Black Mental Health

Black Mental Health

An interview with Patrice Douglas, LMFT, talking about mental health stigma in the Black Community. Curt and Katie talk with Patrice about how she is working to decrease stigma and increase access to competent treatment for African Americans.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. We are human beings who can now present ourselves as whole people, with authenticity, purpose, and connection. Especially now, when therapists must develop a personal brand to market their practices.

To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Interview with Patrice N. Douglas, LMFT, CAMS-I

Patrice N. Douglas is a licensed therapist, Certified Anger Management Specialist, and Certified Parent Child Interaction Therapist in California and Texas. She is currently a doctoral candidate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She is the owner of Empire Counseling & Consultation located in CA, NY, and TX where she specializes in anger management, men’s issues, minority mental health, as well as parenting. Patrice is passionate about decreasing stigmas in minority communities by curating initiatives such a t-shirt campaign that spreads awareness about mental health as well as uses the profits to pay for therapy for those who can’t afford it as well as low cost workshops. She has been featured in Bustle, HelloGiggles, Therapy For Black Girls, and other platforms discussing the various topics surrounding mental health.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Mental Health Advocacy within the Black Community
  • Reducing Mental Health Stigma
  • How awesome Patrice’s Instagram is
  • The pros and cons about social media and how you can use it to decrease mental health stigma
  • Patrice’s Infographics and how she has used them (and the response that she has gotten)
  • The way Patrice has used social media to provide education and has gotten a lot of visibility
  • Culturally specific impacts of mental health concerns – historical context, religion, lack of trust
  • Barriers to Mental Health Treatment for African American Clients including cultural mistrust
  • The impact of slavery, experimentation, institutionalization on access and perspective
  • The importance of understanding cultural differences, stereotypes, privilege, bias
  • Advice for Allies – hold space, consultation, understand required competence
  • Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome – intergenerational trauma from slavery impacting the current generation of Black people
  • The movement that Patrice is starting to increase awareness and decrease stigma – through t-shirts, infographics
  • The importance of consultation, cultural humility, historical context

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is sponsored by SimplePractice.
SimplePractice is a HIPAA compliant all in one practice management platform where you can schedule appointments, use paperless intakes, file insurance claims, meet with clients remotely using our integrated Telehealth system, and do so much more.

Learn more by going to You can also sign up and receive a special promotion of getting 3 months of SimplePractice for the price of 1. Please note, this offer is valid for new customers only.

This is episode is also sponsored by Brighter Vision.

What’s the point of having a beautiful website if it doesn’t attract the clients you want to see? As the World Wide leaders of website design for therapists, Brighter Vision sees this issue happen way too often. A nice-looking website doesn’t equate to a successful website. The truth is, your current website might even be turning off potential clients.

That’s where Brighter Vision comes in. Brighter Vision’s team of website designers will create you a website that is centered around attracting and retaining your ideal client. So that you can have a nice-looking website as well as a successful one.

To save $120 on your first year, head on over to

Relevant Resources:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links:

Patrice’s Infographics:

6 Signs of Depression in Black Men

6 Signs of Anxiety in Black Women

Dr. Joy Degruy

Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome

Connecting with Patrice:

Therapy Saves Lives T-Shirts

Instagram: ThePatriceNicole


Twitter: patricendouglas


Relevant Episodes:

Let’s Talk About Race

Let’s Talk About Race Again

The Modern Therapists Group on Facebook

Therapy Reimagined 2019

Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is a Board Member at Large for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Adjunct Faculty at Pepperdine University, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more about Curt at

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant. As a helping professional for two decades, she’s navigated the ups and downs of our unique line of work. She’s run her own solo therapy practice, designed innovative clinical programs, built and managed large, thriving teams of service providers, and consulted hundreds of helping professionals on how to build meaningful AND sustainable practices. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more about Katie at

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch:


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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