Are you looking for a black therapist? Discover Tolonda Tate – Le Famuan
Meet Tolonda Tate, psychotherapist and founder of New Day New You counseling and education services based in Tallahassee.
Tate, with several diplomas and certifications to his credit, has practiced for 21 years. She is passionate about helping people and really understanding them.
“I help with emotional healing and understand that a bad time doesn’t equate to a bad life,” Tate said.
Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and raised in Gordo, Alabama, Tate has always wanted to become a therapist. From a young age, she realized that compassion and empathy were gifts that came naturally to her.
Tate watched his mother and other family members work for a local residential inpatient facility that treated people with severe mental illnesses and other disabilities. From there, she knew she wanted to learn so much more about mental health.
Tate followed her dream career path and attended Alabama A&M University, where she majored in psychology and criminal justice. She went on to earn a Masters and PhD from Nova Southeastern University.
“Therapy allows you to be genuine, open, and honest with yourself,” Tate said.
From Tate’s perspective, anyone could benefit from therapy. She believes therapy can provide people with the tools to help them get through the difficult times that life can throw at us. He can influence his interactions with others and “teach effective problem-solving skills”.
One of Tate’s patients, Victoria Hernandez, says she feels like she can be one hundred percent vulnerable during her sessions. Tate makes therapy accessible and comfortable for her. Even outside of their sessions, Tate’s different therapy methods are useful through various exercises and homework.
“I feel like she wants to protect me from some of the things that I’m facing because she really cares about me,” Hernandez said.
As a therapist, Tate’s goal is to encourage, motivate, and help individuals learn more about and love their innermost selves. She wants them to know that they are “not broken, we all have cracks” and that those cracks can be fixed.
“My goal every day is to reach at least one person. I walk away every day knowing that I gave one hundred percent to each person, ”Tate said.
Tate recognizes that black people tend to seek out black therapists. She says the stigma surrounding mental health has definitely set black people back tremendously.
For many black people, it is considered a weakness to simply ask for help – when in fact it is not. Some choose to suffer in silence because they are too proud to ask for help and not only is it a problem, but there is also a problem of trust.
“There is a cultural mistrust embedded in the African American identity, so working with someone with a shared racial identity creates a more comfortable environment,” Tate said.
Tate said the root of a person’s problem can be found when they can talk about their issues, without having to translate their culture. To dig deeper, she gave the example of a patient saying, “You know how it is with black mothers” and understanding what the patient meant from there.
“In 2019, only 3% of the psychology workforce in the United States was black, but many people are specifically looking for a black therapist,” according to Patrice Gaines, a freelance journalist.
Eight percent of Tate’s patients are black and she sees a mix of all ages, starting at a young age of 7. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of students coming to see her.
When Tate isn’t helping others, she appreciates her “self-care” time. She is determined to evolve every day, as she learns to invest and find her inner peace. She enjoys football in Alabama even though she lives in Tallahassee, where they are mainly Rattlers and Seminoles fans.
She also has a yorkie cup of tea, which in Tate’s words is “straightforward, straightforward, and offers unconditional love.”
Tate is happy to know that a sense of comfort is present once a patient sees that the therapist has the same skin as them. She wants to continue educating others about the stigma surrounding therapy, in hopes of making up for the lack of confidence in therapy.