All Articles Tagged "therapy"

Straight From His Mouth: How Black Women Can Get Black Men Into Therapy

January 13th, 2014 - By RealGoesRight
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Black Men Into Therapy

Source: VH1

During my undergraduate tenure at Florida State, I had the fortune of being taught by one of the most important black psychologists in the country, Dr. Naim Akbar. Dr. Akbar, while discussing the psychological state of black people in America, said “every negro living in America needs some form of therapy. When you think about what’s been done to us and our history in this country, America is lucky that it isn’t overrun with a bunch of crazy n*****.

When asked what it would take to get men, specifically black men, to attend a therapy session, I thought of 1,000 different reasons it wouldn’t happen. When I say “therapy,” I’m making specific reference to sessions which include couches, a licensed psychologist discussing a patient’s feelings, and daily/weekly visits. Discussing black men’s aversion to therapy without talking about the barriers would be pointless, so I’ll start there. Afterward, I’ll discuss how those barriers can be broken.

Men “being men” isn’t the answer

Firstly, we need to understand how the stereotype of men’s emotional disposition can prevent them from seeking therapy. Society says men are supposed to be strong, unemotional, and silent. If a woman needs help, she has an almost endless amount of resources to choose from. The stereotype of the man being strong and silent works against men, especially black men, because we aren’t allowed to verbalize what is wrong with us without being seen as weak. This is particularly destructive for black men because carrying the burden of being one of the most oppressed groups in the United States has been a direct cause of so many young black men ending up in the prison system. The rules need to be rewritten to show black men that talking about problems and dealing with them head on in a safe environment is an example of strength, too.

It starts with the parents

A discussion of how the stigma of mental health and how it’s viewed in the black community needs to be addressed. What I’ve found in my previous experience as a mental health counselor for “at risk” youth is that parents have a hard time understanding the problems at hand so they’re either perplexed on what to do or believe the problem to be temporary. Instead of parents admitting there might be something wrong, parents simply say “there’s nothing wrong” or  the kids are “just acting up.” That attitude is carried for those same children when they turn into adults. Rather than concede there is an issue, black boys grow up to be black men who think “there’s nothing wrong” or that whatever is bothering them will simply go away.  A refusal of their parents to acknowledge a little black boy’s actions not being “normal,” turns into black men who can’t own up to the notion of something not being quite right with them and to then seek help.

Therapy ain’t cheap, or just for white people

The last barrier I wanted to touch on are the costs associated with seeking treatment. A cursory glance on your favorite search engine will give you a wide array of prices on therapeutic services. The price can range from $60 an hour all the way up to $250+ an hour. Certainly nothing to sneeze at. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that a large portion of the black community believes therapy, on the whole, is “for white or crazy people.” Ignorant? Absolutely, but I’ve seen it and heard it a hundred times over so I know this line of thought exists.

We know the problems, what are some solutions?

So how do we combat all of this? These solutions are available, but I’ll admit they’re not as easy to do as they are to write about. For starters, there would need to be a paradigm shift in the way men are treated in society. We need black men to realize that seeking help to deal with certain issues is perfectly acceptable. Being able to ask for help, instead of carrying the entire world on their shoulders, needs to be seen as a sign of strength. Not the other way around.

Secondly, the stigma of seeing a therapist needs to be reduced. Building up more support in the black community about the benefits of attending therapy sessions, black parents being able to admit they may need some outside assistance in finding out what’s wrong with their child, and newfound respect for the work mental health professionals can help tremendously.

Finally, though therapy costs can be costly, I’ve noticed that there are insurance policies available that can cut the costs down. If that’s not an option, black men can look for other resources that provide an open and safe place for them to share their burdens. Whether it’s group therapy, counseling sessions at whichever college they attend, or simply talking to someone else about what’s going on, there are alternatives to traditional forms of counseling and resources for those who can’t afford to pay the full cost. One just has to look for them.

Getting men to go to therapy, no matter the race, is a tall order. As a black man, I can attest that gender stereotypes, how mental health is viewed, and the costs associated with therapy are definite barriers to seeking help in this manner. Though I talked about some other solutions, I also want to take the time to say that black women can definitely play an integral part in pushing men to seek help as well. Author Charles W. Chestnutt once said “when it is said that it was done to please a woman, there ought to be enough said to explain anything; for what a man will not do to please a woman is yet to be discovered.” In other words, plenty of men out there will do anything to please their woman and if going to therapy is what would make her happy, he’d damn sure at least consider it.


