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5 Misconceptions About Taking the Therapy Route to Mental Health



  1. Getting a therapist isn't the only way

  2. Hiring a therapist is a "hiring process"

  3. Your therapist works with you and for you

  4. Trading quality for cost

  5. It doesn't end with getting a therapist


Okay, now if you're reading this, then that means that one of the five got your attention. You are at the point that you are accepting and embracing that you could use a little help in the mental health journey. You're even considering hiring a therapist. You may have some firsthand experience or heard feedback from others either raving about therapy saying it "was the best decision they ever made" -- or, you are hesitant because you're not sure if it will truly be the best use of time and money.


We're new to therapy. When I say 'we', I mean those of us who fall in the average or below socioeconomic status. Those of us who were told about therapy by someone who wasn't family and don't have a "family shrink" as an immediate and trusted reference. We are new to the idea of sharing the details of what happens in our home because it was deemed as family "business". We are more used to inheriting the business of keeping secrets about cousins and uncles than the business of wealth and enrichment.


We're new to this. So, for us, it can be a highly oversimplified process. People like us typically give therapy a try, take whatever we can get with insurance, ignore our own sense that the sessions aren't meeting our expectations, but continue with sessions because the alternative is either overly complicated or simply unclear. Instead of empowerment and liberation, it feels like being caught in yet another system that you need money in order to thrive in.


In order to thrive in the mental health journey, you may need a mindset shift before you spend that first dollar on a clinician. Too often, we carry a deficit mindset into the therapy process instead of one of abundance, which is what leads to fruitless and costly patterns in how we approach mental health.


That deficit mindset includes:

  1. Having low expectations for outcomes

  2. Settling for bare minimum or less in service

  3. Using money in a way that it doesn't work for you

  4. Determining what you can have based on how much money you have

  5. Not advocating for what you need because you fear that it may not exist


An abundance mindset will have a positive effect on your relationships, your money, your success, and your mental health journey because when your expectations increase, so will the opportunities that you have to come across exactly what you need.


Now, let's quickly breeze through these 5 misconceptions and if any of this resonates with you, you really should explore your membership and see what you already have at your fingertips for a mental health journey that's truly tailored to your needs.


1. Getting a therapist isn't the only way

Therapists are a major part of any mental health journey because they understand human behavior, human responses and needs, and the role that the mind plays in the mental health journey. The reason why this misconception is first is because while getting a therapist can be very effective, there are a lot of factors that need to be right in order to benefit from a therapist. This doesn't have to hinder your mental health journey, though and that's really important to see.


2. Hiring a therapist is a "hiring process"

I've heard it said that hiring a therapist is a lot like dating and that can be true when you're thinking about how you look for good qualities and compatibility from a therapist just like you would for a partner. There is a slight issue with seeing it this way, however, because 1. Not everyone likes to date and 2. Not everyone knows how to date. So to level the playing field for everyone, we like to call it what it is: a hiring process.


Not everyone knows how to hire, but the good news is that you can learn how to hire without the attaching the process to some of the complexities that come with the ideas found in dating. Hiring is an objective, goal-oriented process where you are able to weigh things like experience, skills, and overall ability to serve your need.


You can even factor in elements that are uniquely important to you like religious background, worldview, thoughts about medicine, and overall vibe. It's up to you because you're the boss.

 

3. Your therapist works with you and for you

Continuing with the idea of you "hiring" your therapist, you should also keep in mind what you're hiring your therapist for. This isn't the same as hiring someone to do your hair or nails. It's also not the same as hiring a lawyer or a doctor. The difference is that with those fields of work, you are reliant 100% on their expertise to get the job done.


Hiring a therapist is tricky because while a therapist is the expert in certain types of Psychology, treatment types, modalities and human behavior, they can never be an expert in you. They will never be able to relieve you of the responsibility of knowing yourself best. In fact, a job well done for a therapist would mean that you have expert knowledge on how you show up in your day-to-day life as well as how the information revealed in Psychology, treatment, modalities and human behavior relate to you specifically.


A therapist can't do their job unless you're ready to do yours. Your job is to begin to put to words what your current reality is and what you want to be able to realize instead. The challenge to this is that you may be working on increasing your self-awareness and you may need help with creating your own goals to describe how you want your life and reality to change.


4. Trading quality for cost

Many people choose a therapist because its all that they could afford or because its all that they could acquire through their insurance. While they express unsatisfaction with their therapist, they seem to feel stuck with a clinician whom they don't feel confident is truly supporting them in the process.


For example, members and followers on social media even report dissatisfaction with having what feels more like venting sessions without meaningful feedback, treatment plans or overall support.


This dynamic is precisely why therapist-led sessions exist. The goal is that you have the opportunity to learn from therapists regarding specific topics to help you to increase self-awareness, create goals for yourself, and learn about what your needs may be for better advocacy.


Therapist-led sessions are $12/month because we believe that you should not have to pay to learn the basics as it pertains to your mental health. You also shouldn't have to trade your desired quality of care for the cost of it. Each Flamingo Recovery member has access to a free service that helps them to form a criteria for finding and hiring a clinician.


Our therapist network and opportunities for sponsoring also exist to close the gap in quality care so that members are able to find a match that meets their needs, especially with regard to faith-integration, trauma-informed spiritual care and cultural responsiveness.


5. It doesn't end with getting a therapist

If all else fails, it's possible that now just isn't the right time for therapy. That doesn't mean that your mental health journey has to end of be on pause. The beautiful thing about holistic health is that it acknowledges that all things play a role in mental health improvement. Mental health and physical health both impact one another. What we eat, how often we move, and who we engage with all play a role in improving mental health. Even your theology and upheld doctrinal beliefs can impact the way you see yourself and the life that you're living, which is why we provide spiritual intervention and counseling through the Access Plan.


Our hope is that you find your way in with the many offerings that you can find in your account to start or continue a mental health journey that ushers you right into the abundant life that Jesus wants for us all. (John 10:10)


For more details about your membership, download the app for easier viewing and text us at 646-535-9276

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Faith-infused mental health education and therapy access for women of color. 

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