day, every day. Are we considering economic barriers to care? Yes, I am considering economic barriers to care. And for that I have created a mental health course if you guys are interested in it, you could reply with no, don’t reply where you are, go to black darkness go to black purpose, podcast calm, and you’ll be able to go get the free course there are free and low cost therapy sessions that you can get in communities all across the country. You don’t have to come to me. And there are a number of resources. A lot of therapists see clients on a sliding scale. I still see clients in environments where they don’t pay my full rate. I still do am you know, I take some of the Medicaid health plans in New York City, not I’m a private practice but in other places that I work and so you still going Get the same care from me whether you pay my full rate or whether you get you come do an insurance based plan or a place based plan. Or if you come into some of the other places that I consult at, you’re going to still get the same quality of care. We need to prescribe rest. I can’t control whether or not people rest. I wish I could afford to rest. That’s me. I wish I could afford to I took five days off for vacation. My my consulting job kept calling me and asking me why are you going to work? Are you gonna work? Are you going to work my birthday, no amount of work today. But I have the luxury to afford to say I’m going to take five days off and do nothing and I’m still working. I’m doing this show. Right now. Within the five days, I gotta do my social media stuff. Within the five days. I have other projects that I’m working on within the five days, I just need to leave my house. I don’t have to see clients. And guess what clients still booked me for tomorrow that I’m probably going to still see but that’s my This question, I can’t tell somebody who is living, you know, earning a living wage and they’re not the sole breadwinner in their family that they should rest. That’s arrogant in his classes. And it’s out of touch. And it’s off base. And it’s not fair. It’s elitist. We expect the system that haunt us to bring us to the river of health, but this is the definition of insanity.

While I can’t disagree with that statement,

I don’t see anybody going back to Africa. I mean, I’m going in January, but I’m going for a wedding. I understand. I’m getting the roundtrip ticket, you know, I’m saying like, I don’t see anybody else going back to their court country of origin. I see all of us creating roots in this system, because regardless of what’s going on in society, regardless of what’s going on politically, regardless of that asshole of a president that we have right now hope the mph regardless of all of us. things. This is what we have, at the core, the core value of social work. And the core value of therapeutic intervention is to be able to teach people to navigate the environment that they currently live in. Now all of us have access to just get up and leave. Not all of us have access to just change our environment. If we live in an environment that has high crime and high poverty and low wages and all easy not not everybody can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. So it’ll be like oh, wow, the system the system, what is the alternative? If I can’t learn to navigate the system that I live in the system that I can’t possibly by myself while I’m working two jobs and you know, working a minimum wage job and trying to go to school and raising my children, and you know, fighting the system and trying to keep the rain off my face, and a roof over my Hey, I can’t possibly go out and be an activist at the same time. And it’s arrogant for me to tell somebody that that’s what they should do. They should just be spending all of their time dismantling the system, what is the alternative? Because you really have two choices. You can either dismantle the system, brick by brick,

or play it again. And you can’t

dismantle a system without understanding it. You can’t dismantle the system without engaging in it. You can’t just dismantle the system you you’re never going to be able to win a game if you don’t know the rules and loopholes. And where you fit in, and how you can navigate and get over. The crux of what I talked about on this show is how I utilized the white clinicians that I had to work with who were stepping stones to get me to be at a place that I can be autonomous in my career and work with my community. I spoke last week at an event shout out to parents with teens for inviting me to bear fruit Academy to come and talk to the group of parents about deputy interventions for teenagers as well as themselves. But there was one only white woman and I had to be honest with them in the group and I said, Hey, I am a clinician of color who works with majority clients of color in my community. I grew up in Bed Stuy. So with we have black history, which I didn’t think was was a radical idea. We had a black I had a black hat, black ministers, homeowners, all annual homeowners in the neighborhood, they were all black. My grandfather owned my property. My father, my Auntie’s. My mother, my stepfather, my grandparents, like I grew up in this kind of environment of black autonomy. And so coming back to get an emotional coming back to best thought to be a therapist in my community, being able To treat people who are know intimately, not because I know them know them, but because I know their stories. I know their histories. I know we have a shared cultural identity, and to listen to them tell me about the issues that they face at moving around in black skin. In a community that used to be black that is now gentrified and not knowing their place in society. I hold a space for them. So to negate all of what black clinicians who are radically, proudly black and I will say, I don’t know all black clinicians all across the globe, but I will say that there is probably a majority of black clinicians across the globe who do what I do rather than what she is talking about. If you are listening to me and you are interested in learning about black psychology, And schools of black psychological thoughts I’m going to just read off some names of some things and some people that you can look into

