As a licensed psychotherapist in DC/Maryland, Lanada Williams helps change lives. ?A member of American Counseling Association, Williams is currently president of the Maryland Association of Multicultural Counseling. Besides one-on-one counseling, Williams also hosts a radio show that lets her address mental health. “The Lanada Williams Show” focuses on life, love and relationships. ?Here, she tells TNJ.com how she promotes mental health through her practice and radio program.
TNJ.com: What led you to become a psychotherapist?
Lanada Williams: My passion is for teaching and growing in all avenues of my life and I wanted to make an impact. Growing up, I strived to live a balance life, so I often spent time with my family and friends. If someone had a personal issue, I was the confidant. ?It was during high school that I took a psychology course and this introduced the career of being in the mental health profession. I made the connection at that moment and then learned more about the field of psychology while attending college and graduate school.
TNJ.com: Mental health has been a touchy issue in the Black community. Do you think this is changing???
LW: I think, due to stigmas, African-Americans still struggle with utilizing mental health services. Experiments such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study that began in 1932 using African-American men as test subjects, left a legacy of mistrust; its repercussions still linger. ?African-Americans still grieve from being misinformed from various types of health care systems. ?African Americans, historically, have had large extended family and faith institutions to entrust our problems and secrets. Socially, it is not acceptable to ?tell your business? to someone outside of your immediate family. But we have to stop perpetuating this stigma and suffering in silence. The suicide rates in African-American communities are higher than Caucasians and, often times, are not diagnosed.
TNJ.com: What are some misconceptions about the field???
LW: The biggest misconception is that therapy is a waste of money. We value the clothes we wear, the food we buy, even the type of car we drive but neglect to treat and respect our minds. If you?re feeling anxious or depressed, it?s never too late to seek help. We have to learn to ?put your money where your mouth is? and seek professional mental health services when necessary. If you can?t afford therapy, look at your budget and plan to commit to your mental wellbeing. When you?re paying for services, you?re more likely to invest in the process. However, ethical guidelines also obligate professional counselors to offer sliding scales, so it never hurts to ask.
TNJ.com: How do you attract clients???
LW: I attract clients by maintaining the clients I have and by personal referrals. I also use my radio show to introduce the idea of mental health. I advertise in local papers, present at conferences and write articles.
TNJ.com: Please tell us more about your radio show.??
LW: The Lanada Williams show is an online radio show aired on Blis.fm. It’s all about life, love, and relationships, with the goal of taking the stigma out of mental health and creating a safe space to discuss misconceptions. I am a mental health advocate and I?m sounding the alarm about mental health…The Lanada Williams Show has lively opinions and open-minded mental health perspectives to provide accessible tools to deal with everyday life.
TNJ.com: What do you love about what you do??
LW: I love when families I assist overcome the problems and crisis of ?their storm.” ?I love to see them circle back around to wellness and abundance. Remember, healing is a natural process and therapy helps facilitate this change.