#18 — Nurturing Our Mental Health

February 24, 2022

In this episode of the Alchemized Glory Podcast, I am joined by Danielle, a pre-licensed MFT to discuss her path to becoming a mental healthcare practitioner. We also discussed the experience of seeking and communicating regularly within the space of talk therapy sessions. I’m so grateful to Danielle for discussing her path – the field of relationships and how people live and interact with others can be very nuanced. Engaging in therapy is a transformative step in growth, strengthening our toolkit to navigate life’s waves, and creating a space for healing and perspective. 

As a marriage and family therapist, Danielle’s focus is to create a safe haven and warm environment for clients to be their authentic selves and experience emotional and mental freedom. Danielle is passionate about supporting clients on their healing journeys as they process and examine their various experiences. Danielle employs aspects of narrative therapy, Bowen’s family systems theory, and emotionally focused therapy to help clients build their sense of self, process root issues, and explore their feelings.

Overall, with clients, Danielle focuses on their path to health, wellness, restoration, and revitalization in the areas of identity formation, self-worth, anxiety, depression, life transitions, and trauma.

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Take good care!

Resources Mentioned:

Psychology Today, Thearapisy Directory – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

Therapy for Black Girls – https://providers.therapyforblackgirls.com/

Support the show (https://cash.app/$shaniquek)

Speaker  0:07  

We have been working on them interrupting a pattern that they have found themselves in for years. And it might seem simple, but just interrupting that simple pattern is growth. So just being willing to or having this perspective that change is possible, I think is essential as a therapists.

Speaker  0:30  

Welcome beautiful ones. You are now listening to the alchemized glory collective  podcast. I am shanique, the host and curator of the alchemized glory collective. Thank you so, so much for tuning in. Whenever you are hearing this, it is divine timing, and I’m so grateful for your support and for you being part of the community. On today’s episode nurturing our mental health I am joined by Danielle, a dear friend of mine who is a pre-licensed MFT and in this episode, it’s super juicy, we are discussing her path to stepping into her calling of being a therapist. It’s so amazing how things work out. But last week we talked about our personal mission statements, and really stepping into our calling and doing the things that I love. And one thing that I can say about my friend Danielle is that she is really in her purpose. She is really in her calling and you can tell by the way she talks about her profession and her calling in her path to getting there. I also wanted to get Danielle’s perspective on people who are looking for a therapist, and wanting to understand the benefits of therapy. I know I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous episodes that talk therapy can be a really healing and beneficial modality when we’re doing different things like our inner child healing, our inner teenager healing, shadow work when we’re dealing with the joys and some of the more difficult parts of life. Having a therapist to give you tools to talk with to have an unbiased opinion is such a gift. And there are a lot of different ways that people can go about getting therapy. So I hope that this episode is really resonant, I hope that you take something away that you can give to a friend you can keep for yourself. If you’d like to support the alchemized glory collective  podcast, I would really really appreciate a five star rating in Apple podcasts. And in Spotify, you can also rate podcasts now. So that’s really exciting. If you’re a Spotify user, give us a five star rating there as well. Share this episode with your friends with your community with your family. And also visit us online at alchemizedglory.co. Sign up for our newsletter, there’s going to be a lot of really good gems that I’m going to start putting together based on what we discussed in episodes, based on things that I am coming into, different information wellness and inner guidance resources that I’m really excited to put together. So let this be a container that we can all take and learn from and participate in growing, grab a tea, grab your incense, get some snacks, sit back and enjoy the episode. 

Speaker  3:35  

Today, we  have a very exciting episode. And I can say that for every episode, but I am really excited about this one because it’s another friend of mine, and I’m super proud of her and all her latest accomplishments. She is super skilled in her field. I think it’s an innate characteristic of her. She was like a meant to do this. So it just all makes sense. And I think there’ll be so many takeaways that we can extract from this episode. So come to receptive be a sponge, I’m going to be a sponge. I want to in introduce Danielle. She recently graduated with I’m not I don’t I always confused the letters but in essence she is a therapist. So Danielle, welcome. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for being willing to come on to the show. I’m so excited that we’re finally doing this and now you’re here.

Speaker  4:42  

Yeah, thank you so much. Indeed. That was such a lovely intro. And yes, I feel like the word the letters are very confusing a procedure everybody. I was confused before I started the program. So it’s all good. Yeah.

