Even though more people of color have been entering the clinical psychology/counseling field it is still predominantly white. In all of my classes I am one of few people of color. Sometimes it’s rough being the only black person or one of few, its kind of feels like I do not belong in the field or like I am in the wrong place. That’s why I am glad when I meet another black graduate student or professional in the field who welcomes me. I have met only a few black people in the field but every time there is a sense of automatic solidarity and understanding. Within minutes we talk about why we entered the field, our past/current work/accomplishments, and our struggles of being in a predominantly white field and feeling like we don’t belong. There is genuine excitement and support from people who I just met. I can see the excitement in their eyes when we talk about our visions/goals and find commonalities. I also sense their passion, which is so motivating and reminder that it’s not only me here.
Normally I am a person who do not typically open up to people quickly, I selectively pick what I tell people. When I first meet people, I am usually quiet and shy. For some reason, during these encounters, I feel safe enough to talk and reveal more about myself. There is a genuine bonding and exchanging of positive energy. Receiving genuine support without people trying to use me, steal my ideas, or dim my life is always a great feeling. There are also amazing learning experiences. So far, I have received so much helpful information I never knew I needed. It feels great to be welcomed to a community so quickly and to be forming connections. We also sometimes hang out causally so it’s not like we only work or talk about schoolwork. These sincere encounters affirm why I am in this field, not only to help future clients with their mental and emotional well-being but also to connect with other people like me in the field to normalize black people being in the clinical psychology/counseling field and to normalized therapy in the black community.
Sidenote: So far all of my experiences have been positive. There is a possibility that I could have some negative experiences in the future. If they do occur, I plan to not let them get to me and focusing on the good experiences.
Time to Focus on You:
What types of connections are you making in your field and/or life with other people?
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