Episode 94: The Dope Black Therapist: Creative Representation in Therapy [featuring Blaise Harris]
Ever heard someone say they just "don't do therapy?"
Even though the profession has gained a better reputation and become more inclusive, there are still many communities that are unrepresented and can have a harder time opening up to someone who probably "isn't going to get it."
That's where finding your niche and ways to connect with and serve that community plays a huge role in how you show up as a therapist, whether that's by having your clients do boxing in session or just normalizing the shit that others can't handle.
If you are curious about what creative representation can look like and how to tailor therapy to clients, as well as the struggles that the therapist may face when making custom therapy available to clients, this episode is for you.
In this episode, I talk with Blaise Harris, therapist, private practice owner, author, and host of the "Dope Black Therapist" podcast, about why he went into private practice, what struggles he faced, and how his experience as a black man and retired firefighter impacts the way he does therapy and shows up for his clients.
Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode:
- Understand the impact of unaddressed personal issues in professions that demand "leaving it at the door."
- Learn how to use creativity to customize and create safe spaces to talk openly, support one another, and break the stigma surrounding mental health.
- Hear Blaise's personal story of going from firefighter to therapist and how he shows up for his clients in unique ways while still maintaining self-care.
"Therapy that works" will look different for everyone, and stepping up to create that custom therapeutic environment to match each person's needs can result in criticism and pushback when breaking the norm and challenging the stereotypical therapist image. Despite what grad school teaches, there are many ways to be an ethical and effective therapist who caters to the unique healing processes of clients.
More about Blaise:
Blaise Harris is a licensed mental health counselor and former firefighter with over 14 years of service as a first responder and is the founder and owner of G Squared Consulting and Counseling Services. Blaise has a passion for helping others and hopes to end the stigma surrounding mental health amongst first responders and in the community. Blaise hosts a biweekly podcast called, The Dope Black Therapist, where he shares practices, tools, and coping mechanisms, as well as addresses issues regarding mental health.
Blaise's Website: thedopeblacktherapist.com
A Thanks to Our Sponsor: The Receptionist for iPad!
I would also like to thank The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this episode.
As you prepare for the new year as a private practice owner, one area of your business where you might be able to level up your client experience is from the moment that they enter your office and check in with you. For many private practices, the client check-in process can be a bit awkward and confusing.
Clients often enter into an empty waiting room. And chances are you're wrapping up a session with someone else, so there's no way of knowing when they arrive. With a visitor management system like The Receptionist for iPad, you can provide clients with a discreet and secure way to check in for their appointment while instantly being notified of their arrival.
What's more, The Receptionist offers an iPad list check-in option where clients can scan a QR code to check in, which negates the need for you to buy an iPad and stand. Go to thereceptionist.com/privatepractice and sign up for a free 14-day trial. When you do, you'll get your first month free. And don't forget to ask about our iPad list check-in option.
PATRICK CASALE: Hey there, everyone, you are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice Podcast. I'm your host, Patrick Casale. Today I'm joined by Blaise Harris. He is an LCHMCA, LCASA in North Carolina, and also, the host of The Dope Black Therapist Podcast. And today, we are going to talk about fears, failures, insecurities around starting a small business, and just kind of see where this goes because this is always a wonderful topic for the podcast to help normalize these things that don't often get talked about.
So, Blaise, thank you so much for making the time and coming on.
BLAISE HARRIS: Thanks so much for having me. It's been an adventure. And I'm always honored to be able to speak, and just talk about my story, and what's going on. And it's still weird to kind of be like, man, people actually care about what I think?
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's a weird feeling, right?
BLAISE HARRIS: Really.
PATRICK CASALE: Like, we were saying before we started recording. So, your story is a powerful one. And, you know, this is the first time we're actually meeting but I follow you on social media as well. And I've seen some of your posts and it sounds like it's been a journey.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah.
PATRICK CASALE: And ups and downs for sure.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah, man, it's one of those things, it's like, you know, a lot of times you will realize that what you go through is anything different, and then, becoming a therapist is like, "Oh, shit. Oh, shit. That's a thing?" So, I was just like, "Wow, okay." I just thought it was just me growing up as a black kid in a trailfort because that means that was [INDISCERNIBLE 00:02:33], you know? And then, you go to school, and you learn these things. So, that was… you might have had some adverse childhood experiences. What the hell was the adverse childhood experience?