Speaker  4:55  

Okay, so for background Danielle, recently graduate With her Master’s, but I want to start with, before we get to, you know, undergrad and grad school, I want to understand a little bit about your upbringing, and how do you kind of think you came into therapy because I feel like you’re a type of person that you’re very grounded I, in my interactions with you, when I’ve spoken to you, you’re just you have such a grounding energy. Like, if you’re like, all over the place, and I feel like they’re to have that, like, they need to be able to bring you back to like, center. So just give us a little bit of information on how is that something that you always had? Is that just a result of your upbringing? Tell us about you.

Speaker  5:45  

Yeah, definitely. So I am Ghanian American, I grew up in a Ghanian home, my parents definitely did not let go of that culture. So even the fact that I’m a therapist is quite interesting, because, you know, there’s typically only like three careers for African, at least West African children, typically like a doctor, nurse, engineer, maybe a lawyer. So that’s like, those are the fields you can go into. So knowing that it was very difficult for me growing up, because I’m very creative. I’m very artistic. I’m a huge people person. And I definitely don’t think my parents knew what to do with me. They they tried their best to foster that in me, by like buying me cameras, getting the art supplies were very much those type of parents, but then they would always say, this is just a hobby, Danielle, this, just so you know, this is a hobby. So that was kind of, you know, my upbringing. But I guess the reason why I’m a therapist now really, at the root of it is just because there was a lot of things that I needed emotionally growing up, but I feel like I didn’t really have. I had it in the context of my faith, like my belief system. I think up until, like, 1213 ish, I was having a lot of, I had a lot of questions around life, what it all means, and essentially, God, you know, answered a lot of those questions for me. And, you know, I found myself on a whole different trajectory in terms of life. But there was a lot of things I needed emotionally from my parents and just peers that I didn’t really feel like I got. So for me, I then went on this mission to like, be there for other people. Like, I’m like, Okay, I didn’t have this. So then I’m going to be this so that other people can have that. And so that’s something that I just intentionally started to pursue. I didn’t realize it would lead me to therapy, though. So I actually an undergrad was a pharmaceutical sciences major. Because like I said, the sciences was so important. The sciences, you know, being a nurse, doctor, those were my only options. So I knew I definitely don’t want to be a nurse. I knew like I knew that. So I was like, Okay, I’ll go with pharmaceutical sciences. wasn’t a huge fan of it. To be honest, I hated chemistry, you know, Shanique, you know, my journey. We took a couple of classes together. Like bye, like this enough for us. But you knew earlier on I like, you know, waited like another year and a half like a crazy person was I should not have done. But then, you know, after some time, I was like, Okay, what do I really love doing? What do I really appreciate about life, and honestly, it’s people, learning about people, understanding people, helping them to feel confident, helping them to feel validated. Like all the things that I wish I had. So I was like, okay, you know, what are the fields that can really help me continue to foster that. And I thought of counseling, but in passing, I wasn’t really thinking it was a realistic option. And then I happened to be at this like church service. And this woman tells me, you’re going to be a counselor. And I was like, it was crazy, because I was thinking about it. And then she said it and I was like, okay, like, the synchronicity. Me. Exactly, exactly. There’s something on this. I’m going to I’m going to pursue this, see how this feels. And as soon as I made the switch, I’m telling you, it was so easy for me. I was like, Okay, this is definitely what I meant to be doing. And I just, you know, jumped right into it. My parents who definitely weren’t happy in the beginning, I actually think it’s a very long time. Like, I wasn’t till I was in my master’s program, and they’re like, Okay, cool.

Speaker  9:48  

Yeah. I really resonate with in your, like, adolescent years, just like not having as much emotional support, and I always related back to us being Like first generation growing up in, like Western culture, yeah, our parents, we, they didn’t really have the tools. So it’s like, you have to have grace with them. And as a result, the people that we interact with, they’re coming from very similar households and backgrounds, so they don’t have the tools. So it’s very interesting that you picked up on that, because I feel like it’s always something in like the back of your head that you don’t really know like, how to put in put words to it, or Yeah, can give it a name. But the fact that you were able to because again, like your introspection like just, you are just very grounded and very interested in people. So I feel like everything, despite the chemistry classes and us struggling in biology, yes. Everything like worked out so well. But can you speak to if someone listening, I know, like at URI, for instance, like I remember being a tour guide, like psychology was one of the majors that were most that was like, most popular, like in the College of Arts and Sciences, but I think some people don’t necessarily understand what you can do with a psychology degree like it doesn’t have to stop at undergrad. So walk us through how you figured out Okay, after the four years, what am I going to do to like make the most out of this degree?

