Updated: Jun 1
There is no question that each and every one of us needs therapy now! The timeline for “when this is all over” does not exist and that is a stressful fact. Some of us may have had a head start and are already in therapy! Good Job! Woo hoo!!
“Going to therapy” now, may seem feasible, necessary, or just downright unavoidable especially during all of dis...*Please insert the unfolding fuckery here*.
This Civil Rights Movement 2.0 with a backdrop of a pandemic is unfolding fuckering and it is dope! The fuckery here is about what is being fucked up, meaning what is getting challenged and dismantled, rebuilt, and redefined. What is happening that is magical and necessary, raw and rancid- human rights, civil rights, upholding of these rights. The impact of this global pandemic in our inner circles, personal lives; witnessing its impact on colleagues, friends, and family- country- world.... and of course the ongoing genocide of us Black people in America. This is Unfolding Fuckery.
Our Mental health and hygiene need to be front and center- now more than ever. When I say therapy, I’m including clinical and non-clinical work. Not just us amazingly trained social workers as therapists :-) or psychologists, psychiatrists. The kind of clearing and releasing that is needed now, is a deep inna yuh insides kinna way, and is certainly inclusive of spiritual/energy work. So shouts out to my life coaches, shamans, gurus and various spiritual leaders and healers. COVID-19 hit the planet with with the collective reawakening of Black consciousness. This is some really powerful shit. AND there is a long road ahead in order to tend our healing.
Right now, we need all the support we can get and I mean all of it!! Therapy for us Black folks, should be multi-layered. Multi-sensory. Therapy for us, needs to include an individual awareness that we are doing this not to just repair our nerves but to repair our psyche. Mental health is just one part of our psyche, think about it, racism has been in and on our necks for 400 years+, for the sake of time, we just talking about America right now.
So with the oppressive boot, in our preverbal necks, we birthed our children, went to colleges, ran the block, think about everything we do with all that non nourishing air of oppression. There is no Black experience void of experiencing racism. And because this reality has always been about "I literally just want to live" kinda survival, chemically, our bodies don't know how to respond to life without this kind of stress. Sit. With. That. So while we do the work to get treated like human beings in America, we must simultaneously do the work to heal the psyche that has no generational memory of not being oppressed. When something constructs the flow of oxygen, when you can't even breathe, once that obstruction is removed, it takes the body time to resume to its normal breath. There's a whole lot of recovery that has to happen even on a cellular level for this to occur.
Healing the psyche is about healing the whole person. And more than time, it takes practice. So for many of us, therapy is like it is for me. When I go to therapy, "I'm seeking insight, guidance, and wisdom on every element of my life, to be aware of how I function in the world, how I feel about “it”, process it; discover, tend to and heal the parts of myself that are wounded; taking full responsibility for all my actions, acknowledging, that I am Divine and co-create my experience on earth as human beings. I will return to the one truth of Love. Knowing fully that such chosen action expedites my healing and reduces possible harm to others. I am powerful and weak. I am light and the absence of light- I am fully void and creation. I agree to breathe deeply and constantly look inward- fully living the Divine truth, that so within, so without. ONENESS is my true state. I change myself. I choose to change me”. No, that wasn’t a typo. Co-exist as human beings. That's why my ass keeps going to therapy.
See why we all need a therapist? It is time for the world to get well and by that, I mean us humans. Listen to the lyrics of We are the World!. The wisdom is all there! It is time for us to get well - it's time to take control of our own wellness- our own wholeness. The legislature won’t pass a bill, we will never vote for the right person in office. Outrage to injustice, whatever its form, is just an emotional reaction, what we do and how we live and spend our money and our time also impacts our healing. It all matters. All this Breaking News could all break us, if we choose not to see a shift toward a new paradigm- the kind of shift that sometimes only a crisis can bring. Sadly, it’s the American way. Here’s the headline we need to read and do something about- we as humans have had enough of our own bullshit. It’s our bullshit. No victims here, see definition of therapy, so now that we are owning it, it's time to begin to tend to it and heal, then we rise. We will grow to the highest of who we are called to be, if and when we do the work. Simply put, we will be better humans. All of us can be better.