PATRICK CASALE: [INDISCERNIBLE 00:02:46] A scores and you're like 5, 6, 7, 8?
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [INDISCERNIBLE 00:02:51]. Okay, so, you know, let's check out the criteria for, you know, major depressive disorder. Now, for me, I'm seeing as it's like, for somebody who grew up thinking therapy was, nope, black folks don't do that. And you pray about it or you keep it to yourself. And then being diagnosed with major depressive disorder, like, what's that? You learn all these different types of things is like the stuff that you've experienced in, you know, dealing with intense sadness, dealing with, you know, decreased mood and you know, isolating yourself, and not eating, and not sleeping, and suicidal thoughts, and you get irritable, and all this kind of, "When you're depressed you just say it." The lesson was more, man. And that's one of the things that, you know, I'm excited about would be in the therapies that I get to actually break some of the stigma, break some of that stuff down, especially, for people who look like me.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely.
BLAISE HARRIS: It's a lot like [INDISCERNIBLE 00:03:53] you know what I'm saying?
PATRICK CASALE: And you're also an author, you have a book that's published. So, congrats on that. I mean, that's amazing. What does it feel like to say like, "Okay, I've got a podcast, I've got a book out, I have a therapy practice. People clearly want to hear what I have to say."
BLAISE HARRIS: You know, it's still like, and we said it before, man, it's weird as hell dude. It's like, this stuff ain't supposed to happen to me, you know? And it's like, when you go into a field, you don't go into it. Like, when I went into therapy, I went into it because I wanted to help people, you know? I wanted to, well, specifically, first responders. For those who don't know, I was a firefighter for 14 years. And my divorce fucked me all the way up. Like, it fucked me up to a point where, you know, wasn't eating, lost all that weight, you know, two suicide attempts, submitted myself to a mental health facility. And that's when I learned about major depressive disorder, and what it was going on, and anxiety, and stress, what all this stuff look like right?
And so, you know, while I was, I call it in the book of Becoming a Dope Black Therapist, my vacation. So, five days away, no phone, you know, no TV, no outside interaction with the outside world. And that's when I learned that I had major depressive disorder. And I learned about group therapy and what that looked like.
And while I was gone, you know, nobody knew where I was. Like, when I was in the fire service because, you know, the culture there is like, once you enter these doors everything that you're dealing with outside was supposed to vanish, so just walk through these firehouse doors. And then, all the things you see at work, as soon as you cross that threshold you're not supposed to take that home.
PATRICK CASALE: Talk about endless vicarious trauma and [CROSSTALK 00:5:46].
BLAISE HARRIS: Right, and that thing is unrealistic. And the culture of first responders is we're not allowed to feel because, you know, we're supposed to keep this stuff down, we might see something worse, you know, five minutes later. Now, fortunately, the culture is changing, [INDISCERNIBLE 00:06:05] about peer support groups being formed, you know? People are able to come out and talk about it.
So, if I can meet this happy-go-lucky guy, and smile, and nothing's wrong, but go through all of this stuff that people will not know about it, how many of the first responders to go through the same thing?
PATRICK CASALE: Absolutely.
BLAISE HARRIS: So, initially, I became a therapist to work with other first responders, you know? And I got to grad school, and I was like, black people don't do therapy, period. And I realized how much of a unicorn I was in this profession. You know, I think I had three brothers in my class, like, in my graduating class. And this is like, I can do something in my community and make a big difference, you know? But how was I going to still do that in a barred service, you know? And that was one of my biggest fears. I'm going to leave this secure job, insurance, stay to paycheck, you know? I get to do what I love. I'm helping people. I work 10 days out of the month. And I had to do whatever. And I'm good. And I was just like, holy shit. I'm going to leave all of that security and start doing therapy full-time.