Speaker  11:31  

Yeah, definitely. So there’s a lot of different avenues you could take, you definitely don’t want to stop at undergrad because you will not get paid well, and you will be doing a lot of hard work. So for you to in order for you to like actually, like gain from what you put in, I definitely think that like a Master’s of some sort is like necessary. But the journey that I took to get where I am in terms of like pursuing the Masters, really, I knew I was definitely gonna get my masters, but I wasn’t sure I was going to get my masters first, or like jump right to my doctorate. Essentially, the reason why I started with my master’s and specifically my master’s in marriage and family therapy, is because I think is really important to have a good idea of what you’re after, like, what you what your goals are, and like what your belief systems are before and what you want to pursue in terms of like, like different areas of study, like I feel like you need to have that clarification before you pursue a doctorate it. Yes, you need to know your specialty before you pursue a doctorate. Because it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of years, I think getting your doctorate is like five years of school. So it took a lot of time. So I feel like you need to build that area like those areas first, before you pursue that. And that’s exactly why I essentially started with my masters first, who knows if I’m going to get the doctorate, I don’t know. Only God knows that. Yeah. But essentially, that’s kind of how I made my decision about, okay, I want to get my master’s, the decision to get my Master’s in marriage and family therapy was actually not so intentional, but I’m very glad that I did it. Because now I have a better understanding of like the different areas you can go into, like you can go into like licensed professional counseling, you can go into like, mental health counseling, like you can get your Masters in all these different areas. But I have my masters in family therapy. And I think that’s important. That’s a very important field, because essentially what that field is all about is that people like you processing in terms of like the individual client, but you’re also processing it in terms of their systems, which their systems or their relationships. And the whole concept is that people are shaped by their relationship. They’re not you don’t grow just by yourself, you grow in relationship. So in order to really, it’s really important, like in order to help someone, it’s really important to examine their systems. So that includes their families, you know, their partners, sip, like whoever friends, whoever it may be, whoever’s in your circle, it’s really important to examine, like, how you have been shaped by those different relationships. So that’s why, you know, I’m very glad that I got my master’s in family therapy, because it’s given me that insight, whereas different fields don’t focus on that as much. It’s very much more on the individual and setting goals. So that’s like a different, I think it’s important to make that distinction. Also, another thing, like in terms of like getting your doctorate, if you’re getting your doctorate as a psychologist, and not really pursuing that master and family therapy, you might not have that thinking as well. So maybe you just focus more on the individual. So it really depends on where you got trained. And that like, basically shapes your perspective on how you work with clients

Speaker  15:04  

Are those specialized in talk therapy more MFT route? 

Speaker  15:09  

So no, actually, it’s really Yeah. So you can be a licensed social worker and be doing talk therapy. Okay? Yeah, you can be a licensed professional counselor and be doing talk therapy. It really depends on you. That’s another interesting thing. You actually don’t have to get your undergrad degree in psychology, or no human development and family studies. You can just say, interesting. Yeah, you can just tell your degree in anything. Some of the people that were in my class, they got their degree in theater, and then decided,

Speaker  15:40  

oh, I want to so your masters. That’s where you actually getting the training.

Speaker  15:45  

Exactly. So you don’t have to do that. You can just like if you decide, hey, I want to get my you know, I want to be a therapist, you can just do those two years. I think there’s like a couple classes that you need to take beforehand. But I think there’s it’s only like, three classes. Just to like, make sure you have some knowledge, but that’s about it.

Speaker  16:07  

Well, I feel like because you I feel that you were always in an internship, even in undergrad. Yeah. Like you were always in an internship and especially during the Masters portion. Like that was like a primary component. I feel like yeah, so can you explain like, in undergrad, how you were able to find those internships, I feel like with you, understanding, knowing you be your friend, I feel like a lot of it was also synchronicity and God at work, because the way things are does fall into your lap. And I’m like, Girl, but just what was your experience in internship? And can you just, I think internship are so important. Yeah. So I just want to, like emphasize that, like, how did that help shape you and how you practice now as a professional?

Speaker  16:57  

For sure, for sure. So I did an internship during undergrad, which was really great, that again, I feel like you fall in my lap, I don’t think I did too much for that. Essentially, I just looked up like local psychologists in the area. And you know, there happened to be someone from the closer campus, reached out to him did an interview, got the position, it was, it was really that simple. I didn’t really do too much for that. And I really appreciated that internship. He’s obviously a psychologist, and he specifically was a child psychologist, so very different for what I’m doing now. But I feel like it shaped my idea of like what I wanted to do, because talk therapy, and being a psychologist can be different. So he was obviously talking with clients, of course, but a lot of his work was really just testing clients, specifically children, and like testing them for like ADHD, and like, you know, things like that was really his role. And there wasn’t really too much talk therapy. And for me, that’s when I decided, I think I want to go more down to talk therapy routes. So that was, that was a really useful internship. And that helped me to make that distinction. But I really appreciated his work. And I liked having that side of things. And like, seeing the tests and seeing as a work that’s put into helping a client really understand what’s happening for them mentally. So I really appreciated that aspect of it. But essentially, I decided no, it feels to surface for me. And I’m really into like root issues from causes. And I’m like, Yes, I understand like that is, you know, find, finding a diagnosis is a root cause. But I’m like, I want to sit with you through it. Like I don’t want to just help you find out what’s happening. I want to like work with you on how to manage it. And he did a little bit more of that he gave recommendations, but he didn’t walk through it with people and I want to walk through it with people.

