Happy New Year Beauties! This is the time of year where most of us have identified financial, fitness, educational, relational, and career goals for the year. On the other hand, many of us have not considered goals related to tending to our mental health on a deeper level than self-caring our Saturday away at the spa. I’m talking really digging deep to uncover the root of your issues and ways to resolve challenges and cope through hard times.
Are you currently experiencing a life change or have experienced childhood trauma and you just don’t know what to do to get through it? Do you have conflict with your family or friends that’s stressing you out? Can’t seem to get over an ex or experiencing current relationship challenges? Single and struggling? Feeling unmotivated to complete work or personal tasks and not sure where to begin? Has your mood been up and down lately and you can’t figure out why? If you can relate to at least one of these questions, then your mental health routine is worth taking a second look at. Tending to your mental health requires courage, patience, vulnerability, love, forgiveness, honesty, support, and for me, Jesus AND a Therapist! Grab your shovel and get ready to dig deep! Join me on this journey to a New Year and a Well You!
What Is Therapy/Counseling?
Therapy involves a safe and secure setting in which you and a trained therapist or counselor meet to work through the everyday challenges you present to them. Your therapist may use many different techniques while working with you. You may work through unresolved childhood issues and how they relate to your current situation or you may work with your therapist to come up with a solution together on how to address your current life challenge. Therapists also help diagnose and treat mental health and emotional problems.
- Types of Therapy: There are many different forms of therapy. Some popular forms are Talk therapy and Teletherapy. Talk Therapy can be described as traditional therapy in a safe setting where you spend one on one time with a licensed therapist or counselor, either as an individual (individual therapy), in a group setting with other individuals with similar challenges (group therapy), with you and your intimate partner (couples therapy,) or with you and other members of your family to work through family challenges (family therapy). Teletherapy is the latest form of therapy that uses technology and allows you to meet with a therapist from the comfort of the location of your choice through secure texting or through secure video conference.
Stigmas Surrounding Seeking Mental Health/ Therapy Services.
Within the community of people of color, there is a stigma associated with seeking services to tend to our mental health needs. It may be seen as shameful, embarrassing, or simply unnecessary. I believe that if it is recommended to seek the consultation of a Medical doctor to address physical health needs, we can be open to seeking consultation from a licensed mental health professional to address our mental health needs. In our community there are strong ties to religion as being the only way to address any issues related to our mental health and if we just “pray about it,” we will be ok. I believe that having Jesus and a Therapist is ok. Afterall, the Bible says in Proverbs 15:22 (AMP): “Without consultation and wise advice, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they are established and succeed.” The Bible also says in James 2:26 (NIV): “faith without deeds is dead.” Therefore we mustn’t sit around and wait for our prayers to be answered, we must recognize that at times in order for our prayer to be answered, we must do some work! Some deep soul searching. God blessed each of us with unique gifts. The gift of some are to be of good counsel to others.
I also referenced the strong black woman syndrome in a previous post titled “A Crooked Crown.” At times we may feel like “we got this” or convince ourself that we can “get through this.” We rely solely on talking to ourselves through the issues we are working through, but as my therapist once said to me: “You Can’t Heal In Your Head.” Seeking the counsel of a mental health professional doesn’t mean you’re “crazy.” It actually proves great strength to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to talk to a stranger about your greatest challenges and opening yourself up to working through deeper issues that have been swept under the rug because you wanted to appear “strong enough.”
Is Therapy for Me?
Everyone who can honestly say that their life is not a perfect fairy tale can benefit from Therapy and counseling. Take a moment to examine your life and take an inventory of the obstacles you’re facing. Do you feel exhausted trying to “do it all alone?” Do you feel like you’ve “tried everything?” No matter the magnitude of your challenge, it is always worth exploring with an objective individual who will work collaboratively with you to develop ways to resolve these challenges. Your mental health is the structure that holds you together and a healthy you is vital to accomplishing the aforementioned goals for this year and your life! Cheers to a New Year and a Well You!
Be sure you follow the blog to be notified of the release of the next post in this series: “You’ve Decided to Give Therapy A Try…Now What?”