PATRICK CASALE: That had to be a pretty horrifying thought to feel like I'm stepping into the unknown, especially, like you mentioned, as a black man, in the south, who's doing therapy, or culturally, we would say, at large, a lot of black people, like you mentioned, therapy is just not something that's happening. We're seeing it more and more, and it's fucking great.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yes, love it.
PATRICK CASALE: But it is still a barrier. And then, you have another barrier, right? Of like working in first responder culture. So, there are all these barriers to like, breakthrough for treatment. You decided I'm going to pursue this anyway.
BLAISE HARRIS: And it was a lot of soul searching. I've talked to, I can't remember how many colleagues of mine because I was doing… I transitioned from 25-hour shifts to Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 5:00, you know, in the fire service. And I would see clients when I didn't have my kids. I'm a single dad on top of that, too, right? So, 50/50 joint custody with my kids. So, on the nights that I didn't have my kids, I will leave work and still see clients from 5:00 to 9:00. And holy shit, it's is a lot, you know? But I'm not going to to move any higher in this position that I'm in now, in fire service. I'm stuck. There's no opportunity for growth here, there's no opportunity for me to excel. I'm not going to get paid what I'm worth regardless of how much I put into what I'm doing.
And I was like, fuck it. So, this is a field that I know that I can do well in, you know? I've talked with my colleagues, you know, they talk about, you know, how much they bring home and how much flexibility they have. I mean, you know, all the benefits of doing therapy full-time and what it looks like, you know? And it's like, okay, I've talked to all these people, I've done my research about all this stuff, I need to make this amount of money, I can do this amount of money. Let's do it. And I resigned from the fire service of 14 years at New Year's Eve 2020. And I started doing therapy full-time January 4th, 2021. And I haven't looked back since.
PATRICK CASALE: Besides the initial fear and anxiety, any regrets about that decision?
BLAISE HARRIS: I miss driving a fire truck, that's the only thing. I miss driving a fire truck, I miss running calls, and you know, I miss the camaraderie of being with a crew, you know? You know, I do miss that. You know, the thing about it is I still hang out with them, I dropped by the station the other day. And I said, "Jose, what's going on?" "You doing therapy full-time, man? I heard all this? You doing all this? Man, it's great."
And, you know, I can still go to firehouses, and talk to folks, and sit down, I can't drive trucks. But you know, I still get to see some of the things I enjoyed about being in the fire service, you know? And one of the biggest parts that I really enjoyed is like I have first responders who I may have come across in some way, shape, form, or fashion, who knew that I was a therapist is like, "Hey, man, can we talk?" And I'm like-
PATRICK CASALE: What's that feeling like?
BLAISE HARRIS: It's amazing.
PATRICK CASALE: It's amazing, isn't it?
BLAISE HARRIS: It's really amazing because, you know, you think about… because we went from "You ain't supposed to talk about this shit." To, "Hey, man, I might need some counseling." And it's just like, wow, this is really changing because we're not going to just talk to anybody, right? One of the things you talk about is finding your niche. I love saying that, you know? Finding where you are, find this population that you really work with, right? And I know that with my experiences, police, EMS, dispatchers, fires, whoever, they're going to feel comfortable talking to me because they know that if they talk to me about any kind of story, I'm not going to, "Oh"
PATRICK CASALE: You're not going to be rattled by the things that come out of their mouths.
BLAISE HARRIS: Right. And it's just like, they can be themselves. And I think that's one of the things they really enjoy because they, man, I'm telling you, man, some therapies, some of the horror stories that I hear about some of the folks who been to therapy, and the things that they've heard, and the shit that some of the therapists says, like, how did you get your license?
PATRICK CASALE: Man, we could have a whole podcast episode on that. I'm actually writing a book that's probably going to ostracize me from the profession, eventually. But back to your story, I think you're hitting on some really important parts of this because what's important, especially, for any community, whether it be a marginalized community, whether it just be a population of, you know, like you said, medical professionals, EMTs, etc, who just aren't supposed to talk, we can even throw military in there, and law enforcement, et cetera, leave the shit at the door, you have to respond, you have to be in action mode all the time, what you're doing is just absorbing trauma, absorbing trauma, absorbing trauma, and then, it comes out in substance use, and then, it comes out in anger, irritability, relationship issues, whatever, suicide attempts, etc, are through the roof for these populations.
