CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Founder of Kaleidoscope Counseling Nedra Glover Tawwab was inspired to become a therapist after growing up in Detroit, where she said she saw a lot of people suffering from mental health problems.
“Lots of people, I don’t know if they even heard of therapy, but I saw a lot of people around me with mental health issues,” Tawwab said. “I was an avid watcher of Oprah and she would have these therapists on and they would talk through stuff and then she started with Dr. Phil. And, I was, like, ‘Wow, this is a whole thing.'”
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The Wayne State University graduate said she always loved talking to people and initially, thought that would lead her down the path to becoming a judge.
But after leaving for school, Tawwab said she turned to therapy and became a mental health advocate.
Tawwab founded Kaleidoscope Counseling in 2011 at a location that has since been torn down before calling East 8th Street home four years ago.
She said she decided to start her own business after she couldn’t find an environment she felt comfortable working in.
“When I actually started, I was looking for work and couldn’t find the type of environment I wanted to work in so I decided to create something similar to what I would like, so that is how Kaleidoscope Counseling started,” Tawwab said.
Tawwab said Kaleidoscope has a different approach to counseling.
She said counselors think of the whole person by working with “your mind, your body, and your spirit.”
“We talk a lot about using maybe natural methods to penetrate those mental health things like yoga, meditation,” Tawwab said. “We like to offer different things, so you have the option to pick what works best for you.”
Types of therapy offered at Kaleidoscope Counseling:
- Marriage, couple, and family
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT)
- Yoga Therapy and Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Tawwab said as a black mental health practitioner, it is important to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health, counseling, and therapy.
“It is very important for me because I know particularly in the black community, there is a lot of stigma around mental health and I think black people are very comfortable coming to see black therapists,” Tawwab said.
Social media is a platform she uses to spread positive messages about counseling and therapy.
She said it is important to stress the message that, “Therapy is for everyone” and is not just something for rich people.
“I think we have to destigmatize the practice to get people to really be interested in being well in this way, where they are opening up to a stranger and talking to them,” Tawwab said.
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