As an up-and-coming startup in the field of psychotherapy, AYANA has heard it all before: “Maybe therapy would help but it just costs too much,” or “I have just never had the time to go, ” and even “I’ve called and called therapists but no one will get back to me.” People everywhere recognize their need or want for therapy, but there are just too many barriers holding them back. The following are 5 reasons people in need can’t access therapy – along with a solution to overcome them all.
1. THE COST
Most therapists and psychologists will charge $75-$250 a session; however, some will charge as much as $400 every hour. Moreover, most independent therapists will not accept insurance. These expenses are impractical for most even if it is worth the investment.
A culturally competent psychotherapist is one who takes actions to build an understanding between people. They are respectful and open to different cultural perspectives and strengthen cultural security to work towards equality in opportunity. Questions posed to a person in therapy should be objective, and assumptions should be avoided.
However, finding a culturally competent therapist may be more difficult than we think. Only 16% of the psychology workforce is of a racial/ethnic minority group, while the overall workforce is made up of 39.6%, and the general doctoral/professional workforce is 25.8%. Of the psychology workforce, Asians make up 4%, Blacks/African Americans 5%, Hispanics 5% and other racial/ethnic groups 2%.
Research has shown that a lack of cultural competence in mental health care can lead to both inaccessible quality services as well as misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment for the client.
3. LANGUAGE BARRIERS
Recent studies have shown that therapy can be twice as effective in one’s native language. However, if English was not your first language, you may not reap all the benefits that therapy can provide as a disproportionate amount of therapists speak more than one language. For example, nearly 13% of the US is made up of native Spanish speakers; however, only 5.5% of the psychology workforce can speak Spanish – the second most spoken language in the US.
With an overloaded schedule, taking an hour (plus commute time) out of your day can be extremely difficult to do. Even if going to therapy now may save you time later, the investment is just too impractical for us all.
The social stigma surrounding mental health results mainly from its misconceptions and the lack of education. Many define mental health issues as being shameful, a sign of weakness, or even a punishment by God. These notions often lead to a person being unwilling or uncomfortable with addressing their issues head-on, and an unwillingness to discuss mental health. The stigma that our society creates only drives people – especially minorities – away from receiving help for their mental health challenges.
THE SOLUTION: AYANA THERAPY
AYANA is an online therapy app for marginalized communities. We offer our service for a lower cost in comparison to the traditional form of therapy, host a variety of therapists (all with unique cultures, languages, ethnicities, religions, sexualities, etc.), and offer unlimited texting. AYANA is committed to creating a community free of stigma and providing quality and effective services to serve your mental health needs.
Our app will be launching this summer so email us at email@example.com to get on our pre-launch list!