It's no secret that we live in a society that where trends are temporary. In truth, things are more cyclical than temporary. We seem to be interested in things in waves. Fashion tends to cycle every 20 or 30 years. Who would've thought fanny packs and multi-colored attire would've been back in style? Maybe those who were around to see the evolution of hi-top fade. If you look closely enough you'd find the same trend in music and other socio-cultural phenomena.
Today's Fanny Pack
Recently, we've seen a surgence in the conversation about wellness and people of color. The discussions about the need for therapy are heard daily on The Breakfast Club and pushed forward by Charlamagne Tha God, who openly talks about his weekly sessions with his therapist and wrote a book on the topic of his anxiety. Taraji P. Henson started an organization to increase the awareness of mental health in our community and to encourage more people of underserved communities to enter the mental health field. All of a sudden our people seem more open to not only talk about their struggles but also using therapy and other wellness techniques/services for improving emotional health.
YG talks to The Breakfast Club
Meditation, yoga, life coaching, spiritual healing, working out, plant based diets and essential oils are also often seen in popular media right alongside therapy. As a therapist, I'm pleased and scared at the Same. Damn. Time. I've been doing this work for 20 years. 20 years of seeing some of the worst atrocities that the human spirit could have to endure. 20 years of trying to convince young people, predominantly Black young people, that getting support to unlearn what could kill them (emotionally and physically) didn't make them ‘crazy.’ I remember Oprah not being well lauded because her topics of wellness, meditation and spiritual alignment didn't feel 'Black enough.' I remember growing up where the definition of Blackness was synonymous with struggle and pain. And we wore that like a badge of honor.
Then, we didn't even seem to conceptualize healing.; now, healing is a big business and we've joined the market like the good consumers we are. Unlike other trends, this is new for our community. Historically, our distrust of systems has not allowed us to consider therapy or other healing modalities as viable resources. The church alter or the botanica were the only places many of us knew to go to receive our healing or seek answers. The addition of other modalities to our tool box is exciting. But we need to be mindful that not everyone is here to meet our needs.
BGCC Retreat Attendees - Photo Cred: Joy Harden-Bradford
If you follow me on IG you know that last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Black Girl Clinician Collective (BGCC) retreat in Charleston, South Carolina hosted by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford of Therapy for Black Girls. BGCC is a group of therapists who are Black women, Therapy for Black Girls is a directory of clinicians and a podcast that are designed to speak to the emotional health needs of Black women. Listen, we had a blast together. As you may know, I am an advocate for community and personal/professional development. This weekend embodied all of that. Along with professional seminars, there were group activities designed to allow us to get to know each other better and build connections. The work/life balance of a therapist and business owner can get tough. Being around other like-minded women, with similar experiences is always refreshing and empowering.