In a recent interview with Essence magazine, singer and actress Janelle Monae admitted that one of her biggest priorities, once she was financially able, was to seek therapy herself:
"When I first started getting a check, I went to therapy. Therapy is important. And being a Black woman that was not something that was pushed in my community, it was always 'pray about it, God will take care of it'. I believe in a higher power but I also believe that that higher power gives you people on Earth to help walk you through some of your darkest times and help you cope and deal.
It's uncomfortable for me because I've always been a private person. But when you make art that's so personal, folks wonder how much of this is your real life versus the concept."
Janelle Monae credits therapy is an important part of her self-care routine and it can be an integral part of yours too.
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider going to therapy, even if you feel fine!
1.Your friends and family cannot be your only outlet
Friends and family can be great sources of support. However, in some cases they can be quick to give advice and often dive right into 'fix it mode' and although they mean well, the focus of the conversation then shifts away from you and your unique experience. They can only give advice from the scope of their own worldview and that may not necessarily be what you need to hear.
Also, sharing vulnerable information can often result in feeling judged and you may not want to put added pressure on yourself by being in this situation. Sometimes, it can be a bit too close to home and therapy can provide some much needed distance.
2.It can help you discover new coping strategies
Therapy can help you discover new coping strategies to adequately manage your current and potential issues. Coping strategies are the intentional efforts you make to manage and minimise stress.
Some coping strategies will be more effective for you than others and it's important that you explore all your options. Learning and implementing new coping strategies gives you confidence to believe you are in control of managing your problems.
3.Your relationships feel strained
Relationships are definitely hard work and of course, you do not have all the answers. If you’re with a partner, therapy can help the two of you explore better ways to communicate and any other issues that seem to pop up.
Even if you're having issues with a friendship, therapy can help you see the situation from a different perspective and shed some light on the root of your issues.
4.You feel isolated
Many people who deal with mental health issues feel like they’re singular in dealing with their experience but you are absolutely not alone.
Therapy can give you a chance to speak about what you're going through and group therapy might be a great option for those who want to feel like sharing with others. When you enter therapy, you get the immediate sense of relief that you are not alone and having your problems understood and shared by others can bring about a sense of both comfort and hope.”
5.Therapy can help you find meaning
It’s natural to want to understand the reason why bad things happen to you. Understanding the purpose of your problems manifests through thoughts of, “why is this happening to me?”
When you can discover a sense of meaning to a difficult situation, the power of the problem immediately reduces and you feel more capable of coping. Therapy is a process that can help you discover the lesson or silver lining your problem has presented to you.