T-H-E-R-A-P-Y….I’m convinced that everybody needs it. With stress, random acts of violence, suicides - IT’S TOO DAMN MUCH not to have it. Craziness of life running rampant, mainly because grown people don’t know how to productively deal with the problems in their lives.
And in the black community, you might as well not mention the “t” word. We often curve the notion of receiving therapy. Let’s face it, we’ve endured everything under the sun (think slavery, racism, socio-economic disparities) and still manage to flourish. We are most resilient! If we can bear the burden of all that, we can deal with daily life, right? How do we process all of what we’ve encountered?
In addition, so many of us grow up thinking that the church is our only option of dealing with problems and no one outside of our home should know what’s going on.
"Just pray about it.”
“Talk to pastor about what you’re going through.”
“What goes on in our house, stays in our house!”
Do any of these sound familiar? Mmm hmm.
Before I move on, let me be clear. Me and Jesus are besties and prayer is absolutely a part of my life. Faith in God’s word is real, but faith without works is dead. God gave me enough sense to put some action behind my faith. He also gave people the skill and intellect to become licensed therapists for a reason. I’m not passing up on that opportunity.
Honestly, I thought therapy was for crazy people. Life had to hit me upside the head before I decided to give therapy a try. Emotions suppressed and internalized, mixed with affects of childhood experiences never dealt with all rose to the surface.
There came a point when the bandaids I repeatedly used to cover bullet holes no longer sufficed. It’s funny how when you don’t listen, God eventually makes you.
My issues stared me right in the face, affecting my mental and physical health which included panic attacks that I’ve shared previously. I needed help…bad. More than what my support system could provide.
I was willing to try anything. Thankfully, my employer offers free, anonymous therapy session via Perspectives, LTD Employee Assistance Program (check with your HR department to see if your employer provides this as a benefit).
I’ve attended therapy for about 3 years now and…Changed. My. Life.
Expect to get real.
You will be asked questions about your life, your childhood experiences and your relationships. Be open and honest. Speak your truth! You cannot heal what you don’t reveal. You might even shed a tear or two and let it happen.
Expect the Aha moments!
Once you share and know what you want to get out of going to therapy, the therapist will help you to connect the dots or point out any patterns. It’s the awesome part of having someone objective listen to you. You might learn that everything you’ve internalized never went away, it just manifested into something else (being a workaholic, drinking too much, drugs, sex, etc..)
Expect to do some work.
Therapy is not just about talking through your problems. It will only benefit you if you take the tools the therapist provides and apply them to your life.
It is all a process. I’m still working through things in my life each day at a time. So, no, my problems have not gone away (that’s what I leave up to God..in the name of Jesus!) but I am learning how to take care of myself a lot better and how to face each day… all in the name of therapy.
Any thoughts? I would love to hear! Please leave in the comments below.