Welcome to Amarachi Therapy


Mental Health Counseling and

Workplace Wellness Services for

Black & POC Professionals

in Maryland and Washington, DC


As Black and POC professionals in the workplace, we face unique and overwhelming stressors and obstacles that can have detrimental effects on our mental health. As a whole, black people face systematically higher unemployment rates, fewer job opportunities, lower pay, poorer benefits, and greater job instability. Even after slaving away for years in school, getting the degrees, and nabbing our dream jobs, racism and discrimination remain pervasive in the workplace environments we've worked hard to occupy.


My practice is focused on improving mental health outcomes for Black/POC professionals who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, mood dysregulation, and thoughts of suicide due to the effects of toxic workplace environments. I work to help my clients develop an understanding of the impact of structural racism on their work experiences, understand their mental health symptoms, and utilize evidence-based techniques to improve the quality of their lives.

What is Workplace Stress?

Workplace Stress can be described as the the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can, in turn, lead to poor health and even injury. Workplace stress is a silent and often neglected factor that has a significant, negative impact on employees' mental health, particularly employees of color.


The Impacts of Workplace Stress


Workplace stressors are classified as physical and psychosocial. Physical stressors include noise, poor lighting, poor office or work layout, and ergonomic factors, such as bad working postures.


Psychosocial stressors are, arguably, the most predominant stress factors. These include high job demands, inflexible working hours, poor job control, poor work design and structure, bullying, harassments, and job insecurity.


These effects occur in a continuum, beginning as distress in response to stressors. Distress, in turn, leads to elevated blood pressure and anxiety, which increase the risk of coronary heart disease, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders.


Workplace stress's adverse effects on employees' mental health include increased risk of anxiety, burnout, depression, and substance use disorders. Workers who are stressed at work are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and poor dietary patterns.


Symptoms of workplace stress


Physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of workplace stress include, but are not limited to:

Fatigue

Heart Palpitations

Dermatological Disorders

Discouragement

Feeling Overwhelmed

Difficulty Making Decisions

Diminished Creativity

Problems with Interpersonal Relationships

Impatience

Muscular Tension

Sleeping Difficulities

Depression

Irritability

Inability to Cope

Increased Absenteeism

Decrease in Initiative

Mood Swings

Disinterest

Headaches

Gastrointestinal Upsets, like diarrhea or constipation

Anxiety

Pessimism

Inability to Concentrate

Aggression

Drop in Work Performance

Increased Frustration

Isolation

What are the main work-related stressors?


Organization culture, bad management practices, job content and demands, physical work environment, relationships at work, change in management, lack of support, role conflict, and trauma are all leading work-related stressors that contribute to poor mental health outcomes.


Some of the factors that commonly cause work-related stress include long hours, heavy workload, changes within the organization, tight deadlines, changes to duties, job insecurity, lack of autonomy, boring work, insufficient skills for the job, over-supervision, inadequate working environment, lack of proper resources, l ack of equipment, few promotional opportunities, harassment, discrimination, and poor relationships with colleagues or bosses.

What is Workplace Racial Trauma?

Racial Trauma is a form of race-based stress that affects Black people and people of color when they experience and witness dangerous events and perceived experiences of racial discrimination. For many, racial trauma appears as threats of harm and injury, humiliation, and often witnessing people of color being harmed, which can negatively impact one’s mental health.

In the workplace, racial trauma is a specific type of workplace stress that can look like micro/macroaggressions that perpetuate racism, stereotypes, and aggression; harassment, lack of career advancement opportunities; and slights/snubs with racial undertones meant to be oppressive and derogatory.

While many black professionals have come forward with their experiences and successfully moved on from these types of work environments, many others have not had the luxury of doing so. As a result, Black/POCs resort to managing their work environments through emotional management and careful self-presentation (ie "code switching"). Despite these behavioral modifications, Black employees continue to experience loneliness, isolation, lack of allies, tokenism, being overlooked, and lack of representation in leadership.

How Can Therapy Help Me?

If you’re considering therapy, you may be thinking about the possible drawbacks. Cost might be a concern for you. You might also be aware that therapy is often difficult. Trauma or other painful events from the past can be frightening to remember, much less discuss with someone else. Even if you aren’t dealing with trauma, working through challenges isn’t easy, and therapy isn’t a quick fix. Therapy also requires honesty, with yourself and with the therapist you work with.

But if you’re willing to do the work, therapy can be rewarding. It’s a safe, judgment-free space where you can share anything, with a trained professional who is there to help.

Here are a few benefits of therapy:

  • You’ll learn more about yourself. Therapists listen to your story and help you make connections. They might offer guidance or recommendations if you feel lost, but they don’t tell you what to do. Therapy can empower you to take action on your own.

  • Therapy can help you achieve your goals. If you aren’t sure of what your goals are, therapy can help you clarify them and set realistic steps to meet them.

  • Therapy can help you have more fulfilling relationships. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, therapy can help you address difficulties with relating to others, such as insecurity in relationships or difficulty trusting your partners.

  • You’re more likely to have better health. Research supports a link between mind and body wellness. Untreated mental health issues can impact physical wellness. On the other hand, people in good emotional health may be more able to deal with physical health issues that arise.

  • Therapy can lead to improvement in all areas of life. If you feel like something is holding you back from living life as you envision it, therapy can help you address this. When you aren’t sure what’s keeping you from making change, therapy can help you discover the answer.

Even if you aren’t sure you want to commit to therapy, many therapists offer a free first session or phone consultation to talk through what you’re dealing with. Based on your symptoms, they might encourage you to get help.

What Can I Expect During Therapy?

Intake - Your therapist will collect information from you via an intake questionnaire. This information includes contact and demographic information, reasons for seeking treatment, goals for therapy, medical and psychological treatment, substance use history, family medical/psychological history, risk assessment, and other factors.

Evaluation & Assessment - Once your therapist has collected your medical/psychological history, they identify, analyze, evaluate, and address the problems, issues, and circumstances which brought you to therapy. This step essential in the therapist understanding you.

Diagnosis - This is the process of comparing your symptoms with the diagnostic criteria of some type of classification system. For example, counselors in private practice and mental health agencies use the DSM–5. Insurance companies require diagnoses to authorize payment for services.

Treatment Planning - This collaborative process between you and your therapist is the development of a written document that outlines the proposed goals, plan, and methods of therapy. It will be used by you and your therapist to direct the steps to take in treating whatever you're working on.

Discharge Planning - A critical component of your treatment, discharge planning helps you prepare for the ups and downs of life after therapy. Discharge planning begins at the onset of treatment, and includes a plan for you to follow should your symptoms become unmanageable.

I Think Therapy Can Help Me. What Next?

I'm happy to hear that you're ready to begin your journey towards healing. Choosing the right therapist is an important part of your therapeutic journey. Please take a look at my services and read more about me to see if I may be a good fit for your needs. You can also click the link below to schedule a FREE 10-minute consultation to talk a little bit more if you're still unsure or have additional questions.