A current episode of NBC speak present Dr. Phil has gone viral after a Black visitor, Treasure Richards, 16, claimed to consider she was a White lady whereas spewing hate speech towards African-People. The present has not solely raised questions concerning the fact of this younger lady’s story but in addition concerning the state of psychological well being inside the Black group.
A lady claiming to be Treasure’s sister, Nina Richards, lately informed Essence that her sister, mom, Monique Richards, and brother Kendal Richards all appeared on the present for notoriety and a free journey to Los Angeles. Throughout their phase, the household was launched to psychotherapist Spirit, who provided the teenager eager perception into what might probably be the basis of Treasure’s drawback—self-hatred.
Viewers will recall the second the Atlanta-based therapist provided her providers to the teenager, solely to be met with disrespect, one thing Spirit would by no means permit in her personal apply.
“I have never in my adult life ever been talked to like that by anybody, much less a child. She is not someone that I would see in treatment because she’s not motivated for treatment. She doesn’t believe that he needs help, she’s not interested in help and she’s not interested in changing at this point in time,” Spirit stated.
Whereas the board-certified counselor isn’t one to simply accept nonsense, she understands Treasure’s points are far higher than the exaggerated insults and ignorant speech she displayed on-camera. In truth, Nina’s claims that the household fabricated the story solely converse to an elevated probability of there being critical psychological well being issues inside their family.
“If she is the sister, what she’s alleging does not change the fact that there is a mental health diagnosis there, it only changes what the mental health diagnosis is,” shares the clinician. “If you get caught up in the outrageous things she says, then you miss the actual story. I never believed for a second that she actually believed she was transracial and I never believed that she hated Black people. As I said on the show, I believe she hates herself, and I believe there’s some hatred and some frustration with her mother as well. This is more about humiliation, embarrassment, control, manipulation and all these other things.”
Nina has accused her mom of exploiting her siblings and the dying of their step-father for 15 minutes of fame, which if true, speaks volumes about not solely mom Monique, however the whole household.
“If what the sister is asserting actually is the case, that the mother is behind this alleged scam, there’s a diagnosis of Malingering Factitious Disorder that could be possible,” Spirit infers. “I think it’s important that we use the proper terminology, especially in communities of color, because it seems like we utilize the right terms for other people and have sympathy for them, but not for ourselves. We’re just “crazy.” There are psychological well being causes that lead individuals to do this type of factor, and that very properly could also be what’s occurring with Treasure’s mom. What wouldn’t it take for a lady to take advantage of her youngsters in such a means? If mother is sick and she or he’s the top of the household, then all of her youngsters are sick consequently.”
It has but to be confirmed that the Richards’ truly pulled a quick one on Dr. Phil and his employees. Nonetheless, the tv host was instantly met with accusations of exploiting the household after permitting Treasure to talk so outrageously all through the present. Many consider producers knew the household might probably be mendacity, however selected to have them on anyway. In accordance with Spirit, this was not the case.
“The producer who reached out to me, I’m more than familiar with her. We have worked together on previous shows together, so I had no reason to believe, and still have no reason to believe, that she was not 100% genuine in her wanting to follow this story and wanting to help,” Spirit claims. “We spent so much time before the show even aired trying to figure out how to help the family, so I have no reason at all to believe it was a stunt, if you will.”
She continues, “When she brought me the story, the production team was concerned with Dr. Phil looking like the stuffy, old White man, beating up on this young Black girl, and they didn’t want that. He is very serious about the level of production they do. The pre-production file that they sent me on this family was probably the biggest file that I’ve ever gotten from a production team. It wasn’t the kind of thing where producers are telling the family, ‘hey, come out here just to tell this story,’ and that’s it. They did their homework, backstory on the brother, backstory on the mother, backstory on Treasure, pre-production quotes, interview pieces, it was a lot. It wasn’t a fly-by-night circumstance.”
Regardless of possibilities the household wasn’t 100% truthful, Spirit sees the worth in “meeting people where they are.”
“Even if they’re not being factual, everything means something in therapy.”
Spirit understands that inside the Black group, the thought of counseling is usually seen as pointless, which couldn’t be farther from the reality. The truth is, the intergenerational traumas suffered by African-People for hundreds of years make room for the likelihood that we’d like it greater than another group.
“It’s absolutely imperative,” Spirit insists. “Mental illness does not discriminate, and there are certain illnesses that we allow to fester and exacerbate by our silence, lack of treatment and unwillingness to seek out the help that we need.
“Intergenerational trauma is a real thing, and unfortunately, since we have been in the United States, people of color, specifically African-Americans, have had to deal with certain traumas by using methods that turn into more trauma. Things like substance abuse, things like domestic violence, which breeds the possibility of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Chronic depression can be passed on genetically to your offspring. We won’t even get into family secrets, child molestation, issues in the church, all of which can play a huge role in one’s mental state.”
Along with deeming remedy pointless, some draw back from the follow as a consequence of attainable ridicule, one thing Treasure confronted instantly after her look on the present. Whereas making enjoyable of her outlandish statements is the straightforward strategy to go, Spirit suggests a extra constructive approach for the general public to deal with psychological well being crises akin to Treasure’s.
“It’s really about empathy and supportive encouragement. People are talking about what they would do to her if she were their child and giving her the type of attention that feeds her disease,” Spirit reveals. “A lot of her behavior is attention-seeking, because if the only father you’ve ever known died, and you never had that nurturing, loving and secure connection with your mother, what does it feel like now for her to be getting any kind of attention?
“Instead of feeding her illness in an unhealthy way and enabling her behavior, respond by saying, ‘Sister, I love you, and I hope you get some help. Sister, here’s a link to a clinic near you.’ In our community, a lot of us still don’t believe that mental illness is a thing, and we don’t know how to respond to it. When we see it, it triggers something within us. It annoys us, it offends us, it disgusts us, but then we don’t know what to do about it. We react in a way that makes us feel better but offers no healing. Then we say things like, ‘We got to do better as a people,’ or, ‘This is why no one takes us seriously,’ when we’re not taking our own health seriously.”
For many who have determined to hunt skilled assist, the race of a counselor can typically be a deciding issue, as many wouldn’t really feel snug spilling their soul to somebody assumed to know nothing about their cultural expertise. Spirit understands this line of reasoning, however begs sufferers to think about elements nearer to their particular wants.
“The race of the therapist is not as significant as the cultural competency of the therapist,” the motivational speaker asserts. “If I’m a White woman who lost a child and specializes in grief counseling and maternal mental health, and you’re a Black woman who’s coming in because she recently lost a child, I may be able to relate to you as that White therapist better than any Black therapist would be able to.
“If I was a Black male who only hung out with Hispanic people my whole life, and grew up in an area where I never associated with Black people at all, I may not know the cultural norms. I won’t have the proper context for what you’re trying to tell me. If you tell me, ‘I want a relationship like Will & Jada,’ and I don’t know who those people are, how am I going to help you, even if we’re the same color? Color is not as important as being able to connect.”
In the long run, it’s about recognizing that psychological sickness is a actuality for tens of millions of us, and that there isn’t any disgrace in in search of remedy.
“It’s a new day, and we have to take our mental health just as serious as our physical health. We have clinicians of color out here to educate, advocate, treat you and help you get better. If we don’t get that message out there, we are going to perish as an entire group.”
Spirit is presently engaged on implementing a nationwide psychological well being providers program in public faculties. You’ll be able to attain the Psychology At the moment-certified counselor right here for providers. It’s also possible to comply with Spirit on Twitter, Instagram and Fb.
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