Stigmas of Therapy in the Black Community

In the vibrant tapestry of African American culture, there exists a mosaic of stigmas and misconceptions that can obscure the path to mental health support. Let’s take a journey through these challenges, which include the fear of airing family secrets, a reliance on spiritual guidance, the perception of therapy as weakness, the notion that therapy is only for “others,” and doubts about its efficacy. We’ll explore these hurdles with the hope of revealing the colorful world of possibilities that come with embracing mental health care.

Unearthing Hidden Strengths

In African American families, secrets can be as closely guarded as treasure chests. The fear of exposing family skeletons can deter individuals from seeking therapy, as they worry that discussing familial issues with an outsider might unleash a Pandora’s box of gossip. But what if we reframed this as an opportunity to unearth hidden strengths and resilience within families, rather than an exposure of weaknesses?

The Power of Faith and Community

The African American community has long found solace and strength in faith, often turning to clergy and congregations for guidance. While spirituality is a profound source of support, it doesn’t have to be a contradiction to clinical therapy. Instead of viewing therapy as a challenge to faith, it can be seen as a complementary resource for individuals navigating the complexities of life.

Rewriting the Definition of Strength

Within the African American community, there’s an image of strength that can sometimes act as a double-edged sword. The notion that seeking therapy is a sign of weakness has lingered for too long. What if we redefined strength to include the courage to confront our emotional challenges and seek help when needed? Strength, after all, can take many forms.

Stigmas of Therapy in the Black Community

A Tapestry of Healing

Is therapy a “white people” thing? Not at all! Mental health knows no boundaries of color or culture. Instead, think of therapy as a unique thread in the rich tapestry of healing. It can be woven to reflect the diverse experiences and needs of African Americans, addressing the specific challenges they face while celebrating their cultural identity.

Successful therapy. Young African American client having consultation with therapist.

Stigmas of Therapy in the Black Community

Conversation as Catalyst

The idea that talking to someone can’t lead to meaningful change is a common misconception. In reality, conversations can be powerful catalysts for transformation. In therapy, individuals can discover new perspectives, coping strategies, and a renewed sense of self.


In the African American community, shattering these stigmas surrounding therapy is like adding vivid colors to a masterpiece. By encouraging open dialogues, spreading awareness of therapy’s benefits, and offering culturally competent care, we can break down the barriers that hold people back from seeking help. In doing so, we unveil the true beauty of mental health, fostering happier, healthier lives within our vibrant and resilient community.

5 thoughts on “Breaking Down the Stigmas of Therapy in the African American Community”
  1. If you use European methods to try to cure African mental issues, you are indoctrinating us with the B.S. that kept us enslaved!!! We are seeking equal power, not emasculation. Do the Enemy air out there secrets?!!! And sit down and reveal their source of power?!!! Hell No!!!, Then why should we strip naked, and expose ourselves to the world, when it has benefited nobody but the “other man” Just because you got letters behind your name don’t make your assessment gospel!!! We work out Our Problems amongst Us, and give them back their solutions, because it’s not working for Us!!! 😎🇦🇫✊🏿

  2. Despite what lone singular internet individual loon might say, there is no “misconception” in the african american community about therapy. Which is why there was no study or opinion poll linked to this piece to support that notion. I have never met any african american person that would refuse therapy based on some stigma around it. The only “stigma” would be the cost, which most would assume they can’t afford. Otherwise, like most human beings, african americans will be open to doing whatever might help. Please provide sources when you make these blanket statements about an entire group of people, or don’t make them at all.

  3. Bro. Hudson: Which is why African American therapists make a point of offering culturally competent care that is relevant to our community, history and culture.

  4. Get off of a plane anywhere in Africa and Africans will agree you’re an “African- American”??? Why do “we” say FBA/ADOS?
    LBRC- When we say FBA/ADOS, we are saying “Respect” us for who we are!
    This has little to do with us liking or disliking others. When an Italian or other says we are an “Italian”, we respect ‘Dat and enjoy their Pasta and nuance dishes even more. We enjoy ‘Oktober Fest, plus German Beer, and can hardly wait for the next Greek Festival!
    1. We hear non FBA/ADOS Blacks falsely accusing us, all the time, about “separating ourselves” from others. It’s so disrespectful, when our Ancestors were the only “Lineage” on the planet, who endured what was even called “A Peculiar Institution of Slavery”. To have others say we deserve “Reparations” for what “our” Ancestors “only” endured in “America”! This is a
    slap in our face! We won’t tolerate disrespect!
    2. Embracing and declaring your “Lineage” is extraordinary and Honorable! In
    2023, “Fake” is in. Initially it was the females aka Fake this and ‘Dat, now
    it’s the Matriarchal mostly dominated males and ‘Whatszits. FBA/ADOS is what it is. Anybody who claims to be or attempts to steal or take away from our unique “Lineage”, is a thief, a liar and wannabe, period end of sentence!
    3. Getting along with others, non FBA/ADOS, has little to do with how we “feel”
    or about how we want to get along with others. *Caveat: If any disrespects who we are and/or our unique “Lineage”, you are and has disrespected not only us, but our Ancestors. Problematic to say the least!!!
    a. btw- Let’s talk Science, particularly Genetics, Evolution, Natural Selection and
    Epigenetic Factors (For literate readers only!).
    b. Over time and according to Scientific Classifications, especially Binomial
    Nomenclature- Think Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. “Species adapt over time to environments (A Gift from The Most High).
    c. When Darwin talked about “Natural Selection”, he was talking about a
    filtering process, whereby only the best of the best gets to survive via Evolution,
    Epigenetic factors and even mutations, explained simply. Commoners say “Only the strong survive” aka “Survival of The Fittest”! Stupid is detrimental to
    life (Remember what Richard Prior said?) aka Duh…?
    d. FBA/ADOS are products of their unique “Line” aka Lineage! There is no way,
    anybody except an FBA/ADOS expresses in terms of Genotype and Phenotype, all the unique factors inherent in our ‘Geno or Phenotype. FBA/ADOS is an evolved Lineage, in America,
    unique to America. In other places it’s unique to their environment. Only the Scientific illiterate aka ignorant, says otherwise. We’re talking Science and not what we or how others “feel”. We have the “Credentials” and experiences to back what we!
    e. FBA/ADOS is an “expressed” Haplo-
    Haplogroup. A haplotype is a group of alleles in an organism that are inherited together from a single parent, [1] [2] and a haplogroup ( haploid from the Greek: ἁπλοῦς, haploûs, “onefold, simple” and English: group) is a group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor with a single-nucleotide polymorphism mutation.
    f. All others, non FBA/ADOS, are 2023 “Fakes” as much so as Weaves, Laced
    Fronts, Winged eye lids or any dyed, fried and laid to the side, chemically treated pseudo and/or wannabe! Is ‘Dis ‘Thang on…, aka our best Ebonics aka Duh…?
    Peace Out…

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