7 Signs You’re In Need Of Couples Therapy

October 11th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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Rarely will you find that a relationship or a marriage is able to tread a smooth and stable road. Instead, most relationships and marriages come with plenty of road bumps and even a few road stops. When a couple can’t come to an agreement on a certain problem, sometimes couples therapy is the only thing that can help them move past it. Here are 7 signs you need couples therapy and 7 ways this type of therapy will really help.

So That’s What Hot In The Streets? Chris Brown Continues To Fuel Gang Affiliation Rumors

August 24th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Source: TMZ

Does Chris Brown really want the masses to celebrate him when he does something “good” or “right?” We can’t tell.

He’s been ranting all week about this, that and the other, but now, TMZ has photos of his latest work and apparent gang affiliation.

Breezy has been in Hawaii for the last couple of days (he performed on Friday) and while there, he had a local guide take him to an  area of the island where doing graffiti is legal. His portrait, reminiscent of his recent “Eff the police” tweets, was tagged with his initials in the shape of a heart along with “Fruit Pirus!!!!,” right next to it.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the Pirus are a notorious gang from Los Angeles who are mostly made up of original blood gang members. The distinction of Piru groups is very confusing and since we are not gang members, we don’t need to go through figuring it out. To be honest, I’ve only done “research” on this after hearing Kendrick Lamar denouncing the gang lifestyle on his album.

Back to Chris. This is the second time in a week that he’s referred to the gang.  When he talked about collaborating with Beyonce, he added that “JAY might have a problem wit it but this PIRU!”

Now, if Chris has any concern over how fans might deal with the idea of him being in a gang, he’ll try to have his publicists spin the story to make it seem like he’s not in a gang. I mean, that’d be the smart thing.

You can check out the rest of the photos over on TMZ.

Here’s the question: What kind of grown a** man waits until he’s in his 20s to join a gang? You don’t have anything else better to do with your grown a** life than to run around being involved with a gang…allegedly?

Okay, Breezy.

Pretty Padded Room Founder Brings Counseling to the Digital Space

April 1st, 2013 - By Makula Dunbar
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Source: Pretty Padded Room

Source: Pretty Padded Room

In mid-February, Bea Arthur appeared on ABC’s investment and invention driven television show Shark Tank. She presented to the judges with confidence, delivering a memorable pitch that revealed the makings of her online therapy counseling service Pretty Padded Room — “A nice place to go crazy.” Although small, Arthur’s business was already running and successful before the show.

At the time of taping — last September — Arthur considered the not-bitten pitch to be a sorely missed opportunity. Nonetheless, Pretty Padded Room has since experienced beneficial adjustments. The most helpful advice received from the judges, Arthur said, was to find a business partner — and fast.

“I realized that I couldn’t build a business while I was running the business. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, you get bogged down by the day-to-day operations, “ Arthur admitted.

“At the time I had eight people working for me and 40 clients per month. Working from home on my futon full-time took all of my time. I wasn’t in the mindset to be doing the things I needed to do to get to the next level.”

Though a partnership between Arthur and an investor on the show didn’t materialize, she’s found other investors and currently owns 84 percent of the business.

“Since that time a lot has changed in how I operate my business. At the time I was really bummed out. I really felt like I had it and they would like it,” Arthur said. “I got tripped up on a couple of questions. I do feel like had I given them the answers they wanted, I could have gotten a deal.”

The Birth of Pretty Padded Room

Arthur thought up the idea of Pretty Padded Room in 2010, after her first venture Me Time failed. While a graduate psychology student at Columbia University, Arthur often babysat to earn extra money. Considering the moms that got very little time off — and to themselves — she launched a social site for mothers who maybe wanted to chat with other adults and moms alike.

“At the time I was 25 and didn’t have any kids so here I was telling these women they had a need. It was nice in theory, but what I found out later was that if I was a stay-at-home mom and had an hour free, I’d want to take a nap or go hang out with other moms,” Arthur added. “I wasn’t my target market. With this business I am my target market.”

Arthur discovered that therapy was her forte while working in real estate. Fairly different than her time prior spent as a domestic violence counselor — in real estate Arthur learned that beyond her job she enjoyed engaging with clients. That’s when, in 2006, she decided to go back to school to earn a Masters and EdM in Counseling Psychology.

“In having a lot of clients I just realized that I wanted to talk more to people. I was really curious about human behavior and the human condition,” She said.

Following the fall of Me Time, Arthur became depressed. Despite being a therapist herself, she strayed away from getting help because of two issues: the first, she didn’t want friends to know what she was going through; two she couldn’t afford continual therapy sessions.

Reshaping the Accessibility of Sanity

“I said if I’m a believer of this and can’t afford it, some of our clients must feel this way too. I felt like there was a big disconnect in this really necessary and valuable service and what people thought about it — and what they were able to get out of it,” Arthur said.