Speaker  18:56  

That is great. Like I think internship, it helps you to see what you don’t want to do. And that is you don’t want the worst thing that you can do is go through a program think that this is what you want to do. And then in practice, you get there and you’re like, oh my god, this is what it’s like. You don’t like you just don’t want any surprises. So if you are currently like in a graduate program, an internship in any field, not even psychology, but any field, make sure you get some actual practical experience.

Speaker  19:30  

Definitely, definitely.

Speaker  19:32  

I want to talk now about being a therapist, like you worked with clients in your graduate program and now you’re working with clients full time as a professional so how did you because there’s so many different avenues, right? So how did you choose what type of setting that you want? Like, what how did that happen? Because I feel like there’s just like so many things that you could have done on this See,

Speaker  20:00  

that’s very true. I think I was thinking more practically, in choosing what I want to do next. During my internship, while I was in grad school, we worked with a lot of low income people. And people that maybe are on Medicaid or people that just, they can’t afford typical sessions, which are typically, you know, maybe like 100 an hour, like, they couldn’t really afford that. And I loved working with that population, because I knew the cases were very interesting. And I just liked the idea of like, being able to support people on that level. So that I really appreciated. But, you know, once I graduated, I was like, Okay, I definitely need to get paid. Like I need to know if I build. So I need to think about that. So that’s where I, that’s what I mean by like, the practical, like, it was like a practical decision and like, Okay, I need to find a group practice where I can set my own fee. And, you know, maybe they’ll take a cut, but you know, they’ll help me with marketing. Because some, some of the people in my cohort, they, they started up their own LLC and their marketing for themselves completely. And I was like, I don’t know if I want to be in that position. Like, right, like, right away. Yeah, right out of the gate. I don’t really know, that’s for me. So I was like, Okay, I need to find a position where it’s so great energy, they’ll market for me, I can send my own fee. So I can like, really, I guess, budget and plan around like How will, you know, make ends meet. So that’s what I ended up deciding. And that’s how I found the therapy group, which is where I work now. And it’s a great environment, they’re going to give us like some headshots soon. So they’re going to like have a professional professional photographer come in, they’ll do headshots for us. They gave us business cards, they market for us under social media. And, you know, they decided that they were like, okay, like, no, we want to increase the marketing. So we’re going to, like pay for subscription on therapy for girls. And I was like, Yeah, okay, great. So they set that all off? Yes, I know, I was so excited. I was so excited when they like reached out to me and told me that because I was like, Yes, excellent. So that was essentially how I ended up choosing the place that I’m currently working at. And then I also have a second job, which this I guess, so fills this other needed me to like help, you know, different types of people, people that maybe wouldn’t get the resources otherwise. So I work at an agency. And obviously, the pay is significantly lower. But you know, I’m working with people that, you know, maybe wouldn’t have the resources otherwise. And I think that that was just really important for me to maintain in some capacity. So that’s why I decided to go with the second job. Awesome.

Speaker  23:09  

So now, since we are kind of like what you’re doing now, I want to talk about what is talk therapy. And I feel like the stigma around therapy has been removed a lot, especially going through a pandemic, like you have workplaces. Both my prior and current workplace, emphasize mental health, like taking mental health days. They offer like therapy, benefits now, which they didn’t prior to the pandemic. So I think a lot of people’s workplaces have kind of started that conversation. But from your perspective, can you explain what therapy is I think a lot of people have like a misconception that it’s like, intimidating, which it can be if you’ve never like spoken about your mental health before with a professional, so kind of dispel any myths for us, for sure. Walk us through what one can expect when going to their first therapy session.

