Last week I got a lot of traction on Black People Stimming. While mostly positive, I did receive a few comments that solidified my point. My favorite *sarcasm* was from an “Experienced Therapist.”
Angela F. McKinley responds to Black People Stimming with hate.
They wrote “-we are all in this together. It wasn’t a racial conspiracy as none of us knew and now we are all still learning….it isn’t limited to one race. Geesh not everything is racial.” While this would be appalling from anyone, it is terrifying to think people are coming to this person hoping to be cared for. Ironically, this therapist also has “Be the reason someone feels heard, seen, valued, loved” as their cover photo. This comment reminded me of my first therapist in Texas, an older White woman, who told me I “villainized people too much” when I shared I was being bullied by a White woman at work.
I’ve had a therapist or two since then and have learned that not all therapists are good therapists. I’ve taken what I’ve learned to compile a list of questions.
These are questions I now ask in the initial consultation:
1. Are you homophobic or transphobic?
2. Do you work with clients who have experienced trauma based on their racial identities?
3. Do you have experience with clients who spent time in the foster care system?
4. Do you have experience with clients who have been hospitalized for suicide?
5. Do you have experience with clients who are actively doing their own research and work outside of therapy?
Often people are not able to get past question one. I also make sure to let them know that I have no interest in being hospitalized. A therapist dedicated to providing adequate care and ensuring those in search of care are able to receive the care they need would be able to provide honest answers. Not all therapists are good therapists. It’s better to know that before building a harmful relationship with a bad one.
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