Once you've decided to begin therapy, the next step is to find a therapist. This seems like a supereasy task, but it often ends up being more difficult than we imagined. Finding the right therapist is important because you want to work with someone you feel comfortable talking to, who understands your background and values, and who is culturally competent.
For those from marginalized communities, having a therapist who is familiar with your culture and understands your lived experiences is extremely important. If you identify as Latinx, Therapy For Latinx, a directory founded by Brandie Carlos, is helping people find therapists, life coaches, emergency mental health centres, and free/low-cost community mental health clinics.
"I launched [Therapy For Latinx] May 6, 2018 and it happened because I lost one of my best friends to suicide in February of that year," Carlos told POPSUGAR. After he passed away, she was having a hard time dealing with the loss and began a search for mental health resources specific to Latinas, "and at the time, the only thing that existed was Therapy For Black Girls," she explained. After seeing that directory, she assumed there was one for the Latinx community, but to her surprise, no one had registered the domain. "So when I saw that it was available, I took that as a sign that I had to build out the website," she said.
When Carlos launched Therapy For Latinx, she didn't know anyone who was a therapist and decided to share a post on Facebook with a link to the website in addition to creating an email account and an Instagram account to get the word out. Shortly after, people began to reach out to her to be featured on the directory and the reach of the platform began to grow organically.
To find a therapist via the directory, all you need to do is enter what you'd like your potential therapist to specialise in, your zip code, or the city you live in and a list of therapists in your area will populate. "As much as technology is evolving, finding a therapist is very much like dating. You still have to actually make that phone call and reach out and ask those questions and maybe talk to a few people," Carlos said. Her goal with Therapy For Latinx is to help people talk more openly about their mental health within marginalized communities. In addition to the directory, Carlos is currently working on an app featuring mental health classes to make mental health care accessible for all.