Throughout history, seeking counseling carried stigmas in the African-American community. Barriers contributing to this thinking include:
Lack of culturally competent therapists
In the past, most counselors were Caucasians who brought their own prejudices to the session. Today, however, there are African-Americans counselors who are versed in the issues that plague the community.
Lack of economic means/insurance to pay for treatment
African-Americans disproportionally represent members of the working poor who may not have adequate or any mental health insurance. Today there is free or low cost access to quality treatment.
Embarrassment or shame to seek help outside of the family
Fear of being labeled “crazy” or unstable leads to shame if one should seek professional counseling. However, there is strength in recognizing the need for treatment to ensure better quality of functioning.
In today’s society, seeking and receiving counseling benefits everyone.