Therapy is DOPE

Therapy is DOPE

An interview with Eboni Harris, Co-Founder of Melanin and Mental Health – Curt and Katie talk with Eboni about people of color, both clients and clinicians, and what therapists often get wrong about cultural competence, continuing education, and the uncomfortable conversations we need to be having to decrease mental health stigma, racism, and ignorance.

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 Eboni Harris, LPC, LMFT

Eboni Harris is a licensed relationship therapist, co-founder of Melanin and Mental Health™, Founder of Room for Relations and host of Room for Relations: Sex and Relationship Podcast. Through her education she has learned the skills and techniques to help individuals and couples love better, stronger and longer. Through life she has learned that taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for you and the ones you love. Her goal is to help adults communicate with clarity and honesty, love with passion and intention and teach their little ones the value of boundaries, compassion and trust.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Eboni’s story and how she came to co-found Melanin and Mental Health
  • Connecting therapists of color to help decrease mental health stigma and improve the quality of clinical care for people of color
  • Creating a directory for clinicians of color
  • Psychology Today’s lack of ethnic diversity on their magazine
  • How it feels to be leading a movement, especially when people don’t get it
  • The Melanin and Mental Health tag line: Therapy is Dope When You Have a Dope Therapist.
  • The types of training and conversations that need to happen to support the increasingly diverse population of clients
  • Cultural humility and cultural competence
  • What therapists get wrong when working cross culturally
  • The damage done when clinicians dismiss race as a factor
  • Lack of understanding of cultural, ethnic, gender identity and impacts on life and in the therapy room
  • Micro-aggressions that can even happen in treatment
  • The problem with referring out all clients of different ethnicities
  • The institutional concerns within the mental health profession that provide obstacles both for clients entering treatment as well as clinicians entering the profession
  • Mental Health Access and the complexity of hiring clinicians or finding therapists who are culturally competent
  • The role that fear and ignorance that can lead to poor interventions
  • Responding as a human being, not a member of the establishment (calling the police, CPS, etc.)
  • Understanding how passive ignorance can be a bigger problem than overt racism
  • Using privilege and access to help solve the problem and be an ally
  • What needs to change in our profession to better support people of color
  • Understanding healing with a more diverse lens
  • The importance of understanding your biases
  • Uncomfortable conversations that lead to positive change

Resources mentioned:

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

Melanin and Mental Health

Petition to demand more diversity from Psychology Today Magazine

Our Generous Sponsor:

Thanks again to our sponsor, Center For Discovery!

Center for Discovery provides evidence-based treatment for eating disorders, binge eating disorders, mental health, substance use, and co-occurring conditions nationwide. Discovery offers gender inclusive and gender-specific treatment with separate programming for adolescent and adults. Programs have a high staff to client ratio because individualized attention is critical when it comes to providing effective and efficient treatment. Learn more about these clinical programs at Discovery offers free resources including weekly support groups, a recovery app, free evaluations, and treatment scholarships. Learn more about Discovery’s Free Weekly Support Groups, for those struggling and loved ones, at Center For Discovery is a preferred provider and in-network with all major insurance companies.

Our Next Event:

The Therapy Reimagined Conference in Los Angeles in October 2018!!

Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

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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