Finding a ‘GOODT’ therapist: ‘Dear Culture’ talks path to mental wellness

“In the same way it takes you years to collect trauma, it takes you years to unpack it,” says co-host Gerren Keith Gaynor

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this week on the Dear Culture podcast, our hosts, theGrio‘s Social Media Director Shana Pinnock and Managing Editor Gerren Keith Gaynor, talk about their journey to mental wellness and what to look for in a “goodt” therapist. The hosts are asking: Dear Culture, what criteria are you using to finding your new therapist? 

“Going to therapy was the single most best decision I have ever made,” said Gaynor. “I think a misconception people have about therapy is that you have to hit rock bottom and I think that way of thinking has kept the Black community from getting a necessary need fulfilled.” 

A report from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities reports that African Americans are 20 percent more likely to have “psychological stress than whites.” The report also lists some of the barriers Black Americans have to getting the help they need, including being less likely to have health insurance and cultural mistrust of mental health and health care professionals. 

Read More: Double minority: ‘Dear Culture’ podcast explores the Black American Muslim experience

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

For Pinnock, going to therapy has helped heal and strengthen important relationships in her life, including the relationship with her mom, who she says in her “favorite person in the world.” Pinnock said therapy gave her the tools to help her understand some of the trauma that was passed down to her and to have an honest conversation with her mom about it. 

“She got very defensive at first, but it was me trying to educate her that I understood the things you did weren’t intentional and the things that you imparted upon me were merely things that you were taught. [It] was trauma that you never had the opportunity to address,” said Pinnock. 

Pinnock added that now the communication with her mother is so much deeper and rooted in a mutual respect for one another and boundaries. Both hosts said that while finding the right therapy for you is indeed a process, it’s a beneficial step in taking care of yourself. 

Read More: Dear Mama: ‘Dear Culture’ podcast talks redefining motherhood

No matter your reason or where you’re at on path to mental wellness, we’ve got some resources to help support you. Check it out below: 

Therapy for Black Girls

Therapy for Black Men

National Black Nurses Association

Lee Thompson Young Foundation

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Zahra Barnes list of Black Mental Health resources published in SELF Magazine

Be well, fam. 

Tune in to Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!