Member: “By the way, why are you doing this for free, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Me: Great question! It’s not entirely for free. We do have paid features also. However, our primary goal and motivation are to help grow the field for people of color and minorities. In 2015 the American Psychological Association published its membership demographic. (http://www.apa.org/workforce/publications/15-member/table-1.pdf) Out of 77, 881 members, only 1.9 % identified themselves as Latinos and 1.7% identified as African Americans. Sadly, all the non-whites added together equaled 5.9 %. That is unacceptable. When I discovered that statistic, I was frustrated and could not believe it.
My wife challenged me to do something instead of complaining about it. So Counselors of Color was born. While it is a search directory, it also serves as a platform for me to coach and mentor counselors and therapists to grow their private practice and their influence within their community. We have plans to offer coaching packages soon.
We will continue to provide free services because we believe it provides value to those that need it. We also think others will see the value of our paid services through the benefits of the free services. We think of it like an ice cream shop that hands out free samples. Those that want it and value it will pay for it. You’ve just received one of my first coaching sessions :). We look forward to hearing about your continued growth and journey into private practice. What do you think we can do to grow the field?