Black Marriage and Family Therapy Matters

  • Are you looking for a therapist who understands the connection between race and ethnicity in black families?
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  • Does it feel like no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to resolve the impact on how your racial history interferes with your family makeup?
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  • Has infidelity attacked your marriage, and you need someone who looks like and understands you and/or your partner to help you to explore your options?
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  • Is your marriage struggling with the unresolved baggage of your cultural upbringing and you don’t know what to do?
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  • Do you want to raise children free from generational curses that have negatively influenced you?
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  • Are you interested in marriage and/or children but feel stuck and in need of marital and family interventions that are sensitive to your racial and ethnic makeup?

Black Marriage and Family Therapy Matters (BMFTM) is designed to connect black families with black marriage and family therapists. We share a positive outlook on black marriages and families and are committed to providing culturally relevant support designed to empower and encourage black family development. We believe in the unity of black marriages and do all that we can to provide black families with the resources that they need to thrive.

While our goal is to help black families heal, we understand that in some cases separation and/or divorce is inevitable. When this is the case, we will help you to make this transition in a way that is healthy and takes into consideration, the best interests of everyone involved.
We understand the unique impact of race and ethnicity on the relationships within the black community and therefore our clients can bypass the burden of answering to “the learning curve” needed when having to explain to their therapist what it means to be black in a race-oppressive society.
We won’t ask you “why do you wear your hair that way?” and we certainly know that you can’t speak for all black people…
Neither can we.

 

We already know that you were taught to “take your problems to the Lord” and we will be sensitive in helping you understand that if you choose to follow your religious upbringing, that the Lord created therapists to provide you mental health support, in the same way that He created physicians to provide you medical support. We are also sensitive to the needs of members of the black families who may have been hurt by religious conservatism and will be intentional about supporting you without adding further religious harm.
Most of us will know what it means to “turn up” and either said ourselves, or heard our parents/grandparents say “that’s jive” and/or “that’s groovy.” For those of us who don’t know these terms, we are well versed on how to seek clarification without you having to feel marginalized or culturally misunderstood as a result.

 

Basically, we make it easy for black families to feel safe while seeking mental health support.

 

We will do all that we can to make you feel supported, valued, and honored, as we work with you to meet your marriage and family goals.

 

We invite you to check us out today. After all YOLO…

 

P.S. You can invite us to the family cookout, but don’t be offended if we can’t attend. Most likely, it violates our board of ethics. 😉

Research Regarding Marital Patterns in the Black Community

  • Marital patterns within the black community consistently reflect low marriage rates (King & Allen, 2009).
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  • In 2016, only 29% of African Americans were married compared to 48% of all Americans. Half or 50% of African Americans have never been married compared to 33% of all Americans (King & Allen, 2009).
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  • Only 39.6% of black adults between the ages of 20 and 54 were married in 2008, compared with 64% in 1970. In 2008, 28.4% of births were to black married parents compared to 62.4% in 1970 (Campbell, 2010).
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  • Of the blacks who do decide to marry, most report a lower level of satisfaction and a higher rate of intimate partner violence than any of the other races (Broman, 2005).
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  • Marriage rates among blacks are lower than they have ever been, while the rates of black couples divorcing and the number of black single-parent homes has increased drastically over the past few decades (Wells, 2017).
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  • “Black women are twice as likely as white women to have never married by age 45 and twice as likely to be divorced, widowed, or separated” (Nitsche and Brueckner, 2009)
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  • Blacks have reported the lowest intentions to get married when compared to any other racial group (Crissey, 2005).
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  • Among black couples that have married, disproportionately lower levels of satisfaction and higher rates of intimate partner violence have been reported (Broman, 2005).

BENEFITS OF

Married couples are more financially stable than non-married couples (Timmermann, 2013) First time marriages have stronger financial stability than second time marriages (Timmermann, 2013)
Marriage is an important context for sexual activity to occur and married couples engage in sexual relations more often than their unmarried counterparts (Karraker, DeLamater, & Schwartz, 2011). Married people experience more sexual satisfaction than couples who are not married (Galinsky &Sonenstein, 2012).
The level of emotional and physical satisfaction with sex is the highest for married people, while also being the greatest indicator of emotional intimacy for them (Yoo, Bartle-Haring, Day &Gangamma, 2014). Individuals who were married identified as being happier than non-married individuals who were cohabitating (Lee & Ono, 2012).
Children born to married parents have been found to have increased cognitive performance when their parents are married (Liu &Heiland, 2012). When adolescents whose mothers were unmarried during the time they were conceived, later married and remained married to their biological fathers, they reported better mental health, as opposed to adolescents whose mothers cohabitated with their biological fathers without ever marrying them (Williams, Sassler, Frech, Addo, & Cooksey, 2013). Children born to married parents also tend to make better long-term choices as they are less likely to drop out of school, complete higher levels of education, and are less likely to engage in premarital sex leading to a teenage pregnancy (McLanahan& Sawhill, 2015).
Married people also encounter increased physical health, leading to longer and more fulfilling life spans (Sifferlin, 2015). Sifferlin (2015) found that in cancer patients, married people are more likely to detect cancer in themselves earlier, and less likely to die from it.

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