Girl You Crazy…For Real: 15 Celebrities That Might Really Have Problems

January 15th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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You ever have a moment where your “you so crazy friend” seems really crazy? Some celebrities’ wile-out moments have me worried about their mental health. Sometimes the spotlight sheds some light on your mental deficiencies. Are these celebrities really crazy or just acting a fool for ratings?

Another Day, Another Crazy Athlete: Former Baseball Star Milton Bradley Facing Spousal Abuse Charges

January 12th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Milton Bradley pf"


Most professional sports leagues do psychiatric testing on their players at some point but maybe they’re missing something because some of these fools are insane.

Former baseball star Milton Bradley is facing 13 charges related to spousal abuse, according to TMZ.  If you’re a baseball fan, you know Badley’s name and know he’s had lots of trouble on and off the field most of his career.  He and his wife Monique married in 2005 but Bradley filed for divorced 11 months later after the police had been to their house three times during those 11 months on domestic related calls. He was never arrested and the divorce was never finalized.

Two years ago, he was arrested for making criminal threats to Monique but in exchange for an out-of-court hearing, the charges were dropped. However, seven months later, he was arrested for allegedly attacking his wife with a bat and yet again in March 2012 for threatening her with a knife and adding, “You’ll be dead before you divorce me, Itchbay.”

These 13 counts of domestic charges stem from all the aforementioned accounts and another in November where Monique claimed Milton choked her with two hands after she asked him to stop smoking weed in front of their two children.

The charges are as follows: 4 counts of spousal battery, 4 counts of criminal threats, 2 counts of assault with a deadly weapon, 2 counts of vandalism and 1 count of dissuading a witness from making a report.  If convicted, he faces up to 13 years in prison.

He’ll be arraigned on January 24th and is denying the charges.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why his wife didn’t just leave but based on the descriptions of his attacks, she likely feared for her life and the lives of her children.  Hopefully, she can finally get out and she and her children get the help they need.

There’s Nothing Sweet At Sweetie Pie’s: The Family and Crew Are At War! Could This Be The End?

November 3rd, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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I bet it has something to do with that man pictured above.

According to Variety, tensions are riding high on the set of OWN’s highly successful Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.  While the audience is accustomed to seeing the star of the show, Robbie Montgomery, fuss with her son (and restaurant manager), Tim (that’s the man pictured above), and the rest of the family on a regular basis, they never see what’s happening behind the scenes.

The report says that in October, Tim, the restaurant staff and the production team for Pilgrim Studios allegedly got into a very heated argument.  While the details are sketchy, this apparently hasn’t been the first time the sides have been at war.  The network sent co-president Erik Logan to the set of the show with security in an attempt to diffuse the situation. Variety reports that OWN believes all the anger from Tim stems from his many stresses as a manager, a father and soon-t0-be husband. So basically, he has the same problems as everyone else but he just chooses to lash out? Oh okay.  As someone who’s seen the show and watched Tim lose his cool on everyone, including his mother, for no reason at all, it comes as no surprise they’re having so many issues.  Whether or not they decide to air this on Sweetie Pie’s has not yet been determined.

The arguing is coming from all directions. The family is in such disarray that OWN actually offered them therapy from Iyanla Vanzant whose had a breakout show on OWN, Iyanla, Fix My Life. OWN reps did confirm that cameras filmed the sessions but it is ultimately up to the family if they want any of it to hit the airwaves.

Poor Miss Robbie.  She’s got one of the few successful shows on OWN and it is being jeopardized by what is likely some foolishness.  If her son is indeed a big part of the problem, she needs to make some tough decisions about her son and how he fits into her businesses.

How Therapy Can Save Your Marriage…

May 3rd, 2012 - By madamenoire
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I hate divorce. It’s a fact I have to live with though, because I am a relationship psychotherapist and some marriages have to end. I think divorce is a lot like marriage in that you don’t really know what you’re getting into until you’re midway in and then it’s too late to turn back. So, you just keep going, feeling, and living.

I have a dear friend going through a divorce she didn’t want. It’s painful to watch, to listen to, and for my friend, I am sure it is the most painful to experience. I’m going to be seeing my friend soon, and this was the short note I received about the status of the divorce.

Dear Mary Jo,

Our divorce might be final by then. We communicate through our lawyers right now. I’m just completely speechless by the way my spouse (ex) manages to turn around and live life as if I had never been part of it! It’s this rejection which hurts most …



I keep thinking there is a better way, but for the life of me, how does one turn things around to make the pain stop? An annulment is not the answer any more than pretending something which existed didn’t. Mediation comes closest to helping a divorce end with some sort of workable relationship still intact, and I think it is the best idea for children involved to be able to love both their parents without being quizzed or made to feel guilty.

It’s the prevention of divorce I would like to offer … but we have very few tools to work with. The one tool we have that actually has the biggest impact toward helping marriages survive is premarital counseling, but most couples prefer the huge wedding and expensive celebration in lieu of money better spent on making sure they will be compatible for more than three years. It’s frustrating for those of us in the field and for those involved with a divorce they didn’t want. More and more research is coming out in the marital area. Something most of us in the field would never have promoted is making an impact on marriage survival. In the past, if one of the partners were against marital therapy, the other who wanted to go would suffer in silence.

Now, we have good evidence that if one of the partners goes to therapy and shares the homework and talks about the therapy with their partner, the marriage actually begins improving. Below are the new rules for marriage therapy on your own. It may not be as ideal as the couple going … but as long as the couple wants to save the marriage, and both are willing to work at the marriage by completing homework assignments, it can be a positive step in the right direction.

Read the suggestions this expert has at 


More on Madame Noire!

TV One Premiering New Docu-Series ‘Love Addiction’

April 12th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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TV One realizes that a lot of people are over the reality TV thing, so they’re putting a little spin on the phenomenon which seems to be the only way to get people to watch your channel with a new docu-series titled, “Love Addiction.”

The eight-episode series will follow therapists and relationship experts who attempt to help people get out of unhealthy relationships and figure out why they got into them in the first place. They get points already for at least trying to help people and not totally exploit their dysfunction. The people closest to these individuals will also help in the healing process, following an “Intervention”-style format.

“We all know friends or family members who almost serially seem to end up in bad relationships, or who fall under the toxic spell of a bad romance, and we wish we could help them realize how much better they deserve to be treated,” said TV One President and CEO Wonya Lucas. “This series is not only riveting and full of emotion, it also should provide some great advice for those with troubled relationships and even those who want to keep their relationships healthy.”

The series will debut April 25 at 8 pm EST, and according to, in that episode,

“viewers meet 29-year-old Marcus Foy, whose mother Adrienne Nixon has always encouraged him to follow his heart.  But once Marcus begins dating 51-year-old Suzi (a woman older than Adrienne), Adrienne is beside herself. She believes Suzi is too old for Marcus, is way past her prime, and can’t give her grandbabies; Adrienne is also concerned over Suzi’s continual pill-popping of painkillers. Marcus loves his mother, but wants her to butt out of his life. He’s happy. He wants to marry Suzi… and once her divorce is final he plans on making Suzi his wife.

“Suzi, a former Las Vegas showgirl, says she’s been living her life for everyone else… and now it’s her turn to be happy. She is currently separated from her husband and says the divorce will be final any day now.  However Marcus lives with Suzi in a house that her husband, Tony still financially maintains. Between Suzi’s doctor visits, and dinner parties with friends, the couple constantly bickers. Adrienne and Marcus’ best friend, Jacob, believe if they don’t stage a love intervention before the couple marries, they will lose Marcus forever.”

Sounds a little soap operish but somewhat interesting.

Check out the trailer for the new series here and tell us what you think. Will you watch?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

More on Madame Noire!

Tami Roman Opens Up About Rape and Abuse

March 14th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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Source: Necole Bitchie

From Necole 

Tami Roman is no stranger to controversy. She has become most known for her spunky, outspoken attitude and multiple altercations on Basketball Wives after she joined the cast during Season 2. But there’s way more to the single mother of two than you’d ever imagine.

On last week’s episode of Basketball Wives, viewers were shocked to learn that Tami had been the victim of sexual assault twice, as well as held up at gunpoint and physically abused which has become the source of her built up anger over the years. In a counseling session that she attended on the show to get to the root of her anger, she revealed:

How did your family react to your decision to share something so personal with the world?
Ultimately they’re very supportive. They want me to heal. We try to talk about anything and love on each other as much as possible. They were a little apprehensive because they didn’t know how people would receive that information coming from me. People see me all the time and think I’m the same way, so I thought that maybe if they understand why I’m this way, they can take this journey with me.

Having now watched the episode, how do you feel about your decision?
Vh1 treated it fairly and with respect. It was a four-hour therapy session. People have been very responsive and supportive. What I wanted to do was accomplished. I wanted to let others out there know, “You’re not the only one.” I want to use my life as a testimony. I’ve been homeless, on food stamps, I’ve always been very open. I’ve dealt with Bulemia, weight issues…I’ve been through a lot and this is just one more thing.


Click here to read the rest of Tami’s interview and watch a clip of her therapy session.