Finding the right therapist for your needs
Now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve worked with a handful of therapists. Why you ask? Well, once I went to the person for a few months to reconnect with my inner self. I moved to a new city and another time I moved to a new state. The last time I changed therapists, it was just time to break up with them. Our season was done, and our time was lovely while it lasted. Yea, I have been that person that said, ” My therapist said xxx, or my therapist suggested…” So I decided, to just start saying my friend, because I don’t need to always explain that my great advice came from my therapist! LOL. Anyway, I am an advocate for therapy and I really think everyone should try it. My husband and I did premarital counseling and it was a game-changer! We were able to address issues we would have never even approached on our own.
So, I want to tell you about my 3 favorite therapists. Why they are my favorite? They were all completely different. They served a purpose for a significant moment in my life. They all helped me get on track with my goals and find stability. They made me look within myself for the answers and guided me when I was confused. Therapy can be whatever you want it to be. Here is a funny look at a few psychologists and therapists that helped me through this thing called life.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist, just an advocate for therapy. I choose to work with female therapists because that makes me feel comfortable. If you are contemplating therapy, I recommend checking with your insurance carrier for affordable sessions or checking out providers on sites like Therapy for Black Girls. Therapy can be like dating. It’s ok to filter your search so you find a person that matches your personality and specific mental health needs. (For This Is Us fans, this reminds me of Randall’s decision to move to a black therapist. I really luv that show!)
Therapist 1 – The Friendly Neighbor
Personality: chipper, friendly (I feel like we would be friends if she wasn’t my therapist)
Favorite quote: “Be settled in feeling unsettled”
How she helped: She was a person I started seeing after a traumatic experience and I was trying to cope. She listened to my fears and validated my concerns. She told me it was okay to feel whatever I was feeling (scared, sad, angry etc) Just talking to her like a friend made me feel like I could exhale the weight that was pushing down on my shoulders. After speaking with her I felt like I could breathe again.
Therapist 2 – The Black Auntie
Ethnicity: African American/Black
Personality: Motivational, concerned, part of the family, friendly
Favorite quote: “Black women are resilient” and “You persevered and I’m proud of you”
Format: Online with Betterhelp
How she helped: She was all about visualization. For example, she would say, let’s visualize your event going well. Then she would ask me to explain what the event looked like. What would it take for the event to be successful? What do I want to happen? How would I feel when the event happened like I envisioned? Just thinking about how things would go, thinking through the process, and seeing myself successful in it, grounded me. She reminded me to think positively and visualize positive outcomes.
Therapist 3 – The Analyst
Format: In-person and online when necessary
Personality: Very inquisitive and curious, digs deeper into situations
Favorite quote: “What can you plan for?”
How she helped: She asked me to look deeper into things. She would say, “I would wonder why he would feel that way or let’s think about why you reacted that way, might be similar to how your family reacted in xyz situation. Then I’ll be like daaannng, I never even thought about it like that! She makes me question the why behind my behavior and make informed decisions. If there is something I’m confused about or unsure of, she says, “how can we plan for that situation?” Then we make plans, and suddenly the situation that felt so out of reach is possible.
–> Sometimes a therapist is like a good friend, a confidant, or a mentor. They are there to help you through trauma, or just there to help you set goals. I hope my experiences give you a clear picture of what therapy can be and shows how having a therapist can help you. Love always, Patti