name Akbar. Irene at well

I’m just have to skip that name y’all can’t pronounce it sorry, Albert Sidney Beckman. JOHN Henry broadhead or broadhead Herman George Kennedy? Candace and made me Clark Hey, I know them. Robert Prentiss Daniel Byron window Eagleson. Carlton Benjamin, God let Ruth Winifred Howard Jah, AJ Martin, David Jenkins, Reginald L. Jones. Roof g King Howard hell long Wade nobles JOHN he big museum. Oh shoot he had the sound that out y’all on as Beverly process. Francis Cecil Sumner. Charles Henry Thompson. Alberto banner Turner. Frederick pain watts. Bobby E. Right. Howard Emory. Right. I’ve also studied myself under Reverend billons, he is not black but I can talk to you about him another time but he does undoing racism workshop here in New York. those are those are just some. I think, I want to say everybody knows about Francis crease welling. Walsingham sorry. She was an actual centric psychiatrists. She’s author of the ISIS paper and keys to the color. Who else who else Dr. Kenneth Hardy. He is a piece DE and he works at Drexel University. He does a lot of Afro centric therapy. So if you’re looking if you are a therapist and you’ve never heard of these people, I suggest that you look into them. If you are not a black therapist, I also suggest that you add them to your repertoire. Dr. Joy group de Bry, the guru, I don’t know how to say a name. I’m sorry, I’ll post traumatic slave syndrome. She’s another one that you want to look at. I love her. I can’t wait to see her see her speak I’ve done a lot of studied a lot of her talks can have hardy I’ve seen speak also Dr. Khawaja consume if you raise black boys, this was actually the first book that I’ve ever read that made me want to get into psychology. He has a book anthology called countering the conspiracy to destroy black boys. If you raise a black son, me being a mother as a black son, the book I had the Holy Ghost in all kinds of things, reading this book. So Dr. Koh Want Kwanzaa joyful, and it’s horrible to spell socking I’m not gonna spell it. But I do know that that’s how you pronounce it in the book is called countering the conspiracy to destroy black boys.

If you want to be

a clinician who is a clinician of color and a clinician that is going to make changes in D colonize and dismantle the system. I suggest that you be in it.

You be in it.

And while I don’t disagree with the premise of what she was trying to say, I do think she made some accurate points. I do think that the post was extremely general and it had the ability to turn people away from therapy by dismissing the idea is that a lot of people are dismissing it for what people think it is and

it was just kind of like playing into the base almost. And wow, I am not a clinician

that will say that Everything she said was wrong, because I don’t believe that everything that she said was wrong. I think that the forum, the tenor and the tone of how she communicated anything in general, as if this is what

all therapists do was bullshit.

It was bullshit.

And we as black clinicians, specifically, we need to, if you truly love your community, then you have to be as specific as possible.

To not call it this experience for people of color. I am one of those people that can tell you

and I’m can tell you that a lot of people that I know can tell you black that therapy has saved their lives, and I am lucky enough to have a culturally competent therapist who is not black, but I know that that is a rarity.

And I know he’s a unicorn

in that way.

But I also know that there are other white clinicians that I have worked with, who are culturally competent, who are definitely allies who want to learn from us who recognize and understand that client is the authority over their culture and over their story, and we are only there to help them.

Okay, so I hope that you liked it.

Did you like the show it felt

really, really long I was tripping over my words and everything. I’m tired. I’m still on birthday mode. So I’m going to go out somewhere and find myself something to eat and something to drink right now, but I just really want you guys to know that there are a lot of us out here who are doing the work. And I want you to give therapy a chance if you haven’t gone to therapy if you’ve been curious about it. I have a course that I talk about what happens in your first therapy session and have a course we talk about how to support friends and family members who have our newly diagnosed how to support yourself if you’re newly diagnosed, what to expect from your first session. It’s on my website. It’s called mentally fit. And you can go on Nikita Banks calm and get a link to the course the course is free. You can also go


black therapists podcast calm, and it should be a link there.

Okay. Oh if you haven’t joined

our mailing list Make sure to consider now if you want the course I can send it to you if you join the mailing list, I answer every single email on our mailing list and over the next few weeks we’re going to be running a opportunity that you will be able to work directly with me for low costs and free options. Okay, because

I know y’all know I want to give back I’m always giving you all back.

Oh, and if you want to advertise at the show, make sure you contact me directly. We are growing this year we have over 100,000 downloads we will do I suggest will do double that this you know in the next year if not more than That I’m trying to get to a half a

million this year and I

think we can do it but if you guys want to advertise with on the show make sure to contact me as well

okay all right well

thank you guys for listening to another episode of black their podcast once again you can follow us on all our social media sites at Black Bear podcast on Instagram and on Twitter as well as black in therapy on Facebook or you can follow your hosts me Miss MS in IK I think on Instagram and Twitter as well as you can find out any information about me at Nikita and IKITA Banks calm and on the show’s website laugh therapists podcast calm and don’t forget if you want to send us any general feedback show suggestions show topic for guest ideas please feel free to drop us an email at Black therapist podcast at gmail. com Thank you be well

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