Updated: 2 days ago
There is a lie that acts like a virus within the mind of humanity. And that lie is, ‘There’s not enough good to go around. There’s lack and there’s limitation and there’s just not enough.’ ☥ The truth is that there’s more than enough good to go around. There is more than enough creative ideas. There is more than enough power. There is more than enough love. There’s more than enough joy. All of this begins to come through a mind that is aware of its own infinite nature. ☥ There is enough for everyone. If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. That's the truth. ☥ ☥ Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith ☥
Our most recent pandemic has heightened our level of fear, but the hidden gift in our current state of affairs is an increased awareness around and need for improving and balancing our mental health. However, the stigma surrounding seeking a therapist still exists. The stigma is further complicated by faith-based, Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant Communities who struggle to cultivate trust in mental health professionals to have the cultural competence necessary to address the trauma, stress and impact of systemic racism.
It is important to remember that healing is a journey requiring patience, persistence and high standards regardless of whether we are healing our mind, body or emotions. Like all health practitioners, mental health counselors work for you, not the other way around.
Because our society stigmatizes mental health, we feel especially vulnerable when seeking a counselor. This vulnerability may cloud our judgement and cause us to forget that ALL health practitioners need to be properly vetted before we agree to work with them and we can fire them and find another practitioner at any time.
Seek to interview a mental health professional in the same way that we interview someone for a job, and research their background which can easily be found on many health providers' websites. Psychology Today offers another good way to research the background of therapists in a given area. I highly recommend looking for a mental health therapist who has a strong background in solutions-based and cognitive behavioral therapies.
The Association of Black Psychologists and Hurdle are examples of a good place to start for Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People (BIIP) seeking culturally competent care. Regardless of our cultural background, I would not recommend working with a therapist who does not also seek counseling for themselves and actively engage in ongoing professional development. It is important that we look for a mental health practitioner who balances a personal connection with maintaining professional boundaries. Here are a few questions to ask ourselves when seeking a therapist:
☥ What are my end goals? (heart's desire, security in feelings, overcoming trauma, etc.)
☥ What are my primary stressors?
☥ What do I hope to gain from counseling?
During the first meeting or consultation it is important to interview the therapist and ask probing questions such as:
☥ How do you set up counseling goals?
☥ What are your sessions like?
☥ What kind of self-work do you assign to help me continually improve?
After the first session, we can check in with ourselves to see how we truly feel:
☥ Did we feel safe (emotionally, physically)?
☥ Was the therapist present and engaged?
☥ Did they seem trustworthy?
Regardless of how difficult our challenges may seem, every problem has within it the seed of the solution. We can cultivate self-care while staying committed to the development of our mental health support system. My next blog will offer suggestions for creating a mental health self-care toolkit.
Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it. ☥ ॐ Osho ☥
Mental Health Resources
The shareable links and videos below offer a wide array of resources through breathing, movement, lifestyle habits and counseling to assist you in your mental health self-care toolkit journey:
☥ How To Care For Your Nervous System While Sheltering in Place (interview with
Dr. Marshea Evans)
☥ Don't Fight Your Mirror, Clean It From Inside (Dr. Michael Beckwith)