Point of View

Point of View

Casting a Wider Therapeutic Net: Dr. Joy on Therapy for Black Girls

By Ryan Howes

May/June 2021

As healers, we therapists largely do our work on an individual level, meeting session-by-session with a single client, or perhaps the occasional couple, or even a small group or two. We hold close the belief that, in taking on this admittedly difficult mandate, we can inspire positive change, not just for one person, but perhaps—when it’s all going well—that person’s family, and even their entire community. But if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s just how much work there is to do, especially in providing access to culturally competent mental health education and support for the many people who need it.

Although deeply entrenched disparities in mental health care have long been a concern in the field, events of the last year have launched them into the national conversation. And pioneering clinicians making important changes on a large community level have exploded onto the popular media scene. One of them is Dr. Joy Harden Bradford.

A psychologist based in Atlanta, Georgia, Harden Bradford is the founder of Therapy for Black Girls, an online community where, as the name suggests, young Black women can candidly discuss issues of mental health and, in doing so, work to dispel the stigma that surrounds it. The site, which features a therapist directory, blog, and social network, has been featured in publications…

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