What White Therapists Need to Know with LaToya Smith: Black Leaders Matter Series | Part 1

What White Therapists Need to Know with LaToya Smith: Black Leaders Matter Series | Part 1

Why does it matter that the change starts with you? What are some ways you can start doing anti-racist work? How can you start reaching out to the black community?

In this podcast episode series, Joe Sanok speaks to LaToya Smith about what white therapists need to know.

Meet LaToya Smith

LaToya is the owner of LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency in Fortworth Texas. She firmly believes that people don’t have to remain stuck in their pain or the place they became wounded. She encourages her clients to be active in their treatment and work towards their desired outcome.

She has also launched Strong Witness which is a platform designed to connect, transform, and heal communities through the power of storytelling.

Visit LaToya’s website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Strong Witness Instagram, and Twitter.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • A space to talk
  • What white therapists need to know
  • Doing the hard work
  • Finding that balance and being authentic
  • Things you can do

A space to talk

You can’t hurt me then tell me how to heal.

What’s new to some therapists, specifically white therapists, is not new to the black community. These are things the black community has been experiencing for a long time now, but it’s important to hear the voices now. In a lot of Facebook groups for therapists, there is a lot of ignorance and frustration from white therapists when black therapists speak up about how they feel. Why can’t these issues be addressed if both white and black therapists share the same profession?

What white therapists need to know

Be intentional about reaching out to the black community and not waiting until it’s a national issue.

  • It’s not the responsibility of the black therapist you know to educate you and make you feel comfortable.
  • There has to be more action behind your words.
  • Get better training in your practices and make sure you’re addressing these issues with your white clinicians.
  • Hire black therapists and don’t dismiss them out of fear for not being able to connect or interact.

Doing the hard work

Being willing to get out of your comfort zone, being willing to get uncomfortable so that you can do this work, I think that part is important.

Sometimes we feel that fear and then we run away.

Finding that balance and being authentic

Be intentional and address this with yourself. Search your heart and begin to understand why you haven’t done this work before? Ask yourself:

  • What prejudices do I have?
  • How am I benefiting from this system?

Therapists share 50 minutes in a conversation with their clients, but the real work is done outside of the sessions. The same goes for you. You have to do this real work with yourself first, this is how it comes across as authentic and real and lasting.

Things you can do

Don’t let guilt keep you silent.

  • Do the work within yourself.
  • Donate to an organization dealing with justice, racism, addressing police brutality, and Black Lives Matter. You could start doing this by donating to a bail fund in your county, Campaign Zero or NAACP.
  • Stand up and advocate for the black community, address these issues with the people in your life.

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[JOE]:
If you normally skip this part, hold on just a second. I’m not doing any sponsors for this series. Instead, I want you to donate to an organization that you love; an organization that is pushing back against what’s happening in this world, in the black communities. Find someone or somewhere that you can give your time and your money to be able to make a difference. A number of our guests are going to be sharing organizations that they like, and we’d love for you to support those or if there’s one that is doing good work in your community, connect with them. So please, give to an organization that is going to improve the world because we need your time and your money right now to make a difference.

This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok. The Black Leaders Matter series.

Well, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I am here with LaToya Smith from Fort Worth, Texas. She is a therapist, a business owner. She’s also the brains behind the amazing Strong Witness storytelling program. Latoya, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[LATOYA]:
Hey, Joe. Thanks for having me on today.

[JOE]:
So, you are kicking off this Black Leaders Matter series. And you and I have been texting a time over the last week. There’s been a lot going on in social media. And we just were talking about how there’s kind of some direction that you thought would be helpful to go. So why don’t you frame out what do you think is a good direction for our conversation today?

