Is Therapy For The Weak? Here's What You Need To Know About Receiving Treatment
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
When I was younger, I could vividly remember hearing some variation of these sayings:
“Have you considered going to therapy?”
“Hey, why not go to therapy for your past traumas?”
“You need therapy.”
“My therapist was amazing in helping me through my journey.”
I can only imagine that you felt the same way when people talked to you about therapy. You know, the gut-wrenching feeling of anxiety that fills your body and paralyzes you as you break down on the inside while keeping your composure on the outside.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but let’s be honest: you don’t want to believe that therapy is the key to understanding the root causes of your deepest underlying traumas. It’s time to ask yourself why that’s the case?
I care about your well-being, so I’ll let you in on a little secret. You’ve been brainwashed to believe that therapy was both unnecessary and not for people of color all your life. Whether a loved one or an acquaintance planted that thought, it’s been embedded in your mind ever since that moment.
Let’s breakthrough those barriers together. In this blog, we’re going to talk about the T-word, common mix-ups associated with the word, and how you can break the stigmas surrounding that particular word today.
Therapy Is For The Weak?
If I can be transparent with you now, therapy will always be a touchy topic to cover, especially for you as a person of color.
The only reason is that there have been conversations about therapy that were either biased or simply untrue, and those conversations affected people like you throughout several generations.
We will touch on these mishaps momentarily, especially about therapy being weak. In the meantime, I want you to stop and think of the negative thoughts you have about treatment as they were stemmed from a generational curse starting back in slavery.
As slaves, our ancestors were denied certain services simply because of the color of their skin. Therapy was one of those services, as only a tiny percentage of people of color could access the service in the early 1900s.
Even as times began to change in the mid-1900s, that thought process of people of color being unable to access “luxuries” such as therapy lived on through your grandparents, your parents, and ultimately, you.
Do you see a familiar feeling associated with this thought process? Here, fear has no room to live in your thought process, so consider this your quick check-in to address those fears head-on and embrace the feeling of happiness you’ll gain afterward.
By understanding this pattern, you have the chance to break that curse today and set a new foundation for what a healthy human being looks like mentally.
Today’s Misconceptions and Their Meanings
Are you ready for another bombshell? Our society pushes different negative thoughts about who can benefit from therapy, driving our community away from its valuable services. Trust me. I see this all too well as a licensed therapist specialist.
Some of the most crucial lies include the following:
Therapy is “lame” or for “crazy people.”
Therapy is a waste of time.
Therapy is too expensive for your household.
Therapists can never understand the struggles that you go through daily as a person of color.
Let’s talk about those first two points.
The main reason why most younger people of color call therapy a waste of time or “lame” is because they believe it to be a trend. It breaks my heart to see that sad reality daily, but we have to dive into the hard part to get to the bright future ahead.
To most of your peers, therapy is a trend that elevated during the start of the pandemic. During that time, more people felt the effects of anxiety, depression, and unrest due to imminent fears about the virus and isolation orders imposed by each state (yes, you are included too).
We also saw the height of social media platforms like TikTok playing a critical role in the mental health space. We began to see more youth flocking to the media to indirectly talk about their mental illnesses for the entertainment of others.
When in reality, those young people were suffering in silence without others knowing. Yes, it’s something you don’t want to hear, but it needs to be said.
Now, ask yourself this: do you view your mental health as a serious issue or a joke for others to laugh at your pain? This decision will determine your tolerance for therapy as you learn more about your needs.
Breaking The Therapy Dilemma Among POC
Knowing the root causes for therapy being an unpopular subject among our communities is only the first part of the solution. It’s time for you to take direct action, though, to paint the whole picture.
Now, does that mean that you have to pledge to start going to therapy today? Absolutely not. However, it means that you should know your options when accessing those services on your own time.
In-person therapy sessions are still up and available for your convenience. If you’re a person who thrives off in-person interactions, then this therapy style is right up your alley.
You also have the option to attend virtual therapy sessions if you please. These sessions have become increasingly popular since the pandemic first began and are more convenient if you prefer to have the sessions in a secluded location of your own.
Now, if you’re still on the fence about attending actual therapy sessions, there are personalized mental health products that will work in your favor. This option will be coming soon, especially for you.
I want you to walk away from this with one thought in mind: what space do you see yourself in as the future comes? Do you want to be happier, less anxious, as confident as ever before?
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get to that point, too?
Think this over as you progress through your week, and write down the thoughts that come to your mind. I would love to hear what you have to say!
And if, by chance, you decide to start your mental health journey today, congratulations! You can take that first step by joining my email list, where I will equip you with mental health tips, tricks, and busting a few myths here and there.
Tiara Watford, Your Favorite Therapist
P.S., if you want to learn more about therapy and the impact of the pandemic for the mental health community, I’ll leave these valuable articles for you to skim through at your leisure: