Let’s Talk Mental Health With Dr. Kimberly Mayes

Dr. Kimberly Mayes is a highly respected psychotherapist who has dedicated over 15 years to the field of mental health. Her passion for helping others and her commitment to providing clarity and support to her clients have made her a trusted leader in the industry.

Throughout her career, Dr. Kim has successfully added value to her clients by utilizing various treatment modalities. She understands that each individual is unique, and therefore, she tailors her approach to meet their specific needs. Dr. Kim believes in taking a holistic approach to mental health practices, recognizing that emotional well-being is influenced by various factors including physical health, social support systems, and cultural background.

Driven by her desire to make a positive impact on the field of psychotherapy, Dr. Kim decided to pursue her Doctor of Social Work degree at Simmons University. Through this program, she delved deeper into studying the effects of implementing culturally responsive practices into psychotherapy. By incorporating cultural sensitivity into her work, Dr. Kim ensures that she provides an inclusive and supportive environment for all of her clients.

Join us as we learn about the inspiration behind the work that she does.

What is the inspiration behind the work that you do?

Dr. Kim: The inspiration behind the work that I do is based on seeing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) men & women fulfilled mentally, emotionally & relationally. We deserve it. There are not enough BIPOC mental health professionals in the mental health field for BIPOC men & women to feel connected to the mental health interventions and/or the providers because of the racial & cultural differences. This was my inspiration to become a mental health professional, to ensure not only am I available to provide services, but I also implement interventions, aside from talk therapy, that clients identify with. This increases their success with sticking to their treatment plans, which is the ultimate goal.

Why is the conversation surrounding mental health so important?

Dr. Kim:

  • Reducing Stigma & Fostering Supportive Communities: Open conversations about mental health help reduce the stigma & discrimination associated with mental health concerns. When we feel comfortable discussing our mental health, it normalizes the experiences & encourages others to seek help without fear of judgment or discrimination.
  • Advocacy & Policy Change: Public conversations about mental health can lead to advocacy efforts & policy changes that improve mental health services, access to care, & funding for research & treatment.
  • Promoting Education: Conversations about mental health can lead to increased education & awareness about different conditions, their causes, & available treatments. This knowledge empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their mental health, well-being & offering support to others.

What makes your approach unique?

Dr. Kim: I implement holistic & culturally responsive interventions into talk therapy. This is critical to the success of clients long term, as research shows, clients are more likely to attend therapy sessions with a provider who looks like them & who they can relate to culturally, this includes traditional practices.

Do you believe in work- life balance? If so how do you maintain it?

Dr. Kim: I do not believe in work-life balance, I believe in work-life prioritization. For example, if you put work & family on a scale & you focus on work for a season due to deadlines & deliverables, naturally the family is going to become out of balance because the focus, work & attention is on work. If we prioritize the important things at work, then we are still able to implement healthy boundaries & focus on family as well. There is no such thing as balance, it gives a false sense of accomplishment because we know something is not “balanced” due to our efforts being somewhere else. Kind of like whack a mole, we just can’t keep up! However, if we prioritize our lives with a little bit here & a little bit there, we get more done across our responsibilities & we feel more accomplished & present due to prioritizing what matters for that day/week/month/year.

More on Dr. Kimberly Mayes:

Dr. Kim earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Florida & later attended Clark Atlanta University to receive her Master of Social Work degree, with a focus in Children & Families.

Dr. Kim was able to utilize her research & passion for supporting the BIPOC community to create the Essence Wellness Academy, where she trains BIPOC clinical providers to implement culturally responsive therapeutic practices into their own private practices. She also is the founder of Essence Wellness Retreats, which is a holistic wellness & travel community that focuses on recreating the definition of self-care for the BIPOC community by hosting rejuvenating & breathtaking experiences in destinations around the globe. Essence Wellness Retreats takes pride in women & men traveling to destinations that foster authenticity & peace mind, body & spirit.

Get connected: @kimberlyrenay

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