Why I See a Black Queer Therapist


In this essay for them, Steven W. Thrasher describes how seeking treatment from a black queer therapist has helped him heal from the emotional distress and trauma of living in a white supremicist, homophobic society.

“At the mental health conference, I also attended a workshop about viewing trauma through a cultural lens. Its leaders, Adoja Osei and Jesse Harbaugh — Black and white therapists, respectively — laid out that a central component of contemporary therapy needs to be ‘recognizing race as a reality experienced by both therapist and client.’

This makes so much sense. Regardless of your race, you can’t read a newspaper without encountering race. You can’t open Facebook or Twitter without seeing stories about racism. You cannot ever listen to the president without encountering racism. You cannot exist in America without race affecting your mental health.

I am so lucky that I have this kind of therapy — where it’s not just me bringing issues of race to the room. Racial justice is something my therapist is already utilizing while treating me.”

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