If you’re a veteran of therapy, chances are the people sitting across you have been predominantly white. This isn’t a coincidence: Around 85 percent of working psychologists in the United States are white, according to the American Psychological Association. If you are Black or Latinx and looking for a great therapist, this might be frustrating.
There are certainly white therapists who can provide high-quality support. However, you might feel that you aren’t “connecting” with your therapist, or you feel they can’t understand your experience or relate to your perspective. The good news is that there are several strategies to find qualified therapists of any race. If you’re Black or Latinx, you can find therapists who “look like you.”
Nowadays, the internet is your best friend. There are actually several sites dedicated to listing Black or Latinx therapists. Some may be specific to your area, while others may be nationwide.
Beyond these niche sites, there are other general therapist search sites, and many let you filter results based on ethnicity, gender, and specialty. The same is true for searches on many health insurance websites. After all, therapy can be expensive, so finding someone who is in-network will save you money.
You can ask your primary care doctor for recommendations, which can be helpful since your PCP is familiar with your needs. They might recommend a colleague that they know and trust, or someone that aligns with what you’re looking for.
When those options don’t work, try social media. Some therapists use their accounts to promote their services. They may use relevant hashtags so they’re easier for you to find, such as #BlackTherapist and #LatinxTherapist.
If you find someone who’s in your area, be sure to do your research to make sure they are credible and licensed, and/or that they accept your health insurance. (If they don’t, consider asking if they can recommend other Black or Latinx therapists in the area to you.)
Finally, there’s always word of mouth. Sometimes, the best recommendation
will come from a friend, neighbor, or colleague. Look to who you know, as they might know you well and give you strong recommendations. Again, make sure to do your research to check that this therapist is licensed, and/or that they accept your health insurance.
They say finding a good therapist is like finding a good hairstylist: through lots of trial and error. Try to cut out some of the errors and make your life a bit easier with these suggestions. Everyone is entitled to the care they need, and being able to see yourself in your therapist is an additional comfort. By the way, find out how to tell if your therapist is a good fit here.