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


  • 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!

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