So, by being a part of that community, and speaking openly about your experiences, and sharing about what you've gone through, and being public about struggles, you are creating a massive ripple in the community at large because it allows for people to immediately break down a barrier, break down that wall and admit to themselves, "I may need to talk to someone, and I know that Blaise is a safe person I can turn to. I mean, whether he can be my therapist or can recommend someone he trusts, I am going to be much more inclined to pursue that instead of suffering in silence all the time."
BLAISE HARRIS: And that's one of the things is like, we don't think about the impact that we have, that we can create in certain areas and stuff, you know? It's like, we make it okay to talk about it. It's like, "Okay, Blaise can go through this stuff, and Blaise is feeling this kind of way. Oh, shit, Blaise is one of those guys who's always smiling. He's always good. But he's struggling sometimes. And he talks to somebody about what's going on here. Okay, then maybe I can go do that." And that's one of the things that, you know, I started a men's group in my hometown.
PATRICK CASALE: I saw that, yeah.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah, and it's like, you know, and I saw, hey, I might go do this. You know, I noticed a need, and they said they want it, [INDISCERNIBLE 00:14:19]. And, you know, the first night one person showed up when I was just like, "Okay, there's one person who would show up in the beginning." And then it started to grow. You know, and more people started to come in and started talking about it. And one of the best comments that I've gotten, one of the best statements that I've heard in the group is like, one dude said, "You all make me feel like I'm not strange, you know? You all make me feel like I'm not strange. It's like it's okay for me to have these thoughts. And other men think the exact same way that I do."
PATRICK CASALE: Absolutely.
BLAISE HARRIS: And like it was like, the power in that statement alone, and them having a resource to actually enter in a space, but then, actually, voice their stuff and not feel like they're being judged, and not feeling like they're being ostracized, and not feeling like they're being made fun of. You know, it's hard, you know? And that's why I love what I do, you know? That's why I love what I do because I have shit like this coming up, you know? And it's-
PATRICK CASALE: [CROSSTALK 00:15:24] just listening to you talk about this.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah, man. It's just like this is-
PATRICK CASALE: It's so important.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yes, it's fucking phenomenal, you know? Man, at the same time, brother had to take a break this month. You know, because I still practice full-time. And then, my group is like from 8:00 to 9:00. And I'm like, man, I need to breathe a little bit, I need to take care of Blaise too because if Blaise ain't doing right, he won't be able to do right by everybody else.
PATRICK CASALE: There's a lot to unpack in what you just said. And number one is the humaneness, the validation of the human experience for people who feel like they can't talk about stuff. And that goes for multiple populations of people. And if we're talking about men, specifically, you know, that's another group that just feels like therapy, there's some aversion there. But there's so much power in validating human experience, whether it be negative or positive emotion, however, we want to spin that and how important it is to create community, and to create connection because that's where the healing takes place.
You know, we've talked about one-on-one therapy and how important it is, but one 50-minute session a week, or every other week is like, it's not enough. And we need community, we need connection, we need to feel like a part of, as human beings, that's how we're wired.
And then, another important piece that you just named is that Blaise needs to take a break, right? Because you mentioned and I'm just going to use your wording, you're kind of like this unicorn in the space, so that means that you're never really going to be hurting for clients, you're never going to be hurting to have a demand of people who are attracted to work with you. And I imagine, I want to choose my words carefully, I don't want to put words in your mouth. But I imagine that there could be some feelings of like because I know, more people are going to be willing to talk to me that I have to make myself more available because I understand that most of the profession does not look like me.
BLAISE HARRIS: Man, that there is so true, that's the thing. It is like, I'm a helper by nature. Every job that I've had is I've helped people, you know? I was a special needs teacher before I was a firefighter, and then, firefighter, and then, you know, therapist, and [INDISCERNIBLE 00:17:57], all these different types of things, I serve. That's what I do, right?
