The Lack of Therapists of Color and Why
Updated: Jul 25, 2019
The active psychology workforce is primarily white. In 2013, the percentage of racial/ethnic minority groups within the psychology workforce was 16%, while the overall workforce was made up of 39.6%, and the general doctoral/professional workforce was 25.8%. Of the psychology workforce, Asians made up 4%, Blacks/African Americans 5%, Hispanics 5% and other racial/ethnic groups 2%
Naturally, we should ask: why are there so few psychologists of color, in a country made up of 130 million people of color. Simply put, there are a few reasons.
The first reason is the lack of exposure of the field. Just as minorities do not use psychology services because they do not know it exists, or choose not to adopt it because of stigma, individuals may not choose to work in the psychology field due to their own misconceptions or cultural stigma.
What’s the post about? (Post Description)62/320The active psychology workforce is primarily white. In 2013, the percentage of racial/ethnic minority groups within the psychology workforce was 16%, while the overall workforce was made up of 39.6%, and the general doctoral/professional workforce was 25.8%.ity groups within the psychology workforce was 16%, while the overall workforce was made up of 39.6%, and the general doctoral/professional workforce was 25.8%. the average household income for whites is $66,440 dollars, whereas that of minorities (including Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics) is $57,408 . This means, whites are more capable of paying for higher education and thus entering professional and doctoral fields – like the psychology workforce.
Moreover, the discrepancy is driven by consumer demands. Clients tend to favor psychotherapists who fall under the acronym “YAVIS” – young, attractive, verbal, intelligent, and successful.
As shocking as it may seem, this small fraction of minorities in the psychology workforce was actually a significant increase in comparison to a decade before. In 2005, only 8.9 percent of those in the psychology workforce were people of color. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of of people of color in the workforce nearly doubled (a 92% increase).
The increase in the number medical providers of color within the psychology workforce is imperative in order to accommodate the rising minorities populations, soon to be a majority.
Often times, people of color with mental conditions have greater difficulties coping and recovering because of the healthcare system’s lack of cultural competency and social stigma, which impedes the overall process. This is why having a therapist who can understand the patient’s experiences and identity matters.
As an online therapy app, with a wide range of therapists of color, we at AYANA we want to make sure that our clients’ needs are met. We believe that you have the right to define your own safe space – if your unique traits and sensibilities demands a reflection through your therapist, then you should be entitled to it, and our aim is to provide it.