Sankofa is an African term of the Ghanaian Akan tribe. This term means “to go back and get it”. The Adinkra symbol for Sankofa illustrates a mythical bird that has its feet planted forward while its head is turned backward. The egg in its mouth are the "gems" or knowledge of the past on which wisdom is founded; it also means the generation to come that would be.
At 305 Sankofa Black Therapy, we value a therapeutic journey that allows individuals to venture into past experiences and identify moments that have shaped their current reality. By identifying these moments, we are hopeful to use them in order to mend and develop in the present time and place.
Our Black and African American community has been incredibly resilient in light of the oppression we face. Although we share common threads, we are wonderfully diverse and deeply layered as individuals. We are not a monolith.
As African Americans, we face challenges with depression, anxiety, relationship stress, and trauma that has been passed between generations, racial and gender-based discrimination in unintentional and intentional ways. Symptoms of depression and anxiety may look like an increase in physical pain, chronic medical issues, loss of focus, goal avoidance, nervous habits, and persistent worrying. Experiences with stress are often normalized in our day to day lives as Black and African American individuals and can often go overlooked due to a disconnection to mental health symptoms and identifying the priority of mental health.
Accessing mental health care can seem like a strenuous task when addressing these challenges to therapists without basic knowledge of our experiences. We know that stigma, systematic discrimination, lack of cultural competency, and the dismissal of a person’s overlapping social identities are barriers to connecting with mental health professionals. Although our experiences are not the same it is important to recognize the desire to be understood in the therapeutic space. To be in a space where you are able to work with someone who conceptually speaks your language, and understands you contextually without having to explain cultural nuances can be beneficial. It is also important to be mindful of possible reluctance to engage in therapy due to mistrust of the healthcare system based on historical biases and unfair treatment. Based on current social and political climate it is critical to feel heard and acknowledged in therapy sessions.
At 305 Psychotherapy Group, we work through an anti-oppressive lens by consciously honing our focus on the many ways race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, etc. may impact your ability to make progress in your career, relationships, and personal development overall. No matter the circumstances of your situation, we are always open to assisting in the advancement of your mental health and wellbeing. We invite you to explore the role of intersectionality in your life experiences and identity with our support.
"Everyone deserves a space where they are understood, visible, and heard to improve personal growth and healing."
-Amber Manker, MSW