BIPOC Voices, Dear POC, Key Topics

Why finding a BIPOC/POC therapist is important as a BIPOC/POC

And why sometimes they still aren’t the right fit.

words by: Alee Kwong
Feb 22, 2021

Everyone needs therapy. Wherever you land on the spectrum of trauma, you need therapy. For most people, coming to terms with the fact that they need therapy is the hardest step. The next step is actually finding a therapist. For me, this is the hardest step because finding a therapist isn’t like finding the perfect place to order for dinner. As weird as it might sound, I vet through therapists almost the same way I vet through potential romantic partners.

 

Before you knock it, let me explain why. Therapy isn’t the same for everyone, but generally, you go into therapy with the hopes that you will unpack a lot of the trauma that creates exhausting (and often relationship-ruining) obstacles in your life. That means you would ideally be letting your therapist into a part of your life that is incredibly vulnerable and painful, requiring trust and patience – similar to a relationship! We can talk about how the basic principles of relationships can apply almost 1:1 for platonic and romantic relationships, but this is strictly going to be about therapy for today.

 

It’s no surprise that POC, especially BIPOC, have a uniquely traumatic experience in America. If it is a surprise to you, I suggest you do a little history digging on Google and look through some of the news headlines from last year. While most of these experiences are not unique to the individual, they are unique to each marginalized group, which only emphasizes the importance of finding a therapist that can relate and empathize with what you have gone through and/or are going through. When finding a therapist, it’s important to not only look for someone who looks like you, but to make sure you are asking the right questions when you are going through a consultation session with them. While your therapist may share the same general background as you, there might be key differences in which they might not understand where you are coming from and if the therapist lacks in areas you need validation and support, it’s a dub.

 

Ultimately, this process is extremely personal and will take some time. But I promise that while the process can be exhausting and tedious, once you find the right therapist, you’ll realize all that time spent trying to find them was well worth it.