So, with that mentality, I'm a fixer and a rescuer by nature. And I want to help everybody. And that's the thing, is like, I want to help everybody, I want everybody to be okay because I don't want you to feel like I feel, but I was like, that's not my job. I can't save everybody. It's not my job to go out and accept every person that comes my way or somebody that comes in and ask us because the reality is I can't make myself available. 24/7 because if I do that I'm taking time away from me, taking time away from my children, and taking time from my family. I'm taking time away from our friends. I am missing out on that stuff. And it took me a while to realize that it doesn't make me a bad person for saying no.
PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, absolutely. That's a big statement right there. And I imagine there's guilt that came up around that and shame of like, one, this is so nuanced, and there's so many layers to this, because it's like, institutionally and culturally in the profession, it's like you say yes, you sacrifice yourself, you help everybody else. Two, what we're talking about, in general, about just being who you are.
So, this is very layered. But the ability to say no is so important. And here's where people get it wrong a lot of the time and I think you know, just because you mentioned you've been listening to my podcast lately, should check out if you haven't the episode I did with Ajita Robinson early on because she is a really powerful black woman in DC who is an eight-figure business owner now, but talks about how like, you can create impact in so many different ways other than just one-on-one 60-minute increments of time. And that is so important because podcasting, books, groups, all of these things where you can create more accessibility to people who maybe can't afford therapy or just don't have time for it. But it also helps even the scales, mentally, when you're thinking like, "I have to do everything, I have to be every one thing for everyone." And it's just not possible as one person and this field is too fucking hard.
In a group practice, man, that could be a thing, for sure, if you found some folks that you've really felt like aligned with. But you know, there are so many ways to create impact and have that like, ripple effect in the community that doesn't mean that Blaise has to be the person that's constantly available to everyone. And I'm glad that you named that and that you named, one, that it was a struggle, and two, that you are now getting more comfortable being like, "No, I can't do it." Because what will happen is your caseload will become 60 people a week, and then, you're thinking like, "This fucking sucks." Like, I'm in this profession that I've created for myself, this is going well, by all accounts, and I'm burnt it the hell out. I'm constantly looking forward to vacations or time away from my calendar. And that is not useful for you. And it's not useful for your clients. So, it's like, that balancing act is so, so crucial.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah, yeah, man, that's exactly right. And it's just like, I'm sitting there, and I'm like, man, I got to have these spaces. I look at my calendar that's like, "I can't have like blank spaces, I need to feel this because I'm new." And all this kind of stuff. And I'm like, you know, "I have to constantly, constantly work, you know?" And I saw other therapists doing that same thing is working, you know, working, working, and working the whole time where it's just like, okay, that's what I got to do.
And I was listening to an episode the other day it was talking about how, you know, we first started out, you know, you do all the community mental health, you do all those different types of things, you do all those things. And it's like you got to earn your stripes, right? To do all that kind of stuff.
And I was like, I was sitting there, I was at the gym, I was like, "Damn, that's right. I did the shit too." And this is like, now I'm at a point where it's like, if I have an empty slot, I'm like, okay, that's great. That's some time for me to chill, I can read, I can say that man, I can go for a walk, I can get some exercising, I can do whatever it is I need to do, you know, just to decompress for a little bit.
PATRICK CASALE: So, you know, writing the emptiness is such a crucial thing. And that's because it's so easy to get caught up in the empty space. And like we are overachievers as by nature and we're like, okay, empty space means I could see one more client, I can be accessible to one more person, I can make more money/. Empty space, once you get to that mental space where it's like celebrated, it's really wonderful.
Like, when people… I don't practice as a clinician anymore, I haven't since September of this year, but when I was getting like either cancellations or, you know, a client would text me and say, "Hey, I'm not coming today, charge my card, I'll see you next week." I'm like, one that feels like a victory. And two, I can go do whatever the fuck I want to do. And it was just such a massive mental shift from like when I first started, and it was literally like, there was so much fear around blank spaces because it was like, "Oh, my God, there's empty spaces, people are canceling, nobody's ever going to call me again because this is happening." And it domino effects, snowballs, and you're like, impostor syndrome nightmare.