Speaker  24:21  

Okay, so I feel   that talk therapies, anything and everything is exactly what you want it to be. And I guess for so that we’re specific and that things are pretty clear. I guess it’s a place to like set goals and you know, process issues, gain insights, build self awareness, a place to explore, like, you know, challenging events. And I guess the common denominator between all those things is growth. That’s, that’s, that’s where your after and growth looks very different. Growth could look very different for me versus for the client that I’m working with growth. look like, you know, we have been working around them interrupting a pattern that they have found themselves in for years. And it might seem simple, but just interrupting that simple pattern is growth. So just being willing to or having this perspective that change is possible, I think is essential for therapists. And then also being willing to understand that like, my ideas of a goal, my ideas of a problem, quote, unquote, are different. So when I saw my sessions, I really gravitate toward narrative therapy, which essentially is like helping clients tell their stories, I also really gravitate toward bowenian theory, which essentially is helping clients differentiate, which is helping them to be able to be their own person outside of, you know, what they’ve been told, like, like what they’ve been told that they are. And so I like that combination together. Because I think that that really helps people to understand who they are and operate from that place. So that’s really, really important to me. So how I start my session, did I really just like to get to know clients, I’m like, Hey, we’re here to just for you to understand yourself better. And so even some of the first questions on my intake form are like, What do you like about yourself? And some clients actually say, I don’t know, I’m okay, the place for us to work on that. But essentially, just helping them to understand who they are. And so I asked them, like, Hey, what are your values? What do you care about the most? What do you do for your work? What do you do for fun? What are your interests? What are your hobbies that are sort of all my senses. And essentially, I do that to externalize the problem. I want them to understand that outside of their problem, their problem, quote, unquote, there’s a life that they have, they have value, they have strength. And that’s really what I like to do in the beginning, I just like to highlight those strengths. And then I go into family. Again, I’m a Systems therapist. So I know that, you know, our families shape who we are very significantly. Absolutely. So I asked right in the beginning, hey, like, can you tell me about your family, and I create like a little genogram, which is essentially a diagram of and they have a different symbols that represent different things. So it’s like a little diagram that helps me to get a get a better picture of the family dynamic, that tells me so much about the person just from hearing, like, you know, what their experiences were growing up, and then we move forward from there. So I like to get deep broke in the beginning. And I also like to go at the pace that people are comfortable with. But if you’re working with me, like, there’s a reason why you’re in therapy, you’re in therapy to get help you’re in therapy to work through whatever it may be. And the only way to really do that is to dive in. Yeah. But if I find that I’m getting resistance, my next thought is less, how do I create safety? And then I just go back to that place of, okay, safety is paramount in this situation, like, it’s really important th at the client feel safe. So how do we get back to that, like, and every client is different. So I just focus on what that would look like. And like a motto that keeps me grounded is, okay, is the client feeling seen? Loved? heard?====== That’s what grounds me. If that’s happening, I feel good. If that’s not happening, I need to reevaluate how I’m approaching some things. And feeling love doesn’t always mean that the client feels like great when they leave a session. But it means that, you know, they’re working toward their goals, I’m helping them, I’m meeting them where they’re at, I’m creating that safety. And so that’s so so important to me, if I have that I feel so quick.

Speaker  28:55  

From my own experience, like therapy is a place where it’s like you’re talking through like, because some most times it’s like weekly, so like you’re able to within nonbiased individual who has no they didn’t know me before, but they’re able to see like, what the pattern is how I respond to situation and offer like, a different way. I think it’s like a rewiring, sometimes your brain is just like, you probably have studied this or something but like, like the pathways like it’s just autonomic at a certain point. Like it’s just how you react because maybe that’s how you coped as a child and kind of carry that into your adult life. So I recommend therapy for everyone. I think it just gives you tools that to cope with emotion to get kind of through like difficult things. I don’t know. I love how you kind of bridge the two together. I think that’s so beneficial. I did journal prompt the other day too. like who are you and like, introduce yourself without saying like your profession. And you don’t realize how difficult that is? Because in our everyday interaction, like, the first things that you identify with, like I’m telling, I’m this, but like outside of that, like, who are you? So like having people show up as their authentic self? That’s kind of how you stay grounded. Because you know, like, your operating system. I love that.

Speaker  30:30  

100% Yes, yes, that’s perfect.

Speaker  30:34  

Next question that I have for you, is so layered, and I’m gonna have to have him come back because there’s just like, so many things to like, unpack and unlearn as adults? Yeah. So obviously, nothing negates seeing a mental health professional, in my opinion, like, I think everyone should do it, get help. Have just that person who is not biased there to kind of help you through different different situations, but in like your everyday practice, like what do you recommend clients do? Just to kind of bring themselves back to center when they’re outside of sessions?

