top of page

Mental Health Awareness and Professional Women of Color: Making a Difference with Dr. Patrice Le Goy

Patrice Le Goy, PhD, LMFT, MBA is an entertainment industry executive turned psychologist who is making waves in the mental health industry. Dr. Le Goy works one-on-one with her clients, encourages and educates the next generation of therapists as a professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and shares her expertise as a speaker on all things related to Mental Health in the Black Community, the impact of Eurocentric beauty standards, and Colorism. In this Mental Health Awareness Spotlight, we talk about the impact of mental health on one’s confidence, and some of the key mental health issues faced by professional women of color.

Dr. Patrice Le Goy

Did you always know this was the field you wanted to work in? How did you get started?

Actually, I worked in entertainment marketing for television and film studios for several years before deciding to move into psychology. I wanted to be a psychologist when I was younger, but my parents encouraged me to be more practical and pursue a business degree instead. So, I studied business in undergraduate and graduate school. And then one day, I decided that while I felt very fortunate to have an interesting job where I got to travel and be creative, I didn't feel that it was my life's work. So I began pursuing a career in psychology. I had to go back to school and receive a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and then I decided to study International Psychology in a PhD program. I wouldn't change anything about my very circuitous path, because I have beautiful lifelong relationships from my time in the entertainment industry.

What are some of the most common mental health issues plaguing professional WOC?

I think that professional women of color often experience depression and anxiety issues due to several stressors - including micro or straight aggressions in the workplace, impostor syndrome, and lack of community/representation in the workplace. This depression or anxiety can appear as aloofness, feeling defeated, or as frustration.

In your opinion, what is the relationship between mental health and confidence?

Interesting question! I think that when you are lacking in mental wellness, confidence can feel like an unattainable luxury. You are really just in survival mode, and trying to make it through the day. On the other hand, when you feel good about who you are deep in your soul, confidence follows because you feel that you can manage whatever comes your way.

Why is it important to have more therapists and mental health specialists of color?

It is absolutely crucial that we have more therapists and mental health specialists who are people of color because it reduces stigmatism and fosters a space of shared understanding. I know that many people were raised to not tell their "family's business" or that therapy is only for white people. When you get a chance to sit across from someone who looks like you, there is often a shorthand in the communication process or the client doesn't feel that they need to educate the therapist on issues around their race and ethnicity. This is not to imply that all POC have the same experiences, but it can provide a significant degree of comfort to have access to a person who has a similar background as you.

Do you think there is a link between representation and confidence?

I do think there is a link between representation and confidence. Seeing someone who looks like you achieve dreams that previously felt off-limits to you is very powerful.

What can we do on a daily basis to cultivate a sense of self-care and mental health?

I think we can disavow the idea that we can or should be "superwomen." I understand that this may have been borne out of an idea of praising Black women, but it sets us up to have difficulty asking for help when we need it and makes us feel like we should be expected to take care of everyone else without needing to also take care of ourselves.

How can we do a better job of supporting the health and well-being of black and brown women?

I think we can model our own vulnerability in an effort to show that we all have challenges and setbacks and it is ok to acknowledge that and also acknowledge that some days we are just tired and not up to fulfilling the expectations of others. And that is perfectly okay!

Coaching for Professional Women Tulsa Oklahoma