The My Therapy Cards Deck Focuses on Mental Health for Women of Color

After watching the ways that the mental health system often lets disenfranchised people slip through the cracks, Ebony Butler, a Black licensed psychologist and food relationship strategist, decided to take matters into her own hands. She has always seen it as her mission to provide quality mental health care to Black women and other marginalized communities, and recently, she created My Therapy Cards, the first self-exploration card deck made specifically for women of color.

Throughout Butler’s career, she’s seen evidence of the many barriers within the mental health system that often prevent people from getting the quality mental health care they need. Therapy can be expensive, which immediately keeps those who are the most marginalized from receiving care. State guidelines often only allow therapists to practice medicine within the state where they were licensed, and a lower percentage of psychiatrists accept insurance than other health care providers. Given all of these barriers, Butler wanted to create an easy and accessible option for women of color to take care of themselves and pay attention to their mental health.

“One of the main things that the deck asks is, what sorts of qualities do you have that you want to tap into so you can evolve into your best self?” Butler tells Allure. “It asks those kinds of empowering questions that are about giving you a voice and giving you agency. Other modalities in mental health often gloss over those things, or they will place blame on marginalized communities, but these cards give marginalized communities a voice instead.”

My Therapy Cards includes original prompts to allow people to check in with themselves regularly, gives users the option to join a private Facebook group to go through the experience with others, and allows people to practice self-care and self-reflection in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. Butler spoke with Allure about the process of making the cards and why she felt it was important to create a therapy card deck specifically for women of color.

ALLURE: What was your inspiration for making the cards, and why did you want to create this specific deck?

EBONY BUTLER: The deck was really born out of a need that I saw in the mental health industry, which does not do a great job of making mental health services accessible to marginalized and disenfranchised people. I created the deck out of questions that I frequently ask with my clients, so you can have questions posed to you that are going to be helpful and help you gain some insight and self reflection on your own mental health. I wanted to use the deck to allow people to do that self-exploration work. Hopefully, this deck can also erase the mental health stigma within the Black community: if people aren’t ready to go therapy, this is something people can do by themselves within the comfort of their own home, and it can be a helpful first step.

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