If you have noticed what I have, you have learned that in New York City we usually only have the privilege of enjoying what it seems to be only two months of summer and the rest just feels like Winter and a winter remix which some may consider the fall and spring season. Therefore as a person who has lived in Southern California for the majority of my adult life, even though I lived in NYC until I graduated high school I have always made it a point to explore the fun and different things New Yorkers usually take for granted during the summer.
Recently I found out there are local parks that have hidden hiking trails and I was so grateful to have been introduced to them. Can you believe I found one hidden gem in the bronx. Yes, Bronx the part which boarders with Manhattan.
During my time living in California, I found so much peace and tranquility in hiking and for a long time it was my salvation. I am grateful for my friends that introduced me to different hiking trails. Now no matter where I go I seek to find the hidden gems that people call hiking trails that are simply roads that are often less travelled. Now that I am in NYC I have made an effort to escape the concrete jungle and find the beauty that this city has to offer.
When did therapy become such a taboo subject for black people? Most of the people that I would speak to about therapy would often look at me side ways and say, I don’t need therapy. I don’t believe in therapy. Yet I find that to be false. Perhaps we have been sold many lies about what therapy is and what it can look like.
First of all, if we look to what the general media portrays therapy to be is, “A person, generally a white person who is some kind of licensed medical professional who sits in a big chair with a clip board taking notes of another white person who is laying down in a chaise lounge in the M.D.’s office.”
Yeah, therapy comes in so many different forms that we need to start embracing it and actually utilizing it to heal ourselves. Ever wondered how music tends to be very therapeutic to you in any state of mental discomfort you may be in. There is always some kind of music that can manipulate your emotions and help you reach some understanding or embracing of what your feeling or have been through in the past. That can be considered music as a form of therapy. Of course if the means to the end conclude a healing.
Counseling is advice or direction given to one whom may not see a clear path to a treatment or healing of what they feel. Therapy is the treatment. I remember in my youth I always wanted to see someone for therapy or counseling and yet I was directed to a church which did nothing but mask all the issues and offered no healing, treatment, or counseling. Which is where I think people of Afro-descent picked up the negative connotation about therapy. Even though therapy could have been offered in the most simplest way such as exercising or meditating by reading a book or sitting in silence; it was still brushed off like it was unneeded. That was false. The church may have given me comfort for a stage in my life but it never healed me or my family. Till this day. *Reference to some of the members who still believe the church is making a difference outside their pockets.*
If we care to notice how much we as not only individuals but as a collective group of oppressed people from many corners of the world we would have no choice but to admit that therapy is very much needed in our communities. Not only therapy but different forms of it, provided by people who look like us and know our struggles from experience in their own lives. I personally always wanted to do therapy for my own personal growth but always dismissed it because I didn’t want to speak to someone who didn’t share the same culture, or values as I did. Until I came to know who I am and what I believe in I was able to then seek counsel and therapy from others who were elders and vibe on the same frequency that I currently live in.
Since therapy has begun to be something we as a people are now embracing and celebrating because of how necessary it is. I have decided I must share the greatest resources I have found that offer therapy for people that look like me and you.
One of my personal favorites is ArtCLStudios, this brand was cultivated by an artist who used art as a therapeutic medium to heal himself. And it saved him from years of confusion and depression because of not having guidance on what to do with the gifts the universe granted him with. He decided that with his art he will change the lives of others and help them heal their struggles. The artist’s name is ~Jansiel Polanco and offers many sources of multi-media art but is passionate about Art Therapy and Counseling.