Seeking an African-American Therapist

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Seeking a male therapist of color for teen

August 2010

My son was adopted as a baby from Latin America and is now entering young adulthood. He is struggling with identity issues and anger. Can anyone please recommend a 1st rate male therapist of color (preferably black, Latino, South Asian, or mixed race)? We are hoping for someone who will take HMO insurance. anonymous

Our son who is African American and adopted has been going to Frank Davis for 3 years now. It has been a life changing event for our son and keeps us the parents on an even keel. He is extremely dedicated to supporting young boys into men and a cool guy too. Excellent communication with the families. Cannot recommend him too highly. Frank Davis 510- 390-4025 2000 Dwight Way St. C Berkeley, CA 94704

I'm presuming that he is a teen which is when a lot of this comes up. There is some value in more psychodynamic therapy but it also has limitations with teens since a lot of their view is influenced by peers. Face-to-face therapy can only accomplish so much. A good bilingual therapist who grew up in Mexico is Sam Tabachnik at 510-845-3525 but he is not an adoption specialist. For an adoption/attachment specialist talk to Susan Love 684-0045 or Virginia Keeler-Wolf 339-9363. For having your son in a group of his peers that he identifies with and struggling with these same issues contact PACT An Adoption Alliance or Coyote Coast. Best wishes. This is very challenging. Feel free to contact me. david

I was given this reference: If the family is willing to take the BART into downtown San Francisco, Dr. Luis Perez would be a good fit. He is excellent.

Forrest Hamer in Oakland is a very highly regarded therapist. He's African American. Not sure if he works with adults only, or not. My friend who sees him is an adult. Harriet

African-American Therapists, Female

Sept 2004

Hi- I'm looking for an African-American therapist for a female adult. I'd prefer a female, but a male would do if I couldn't find a female that worked for me. Please send any leads you have - I've done some research on my own and haven't found much. I've seen the listings of African American males on the web site, but thought someone might know of African American female therapists. Thanks!

I have a friend, Michell Love, that may be available. Try her on her personal email: MichellLuv AT Lena

Joy Johnson is wonderful (501-658-1966) 34th St. Oakland There are other African-American female therapists in her building - don't know the names but she could refer you.

Iris Stallworth Grayling and Veronique Thompson are both African American women therapists in Berkeley. I do not have contact information for either, but you can look them up in information.

They are both quite competent and empathetic and I believe they are experienced with issues facing African American women in particular. Iris, I believe is less hands on than Veronique but both are very qualified to handle both individuals as well as couples. I am not sure either of them is taking on new clients, however, they might be able to make referrals to others.

I am a professional woman of African descent who grew up in Latin America and the US, identify mostly as African American (secondly as Afro-Caribbean) and have tried them both and had good experiences. I felt like they both understood my issues really well, are very empathetic and really want to help you to reach your own solutions. However, I felt like I needed a more hands-on approach, so Iris's approach only worked so far for me. It depends on your style, but you should try each one out and see what approach works best for you. Above all, it is important to connect with this somewhat obscure network of therapists of color in order to make a decision that is right and comfortable for you. Good Luck

African-American Couples' Counselor

Oct 2005

If we had a doubt about the value of marriage counseling, the great postings here have convinced us to go for it - now we need to find a counselor. We'd like to find a person of color (black or mixed would be best). Any recommendations? Thanks!

I would recommend Bola Cofi of San Francisco. Her e-mail is BCofi at My husband and I went to a couple of other therapists and I ended up feeling worse than when I went in. Bola is great. bola fan

I would highly recommend Regina Shields, Ph.D. She is a very experienced, highly regarded therapist who sees couples, children, individuals. Her office is in Oakland, near Lake Merrit. And, since you're asking, she's also African American. Good Luck

Feb 2005

I am really looking for a Marriage Counselor, Therapist or Pshychologist for my husband and me. Prefer an African American, but at this time we are in great need. We live in San Leandro but are willing to travel as far as Oakland. I have Blue Shield of Ca and my husband has Kasier so please recommend some for us. We are having major communication issues. Johnson

I would recommend Dr. Loland Lowe. He is African American, in his mid 50's, and is my marriage counselor. He is located in Oakland, near Summitt Medical Center. I find him to be objective which is something that our marriage needed and communication is what we are working on right now. Here's his contact information.
Dr. Loland Lowe 350 30th Street, Suite 550 Oakland, CA (510) 206-6029

Sept 2004

I am looking for an African American male couples/marraige counselor. My husband and I feel we need to see a couples counselor, but he would be more comfortable working with someone like him: a black male.

