Lately, I’ve been listening to inspirational podcasts on spirituality and mental health and it definitely helps when stuck in the traffic jams of L.A. I will let you know about some of those podcasts in the near future.
“Therapy For Black Girls” has been one of those mental health podcasts I’ve been listening to, because well…it’s nice to hear another take on mental health in the Black community and not to mention…there’s very few Black women as therapists and psychologists, because trust me if there were I’d be at their site. But for now, listening to mental health podcasts such as “Therapy For Black Girls” serves as an additional source to therapy, self-help books and the Bible. Can’t forget my Bible.
The host for “Therapy For Black Girls”, “Dr. Joy, for the week of March 6th, had a podcast session on “The Psychology of the Black Panther”, with guest, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Parent Coach, Mercedes Samudio. The podcast I found interesting because it talked about how the “Black Panther” film, finally gave African Americans like myself a sense of pride seeing people that look like us on the silver screen taking on amazing roles and feats. And especially if you’re already a Black Nerd/Geek, like myself, it is awe-inspiring! The podcast also talked a lot about the issues I have always felt that Hollywood has failed to show with people of color…. Like seeing Black folks in a fantasy world, even if it’s in a dystopian one. I mean is Hollywood trying to say that we won’t exist in the 50 or so years??? I hope Black Panther will not be the last sci-fi/fantasy movie in the years to come, in addition to a sequel.
So I’m going to stop right here, before I ruin the rest of the podcast (because I’m very good at ruining things. I don’t mean to, I just get excited and forget myself.), so here is the site to the podcast and the one you can listen to from the “Therapy for Black Girls” website.
As as of right now, I am attending three therapy sessions: Celebrate Recovery at my church, therapy at my school, and therapy outside of school. The one I am seeing is outside of school is mainly for me to deal with relationship issues and overcome my sexual assault experience and therapy in my school is mostly to deal with my anxiety and depression. Then there’s is my sessions with my psychologist at school, where I can also get more prescription on my meds, but that’s like one a month.
Yeah I have my hands full with all three of those sessions in addition to student-teaching, going to school and work. Whew! But I’m happy, because I’m able to have the help I need to get through the week. And I feel like I’m getting what I need emotionally and spirituality too, because my spirituality has helped me keep me going in spite of my mental illnesses. I’m learning about relationships through the relationships I’m developing in all those sessions, which then is helping me have a better relationship with myself as well.
So how did I happen to get such wonderful people? Well…to be honest…luck and trial and error. I’ve gone through 5 therapists and I’ve been to a previous Celebrate Recovery event at a church I use to attend, so I’ve learned what I’ve wanted and not wanted in my trials of recovery. My…how I shall I put this…last to third therapist (???) was a good at CBT and helped out a lot on that, but what I didn’t like was how he didn’t seem to take in mind how much God meant a lot to me just because he didn’t believe so much in God (even though he came from a Jewish background. Go figure.) Then if I were to bring up my relationships with guys in how they treat me, he’d kinda get offended, like I was offending him, which was weird. Sometimes, I think back on it, I wished I had switched to another therapist or at least got a female therapist instead.
If you’ve been in an awkward situation with a therapist that doesn’t mean you have to stop going to therapy, but rather change your therapist. I know the change is inconvenient because perhaps your current therapist was better than your previous therapist or it took you forever ever to find the most “decent” therapist. So how do you know if a therapist is right for you? How do you know if they are crossing the line (although that’s what you do in therapy basically)? These are the things I did not like from my previous therapists:
Not Being Sensitive to my beliefs or Background
Checking the clock too much
Imposing religious, spiritual, political or social beliefs—In this case it was more of social beliefs; not believing in monogamous relationships, recommending me to a dating website (that ended up leading me to my assaulter) when perhaps, as much as I wanted, wasn’t ready to be in a relationship yet.
Not understanding what I want—When I was an undergrad, I told my therapist I felt something was wrong with me, but he didn’t seem think anything was wrong. Yeah he looked as the DSM 4 (yeah, that was a while ago), but he didn’t give me any tests that suggested I may have had a major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. I didn’t get diagnosed with those by another mental health professional–this time a psychiatrist—several years later. This would have saved me a lot of time.
My two new therapists have really helped me out a lot, perhaps in more ways than my previous therapists have. They are pretty much the opposite of the previous therapists… well maybe my third to last therapist did challenge me and did help me learn as well, but what I did appreciate from my latest therapists is that they showed acceptance and compassion. It helps that they don’t just see me as a patient or a patient that they’re using for their counseling degree (most of the therapists I’ve seen are at schools), but as a person too and it helps me (indirectly) learn how good relationships form. So if you don’t have a good relationship with a therapist, then like any other person in your life, you can always leave.
Below are some links that can give you advice on the good traits and bad traits of a therapist whether you meet them in person, online, over the phone or through text. I hope these articles will prove most helpful for you! At least it will save you more time. I had to learn the hard and long way!