But get comfortable with the uncomfortable as a small business owner. And I think that's really important to constantly check in with yourself about like, why did I start this in the first place? What was the reasoning? And anytime I polled people for like, "What's your favorite thing about being a small business owner?" It's like free time, autonomy, creativity, nobody gets to set my schedule, but me.
And I love that. And always circling back to your values, but ultimately, a lot of people recreate their agency job environments because, one, we live in a capitalist society, two, it just feels like there's this internalized pressure that we always have to be doing something. So, just letting that go. And it allows to create more, you can be more creative. Like, when I have more free time in my calendar, and I intentionally block it off, specifically, now, I can podcast more, I can create content, I will get better ideas for other ventures. Like, I can't do that if I'm bouncing from thing to thing to thing to thing and then the end of the day, I can't even think straight anymore.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah, yeah, you're absolutely right. And that's one of the things, man. I've been listening to a lot of this stuff and seeing a lot of stuff you do just in the group, and everything, man. And I got to thank you because you've definitely opened my eyes to a lot of different things. You know, it's like I had no experience being a being a business owner, or entrepreneur, you know? And like, I follow my supervisor. You know, she's been really good in, you know, mentoring me in this whole thing, you know? And so, she's so business savvy when it comes to these things. So, I'm picking her brain about stuff, you know? She's definitely been a huge help for me.
But I also look at what you do, and what you give to people, and what you show people how they do these things. And it's helped me a little bit more, you know? I feel like I can do therapy my way, you know? And I don't feel bad about doing therapy my way, you know? I think a lot of people they come in and they think people, they're just going to be like…
And I tell folks is like, "Listen, so I'll validate you, but I'll call you out of your shit, too. And like our conversation is going to be like this. And they're like, "For real?" I was like, "Yes." And they feel like they're so relaxed with it.
You know, I've practiced martial arts for a number of years. And I know how everybody say, "Okay, we want to do wellness exercises." Or, "We want to do all these grounding exercises." And there's usually breathing and all this type of stuff, right? I will after them sign a waiver, obviously. I don't need Boston blues, you know? And I'm an EMDR-trained therapist. And boxing is just bilateral stimulation.
And it's just like, you know, I did this when I was working with another agency. And you know, we had done it before, but then, you know, [INDISCERNIBLE 00:26:34] talk about stuff. Sometimes dude is. "I don't want to do to shit." But we got a lot of anger inside and they don't know how to express it. And I gave everybody heads up, "Hey if you hear some yelling, and some screaming, and a lot of loud noises, it's okay. It's just us. We just doing this process."
PATRICK CASALE: It's cathartic as hell, man.
BLAISE HARRIS: Yeah. And so, I did it, and we go through. And I had this dude like going through this [INDISCERNIBL 00:27:06] and he said, "Blaise, this was the best session I've ever had." But I get an email from the director saying, I don't know, we should do this afterwards." And that was my cue to leave and start my own, you know? Because I don't want to feel like I'm being watched by men.
PATRICK CASALE: We all have that, like, fuck it last straw moment, if you've worked in an agency, for most of you listening, where it's just like, "This doesn't make sense, I'm not doing this anymore." Like, I would rather take the risk on my own and deal with the bullshit.
And it's amazing because there's so much gatekeeping in our profession about like how therapy is supposed to look. And therapy can look however you want it to look as because it's individualized. So, some person may need to come into your office, and put on the boxing gloves, and like, do some bilateral stimulation that way. And that might be much more helpful than sitting across from you for 50 minutes and trying to drag conversation out of someone who doesn't want to talk or who just isn't able to access that at the moment. So, I'm all about it.
And one, I just want to say thank you for the kind words before. I think therapy gets to look however we want it to look within reason. Like, obviously, I'm going to put some Asterix there because people will call me out on that and be like, "Well, the ethical code says this, this, and this"
But I really do believe that, and you're going to have much more of an impact if you can be creative with your clients. And it just so useful to think that way. So, I'm glad that you're able to offer that now that you own your own business. And man, what you're doing is inspiring. And I think you just got to keep showing up, and again, keep taking care of you.
