Yesterday, we talked about a Psychology Today article that claimed men are lonelier than ever these days because they don’t have the emotional skills to be in a relationship. But we weren’t the only ones talking about it. And now Cleveland-based therapist Shabree Rawls has found herself out of a job for agreeing with the post and telling brothers to get to therapy and fix themselves.
In a series of TikTok videos, Rawls encourages Black men to build a greater awareness of themselves. “Your lives can improve dramatically as a result,” she said. Rawls shares her own experiences of how therapy helped her deal with an abusive situation. But it may have been her delivery that got a whole lot of folks up in arms. “Long gone are the days where you can just shut down. B***hes is not tolerating that. Y’all think b***hes just wanna argue with y’all because y’all refuse to expand your emotional vocabulary, we don’t. It’s to provide clarity for both us and y’all dusty b***hes.”
Viewers who were upset with Rawls’ tough talk took action. And after her videos suggesting men go to therapy went viral, she found herself without a job less than a week later. Now Rawls says the people who tried to bring her down hurt her clients, 90 percent of whom are Black men, in the process. In a tearful video, she said:
“I want you guys to understand that you didn’t just hurt me. I may have lost my employment, but all of the clients that I’ve spent two, three, four, five years with establishing therapeutic rapport with now no longer have a therapist. The people I was serving have very severe mental disorders, severe abandonment issues. Some of them don’t even have parents.”
She continued, “While you guys did this shit for clicks and views, my clients lost a support system.”
Rawls blames those who reported her with causing irreparable damage, citing that she had to change her phone number due to the random calls and text messages she received. And the reaction on Twitter went both ways. One user wrote, “I cannot believe y’all got this therapist fired. Y’all can’t stand a woman NOT coddling you.” While another wrote, “I believe this lady to be deeply troubled. I believe her to suffer from Boarderline personality disordered. It appears she’s like white dominant society is blaming black men for her failures. My primary concern is that she is being referred to as a therapist. #ShabreeRawls”
Whether or not you agree with her message or her delivery, Shabree Rawls has got Black people talking about mental health. And I think that was the point.