Speaker  31:19  

Yeah, that’s a good question. I honestly, I really recommend a lot of grounding techniques, which can look like a lot of different things. But essentially, that could just mean like, you have like grounding statements, where it just helps you to like, Bring yourself like, refocus, and like come back to yourself. Because we have a lot of thoughts that I don’t think are actually ours. I think it’s just, you know what I mean? And it’s like, okay, like, we’re taking them as ours, but they’re not so really remembering like, okay, like, Okay, this is who I am. Right now, this is who I am. And I need to focus on what that actually looks like and what that means. And so that makes things are really important. Also, body scans are super good, like, being aware of like your breath, and then also just being aware of like, the different muscles in your body. And like, meditations are really helpful for that and

Speaker  32:17  

is important. Window. Does stressed stay in your chest and on your back?

Speaker  32:24  

Yeah, yeah, yes. So

Speaker  32:28  

yeah, I like see, like, I’m like holding my breath. And then I like feeling in my chest in my back. And I’m like, okay, hold on, girl, you

Speaker  32:35  

need to breathe. Yeah, yeah, no, honestly, I don’t think people actually have a lot of that awareness. Like you just said, like, you were like, okay, like, I feel in my chest, I feel in my back. People don’t have that. And so body scans are really important. Like, okay, when I stressed, what’s happening, when I’m angry, what’s happening? Am I hot? Like, when I’m sad, what’s happening in my body? Like, it’s important to ask those questions. All of these questions, build self awareness. And that is what will set you apart. Like 100%. I feel and like also having good healthy coping strategies, we all have coping strategies, whether or not they’re health, is to be determined, like you, like you have to really evaluate wait, is this sustainable? Like, is this just a temporary fix? Where I feel a little bit better for some time? Or is this something that is long lasting, it’s sustainable, where I can continue to utilize this, and I know that in the long run, I’ll be okay. A lot of the time, most of our coming shortages are not that they’re just temporary, you know, I might feel better for like, couple of weeks or like a day or whatever, they don’t work long term. So really making that distinction. Very important.

Speaker  33:56  

I so agree with that. I saw something online that was like, people who like kind of deal with stress, like they watch the same show over and over and over because it’s like familiar and they can identify that they know what’s gonna happen. And I was like, wait, I’m triggered by that. Is that not right?

Speaker  34:15  

so honest.

Speaker  34:18  

Yeah, all these things that you don’t even know but like, you just do, like automatically. Yeah, so yeah, yeah. Speaking of that out, I was able to some other systems to help me when I’m like, okay, like, I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I, I’ve been okay for the past 20 plus years. Yes. I can kind of anticipate being okay. Even though this situation is very stressful. Yeah, you don’t have to watch Grey’s for 100

Speaker  34:51  

times. Exactly. And like when you think about it, you’re like, Wait, is this helping me or is this numbing me out? Yeah, like I said, I adjunction a lot of times our coping strategies just numb us out. And they’re just assumptions, but they’re not, they don’t actually make us feel better. And that’s the thing that I don’t think people are really understanding and also, in terms of like rest that we think or rescue when we’re sitting down, but like, are we really like?

Speaker  35:21  

So really figuring the brain off, like, isn’t

Speaker  35:24  

matching. Exactly, that’s where it is. So I think a big thing that I’ve noticed, working with clients, with everything that you said, I was like, so spot on, because we do gravitate towards what is familiar. So even is it’s not healthy, it’s predictable. And I think predictability is really, really important to people like way more important than people realize. So even if something is like scary or dangerous, like it’s familiar, it’s predictable. So, you know, the unknown is scarier for people than what is predictable. So we do, do we do that often. And also, just so something that helps me in terms of like, navigating back spaces. For, for myself, I’m like, okay, when I’m creative, I know, I’m healthy. Like, I know, I’m doing well, when I’m, like, naturally wanting to create, I’m wanting to do this, that. I’m like, okay, like, I’m in a good spot, when I’ve lost that. I’m like, I’ve had I’m heading. Yes, I’ve had it to unhealthy territory. So really being able to distinguish those indicators. And like, understand, okay, like, what, what am I? How do I feel? And what do I want to do when I’m healthy? How do I feel? Or what do I want to do when I’m unhealthy? And like, using that as your gauge to know, okay, I’m heading into, like, unhealthy territory.

Speaker  36:45  

It’s like, so crazy, like the self awareness aspect. It changes how you like, show up day to day to? Yeah, like, just knowing what you because you’re like, oh, like I’m talking to myself, like, not kind right now. Like, and then you just like check in, because you’ve now talked with that with, like, whoever your therapist is, and they were able to extract that I was like, sometimes I’m like, Girl, like, what are you in my brain? Right? Like, how are you putting two and two together? But that’s what you guys are here for? Yeah. For people who are interested in finding a therapist therapy for black girls, if you guys don’t always like a website, also a podcast that they have tons of great resources, and the beautiful Danielle is on there. I’m going to link her profile in the show notes. If you’re in the Philly area. Is there like directories that people can go to? How do you kind of find a therapist? And another really important question I have is if you’re not gelling with your therapist, how do you bring them with your therapist amicably and find a new one?

