The black male population is the most stigmatized when it comes to therapy. Did you know that black male suicide rates are on the rise?
Alphonso Nathan also known as “Phonz the Therapist”, is a licensed black male Therapist, speaker, author, Mental Health advocate, and business consultant residing in the Philadelphia area. Currently, he is Vice President of Brightside Counseling, LLC and Co-Owner of Brightside Medical Associates.
Alphonso’s versatile background has led to him specializing in helping individuals in a variety of areas, such as Depression, Anxiety, Anger Management, Life Coaching, Structural Family Therapy, Autism Spectrum-based disorders, and Sports Psychology.
Gloria recently sat down with Alphonso to talk about all things Mental Health Matters for Men. Mental health issues affect men and women of all ages, backgrounds, races, and life circumstances. Men, and especially black men however, are the group that often need therapy the most, but seek it out the least
Alphonso talks with a lot of men, and often, men aren’t used to speaking about their feelings. There’s a generational curse that dictates that showing vulnerability or expressing your feelings is a from of weakness, or a ‘girl trait’.
However, 70% of the men Alphonoso speak to say there’s a weight lifted off of them after opening up. They understand that it’s a safe space, a comfortable space, for them to open up and share. Some of the most common things that come up in therapy with many men are trauma, depression, isolation, anger, anxiety, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide. Any problem you may have, Phonz has probably heard it before. You are not alone, and Phonz is showing us all that there is support, and safe spaces do exist.
The importance of a ‘safe space’ cannot be underestimated, and this Mental Health Awareness month, Phonz the Therapist is ramping it up. With over 1000 clients worldwide, Alphonoso is also advocating for an increase in mental health services and awareness for the Black Male community. He is currently working on a documentary series called Healing The Culture. It’s a ‘fly on the wall’ experience of therapy. Sometimes people don’t go to therapy because they don’t know what it looks like, or they’re apprehensive about the whole process. Totally understandable. In this docuseries, Phonz sits down with individuals from influencers to sports figures to talk about problems that other people might be dealing with too. Healing The Culture allows us to peek behind the curtain of real-life therapy sessions, making therapy more accessible and open to more men. Phonz is showing all men that #CounselCulture is the new wave. “The true key to change is to recognize your behavior and work on it. Ignoring the issue and pretending it’s not there only allows it to come out in a different way.”, he says.
Watch Gloria talking with Alphonso in an episode of Self Love Conversations here.
Check out Phonz The Therapist online at phonzthetherapist.com and follow him on Instagram here. Interested in free therapy for men of color by providers of color? Check out the amazing initiate over at Black Men Heal.