Shabree Rawls, the therapist who was fired from her job after urging Black men to seek therapy, is finally speaking out about the backlash she received after her TikTok video in August sparked a heated debate on social media.
Last month, the young clinician sent the internet into a firestorm after she posted a video to her TikTok account pleading with Black men to seek therapy and expand their “emotional vocabulary.” But Rawls had no clue that her post would lead to her being terminated from her job.
“My intention was … just go to therapy. There’s no hidden agenda or ulterior motive,” she explained during a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Shabree Rawls speaks out about the backlash she received following the video
Rawls said she was devastated that much of the backlash she received was from Black men who make up a majority of her clientele.
“For my first love, which is the black man, to attack me — it just felt like I experienced whiplash from both sides. As a black woman I hold them close to my heart. It’s who we are,” Rawls recounted. “To be attacked by black men hurt even worse. I’ve dedicated my life to healing our community, but at the same time I’m being attacked by the same faces.”
The fiery video was inspired by an article published by Psychology Today called “The Rise of Lonely, Single Men.” Rawls said she was just sharing her thoughts about the piece but was shocked that it received so much hatred. The 28-year-old was terminated after an article referencing her full name and place of employment went viral.
As for how the events transpired, Rawls said her supervisor sent her an email stating that someone from the U.K. had personally messaged them about the video. It wasn’t long before her place of employment was flooded with complaints, calls and angry messages. The young therapist was fired shortly after. The activist did note, however, that her employer was aware of her social media content prior to the controversy.
While devastated, Rawls isn’t giving up on therapy and her passion for helping people heal.
“A podcast is coming. I realize that maybe I’m not supposed to heal just one-on-one, I’m supposed to heal to a bigger crowd.” Rawls told AJC, noting how her fanbase has skyrocketed since the commotion. The TikTok star also said that she’s going to keep delivering “raw” and “honest” content despite what internet detractors say.
“My content is not easy and palatable because healing is not easy and palatable —it’s difficult,” Rawls added. “All of my content is surrounded around self-love and recovery from abuse — specifically narcissistic abuse.”