Trap Therapist was founded in April 2018 by Dylesia Barner, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) from the projects in Portsmouth, VA. She created the organization to provide a platform for mental health therapists from urban, low-income backgrounds to share their stories, connect with other "trap therapists," and market their services to potential clients, also from marginalized communities.
The inspiration behind Trap Therapist was born from Dylesia’s desire to effectively break mental health stigma in marginalized populations, a task she believes goes beyond being a therapist of color. Trap Therapist confronts the reality that all minority therapists haven’t experienced life below the poverty level or lived in environments rich with violence and crime. It further reveals that there are safe spaces for clients who have such experiences to unpack and move beyond their muddled emotions, manipulative thoughts, and direct/witnessed traumas because there are therapists with not only clinical training but real life understanding.
Currently, Trap Therapist offers statement apparel, cultural competency trainings for mental health professionals, a radio show, and a directory featuring licensed private practice clinicians who also identify as trap therapists.