Speaker  37:52  

Okay, great question. So I’ll answer the first one. So there’s a general like directory for like, all psychologists, or like, therapists, not everybody’s on there, because you will have to pay for it. But typically, most people are on it. But as close to Psychology Today, and it’s also a magazine, I believe, yes. But uh, you just Yeah, so you just search in Psychology Today, type it, type that in, and you log into their website, then there’ll be like, a search engine for, like, find a therapist in your area, and you can do that. So that’s, that’s a resource for like, just general use. And then obviously, therapy for black girls. Also another great resource for people of color, great, great resource. And just, I guess, aside from that, what I know a lot of people do is just search out, okay, you know, place psychotherapy locations in my area, or, you know, group practices in my area, like things like that, like just searching for that specifically will bring up its own set of, you know, you know, responses. So that’s, that’s also possible. But in terms of like people that are looking for more affordable therapy, there’s a lot of different avenues you can take for that. So as a Master’s student, I was giving therapy to people for like about you know, zero, actually zero to $45. Um, some people didn’t pay at all. And that was through this nonprofit that I’m part of, and basically, they take on Master’s students but yeah, you can like find like a nonprofit in your area, a nonprofit, a practice in your area, and hopefully, typically, I think they have a master’s students that you know, are more affordable and you can like work you can like see, get therapy through them. And just any of your I’m sure there’s places you know, everywhere, like, I think it’s actually fairly easy, especially right now like things therapy is like, something that people are interested in

Speaker  40:07  

or pace right now.

Speaker  40:08  

Yeah. Because there’s so books like even my practice, like it’s so there’s such a long waitlist. So it’s so hard to find a therapist right now. But yeah, it’s definitely doable. Just search in your area, like any private, like any group practices, and you’ll, you’ll find something, for sure.

Speaker  40:27  

And then also, like, how do you know, like, you’re checking in with your body? Like, say, you’re not really feeling your therapist? How do you kind of go about, like, I think I’m gonna, like, kind of terminate this relationship and move on. I feel like sometimes in therapy, you don’t necessarily know how to voice those opinions. So that could be like, uncomfortable situation for you. So how do you recommend clients? Because I think it’s like a two way street, right? Like, you’re not going to be receptive to who you’re talking to, if you don’t, if you’re not feeling it, and they’re not gonna be able to help you if you’re not opening up. So

Speaker  41:02  

Exactly. Yeah. So I, I guess, maybe I do things a little bit differently. I create, like, right from the beginning and out for both of us. So as I do, what I say like right in the beginning is, hey, this is an initial session to see if we’re a good fit. That’s what I say to them. And, you know, if they continue, and they’re like, Yeah, I want to book another appointment, I’m assuming you think we’re a good fit. If it’s coming from my end, and I’m like, I don’t think I can help this person, I’ll just straight upset, okay. I really am glad that we had this initial session, it feels like I will be able to support you in the best way possible. And I want you to get that help. So I’m going to make you some referrals, I have some people colleagues that I know would really be great. And I know you would work well with them. So I’m going to, you know, give you that information. And you can reach out to that, that will be probably the way I would handle it. But another thing that I do is and maybe other therapists will do this, I do this, I have no problem saying, Hey, is anything that I say that you are not a fan of? Talk, let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about it, I want to I want this to be an open space. This is a safe space, I don’t want you to feel like you can’t say what you need to say. So and I’m like, and I make it clear, I normalize this, there are going to be things that I say that you won’t like. And it might be because it’s a trigger. And it’s something we need to talk or it might be because I actually said something wrong. And that’s okay, I’m I’m a human being, I will make mistakes. So it’s okay for you to call me on that. Like I I appreciate that I rather you call me out, then, you know, just be uncomfortable. And I’ll say what you said, that’s how I handle it. I don’t really know of other therapists handle it that way. But that’s how I feel. I think that that’s what is asked. Yeah, you have

Speaker  42:56  

to Yeah, and I have that fluidity that I am speaking to a person who can help me, but I need to be able to confidently Express when I don’t agree with something. I

Speaker  43:09  

think that’s awesome. interpret that. Yeah, that’s exactly it.

