Instagram therapy is not new, but with time, it's becoming more representative of our IRL communities. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of Instagram therapy accounts that cater to various BIPOC groups, who otherwise remain largely underserved and under-represented in mental health conversations. In fact, a whopping 84% of American mental health professionals are white—eek.
While following the Instagram account of a mental health provider who looks like you isn't a stand-in for actually getting therapy, these pages can often provide small doses of healing. They can help define our trauma, contextualize our pain, or just provide a community where we don't have to explain our identities and struggles. In 2021, when communities of color are ravaged by inequities related to everything from climate change to vaccinations, these Instagram therapist accounts can be a source of small but much-needed relief.
If the idea of using Instagram to learn more about BIPOC mental health appeals to you, here are eight therapy accounts to follow on Instagram, each with its own area of advocacy and community.
BIPOC therapists to follow on Instagram:
1. Ivy Kwong, LMFT (@bareivy)
Ivy Kwong's page centers on the Asian American experience, and she posts hot takes and key headlines not just about issues faced by the community at large—like hate crimes and racism—but also about individual issues like imposter syndrome and codependency in relationships. In recent months, Ivy has also been hosting virtual AAPI healing events to help you process any grief or trauma you may be experiencing, in the company of a supportive sisterhood.
2. Jessica Clemons, MD (@askdrjess)
Dr. Jessica Clemmons focuses on the Black experience and addresses a wide variety of mental health issues in her posts—from how to process grief to how to deal with racism-induced trauma. But the best part of her account is that she also does weekly-themed live sessions where you can listen in, participate in Q&As, and connect with other Instagrammers who may be struggling in the same way as you. She also has some star power on her page, having posted wide-ranging interviews with the likes of Jon Batiste and Mack Wilds. You can find additional Black therapists on Instagram here.
3. Juriana Hernandez (@_amortherapy_)
Run by Juriana Hernandez, this Instagram account promotes self-love and healthy relationships within the Latinx community. Juriana posts in both English and Spanish and guides you on everything from gratitude prompts for self-reflection to recognizing racial gaslighting. She also uses her page to talk about the struggles of other communities (like Black Lives Matter) to promote intersectionality, so you get to learn and heal with others!
4. Indigenous Circle of Wellness (@indigineouscircleofwellness)
This account touches on the needs of all BIPOC communities but centers on Indigeneity. ICOW offers individual, couples, and family counseling, but its Instagram page is a wealth of community resources that go far beyond that. They regularly post scannable profiles of therapists of color who are taking on new clients; invitations to events on health and wellness; and other information relevant to your day-to-day needs, like vaccination drives and parent support groups.
5. So’oh-Shinálí Sister Project (@soohshinalisisterproject)
The So'oh-Shinálí Sister Project is an extension of the Indigenous Circle of Wellness community. Run by three Native American women from California, SSSP provides mental health services grounded in holistic healing (i.e. they leverage the healing practices of their own ancestors while offering wellness services and content). Like ICOW, its page goes beyond counseling: it also highlights the Native American experience through books, movies, and small businesses that are owned or produced by members of this community, helping you see yourself in these stories.
6. South Asian Mental Health (@southasiantherapists)
This page was set up to help South Asians find therapists that share their ethnic heritage, and thus, are able to understand their struggles and trauma better. But it has emerged as a source of healing in its own right: the handle constantly publishes digestible posts on uncomfortable issues like the trauma of living in settler lands, as many in this community's diaspora do, or recognizing anxiety and depression symptoms through the specific cultural lens of this group.
7. Michelle Kim (@michellekimkim)
Kim's page examines mental health issues through an intersectional, queer-friendly, and pan-Asian lens. Her graphic posts and videos validate the pain that comes from aggressions like misspellings of Asian names to more threatening situations like hate crimes. She also shares personal stories and tips on uncomfortable experiences like standing up to white supremacy at work, giving you the courage—or at least an action plan—to do the same.
8. Nisha (@browngirltrauma)
Run by Nisha, a mental health professional, this page aims to break the cycle of intergenerational family trauma in the South Asian community. Nisha's snappy and illustrative posts can help you name your feelings, and then cope through self-care and boundary-setting. She also offers journal prompts to help you crystallize your emotions further, acknowledging the layered and complex emotional experience of being part of a South Asian family.