And for those of you listening, like taking care of yourself in this profession is paramount. Like, you cannot take care of other people if you cannot take care of yourself. And it's very easy to get caught up in that trap of saying yes, saying yes, saying yes. And then, you look at your calendar on Monday and you're like, "I don't want to do any of this." And you don't want to get to that point because it's very hard to come back from.
But really cool stuff that you're doing, really cool stuff that you're offering. I mean, and you're just getting started. [CROSSTALK 00:29:33] like, I hope you can like anchor into that and remind yourself of that because you are just getting started with all of this and there's so much to be done, and there's so much potential, and there's so many people to reach, and consistency, and creativity are key. Yeah, just constantly, you know, circling back to you, authentically you and that is when you show up that way, for all of you be listening, your clients are going to do better work, you're going to attract the right people, you're going to repel the right people. And both of those things are okay. You are not going to be for everybody. I am not for everybody. When people email me and tell me my cursing makes me sound unprofessional and lazy, you're not the right person for me.
BLAISE HARRIS: They told me this, that one of the things, I cuss all the time. And I tell people if you cuss like a sailor, cuss like a sailor, if you being then be saint. But then, you know, you know, everything that I do is the dope black therapist. They're people like, "Well, you're going to turn people away from it." Okay, if they're offended by that, then I probably don't need to say them anyway.
PATRICK CASALE: Exactly.
BLAISE HARRIS: "Why do you call yourself that? Why can you just be Blaise Harris?" It's like, "Okay, how many black therapists do you know, besides me?" I wait. Right. And then, I represent a lot of people who don't realize that I exist. And that's what it is. And I realized I can be a target for everybody. I know I'm a trigger. I can be a trigger for everybody. But that's okay. You know, people who want to see me will come see me, but people who don't won't. And that's okay. If I'm not a therapist for you I am not taking offense forward. I'm not offended by that. You do what you want to do. I want to be sure that you're getting therapy with the person that you want to get therapy from and need to get therapy from who you feel comfortable with. And if that's not me, that is totally fine. I'm happy with you just getting some therapy.
PATRICK CASALE: Couldn't say it better myself. And I think that's the important piece here is just to really embrace your story, your struggle, and embrace who you are because people need your messaging out there. For those of you listening, and just curious about getting started or fearful about getting started. I mean, this is a really powerful story. And I hope that this was helpful.
This has been a cool conversation, man. I'm excited to meet you in a couple of months in Portugal.
BLAISE HARRIS: Likewise.
PATRICK CASALE: And just keep doing what you're doing. And really just keep showing up the way you're showing up because you're changing lives, you're changing the community, and I think this is really, really awesome. I'm excited to see a year from now what you've been creating because I'm telling you, man, the sky is the fucking limit.
BLAISE HARRIS: I Appreciate, Patrick, I really do. It means a lot to hear… I'm looking forward to creating more myself, man. One of the things you said earlier really stood out, you know? We look out for everyone, right? And one of the things that I've been starting to tell my clients, you do realize that you are part of everyone. So, be sure that you're taking care of yourself, you know.
PATRICK CASALE: You got some good one-liners on this episode, you should start putting these into your content and your website.
BLAISE HARRIS: They're coming. Look, I've been taking notes while I'm listening to you and your and your guests, sir.
PATRICK CASALE: Thanks again for coming on, and just tell the audience where they can find your podcast, and your book, and all of your information, too.
BLAISE HARRIS: Okay, awesome. So, my website is www.thedopeblacktherapist.com. You can find me on Instagram under the_dopeblacktherapist. My podcast is The Dope Black Therapist, you finding on Spotify, Apple podcast, and my book, Becoming the Dope Black Therapist is available on Amazon.
PATRICK CASALE: Very, very cool. Congrats on all the success and wishing you a lot more. And to everyone listening to the All Things Private Practice Podcast, all of that information will be in the show notes so that you have easy access to find all of Blaise' stuff that he's got created, and going on in the world. And new episodes of the All Things Private Practice Podcast are out every single week on all major platforms and YouTube. Like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway. We'll see you next week.
FREE PRIVATE PRACTICE GUIDE
Join the weekly newsletter for private practice tips, podcast updates, special offers, & your free private practice startup guide!
We will not spam you or share your information. You can unsubscribe at any time.