[LATOYA]:
Yeah, I think you know, what I do thank you for opening up the podcast so that we can have this discussion. But I really want to have a conversation around, specifically, how we can… what white therapists, or what I believe your audience needs to know, about what black therapists are feeling when it comes to issues of race, when it comes to issues of our voices being silenced on certain platforms, I think these are all brought to the forefront in this season right now, and then also knowing that you know, how frustrating it can be too, that what’s new to some therapists, specifically white therapists, is not new to the black community. These are things that we’ve been experiencing for a long time now. And so, I’m glad that we have this space to address. I hope the other black leaders that come after me, maybe they’ll be more specific and talking about their niche or another area, but it’s important to hear the voices now. And, and I want to say too, what’s frustrating is that even when we comment on certain groups, Facebook has a lot of therapists groups, and every time I turn around, I see a new one. But a lot of things I’ve seen over the last few weeks is a lot of ignorance or frustration from white therapists when the black therapists speak up about how they feel, or saying this isn’t the space for that, or we don’t talk about that here. But why can’t we talk about it here? If we have the same profession, if we move the same, as far as what we went to school for, why can’t we address these issues in this platform, in this space? And I think those things have to be addressed.

[JOE]:
What are some of those topics that you’ve seen, really, that you would say, this is the place for the people who have pushed back on?

[LATOYA]:
I think, for me, most important, I saw… and this wasn’t in a group, but this is what stings for me. And I can’t recall the name of the black therapist, but she posted it… I want to say in May. And she acknowledged the silence of white therapists. She said, you’re real silent right now. And then she asked the question, how can we refer to you if you don’t stand up and speak up for the black community? And to me, that was like volumes; that was so loud. Because I think the same thing. If my community around me of the white therapists that I refer to, or that I know, or have been former colleagues, if you’re not speaking up in this season, how can I refer? Why would… I want good care for these clients – how can I refer them to you? Because you’re not going to recognize all of them. Are you going to see them as a number? Are your prejudiced views going to get in the way? Are you going to acknowledge their pain? Are you gonna be able to address their pain? How can you address that pain one to one when, if somebody is vocal and opens up or asks a question in a Facebook group, you tell them this is not the space or put them down, or you feel so uncomfortable with it, like you’re pushing back? That’s not fair. If you know that I’m hurting, if you know that I’m bleeding, like, say something. Because now, you know, I realize, okay, now when I refer, if people aren’t speaking up, yeah, now I’m moving different.

My practice, I have a group practice, we see predominantly women of color. And every therapist with me is a woman of color. Basically, black therapists, one Latino therapist, and that’s who we really see. It doesn’t mean we don’t see white people in our practice. But yeah, when I refer out now [unclear]. Before it was the same thing, I’m just saying now I’m just more adamant about it. And it’s hurtful and it makes you angry, and it’s frustrating. I’ve seen people say, I’m getting out of these groups. I’ve had to like, not get on the groups because it baffles me, some of the things that people say, and I keep thinking like, especially over the last few weeks, like, when I touched down on campus for grad school, it was like counseling 101. Empathy, unconditional, positive regard. Like, those are things that we just heard. And I’m thinking, where’s the empathy at? For the clients, where’s the empathy at for the black therapists who are having to go through these circumstances of constantly dealing with race, not just in the last month, not just when 2020 hits. This is for the for – I would think all of us or… I won’t speak for everybody – the majority of our lives. So, where’s the empathy at when we bring up issues? And they’re immediately dismissed or said, well, this is not the space. Well, tell me where the space is. And that’s the part that’s painful. Because see, and I often say, you can’t hurt me then tell me how to heal. So you can’t tell me where, okay, well, you can only talk about this when, you know, real quiet in a whisper on Tuesdays at 2:30. Like, no, like, why can’t I speak openly about this if it affects me? And if you’re my colleague and you say you care, why can’t we talk about it together? And this is a group for therapists, and I can bring issues. Why can’t we process this? So, what happens is you let the black community know what you’re saying directly in some spaces, and then indirectly is, well, you can talk about therapists stuff, but don’t bring all of yourself into this group. And so then what happens is that – and there are some good Facebook groups for black therapists or clinicians, you know, people of color who are therapists – and then, you know, end up voicing our opinions there but then that’s… it’s hurtful. And I need the white therapists specifically to realize how that comes across.

