The hardest part was following through to set up an appointment with my university counseling services. So far, I’ve had two meetings with a therapist and my school allows me to have eight more sessions. This has been a long time coming, and I am very happy with my decision to reach out and get help.
For a number of reasons, young people today are incredibly privileged to have access to empathetic and thoughtful therapists. However, for children of South Asian immigrants, it can be awkward at times to bridge the culture gap with a therapist from a different background. Many scenarios South Asian youths want to discuss in therapy are deeply tied to their cultural identity. Therapists can help navigate these experiences, but South Asians often find themselves giving a lot of context and education.
I have never been the “type” to go to therapy. I like to deal with my problems on my own and keep things to myself. Starting a big new chapter in my life and dealing with existential dread and shifts in my long term relationship were what finally gave me a push to really consider going to therapy. I am lucky that this new chapter in my life provides me with a good health insurance plan, so I am financially able to go to therapy.
Given the benefits of walking outside on mental health, it seems like the natural next step (no pun intended) to take the self-care practice to a more professional level. Walk-and-talk therapy has professionals literally take their sessions outside, where they have the same conversations with their patients as they would regularly, but with the added benefit of (ideally) fresh air, movement, and a more relaxed environment.
The past month has been difficult for me with new mental health symptoms, diagnoses, and medications. Because of my new symptom of fluctuating between having very little energy or motivation and then feeling very motivated and over-confident, my health care team has assigned me the task of completing a daily mood tracker.
Mental health and wellbeing are universally important, but African-American girls can face unique circumstances that result in increased vulnerability to certain mental health difficulties. With this in mind, Lauren Carson created a national non-profit organization in 2008 called Black Girls Smile to promote positive mental health and educational opportunities for these girls and those who care for them.
When you are asked to carve out part of your day to talk to your therapist, it can make therapy appear like a time-consuming endeavor. However, the benefits of therapy do not occur immediately. So, when considering if treatment is a waste of time, it is important to think about its long-term effects.