The thing is I am a work in progress, and as I get older I find certain things trigger traumas I did not know I had to heal from. Healing is an essential part of growth and ascension, and the act of it I truly crave. After all, it is a priority for myself to break generational curses, help others heal in the ways of which I am privy, and live my best life. I find that I am not able to do those things if I am weighed down by open wounds that accrue weight, so finally, after years of saying I am going to do it, I found a therapist and practice I vibe with very well.
Therapy– noun|treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder.
synonyms: treatment, remedy
First, it is very difficult to share this very vulnerable act, especially because, well, I’m Black. For centuries it has been deemed taboo and associated with an array of negative connotations to discuss the need for counseling services in the Black community. Historically speaking, therapists and counselors are reserved for insane and deranged people in the family. The aunt who always thinks someone is after her, or the uncle that just can’t get right. Yeah, in the community I am from, the need for therapy suggests something is dangerously wrong. And if you seek it, you are wrong, so you become a leper. “Well, you know she in therapy,” someone says with a side eye after you walk away from greeting them at the cook out.
Nonetheless, its 2018 out chere. Us young fly free millennial Black folk see a need for healing in a way our parents and grand parents may not understand. The way I see it; in addition to being the products of triumphant, resilient, ambitions, hard-working, out-going, intelligent, and gorgeous brown people, we are also the products of generations of negative mental, physical, and sometimes spiritual abuse and habits that must be broken for the sake of posterity. I recognize the cyclical nature in my own family, and I intend to create a new ebb and flow. And, I will do so, even if it means going against the grain and seeking therapeutic counseling. The church is just not enough for me any more.
Break it down, B:
There is nothing wrong with healing. If we do not insist on owning our minds, body, and souls, we will not have the energy and clarity to fulfill our purposes. There is also nothing wrong with going against the grain. After all the grain has produced the very cycles of which we need to fight against. Otherwise the results are the continuation of unhealthy eating habits which lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, and hypertension, failed relationships, mediocre lifestyles, and content where their should be growth. On the other hand, working to heal and resolve generational bondage can lead to prosperity, success beyond comprehension, joyous lives, and role models for baby cousins, nieces, nephews, and siblings which will lead to the abandonment of bondage.
With that said, I have been saying I want to meet with a therapist for years. I actually saw one–she was a con artist. Then, I received some contacts from friends, but nothing seemed to work out. I knew I wanted a Black Aunty therapist, and it was her that I was going to find. FINALLY, I found a practice and a counselor I am very happy with. The journey toward this process was not simply. So below, I have outlined 6 things one should know about therapy:
- Therapy is included in your insurance. Aye, I’m all about my coin in #gettinmoney2018 #stackinmypaper2018. So, I understand the immediate cost does not agree with the need to save or monitor spending. However, if you look at you insurance card, there is a list of co-pays for various medical practices. That “MH” stands for Mental Health services. You are only responsible for paying the co-pay per visit. For those of you who do not have insurance, some state systems have free services available.
- Finding a good therapists is like buying a pair of shoes. You gotta try them bad boys on before you buy. Like I said earlier, I specifically wanted a Black Aunty therapist, and I had to search for her. Originally, a friend of my mine gave me the name of her therapist, so I went and tried her out. This lady was not my cup of tea. She said many alarming things. She quoted clichés from movies, insisted that she did not need my money or me to lick her…, anyway, she was simply horrible. So, I moved on to the next and finally found what I was looking for. I suggest you know what you want before you begin your search.
- Directories exist to help with the finding process. I was listening to “Therapy for Black Girls” podcast, and BAM! the content creator dropped a link to a directory for Black Women Therapist.
- Chose a practice and a therapist with vibes that make you feel comfortable. When I walked into the office of the practice, I felt at home. The place had a space for yoga, encouraging spiritual shit everywhere, plants producing fresh air. I felt like I decorated the place myself. I knew I was safe. The owner of the facility reminded me of the me I am becoming, so I could feel there would be a lot for me to learn in that space.
- Expect to make a plan. The idea of therapy is not for you to need it forever. Nor is the idea for you to talk to a stranger and magically become healed. The idea is, however, that you identify your trauma triggers, bad habits, or behavior; then, learn how to cope when your triggers overtake you, and/or learn how to handle the stressors in your life. With that said, expect your therapist to help you create a wellness plan.
- Don’t be afraid or ashamed to try. I’m just going to sit this one here.
All I can say is know thyself. And I know myself well enough to know when bad habits are not breaking, when family cycles disrupt my peace, when childhood memories hinder my flight, or when minute matters cause me to retreat back to my tortoise shell. I also know I have a grand purposes in this life, and I cannot fulfill them to the best of my abilities until I have relieved myself of internal barriers. With faith, I believe this healing work is just as imperative to my vision as studying my craft, for in due time the work I create and children I birth will be born into a peaceful, joyful, and loving environment.
To choose love, we must choose a healthy model of female agency and self-actualization, one rooted in the understanding that when we love ourselves well, we are best able to love others.
- Healing is necessary for growth.
- Some cultural practices need to be retired.
- Just as our ancestors did, we also have a responsibility to incite a place of peace and prosperity for the next generation.
- Seeking therapy is a form of self love.
Be light. Work your talents together we can spark a light pandemic.
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