[JOE]:
What do you wish white therapists… like how, from your point of view, could they be more vocal in a way that feels authentic to you, that is helpful? I guess I ask that because some of my fear has been that I’m then taking away from black voices. And so, you know, a couple weeks ago it was you know, mute your social media so there can be more diversity in the voices rather than just a bunch of white leaders. But then, you know, as you and I were texting, and you’re sharing the pain of not having your friends even reach out to you about this, I’m like, yeah, I can’t be silent. So, for you, how would it be most helpful for white therapists to enact what you’re talking about?

[LATOYA]:
I think (1) it’s important for white therapists to realize that it’s not the responsibility of the black therapists they know to help educate them and make them feel comfortable. So, whether it be in the conference room, you know, meetings, passing in the hallways, what have you, it’s not the black therapists’ job to woo them, to comfort them, to make sure they’re okay. And I’ll admit that my thoughts are a little different on this because, like I said, I’m in a practice with basically women of color. But I’ve had these conversations about race with colleagues in the past who were white, you know, and if we can talk about various issues personal to our lives, if we can talk about your children, if we can talk about our deepest pain, it bothers me that I don’t hear from them on these issues. It bothers me when I see their pages and they’re silent. Not when we know each other and have worked hard together. That part bothers me and that’s just me personally, to the point where it’s frustrating. But don’t just… it’s not business as usual. Don’t post about your niche when this is going on. That bothers me. Everybody’s [unclear]. You don’t have to do it every day. Now, I’m intentional. My Instagram stories are just straight when it comes to everything Black Life Matters, all on purpose, because it’s in my heart to do and I want those white therapists who click on there often to see it. But I think when it comes to that, like for me personally, it’s like, say something. Now, I also think that there has to be more behind your words. And I think all of us… not I think, I know. And to the point where I stopped reading… getting these emails, we stand with the black community. Okay. I remember talking to one of my friends, okay, these emails are kind of late now. Now they’re just dwindling in. So how much weight do they really have behind them, but, since you put that out, now put some action behind it. Let me see what you’re going to do. Because it almost seems like you got your PR person, it almost seems like you copy and paste it and you just writing what needs to be said. Okay, but now open your doors and make sure white therapists that in your practices, you’re getting better training in your practices, you’re addressing these issues with your white clinicians. In the practice, or businesses, wherever, you’re hiring black therapists and not dismissing them out of your fear of not being able to interact or connect. And platforms like yours, Joe, like the Practice of the Practice, and other big white therapists who are consultants, like, be intentional about reaching out to the black community and not waiting until it’s a national issue, when everybody… now it’s like a world issue, people are marching, you know, across the country. Okay, well, black lives do matter, like, because you feel like it’s something that you have to say to fit in. You know, so put some action behind that.

[JOE]:
Yeah. And you and I talked before we started that I am fully open to have you challenge me on things. I want that to happen publicly, even if it’s uncomfortable, and I’m glad that you’re bringing up the role of Practice of the Practice. If you were to go back six months or a year before the most current marches started, what do you wish that either Practice of the Practice would have been doing, or white therapists? What do you think could have been helpful to not be as vocal right now, but to have it be more of a long-term thing?

