Black Trauma and Therapy
Updated: May 31, 2022
There I was making the most impactful decision of my life. Prior to my decision I had never been to therapy. I even had doubts that it would really help. The thought of therapy had me thinking that something was really wrong with me. But in reality, there was trauma that somehow resurfaced. I, soon, realized that I wasn’t the only one going through this. Some people go to therapy for healing, clarity, and maybe finding purpose. I, on the other hand, needed more than healing, seeking clarity, and finding purpose. I needed self-evaluation, self-interpretation, and self-growth.
My girlfriend goes to therapy and she actually inspired me to take that step to go see one myself. So, this is to clarify that I didn’t wake up one day and say I need to go to therapy. It was all a process. I’ve had friends and even other family members that went to therapy. But in my house-hold there was always a saying that my parents stood by, ‘What goes on in this house, stays in this house’. Even as Black women (and Black people) we are always told to be strong, but not human.
I was raised in a home where communication was non-existent. So, I grew up not knowing how to express myself to others. Instead, I would keep everything on the inside until I couldn’t keep it all in anymore. As a result, this led to being angry, being distant, and being depressed. Overtime, I learned that holding things in only makes things worse. There are others that are going through what I’m still going through and also working on. I hope this message helps for the both of us to grow together in our journey of healing. But in order to truly heal we have to go through the root of the problem that was planted in us.
Black Family Stereotype and Black Stigma
A lot of people are wounded in some way. Most of those wounds come from toxic relationships and traumatic situations. We all deal with our own wounds differently and we all heal differently. If you feel like you're going through a hard time or can’t cope with something, then most likely you are going through some type of trauma. Whatever it could be, you first have to identify it. Recognize that your wounds are there. Let yourself feel it because it’s all a part of being human.
Preparing for Healing
Even if you prefer to not go see a therapist or you’re not ready to take that step, try to talk to a close family member or friend. Going to someone you trust can help you open up and express your feelings.
Even if you don’t have anyone, go to prayer and meditation. Get spiritually connected to God. Prayer is like having a regular conversation with God. God wants to hear about your problems and about how you’re feeling. We all don’t have the answers to our own life, but being spiritually connected can gravitate us towards our purpose in life. Social media has a great way for all of us to filter and hide our imperfections. However, social media can be put into great use. Be transparent with your followers and the ones closest to you. People love a great connection and something they can relate to. By making a connection with your followers about your flaws and your mistakes, it will inspire and motivate your followers. It’s a way of giving your own testimony because some people need your strength, encouragement, and wisdom. It’s a way for them to say if they can keep going, so can I.
Breaking the Cycle
When you start to heal, you start to break those generational curses that run through your family. You start to raise your children differently than how you were raised. Instead of yelling, you start to listen. You respond and not react. You start to notice that the things that used to hurt don’t even hurt anymore. You let go of the past and be present. Being present is healing because you don’t allow your past to have a hold on you and don’t allow the future to keep you overwhelmed. To be transparent with you all, I’m still healing. And I know one day I will soon reach of being present.
As Black people, we have to start healing for ourselves and for our children. If you are wondering about what steps to take to start your healing journey, I have provided resources that you can take advantage of.
Better Help is a great platform to find affordable and convenient therapists. It’s a great way to have a therapy session virtually or while you’re on the go. Most of us have busy schedules and sometimes a workload of stuff to do in our personal lives. Better Help helps take off the load, when you’re also in need of it. It’s also a great platform for mentorship and coaching. So, if you are also looking for mentorship within your business or needing help with public speaking Better Help offers those services as well.
Reading books on Black Mental Health
There are a lot of books on mental health. So, if you are doing your research on mental health, finding a therapist, or seeking help reading some great quality books on it may help with the process of your healing journey. Here are a few recommendations on Black mental health books and audibles:
The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health by Rheeda Walker
Black Men and Depression: Saving our Lives, Healing our Families and Friends by John Head
Emotional Self Care for Black Women by Krystina Bailey
Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting by Terrie M. Williams
Listen to Black Mental Health Podcast
I find it helpful to listen to black mental health podcasts. One of the great things about listening to podcasts is you get to listen to other people's opinions and perspectives. It helps the listeners be open-minded and aware of certain situations. My main three favorite mental health podcasts touch on the importance and awareness of black mental health issues and how to take a step of healing.
Black Mental Health Podcast by Reginald A. Howard
All Black Men Need Therapy by Chief, Bell, & Prentice
Therapy for Black Girls by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford
Even though mental health awareness is only 31 days out of the month, it’s always our number one priority to check in with ourselves and others around us on a daily basis. We are here on this earth to be happy, to be ourselves, and to be impactful.
Let’s connect, send me a message or comment below. Let’s get personal, how are you doing? I want to know because you deserve to be the best you can be.