Few Counselors Are Trained to Treat Racial Trauma


From ThinkProgress: A new study found that the majority of counselors in the United States are not prepared to identify or treat race-based trauma, which often results from racial harassment, discrimination, violence, or institutional racism.

“Of the 106 counselors surveyed in the study, 75 reported that they had worked with clients who experienced some form of race-based trauma. Only 35 participants said they had received training to identify race-based trauma and 20 reported that they had received training to treat race-based trauma.

This is especially problematic for black Americans, who endure more mental health problems as a result of overt racial discrimination, perceived racism, and microaggressions, which are subtle degradations of marginalized people. As ThinkProgress has previously reported, black people suffer from higher levels of stress, anxiety, and emotional trauma than white people. According to the study, the extreme consequences of prolonged exposure to racism include suicide, displaced hostility, and substance abuse.”

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  1. I think a similar study could be done for people who are publically identified with a DSM4/5 codes. For example, a person who may have the word psychiatry show up on a police laptop during a traffic stop. I saw a recent police report where a person set off an alarm exiting a retail store. In the report “the clerk observed the person talking to herself.” And with this identifying feature, the woman was pigeon holed into a category and treated like a second class citizen. It’s a lot like 50s style racism. And repeated encounters like that could have a traumatic effect leaving a person to wonder what the cop is looking at to be treated so poorly.

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