[LATOYA]:
I think it’s important too, to address the areas that you’re uncomfortable in. And I think we all know the areas, the issues that make us uncomfortable, but address those, like, why wouldn’t you want to include other races or other voices on a platform that’s so successful? Why wouldn’t you want to diversify the voices on a podcast that you hear? You know, I think it’s important to reach out and if somebody else is doing something great, why not link up and see how we could do this bigger and reach more people? And I will say too, the reason why… I did see your posts – I saw you put the blackout Tuesday, I saw that, and I said, okay. And I’m glad you did that because I was thinking, like, man… Because at a certain point too, I’ll be honest, like, okay, because now I’m changing how I move and I hate that I wasn’t this intentional before, like, being intentional about visiting black owned restaurants and making sure I’m putting money back into the black owned businesses. Whether it be a primary care doctor, my dentist, a black dry cleaner, that’s important to me, putting my money in black bank, and I’ve made donations to the causes, like, I’m doing that. But I remember thinking, okay, like a part of me was hesitant to reach out to you cos I’m thinking, now I gotta, like, stop dealing with Practice of the Practice. But I’m being honest, like, because that’s where I’m at. And then I saw you put out your statement, I think it was last Friday, and I said, okay. And when I read it, it was authentic – it wasn’t cookie cutter – I got a sense that it was. But I also know you from working with Practice of the Practice. Had I not known you, I wouldn’t have reached out to you. So, I understand why black therapists now don’t want to be connected with certain platforms that are now extending their hand. And I’m not speaking for all black therapists, but I understand that people are like, nah, I’m okay over here. Thank you, but no thanks. Because, like I said, I’ve gotten a bunch of emails and those were deleted and dismissed, because I don’t know you and this doesn’t seem genuine. But I can say, okay, you and I have had conversation.

[JOE]:
Right.

[LATOYA]:
But one thing too, I remember going to Killin’It Camp. And if, again, we’re being authentic and honest, I remember I had a great time… not, I’m sorry, not Killin’It Camp…

[JOE]:
Slow down school.

[LATOYA]:
Slow Down School. I had a great time at Slow Down School in the summer. I really enjoyed what I learned, I enjoyed slowing down, period. I ate a S’more for the first time, things I haven’t done, like, this is cool. But I remember thinking, I do not wanna find myself in northern Michigan, like, [unclear], I don’t even know what goes on in northern Michigan. And I knew when I went there, I was like, ah, this is not gonna be comfortable for me. And I tried to get out of it several times, like, ah, do I have to go? But when I went I had a good time, and I went there were really good people that were there. But I knew beforehand this was, how’s this going to be? And if somebody is going to say something, then I gotta brace myself to react. Those are the things that some black therapists experience when you know that you’re walking into a room and nobody else looks like you. Okay, I gotta prepare myself, I gotta be ready. These microaggressions may come, you know, okay, what am I gonna say? How can I react that doesn’t get me fired, doesn’t get me put out the company, doesn’t get me sent home on the next plane, but also stand in my truth. So, it’s like you’re always prepared for something that may come through. And, again, that’s things that, when it comes to white privilege, white therapists, I don’t think you have to do that. I don’t think you have to go into a room… because really, a lot of times, and I can only speak for myself with the jobs that I’ve had that, you know, other than me owning my own company right now, they’ve been predominantly white when it comes to therapists. But back to your other question, like, I remember asking you when I was at Slow Down School, because we were playing some game, it was actually fun. I don’t remember what the game was, but it was like, you know, at the end of the day, I remember asking you like, hey, Joe, why don’t you connect more with other black therapists, other successful groups? And I honestly… I don’t remember the answer the clearest, and I don’t know, I guess I wanna ask you that now. Why is that something that you haven’t been intentional about doing in the past?

[JOE]:
Yeah, I think one of my thoughts has been that there are some really strong groups that are out there. And I don’t want to come across as trying to steal their audience, or to, like, just make Practice of the Practice a way that, I don’t know… I feel like if I do things that try to just attract an African American audience, as a white man, I’m fearful that that would come across as just purely just to, like, you know, take people’s money or to, you know, steal away from other people’s audiences. And that’s not true of just the African American community. It’s, you know, other people’s audiences that I’m cognizant of. There’s so many people out there that do that, that try to steal your audience, they put on a webinar just to get your email list and those sorts of things. These people have worked very hard for their audiences and in the past, in the same way that Whitney focuses on faith based practices, and she’s a specialist and really good at that, and that’s not something that I want to try to learn how to teach. In the past, I’ve tried to just refer out to other African American consultants as much as possible. With that said, I think I can do a better job of surrounding myself with those people, learning more about what they do, create ways that we can share audiences and give them more of a platform. But I think that’s my gut reaction of they’re doing it well, and I don’t want to make it… I don’t know, I’ve had a fear of coming across in the same way as when people start saying Black Lives Matter right now. It’s like, why haven’t you been doing that up till now? Not wanting to come across as being that kind of slimy and, why are you doing this now, Joe? I guess that’s what comes to mind.

