Letter: Therapists of color needed in Vermont
To the Editor:
My name is T'Mia Ross and I am a Rostered Psychotherapist and proud African American woman practicing in Essex Junction, Vermont. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, where community violence plagued my childhood and adolescent years. My parents although lower class were determined to find a way to send me to private school in an effort to get the best education possible. I immersed myself into my academics and my Christian faith which provided me all of the hope I needed. I knew that I was fortunate enough to have the drive and determination to use college as my escape. Everyone is not fortunate enough to have had that same opportunity. When I made the decision to move to Vermont for college I did so without my parents blessings and without knowing how huge of a cultural difference the two places are.
After graduating from graduate school in May 2019, I was determined to continue "beating the odds," and opened my private practice in Essex Junction in June 2019. I knew that there were no more than a handful of Black therapist in the state of Vermont and I wanted to change that. With our political climate being the way it is I feel that many Black people in the state of Vermont feel like they have no one to open up too in fear of being misunderstood. Who do you go to when there is no one around that looks like you?
I hope to be an example of what determination and Black excellence looks like. I open my doors to all however, I encourage black children, adolescents, adults, and elders to not be silent and get the therapeutic support you need. I hear you, I support you, and I will make it my mission to not only provide a safe therapeutic space for all people, including people of color but I will bring attention to the social issues and powerful role oppression plays in our lives.
I am grateful for the opportunity I have to work with clients and I will continue to maintain a space that offers the voiceless a voice to discuss racial oppression, microaggressions, implicit bias, violence, discrimination, and racism. I understand the issues that are unique to people of Color and it can feel intimidating to walk into a therapy session with experiences that your therapist is not able to relate to. A therapist who isn't a person of color can be very culturally competent and sensitive to their clients. However, what they have learned is second-hand. Vermont needs more Therapists of Color!
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