Psychotherapy As An Act of Courage & Resistance

I fully understand the act of courage some clients demonstrate when they reach out to me for support. They reach out for assistance despite fears of being judged harshly by family members and friends who view their decision as a sign of weakness and a waste of their time and personal resources.

We need support during challenging times. Support helps with our recovery effort—like cleaning a wound and applying the appropriate antiseptic and bandage to ensure proper healing. Recognizing and addressing our mental health challenges can contribute to overall health, happiness, and well-being.

However, in some communities and cultures, anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms are often misunderstood, misrepresented, or stigmatized as a personal failure, as is seeking support for our mental health challenges.  

Many of us grew up with the expectation that academic achievement and professional excellence (preferably a law or medical degree if you are from the African Diaspora) equate happiness and success in life. What happens when we have the “good job and career” but a deeply satisfying, healthy home life persistently eludes us?

Here are ten things we  accomplish when we show up for a psychotherapy session and share our personal struggles, conflicts, and painful emotions with a trained mental health professional:

  1. Valuing and prioritizing our mental health
  2. Learning how to discern safety and how much and whom to trust
  3. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery
  4. Confronting deep-seated fears
  5. Honing our problem-solving skills
  6. Experimenting with vulnerability
  7. Challenging cultural beliefs that may no longer serve us
  8. Improving our self-confidence while overcoming internal stigma and self-doubt
  9. Cultivating self-acceptance and self-compassion
  10. Establish new traditions for yourself and future generations in your family.

For help and support start small: Discuss concerns with a trusted friend, family member, or spiritual leader who may be able to offer meaningful information and insights.

I am here to support you in your mental health journey. For more information, click here!

by Jacqueline Samuda

I'm a multilingual psychotherapist who specializes in providing culturally-sensitive treatment to a diverse clientele. With 20 years at agencies such as the Montgomery County Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program, the DC Commission on Mental Health and the National Center for Children and Families, I have experience in helping clients with depression, anxiety and victimization. I am particularly interested in working with clients to heal from physical and sexual trauma as well as addressing issues of disempowerment, cultural adjustment and life transitions. I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and EMDR Therapist. My interactive approach also involves providing support and practical feedback.