[LATOYA]:
Yeah. And thank you for that. And I like what you said too, like, okay, well, it was a fear of mine. But that’s real. And that’s genuine. As opposed to, you know, I don’t know, I didn’t need them. But I think those relationships, in some cases, can be built. Being intentional about having guests on the podcast to introduce the white audience, like, there’s black therapists doing this, or this is an area, this is a course, or what have you. I think that’s important. I understand you’re saying like, everybody has a different niche and there’s a certain population that you’re more in line with. But I also think like, man, there’s so much that can be gained if it hadn’t happened before. I think now, it may be harder, and like I said, I don’t blame anybody who’s like, no, I’m good over here now. Don’t come because everybody else is doing it. But as long as you have the door open, you know, as long as… I think I saw in your posts, okay, like, your team, there’s nobody who’s a person of color on it. So, doesn’t mean that you just go out and hire anybody. But there’s great people with a great skill set that can be of help. And I think that is important. I think, the next time you put out one of those magazines, like, being intentional about having people of color on there, you know, and I think like, what you’re doing, being willing to get out of your comfort zone. Get uncomfortable so that you can do this work. I think that part is important. Because sometimes we feel that fear and then we run the other way. Right?

[JOE]:
I think that that word intentional, just as a blanket statement about podcast guests – it’s rare for me to go out and try to recruit anybody to be on the podcast, unless there’s a specific author that I read their book and I say I want them on the podcast. Typically, the way it is we get 10 to 20 pitches a week from various companies, or different influencers, saying, hey, we’d love to get this person on your podcast. We then evaluate whether their kind of branding and teaching lines up with what we’ve been teaching, because we don’t want to put people out there that say, have just a crappy website, no matter what kind of guests they are. We want to make sure that their branding and the way that they are teaching doesn’t contradict what we teach. With that said, that word intentional, I think is an area that we could grow it in, to say, yeah, we’re getting pitched on these types of guests. How do we also continue to expand outside of that with, more and more, what we think we want the makeup of our guests to look like?

[LATOYA]:
Yeah, and so with that being said too, then you are open to more pitches coming, and then we’re receiving those – from people…?

[JOE]:
Jess, you’re probably listening right, you’re gonna have to read through a bunch of pitches.

[LATOYA]:
Yeah, so that’s a good thing.

[JOE]:
Yeah, I think that as we talk through this, long term, where would you hope the conversations go? Because every single March that’s happened in Traverse City, we’ve been at. Even the most recent one, we had our masks on and everything, we make signs with our girls, we’re the only people in our neighborhood with a Black Lives Matter sign. This isn’t meant to be a laundry list of like, look at me, but we are supporting with our time, our money, I do free consulting with a number of groups that are advocating around issues that we care about. But that hasn’t been front and center in regards to Practice to the Practice’s branding and marketing because I think it goes back to not wanting to feel like I’m using an issue for my economic gain. So how can people find that balance of making sure that they’re vocal about what really matters in the world? I guess… I’ll just leave it there. Like, what would you suggest, kind of as I move forward, but even as other therapy practices move forward, in regards to what they can do differently?

[LATOYA]:
See, that’s good. And I like the idea that you’re doing, you’re active in your community, and you’re doing these things. I think you said, you’re giving pro bono consulting services away.

[JOE]:
Yeah.

