black women

How Black Women Can Get Their Men To Go To Therapy

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ghostface-killahBy Connie K. Grier

In an Op-Ed piece to, GhostFace Killah discussed the barriers preventing black men from seeking therapy and how we can encourage black men to act beyond the barriers.

Ghostface opens up with a look at the disparity between support for men and women who actually seek out therapy.  Society has both genders locked in gender roles, with males being made to believe that they should be “ strong, unemotional and silent”.  This is detrimental especially n the African American community because it stands to reason that men will not speak up for help if they are made to feel as if they are weaker than woman. Society has to begin to have a “safe place” to release their stress.

Another area of concern for Ghostface involved parents’ inability or refusal to see when something is wrong with their child.  Anytime something does bother the son, he hears, “you’ll be alright” from his parents, which strips away another support for him opening up.  If parents do not begin to provide safe spaces for children to express themselves, we will have another generation of boys who are closed off from their emotions.

We also have to stop behaving as if every other nationality can benefit from therapy accept for African Americans, or that therapy is only for the insane.  Therapy can actually be the support that helps a person to keep it together, but many people treat therapy as if you only need it if you are seriously falling apart.  Many insurance policies cover the cost of therapy, and if there is no insurance, then men must avail themselves of free or reduced cost supports that exist.

The problem is not always that therapy is expensive; most of the time the problem is that for a man, particularly an African American male, asking for help COST too much.