According to Robin D. Stone, Black women give so much to others that they often have few reserves to care for themselves.
“In the face of being strong, we give so much of us. We’re pouring so much into everybody else that we have nothing left for ourselves,” said Stone, 58, a licensed mental health counselor and former self-help journalist who has dedicated her works, and now her practice, to holistically treating Black women and Black families.
Stone’s practice at Muse & Grace Mental Health Counseling Services in Midtown Manhattan incorporates narrative and creative arts therapies to help clients cope with racial pressure and trauma, microaggressions, stress, and difficult work and family dynamics. Both individual and group counseling are available. The facility is also a training center that helps students pursue their degrees and licenses in mental health and wellness.
Stone believes it is necessary for Black and brown professionals to operate in the mental health industry, but also that these same communities learn to seek a variety of support. “I think every Black person should experience therapy at some point in their life,” she said. “Just growing up Black in this country can affect you profoundly—your sense of self, how you walk through the world.”
Stone was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She grew up with her sister in a single-parent household. She knew early on that she wanted a career in writing. In grade school, she was engrossed with literature. By high school, she was writing for her school newspaper, and in college, sought out an accredited journalism school. She attended Michigan State University and created a Black newspaper for the students.
“I was always fascinated with the power of story and storytelling. My mother was an avid reader,” said Stone. That was a great example for her.
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Stone has worked at several publications in her over 25 year career, including the Oakland Press, Detroit Free Press, and Boston Globe. She came to New York in 1990 to work at the New York Times, staying there for about seven years before making the switch to magazine writing at Essence. Stone said it was critical to tell Black stories, especially from Black women’s perspectives. She wrote about mental and physical health, food, nutrition, and holistic living.
After enjoying her time working at a prestigious Black publication, Stone left and dove into independent projects. She wrote an in-depth book, “No Secrets, No Lies,” about healing sexual abuse and stigma in Black families. “I wrote that book from the perspective of a survivor, which I am, as well as the perspective of other survivors who I interviewed,” said Stone.
Around this time, in 2006, she struggled with the death of her first husband to cancer. After a stint at Health magazine, she decided to go back to school in her 50s to get her Master’s in Counseling for Mental Health & Wellness from New York University and a Master’s in Health Arts & Sciences from Goddard College in Vermont.
“I wanted to study how Black women can navigate and thrive in the face of racism and how we relate to our own bodies and how we can take care of ourselves,” said Stone. That has become the foundation of her counseling motto to support Black women, families, and couples. She encourages women to learn to center themselves before supporting others to thrive as a collective.
Stone currently resides in Harlem and northern New Jersey with her current husband and blended family.
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about politics for the Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting https://bit.ly/amnews1.
[Updated Mon, May 1]
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