[LATOYA]:
I think that’s important. And I think when it’s authentic then it’s going to spill over to your business. And you know, it won’t have to be so… what’s the word I’m looking for? Like, rehearsed or inauthentic. It’s going to spill… If that’s you, and that’s what you’re doing, and that’s how you’re moving, it’s going to spill over. The problem comes when that big divide that we put down there, and so first, I would want white therapists to be intentional, that’s where it comes across as okay, now you’re out here acting and you’re playing. But no, it’s got to show up in your personal life too, right? So really, first things first, before you go out and you read off that book list that is circulating on Facebook about be anti-racist or whatever, you know, check your heart, like, what’s in it, what’s going on with you? Why haven’t you done this before? What prejudices do you have? How are you benefiting from this system? Discuss white privilege, like, really address this within yourself. I was just saying this last night in a conversation. Just like a therapist, we share 50 minutes or an hour with somebody, but the real work is done outside of the sessions. So, for the white therapists, you got to do this real work with yourself first. And then, that’s how it comes across to authentic and real and lasting when you… okay, I really want to do this. I dealt with my own stuff. This was my block. I tore it down, now let me get active. Now everybody doesn’t have to march. I went through like… I’ve been a part of three marches in the last week and a half. They were amazing, here in Fort Worth. But if that’s not your thing, it’s not. But you can also donate – I’ve donated to two different organizations. You can find the organization dealing around Black Lives Matter or this injustice or against racism or addressing police brutality. Put your money there.

[JOE]:
Are there specific organizations that you feel are doing a really good job with that work that you’d like to list?

[LATOYA]:
Yeah, I was connected with a black therapist here in Fort Worth, and she led this last protest I went to on Saturday and she was actually on [unclear] this last Thursday. And she mentioned the importance of donating to the bail funds in your local area. And I donated to the Tarrant County here in Fort Worth, Tarrant County Bail fund because too often, because of racial disparities, black people are arrested at a higher rate and just being able to have that – maybe they can’t afford bail, things like that. I also donated to Campaign Zero which is too, like, you know, identify effective solutions to end police violence, or supports the research to develop policy and advocate and help the organizers and things like that. Those are the two that I’ve donated to. You can always donate to Black Lives Matter, the NAACP. I think those things are important. And I think that for the therapists who… I think anybody can donate, but especially the ones whose practice is very lucrative, or big-time consultants. I think that’s important.

[JOE]:
Not naming names or anything…

[LATOYA]:
But I also think is important… Here’s the big part too, so, deal with your own stuff, right, own your part and stop projecting or deflecting away, take some of the money, put it to good use, donate. This is huge too – in your circle… I think a lot of people, white therapists, it’s hard for them to stand up and advocate for the black community because they know of the conversations that they were in, or they understand the advantage they got as a white person that blacks weren’t privy to, or people of color weren’t privy to. And it’s hard for you to stand up now, knowing all the advantages of all the conversations you had around these issues and your voice remained silent. So, don’t let guilt keep you silent. Like, we’ve all been guilty of something, but you got to break free from that. And so, it’s important to have these conversations that when you’re back, whether it be Sunday dinner or you with your buddies on Friday evening, you know what I mean? Or your family or whatever, or at work and if somebody says something, address it. Tell them that’s not right. Address it and say, well, why do you feel that way? Bring these things up at the next meeting and say, okay, we have to start addressing these issues. That’s going to be important. See, this goes deeper than just the email of empty words, that now take action and do something. And then don’t wait to be called out on it. That’s the thing. Like I said, my friend and I talked last week, okay, some of these are coming way too late now. Like, it’s hard for me to believe you that you put one out two weeks later, like, how about, if you’re outraged, say something. Say something. But I think that’s the thing. So now, okay, it can’t be empty words, but there has to be actions behind it. There has to be.