My partner and I see Sola Williams and Susan Schreier Williams for help with our relationship. Sola is an African American man and is married to Susan, who is Caucasian. Their approach is very wholistic and absolutely offered from their first hand experience in relationship. My partner and I see them and it has been immensly helpful in figuring out how to relax with each other and communicate more easily. They use a variety of techniques including talk, demonstration, and physical games which create metaphors that allow us to more deeply understand and transcend our dynamics. Their number is (510) 482-2276 or (510) 612-3492. Feel free to email me if you'd like more of my perspective on working with them. Galen

Depressed 23-y-o African American male

March 2002

Can anyone recommend a good therapist for very depressed 23 year old African American male. He has indicated that life is not worth living . . . but suicide per se has not been mentioned or knowingly planned. Kaiser is not available to the family. Many thanks . . .

Hello, I have a document in front of me called Bay Area African-American Psychologist. I am listing a few of the African American Male therapists.
Phillip Coleman PhD 2100 Lakeshore Ave. Ste B Oakland Ca 94606 510 763-0105 Specialties: children, stress management, depression/mood disorders etc. Gerald Davenport PhD 436 14th St Ste 805 Oakland 94612 510 451 3192 Specialties: Adolescents, children, evaluation etc Thomas duvaul, LCSW 621 E. Cambell Ave ste 14 Cambell, Ca 95008 408 266 6967 thomduv AT Spec: Child abuse, Adolescents, children, depression/ mood disorders, anxiety, panic attacks and phobias Sam Edwards LCSW 1721 SCOTT ST San Francisco, Ca 94115 415 563 3316 sedwards AT spec: Adolescents, anxiety, panic attacks and phobias, grief and loss, depression/mood disrders etc. William Spivey PhD 360 29th st ste 300 Oakland, ca 94609 510 893 2001 Marlin Griffith PHd, CEAP 436 14th st Ste 700 Oakland 94612 510 287-5324 Paul Guillory PhD 4315 Piedmont ave oakland 94611 510 654 8339 Forrest Hamer PhD 5305 College Ave oakland 94618 Hamerf AT 510 652 2150 Donald Hunter LCSW 1290 Fillmore st Ste 107 San Fran 94115 415 931 6490
I do not know any of the above therapists personally but I wish you and the young man the best of luck in overcoming the problem. Lagos

Therapist for 15-year-old clashing with dad


My husband and 15-year-old son are truly clashing, they used to be the best of friend but lately they just do not get along. I believe counseling would be of great help for the both of them. Does anyone have a reference for a good counselor, preferably an African American male?

Regarding the request for an African-American counselor for teens-- I suggest Paul Guillory, Ph.d (psychologist). His telephone number is 451-5011. Barbara

I've had excellent experiences with John Nickens PhD, a child and family therapist - 510/287-9456. Rosa

Dear Mom with Clashing Son and Husband: If you have a membership with Kaiser Permanente which includes mental health benefits, I highly recommend their family psychiatry department over in the Mosswood building at the Oakland facility. They have two outstanding Black male professionals on staff (and perhaps others whom I am not personally familiar with). Dr. Whitmore and Dr. Simmons counsel both adults and children in individual sessions and in groups organized for early/pre-teen children. You will need to inquire as to whether your situation meets their criteria for obtaining services and of course, they are probably already very busy. But for serious family problems affecting our children, Kaiser members should be aware that affordable help can be obtained. Good luck. Nicolie

Roscoe Simmons, LCSW, PhD, who was mentioned in the last newsletter, has a private practice in addition to his work with Kaiser Oakland. I know of his work, as he is a colleague, and I highly recommend him. He can be reached at 510 596-1468 or 510 464-1033.

An outstanding female African American counselor in the West Contra Costa area is Shirlene Turner, LCSW. Her practice is in Pinole, and she sees adults (individually and couples), teens, children and families. She can be reached at 510 799-2896.
-- Jean Shimozaki, LCSW