Did you know that in 2019, 83 percent of American psychologists were white? Where does this leave us Latinx who want to feel represented and heard by a Latinx therapist?
It turns out that Hispanics represent the second largest group at only 7 percent. Other minorities include Asians at 4 percent and African Americans at 3 percent, per the American Psychological Association (APA).
But at only 7 percent, how can we find a professional mental health therapist that caters to our specific needs?
The importance of representation in and out of the therapist’s office
Sometimes, we take for granted how important it is to be genuinely heard and seen. We crave to be represented and fully understood in a safe therapy session. How else should we spill our heart and mind out to someone?
It is not only about our background and upbringing but also our cultural framework and identity. After all, it is not easy to open up to someone who might not understand the traditions of our Latino community.
The LA Times recently explored why culturally responsive therapy matters – and we couldn’t agree with their findings more.
Point blank: Culturally responsive therapy is needed to give you the best and most accurate results.
For example, in some cases, therapists and psychologists may incorrectly diagnose people of color with mental illness due to the absence of cultural frameworks.
Putting this into perspective, as a Latina, someone who doesn’t understand the value of caregiving or the amount of weight we put on the opinion of our elders’, will not quite understand our community’s problems and inner dialogue.
If the professional doesn’t know where we’re coming from and how we grew up, how are they supposed to diagnose our thoughts and help ease our minds?
A long-overdue solution
Other ways you can start to look for a professional include word-of-mouth inside your trusted social groups and through deep online research.
Ultimately, finding a professional who 100 percent understands your life path for healing is essential.