Shabree Rawls, the therapist who was fired from her job after urging Black men to seek therapy on TikTok, is finally speaking out about the backlash she received after her controversial post went viral in August.
Last month, the young clinician sent the internet into a firestorm after she posted a video to her TikTok account pleading with Black men to seek therapy and expand their “emotional vocabulary.” In the video, the young mental health advocate used a tough-love approach to explain the importance of therapy for Black men, but Rawls said she had no clue that the post would lead to termination from her job.
“I cannot fake it to you, I’ve sobbed about this,” the TikTok creator said during a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.“It hurt a lot … it seemed like a lot of decisions were made at my expense and that happens to a lot of black women.”
Shabree Rawls defends her therapy stance
Rawls’ fiery video came in response to an article published by Psychology Today called “The Rise of Lonely, Single Men,” which discusses how skill deficits and the rise of dating apps are currently diminishing men’s chances of finding love. Rawls said she was just sharing her opinion about the piece, but the outpour of backlash took her by surprise.
“My intention was … just go to therapy. There’s no hidden agenda or ulterior motive.”
According to Rawls, most of the opposition came from Black men, who make up around 90 percent of her patients.
“For my first love, which is the black man, to attack me — it just felt like I experienced whiplash from both sides. As a black woman, I hold them close to my heart. It’s who we are,” the therapy influencer explained. “To be attacked by black men hurt even worse. I’ve dedicated my life to healing our community, but at the same time I’m being attacked by the same faces.”
Hours later, the 28-year-old was terminated after an article referencing her full name and place of employment went viral. Rawls said she was delivered the harsh news after her supervisor informed her that someone from the U.K. had messaged the company about the video. It wasn’t long before her place of employment was flooded with complaints, calls and angry messages. Rawls’ place of employment let her go because of the uproar, but apparently, they were aware of her social media content prior to the controversy.
While the situation was devasting, Rawls said she isn’t giving up on therapy and her passion for helping people heal.
“A podcast is coming. I realize that maybe I’m not supposed to heal just one-on-one, I’m supposed to heal to a bigger crowd,” she told AJC, noting how her fanbase has skyrocketed since the commotion. The TikTok star also said that she’s going to keep delivering “raw” and “honest” content despite what internet detractors say.
“My content is not easy and palatable because healing is not easy and palatable —it’s difficult,” Rawls added. “All of my content is surrounded around self-love and recovery from abuse — specifically narcissistic abuse. “
Rawls has over 330k followers on TikTok and she’s still active on the platform sharing her unfiltered thoughts about a variety of mental health topics.
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