No one is exempt here. We all need therapy. And because we all need it, NOW is a perfect opportunity to have no shame about getting you some. I had a wonderful opportunity to study trauma in Buenos Aires. One of the many powerful facts I learned was that almost everyone in Buenos Aires is in therapy, they have the highest amount of therapists per capita in the world! Why? *Takes deep breath as understated oversimplification takes the mic* Because they know that they need to heal from the sickness of their history.
I was born in NYC, first generation. And I can say as my citizenship emboldens, we are a sick country. Mashup and toxic. Wicked and progressive. Giving and murderous. COVID-19, Police brutality and all the social political realities it's highlighted, has mirrored back to us what we have tried to ignore, pray away, dismiss or carry- bearing a weight so heavy it has become debilitating and has manifested itself as substance abuse and misuse, bruk up families and emotional ruin. #ToxicStress. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, PTSD, panic attacks; such regular exposure contributes to disrupted metabolic function, obesity, high blood pressure and too much to list. If we were to just process the loss of life that this virus has caused- and is STILL causing, this fact alone is enough to be the main influencer for all of us to be in therapy for the rest of our lives. Never mind the deep-rooted racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic systemic policies that are cornerstones of this country. Add the loss of wages, business challenges, abuse by abusers, relationships, illness, work stress, unemployment, and underemployment- lest we leave out the other stressors of life that never skip a damn beat.
We all need therapy.
Have no shame in needing it, stop playing, and go get you one. When you find that therapist and you share what I call, “jiving boundaries”- you realize how hard at times and always healing and rewarding this therapy shit can be. And you’ll just want to keep doing the work - because growth feels way better than stagnation- and honestly, the air is better, and it's time for all us to be free to breathe.
As you go about finding your therapist, here are some things to think about when considering if you are jiving with those boundaries- meaning you are willing to be open to feeling a connection between you- the client and the therapist. You honor and they honor, you respect and they respect. There are mutually agreed upon boundaries as outlined in various codes of conduct and ethics in clinical, educational, religious and corporate institutions- so check those and use a framework that works for both of you.
Once that's clear...Ask yourself if you have a preference. Race? Age? Religion? Cultural identity? Gender Identity? Who do you see yourself talking with? Who can you hear, when tough questions are being asked? Really think about it. You may not know right away, but it’s important to honor if at some point you realize that what you thought didn’t matter, matters.
Additionally, is this an emergency or is this preventative? This is a real question because sometimes we may need support quick fast and in a hurry and we don’t have time to tally up likes and preferences. It’s ok to need to go to the emotional emergency room- once we feel more emotionally sure-footed, then we can be a bit more selective in picking someone to work with more long term.
What’s the budget? FREE IS OUT THERE, so please don’t think for one second, great therapists aren’t sharing our expertise. Pre COVID-19 it was all about sliding scales, but I know folks bartering web design for coaching or products from their farms for therapy. Therapists of old had sliding scales that honored what was “affordable” to client’s, therapists of today recognize that we chose the value in all things and ...just revisit the value of therapy and come to an agreement- again honoring professional codes of conduct and be sure that it doesn’t feel icky. Trust your gut on this one.
Questions/Things to consider when interviewing your therapist: What was intake/making an appointment like? Website information? Former clients? How flexible is their schedule, if that’s a need of yours? What’s their approach? Style? You may get this information from their website or intake process but look for those gems. “Payment. Have that dialogue and get that conversation out the way and be clear. Just because folks take insurance doesn’t mean it’s easy breezy. Know what’s covered and what’s not and have those conversations about deductibles, co-pays, out of pocket costs, in-network, out of network, and all that stuff in the beginning. It’s not helpful to solve one problem and create another and in order to get us out of flight, fight or freeze mode- we need to control what we control. And we can control communication. We can always ask for clarity, understanding, and even exception- but we have to communicate what we may need or what we may be concerned about. This is extremely important and contributes to a firm foundation in a relationship that will help foster your healing.
How are we measuring our goals? What are our benchmarks? What is the process if course correction is needed?
hen can you start? Demand is high and growing. Trust the Universe. You will get what you need. Trus.
Finding a therapist is like finding a good OBG or a barber, just cause they have credentials doesn’t mean they are qualified to look in your innards or line you up. Be gentle with yourself and them and breathe. The minute we set our intention to begin healing, the healing begins. The process can be seamless or seem cumbersome, know its all the path. Sometimes smooth sailing, sometimes traffic- but you will get there. Breathe into it. Holla at me, if you have questions or concerns.