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Black History Month 2021 Therapist Spotlight: Dr. Vaughn Gay

What inspired you to be a Therapist?

I was working with underprivileged populations while in undergrad and saw the enormous need for families to get connected to resources and social services.  After working for a group home agency for several years, I noticed that the majority of recipients of behavioral health services were from the Black community, yet there was little diversity in the backgrounds of professionals that provided these services.

How do you help someone find a therapist? (So many people say they don't even know where to start.)

There are a few ways to find a great therapist.  I tell people to create a chart to categorize options.  If you have insurance, you can search for a few that are in-network and live in your area.  Place them in one category.  Search a few online directories such as Psychology Today, Therapy for Black Girls, etc. and identify other therapists and place them in a category.  Then take some time to research all of these individuals and trim the list based on your specific needs.

What are some easy and healthy coping mechanisms we can do since we are still in a pandemic?

Coping is an individualized process that is based on one’s personal experiences.  Typically a preventative approach of decreasing environmental triggers (things that cause stress, anger, etc.) is a great first step.  Implementing a combination of several strategies, including breathwork, stretching, walking, and meditation are great to alieve immediate stress.  Getting connected to a great therapist is the best long-term solution to improve personalized coping skills.

10 years from now, what do you hope your biggest accomplishment will be in this field of work?

My professional goal is to reimagine the overall look and delivery of healthcare by leveraging the development of new health technologies that can increase access and improve health outcomes for populations that have been traditionally underserved. 


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