When I read about how people of color are less likely to seek professional help, I wasn’t surprised. I have yet to seek therapy due to many reasons — resources are limited (or so I thought), my parents would look at me like I’m crazy and, most prominently, fear that I’d disclose personal information to a therapist who is unrelatable or invalidates my experiences. 

Although the lack of Latinx mental health professionals is slowly decreasing, it is important to understand the need for relatable therapists. 

Growing up, I lived in a household where men were valued over women and women were made to feel inferior. In retrospect, seeing this gender dynamic play out in my home is the reason I now wish to seek a mental health professional who experienced a similar upbringing. 

In 2019, 79% of mental health professionals in the U.S. were white, while only 10% were Latinx, according to a study. As a woman, I prefer a Latinx therapist who identifies as a woman and shares some of the same values as I do. Individuals are more likely to disclose personal information with those whom they feel they can trust, and finding a relatable Latinx therapist has felt nearly impossible for me. 

As a client seeking help, it is equally important to ask my therapist questions regarding their upbringing, cultural values and if they have ever worked with a client who shares some of the same experiences as my own. 

Another reason I have delayed seeking therapy is due to the irrational fear of being judged by my parents. I was raised believing that therapy was for crazy individuals who don’t have anyone better to talk to; therapy was heavily stigmatized (mainly by my father). Since I valued my father’s opinion, I never pursued professional help. 

As an adult, I realized it is okay to reach out for help, even if others might judge me for it. I shouldn’t have to feel frowned upon because I want to talk to someone about the trauma(s) that ultimately shaped my perception of the world, and myself.  

Navigating your way to finding a qualified therapist that is a good fit for you may be challenging.

Here are some resources to help you navigate through your therapy journey.

https://www.therapyforlatinx.com – Therapists for Latinx near your area.

https://latinxtherapy.com – Podcast, courses and workshops, therapists, and other resources.

https://www.therapyforlatinx.com/therapist/queer – List of queer Latinx therapists.