Let me just start by saying seeking therapy was life changing for me. I first started Therapy at 19 years old at Chicago State University. I was going through a breakup with someone I shouldn't have been with in the first place....but that is a whole other subject. Anyway I stumbled into that Therapy office with emotions I had not felt in a lonnnngggg time. I was 19 years old and I don't think I had really felt anything or shed real tears since I was 9 years old.
That was ten long years of anger, frustration, disappointment, heart break, and trauma that I had not felt or dealt with. At that time, therapy was "free" as a part of my tuition. Actually seeking therapy made me want to become a therapist. It was profound in my growth as a person and helped me to realize that I had not healed from the stuff I thought I had gotten past, but I merely slapped a bandaid over the wounds.
I did not know a single soul who had gone to therapy. It seems that black people just did not go to therapy and I kept the fact that I was in therapy private for a very long time out of fear of of judgement or people think I was "crazy". Seeking therapy is not a sign of weakness but actually it is a strength to bare your soul in front of a complete stranger in hopes that it helps bring you some comfort in your times of distress.
You should seek therapy when:
- No reason at all you just need assistance in personal growth or need a sounding board
- Your normal level of functioning is affected i.e your work performance, relationships, ability to cope with things that were once easy to get past.
- problematic sleeping, eating, or self-harm behaviors
- grieving a loss of someone close to you
- and a host of other reasons...air on the side of the voice inside of you telling you that you need to get help
With all of this being said, I wanted to share some tangible resources for seeking therapy and finding the healing that can be life altering. Click the links below to be directed to each site.
In Person Therapy
1. Open Path Collective
I hear about this resource from one of my bigs sisters in my head Myleik Teele. The goal of Open Path Collective is to make getting therapy services affordable with sessions ranging from $30-$50 per session. You have to pay a one time lifetime membership fee of $49. You can search from a wide range of therapists serving people from all different types of modalities to fit your needs. This site does not require you to use your medical insurance and is great if you don't have any at all.
2. Therapy for Black Girls
Therapy for black girls aim is to reduce the stigma behind seeking counseling for women of color who often have superwoman syndrome. It is a collection of black women therapists all over the country that is steadily growing. They also have a blog and podcast with topics specific to the black woman experience. I encourage all women of color to check out this site and find a qualified therapist in your area as well as use it to support and uplift this community of black women trying to bring healing to the black community. You will see yours truly listed here in due time.
3. Psychology Today
Psychology today is one of my favorite websites period. I like Psychology Today because their content is really great and because their therapist search tool has been built out amazingly. Psychology Today allows you to filter by specialty, insurance, area and list of other ways to filter. When you go to the site you just have to put in the typical city, zip, or name of a therapist and once the list comes up, you can filter from there. You can also find support and process groups in your area if you find a group setting to be helpful fro your healing.I have mentioned this one before in #selfcaresunday several times.
4. Good Therapy
Good Therapy is another website similar to psychology today that has a therapy listing and blog. You may find that many of the therapists you see on Psychology Today are also listed on Good Therapy. You call also filter based on issue and they list information about how to know if you are in "Good Therapy".
I am not a Huge fan of online therapy because there is just something about building a therapeutic relationship in person and also its more difficult to gauge body language, control tone, etc., but we live in a technology age and I am a BIGGER FAN of people getting help in whatever way that works for them no matter the circumstance. So I wanted to included some resources for online/text therapy. These can be extremely helpful for those who suffer from agoraphobia (fear of going outside) or social anxiety.
1. Better Help
Better Help offers virtual/video counseling that of course due to the virtual nature can be done anywhere anytime. I like this site because you still get to put a face to a name and have some level of "in person" interaction with your therapist. You are matched with one of their licensed therapists and they work extremely hard at protecting your privacy despite the online format. You start by answering a questionnaire and then create a username and password to login. They also have mobile app so you can literally carry therapy around with you every where you go.
Talkspace therapy is done solely through text or virtual chat. It can be done from your laptop or mobile device. They boast over 50,000 users currently using talkspace for therapy. The fees associate with therapy very and they offer $30 offer your first month when you sign up. You pay a monthly fee for access to a therapist 24 hours a day/ 7 day per week.
3. 7 Cups
Last but not least...well actually they are least because its FREE is 7 cups (well to some extent). 7 Cups is 24/7 and the "listeners" provide listening on a volunteer basis. HOW DOPE ! I have actually used 7 Cups from both ends and with text being the primary means for communication for many, I found it extremely helpful and convenient. Now if you choose to do actual therapy there is fees associated with it and they vary. You can pay 7 cups a monthly rate or pay a fee to the individual therapist. There is a mobile app for this site as well.
The premise of this article is to show that some form of therapy is available to you anytime, any place, no matter your circumstances. In addition, look into your local township, churches, and other not for profit community organizations for free/affordable therapy services.
I hope that by reading this you make the decision to seek therapy. Therapy is not just for when you are in active crisis but should be looked at as preventative medicine. Let us know if you found a therapist using one of these resources. I wish you love, light, and healing by any means.