The Taboo Behind Therapy
Therapy was like a curse word where I grew up. Therapists have been given a bad rap for years. Stereotypically, they have been portrayed as the person who sits across from a patient in a recliner spilling their guts while the therapist takes notes and asks, “And how does that make you feel?”
As Hollywood as that may seem, that’s how many people view therapists today. As such, people tend to pull away from these types of clinicians and try to fix their issues on their own.
Culturally, I was always against therapy. In fact, I didn’t know that the issues I had could be addressed by therapists. It wasn’t until a few years ago that the thought of therapy seems like a viable option for me. I struggled with anxiety horribly for years and was able to find ways to cope with it.
During this period of time, I noticed that my preconceived notions of therapy were apart of the misconceptions that I was raised in. Here are a few of the taboo issues that I experienced:
1. Therapy is for Crazy People
I first time I was told about therapy, I was highly insulted. How dare anyone insinuate that I was crazy! I believed wholeheartedly that therapy was for people who were undeniably crazy. I thought about a straight jacket, and a mental facility dedicated to people screaming and banging on doors. This is the furthest from the truth. Therapists help us to understand and come to terms with how things, people, situations have impacted us.
2. Why Should I Talk to Someone Who Doesn’t Know or Understand Me?
Unfortunately, in the African-American community, there aren’t many therapists that look like us, which in turn makes it hard for us to trust therapists in general. We use that as our min excuse to not seek help for our issues. My suggestion, if you feel like you need a therapist who may better understand you, then seek them out. They are few but they’re there. Just remember, therapists are trained licensed professionals and you a free to “date” a therapist until you find the one that’s right for you.
3. Jesus is the Answer!
I grew up going to church sometime 3 – 4 times a week. Whenever I was stressed, depressed, or anxious, I was encouraged to fast and pray. I was told,
“Therapy cant help what God can heal”.
Anyone putting their trust in a therapist was deemed blasphemous.
4. Therapist Reunion
Some people believe that therapists come to each session looking for the tea, so they can go back to their therapist friends and discuss all the foolish things that were ever expressed to them. It doesn’t work that way. Therapists are bound to a contract by law. If they decide to broadcast your business, not only can you sue them, but they can also lose their license. A therapist is only allowed to break said contract unless they believe in good judgment that you may be a danger to yourself our your others.
Therapists have impacted my life positively and helped me makes amends in difficult situations. I have been able to be a better me because of the therapy. If you are interested in finding a therapist near you and begin your walk with handling your mental health issues, click here.