This can be annoying, hurtful, and downright harmful. “For example, with a Black male client, I heard of another therapist just assuming they weren’t raised with a father in the home,” Dr Taylor says. Another scenario: you could be misdiagnosed by the mental health expert, and the record of that could potentially follow you through the medical system, says Lilac Vylette Maldonado
, who uses she/they pronouns, a community organizer at the mental health- and social justice-focused Fireweed Collective
Because of such incidences, she and the Fireweed Collective team stress the importance of thoroughly interviewing therapists
before starting treatment, and asking questions such as how the mental health professional uses the DSM
, whether they collect demographic information, if they’re willing to show clients their notes, and whether they’re open to negotiating diagnoses.