Speaker  43:14  

For our listeners who are starting out their journeys, as therapists, it’s a lot to take on. Even if you don’t necessarily go on to talk therapy, if you’re in counseling and dealing with different populations. How do you just take care of you come back to center and kind of create in energetic boundaries so that you can continue to show up and support people in the way that you

Speaker  43:40  

do? So that’s actually really hard for most therapists to answer. I actually don’t know, a therapist is like, I’m so good at this. Actually. No, I know, one. My friends, Ally is excellent this. But it’s very difficult for me. I’m very people oriented, like I do think a lot about people. So it’s hard for me to turn that part of myself off and actually focus on me, like I actually maybe sometimes get a little bit uncomfortable just focusing on me. So I’ve had to work through that because I think in order to be a really good therapist, you need to know yourself, you need to know yourself well. And I and I’m that’s why I’m really really glad that before I decided to get my Master’s I went to ministry school because I think that was important for me to understand who I am and understand my belief, my belief system, because you will be with people that you know, believe so different from you, like, have my clients believe enough, like believe very different for me. But I think it’s okay, like I can actually hold space for them. And I couldn’t hold space for me. And I think another reason why that is is because I’m differentiated to some degree. I think differentiation takes a long time but I feel like because I have a better understanding of myself I can understand Look, okay, this is who I am, this is what I bring to the table, this is what I can offer. And this is who this person is, this is who they are, this is what the, these are the different ways that their experiences have shaped them the same way my experiences have shaped me. And I have to approach it from that angle. And that’s how I try my best to coach all my clients have okay, like, you know, I would not gonna think exactly the same, the same, like the same exact way that I focus a lot on my belief systems, and I have a very clear perspective of the world is the same way they they have a very clear perspective of the world. And it is not my role to tell them that their perspective is wrong. My role is to only support them and understanding what that all means. And so the same way I would appreciate if someone did that for me. And that’s kind of how I approach it. So, in terms of like self care, I think that’s like, the biggest thing, I’m like, Okay, you need to know who you are for yourself. You need to have your like, have a better understanding of your belief systems. You need to be differentiated. I think that really distinguishes like a really great therapist. Again, it’s hard to do, and it takes time. And I don’t know that, like, I think it takes a lifetime to be honest. I don’t know if it’s like something that would be a therapist to Yeah, I think it takes a lifetime. I’m like, I’m not sure if that’s something you figure out right away. It’s so important to have have that clarity so that you can support people on a better level. And then also, like I said, earlier indicators of like, okay, when am I healthy went on my unhealthy. And I know for a fact, what I’m not being great at anymore. I’m like in this like zone of like, okay to do this, and you need to do this, I just need to help this person. And I’m like, I’ve lost myself. Yes, I’ve lost myself. And so I know that and I’m like, Okay, I need to, you know, rein it in. And then also, you know, my faith is super important to me. So if I’m doing my own thing, and I haven’t prayed, I haven’t done it. I’m like, oh, shoot, like, yeah, I I’ve left my center my source until like that, I need to come back to that. But General, just general advice for therapists all over the world. I’m like, Okay, you need to know what you do when you’re healthy. And you need to have things that you can do that like help you to actually feel rested, not numb, rested. And I think it’s very hard for people to make that distinction. But once you have that clarity, it’s so much better. And it could look like you know, you’re taking a hike, or you’re walking or retaking you’re spending time with a friend, like a cubicle look like a lot of things, you’re collaging a lot of things, but really making sure like okay, like, I’m getting that rest in, I have someone else to speak to. That’s another recommendation getting your own therapist. That’s something I’m currently searching for myself. Because I think that that is really important. And yeah, I’d say that those are like the biggest things.

Speaker  48:11  

Awesome. Thank you, Danielle. was amazing. And to anyone listening, in, just be receptive to this information, but also use the resources that Danielle mentioned, like Psychology Today, therapy for black girls, to find a mental health professional that can help you through both difficult and joyous moments and processing that emotion through of your body and showing up authentically and embodied in the world. I think a takeaway from therapy, as someone who swears by the practice is that it just allows you to process and show up in a healthy way in everyday interactions, so this was amazing. There’s so many different aspects that we could go to have any questions, let us know. We’d love to have Danielle back in the near future. Thank you so much. Gems was

Speaker  49:21  

Thank you so much Shanique – love you so much thank you

Speaker  49:37  

Thank you so much for listening to Episode 18 nurturing our mental health with Danielle. I really hope that you enjoyed this episode if it resonated with you support the alchemize glorious collective podcast by leaving a five star rating and review in Apple podcast and Spotify wherever you listen to podcasts. Additionally, visit us At alchemize quarry.co. For more information on episodes for show notes, share this with your community. And we’ll talk again next time peace.

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