[JOE]:
And how much should those actions be publicly announced? Because that’s been why I haven’t been saying, here’s what I’m doing. Because I just do these things because I feel like it’s good for the world. And it’s good for teaching my daughter’s certain things, and it’s good for… but to say, hey, everybody, I just donated this to help with this issue. It feels like, you know, in the same way that in Christianity, you’re supposed to be quiet oftentimes about what you’re doing good for the world. That’s where I’ve been silent on what I’m doing because I’m just doing it. And then, I think, when I speak out about something, I see all these people say, like, well, where have you been? And being harsh about it, but I don’t want to come up with this laundry list of here’s all the stuff I’ve done. And maybe that’s a bit off topic, but how much do you think people should be saying, here’s what I’m doing in my personal life, to give themselves credibility? Maybe that’s it, to give themselves credibility so that people know that they’ve been part of that fight for a while and that, even if I, as a privileged white male, has still a ton to learn, can… I don’t want to have to constantly say, here’s how I’ve been involved either to justify that I wanted to help make a difference. I don’t know if I even articulated my question well here.

[LATOYA]:
No, I got it. I think you said it too, or just like a scripture, we’re not supposed to go out in the streets and be like, I’m praying now – look at me. And draw attention to ourselves. Or if I decide to go out and feed the homeless, using it as a photo op, like, that’s not going to be a good idea. But like I was saying a minute ago, when you do these things, and it’s in you to do it, it’s going to spill out in other ways. Because if it’s really in your heart, you can’t keep this out of your next conversation amongst your peers, your white counterparts. So I would think the next time you connect, and I don’t even know how it’s done, but the next time you connect with other white therapists or other white consultants, if this is really in your heart, and this is something that you want to change, you’re going to challenge and address them as you do it. And another part too, yeah, as we have these black leaders on, and they can hear that you’re being authentic, you’re being genuine and you’re being intentional, I would think that they’re going to bring that back to conversation. Like I did or be like, no, I heard him, and this is what I believe that he’s doing and what he’s saying. So, I think, really, that’s what I was saying before, okay, white therapists, they need to, like, we all need to examine our hearts. But what’s stopping you from doing it? Because if you just go out and do it one time, like, yeah, I wrote a check, like, great, but you still are benefiting off this racist system, society, you’re still benefiting from white privilege, and you still don’t know how to interact or talk to people who don’t look like you. But you wrote a check – thank you, but there needs to be change. So, I think any way that you can, and like we already said, being intentional about guests. Being intentional about posing these questions, even when it comes to Facebook groups and even, I would say, challenging your consultants. You know, the ones that work with Practice of the Practice. How have you been changed? Or what are you willing to implement? I think that’s going to speak volumes.

[JOE]:
Such great advice, LaToya. Thank you so much for kicking off this series and for being someone that is a part of this, has been a part of this, is challenging me to think through all these different issues. The last question I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

[LATOYA]:
I want them to know that black therapists, black people, are hurting. And so, not to look at black people who speak up right now about Black Lives Matter, about racism, as just talking or being noisy or always complaining, but to really listen to the pain behind the words, to be intentional about making change and to doing something about it. This issue is so loud right now it can’t be ignored. And like I was saying before, like, especially for white therapists, and white people, to search their own hearts to see what’s going on.

[JOE]:
Oh, that’s so awesome. And, LaToya, if people want to connect with you, with your practice, with Strong Witness, what’s the best places for them to follow you or to learn more about what you’re doing?

[LATOYA]:
Sure. I’m on social media. Facebook is LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency. Instagram is @LCS_Counseling, and then Strong Witness is on Facebook and Instagram.

[JOE]:
Some awesome stories that you’re doing with Strong Witness – can’t wait to continue to follow those. LaToya, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[LATOYA]:
Thank you for having me.

[JOE]:
Just a reminder to all of you, we aren’t doing any sponsors for these shows. We want to encourage you to instead, go donate to whichever organization you feel most comfortable with that are going to help this cause and just improve this situation. Take LaToya’s advice and thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music; we really like it. This podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.