Break The Silence. Break the Stigma. Therapy is Cool
Picture this scene: You just found out that your husband is cheating and you have to break up a 7 year marriage. You are left alone with a 1 year old girl and you are freaking out. Your days become filled with guilt and sadness. You stay in bed ‘til you literally can’t anymore. You feel sluggish, you feel down, you feel blah! You push yourself to do something, even if it’s just to feed your baby and go back to bed, but you have zero motivation to do anything. You are overwhelmed with feelings- thoughts from the past, stress from the present, and anxieties about your future. You feel disconnected from yourself and from any feelings of peace. You are lost and feeling broken.
Break the Silence
We all go through tough times in our lives. Some are triggered by a specific event, like the example above; some just seem to come out of nowhere. Either way, they’re difficult feelings that need love and attention to be able to hear them out and process them. It’s not easy to do it alone. This is where therapy comes in. Both traditional and non-traditional therapies allow a trained practitioner/clinician to hear you with a trained ear and heart. They offer a different perspective to the pain you are stuck in. A miracle in A Course in Miracles is described as “a shift in perspective”. A therapist helps to hold space for your feelings and figure them out. In addition, they attempt to guide you, to “shift your perspective” from a place of fear and darkness to a place of love and a sense of hope. This is a process. It takes time, but it works if you work it as they say in 12-step programs.
Break the Stigma
The major problem is the stigma around therapy, especially in the Latino and black communities. In addition to that, there’s the difficulty to get up and ask for help, and having the courage of not running away from your feelings or covering them up.
First, a little on me…
I am a 27-year-old Latina who works as a psychotherapist. I have a story, as do you. I have been cheated and heart-broken. I have experienced abuse, loss, crisis, addictions, and the list goes on. But the thing that I noticed through it all was a wounded relationship with myself. I remember wanting to blame everyone; my dad, my mom, my ex’s and my friends. But the common denominator was… GUESS WHO? ME! As children, we are left at the mercy of our parents or guardians, but as we grow into adulthood we have to take responsibility for our lives. We must forgive and for that I mean choosing to let go, to relieve yourself of the shackles of that situation.
I decided that I needed to take my happiness seriously. This is where therapy came in to my own personal life. Through my experience with therapy, I was able to take my well-being serious. Just making that decision, to take care of my emotions, was astonishing.
Taking care of ourselves allows us to trust ourselves and heal the relationship we have with the SELF. When we have a strong sense of “self”, we know who we are, know our needs and desires and establish healthy boundaries. In return, we choose healthier and happier decisions. We are able to be more resilient, more hopeful, and more enthusiastic about the future. I finally began to understand my story. My therapist helped me break down my negative patterns. With love and compassion, I slowly began making new choices to create the life I actually wanted, living my life without fears. Therapy made me feel sexy, emotionally responsible, helped me make better healthier decisions, and allowed me to love myself and in return allow others to love me deeper and healthier. I became so passionate about this work that I have dedicated my entire life to it. It is literally what I was born to do. I write on emotional health, women’s empowerment, spirituality, I speak on it; I lead goddess retreats, and women’s empowerment programs to help women and all people remember they’re worth. Help them feel hope and deep self-love again.
Therapy Is Cool
I want to invite you to do the same. Seek help and get involved in the Therapy is Cool movement. October 6-12th 2013 is Mental Health Awareness Week, and we at Therapy is Cool Foundation are creating a conversation, breaking the silence on the web, and making therapy cool and approachable once and for all. Want in? Like our page on Facebook, grab the photo from there and share away! Use the hashtag #therapyiscool. Together we can make a difference and save millions of lives that are affected each moment from people that don’t have the information or the safety to go seek professional help.
Some alarming facts to urge you to join the movement:
The death rate from suicide for African American men almost four times that for African American women, in 2009.
African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic Whites.
Older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over age 65 in the United States.
Suicide attempts for Hispanic girls, grades 9-12, were 70% higher than for White girls in the same age group, in 2011.
Government Resource: Minority Health
Therapyiscool.org- nonprofit dedicated to breaking the stigma, providing resources, creating community and finally making therapy cool and approachable once and for all. The organization is focused on providing empowerment workshops and campaigns with a specific focus on at-risk latino/youth of color, and abused women of color.
Cosmiclife.com- my lifestyle company that offers modern coaching/therapy with soul 1-1 coaching, monthly goddess gatherings, annual Goddess Retreat July 2014 is next one in Puerto Rico, and other virtual and live events and programs.
Psychologytoday.com- here you can find therapists that are all at Masters level and above, in your area, or virtual therapists that fit your needs.