Greetings and welcome to my website. My name is Sharmaine D. Barnes and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), and Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) of Christian faith who specializes in providing culturally relevant psychotherapy services to African-American individuals, couples, and families.
Why specialize in treating African-Americans?
Because African-Americans are at greater risk for mental illness and sometimes experience more severe forms of mental health conditions due to unmet needs and other barriers. According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.
Because African-Americans are more likely to experience certain factors that increase the risk for developing a mental health condition. African-Americans of all ages are more likely to be victims of serious violent crime making them more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). African-Americans are over-represented in our jails and prisons. African-Americans account for 37 percent of drug arrests, but only 14 percent of regular drug users (illicit drug use is frequently associated with self-medication among people with mental illnesses).
Because historically, African-Americans in the United States have experienced unique and considerable challenges in accessing mental health services and are less likely to receive accurate mental health diagnoses.
Because of the lack of cultural understanding and culturally relevant mental health services available to African-Americans. Only 2 percent of psychiatrists, 2 percent of psychologists and 4 percent of social workers in the United States are African-American.
Because despite progress made over the years, racism and discrimination continue to have a negative impact on the mental health of African-Americans.
What makes me qualified to treat African-Americans?
Through my studies in the Marriage and Family Therapy African-American Family Studies Specialization graduate program at Pacific Oaks College School of Cultural and Family Psychology I learned about emerging theories of historical trauma and how to address African-American mental health issues from a culturally relevant, multi-generational, community, and strengths-based perspective. I also explored mental health theory and practice from a deeply culture-centered perspective and learned about the vital role African-American mental health professionals play in African-American mental health treatment, social justice, and client advocacy.
Does specializing in treating African-Americans mean I only treat African-Americans?
Absolutely not! My services are not limited to African-Americans as I see clients from all ethnic backgrounds.
While we can't change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life. I will help you unearth long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Using an Integrative Therapeutic approach, I can help you modify your thinking and behaviors to promote a life of growth, happiness and healthy relationships. I can provide you with skilled support to help repair your troubled relationships and re-route unproductive thinking and behavior patterns. I will support you as you work to integrate insights about how your own thought and behavioral patterns, as well as your cultural and family history, have affected your life.
Services are available by appointment only. However, I offer very flexible scheduling that includes evening appointments. Please call or click on the "Appointment Request" tab to request an appointment.
I now have a Client Portal where you can check appointment availability and request appointments. You can also log in to my Client Portal to view your upcoming appointments and pending requests. If you don't have a portal account yet, please request one during your next office visit.
Link for Telehealth services: https://vsee.com/s/59e6aa42c4f7a
I look forward to working with you. God bless you.