This week on BeREAL, Diana and Ednesha are joined by Christian Ziraldo to discuss the role of therapist matchmaking, and many of the nuances that come with selecting the perfect therapist for yourself.
Christian Ziraldo is the founder of Yellow Vibrations, a mental health advocate, and a former school counselor. After earning her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling and School Counseling, she got married, moved from Detroit, MI to Oakland, CA, and tried to find a therapist to help her manage the changes that were taking place in her life. Navigating the insurance company and finding a therapist that fit her schedule, budget, and communication style took three months. After helping friends, family, and students navigate this process with similar barriers. She knew something had to change. Christian started Yellow Vibrations because she believes that finding a therapist shouldn’t be what stops anyone from healing.
The episode begins with all three women retelling how they found each other. Christian goes over her work of matching people around the country to clinicians in their area, and how that led her to discover Ednesha on the BeWELL website. Christian outlines the reasoning behind her work. She gives examples of how many people can experience anxiety when they are searching for a therapist because the whole process can be overwhelming. She also offers reasons as to why her work is so important, especially to people of color. Ednesha explains how people of color may be anxious to have their first session with a therapist because they may not have a space where they can talk solely about themselves elsewhere. Christian’s work of properly vetting the therapists for the patient can help alleviate some nervousness.
After a short break, the therapists return to discuss why the process of finding a clinician can be so difficult. Ednesha points out that only 5% of clinicians are black, and therefore it is much harder for patients to find the perfect match, because there are so few. This is another instance where therapist matchmaking is important, because upon consultation, Christian finds out whether the client would like their therapist to be a person of color, a member of the LGBTQIA community, and specialized in a specific field of therapy. Her work can also assure that the client is walking into a session with a culturally competent therapist, who will not be offensive or make microaggressions towards their patient. This is one of the many ways Christian outlines of how she protects her people.
Christian ends the episode by telling the hosts her plans for the future. Beyond therapist matchmaking, she hopes to make mental health as commonplace as physical health. This means making it a less taboo subject and making its resources more accessible.
Thank you for tuning into BeREAL this week! Be on the lookout for a brand new episode next Tuesday. In the meantime, make sure to check out last week’s episode to listen to the BeREAL family get uncomfortable.
For more information on Christian and Yellow Vibrations, visit the links below:
To schedule a therapy appointment text BeWELL to 484848 today