Month: December 2018

Session 88: New Year, New Me

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.

 
2019 is almost here and I’m sure many of your are busy thinking about upgrades and changes you’d like to make in your life. In this episode I shared 7 tips to help you as you go about making your list. 
 

Membership in the Yellow Couch Collective is still open and this month we’ve been focusing on developing our vision for 2019 and choosing our word of the year so if you need accountability or want to chat about your goals with others sisters, come on over and join us at therapyforblackgirls.com/ycc

If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/directory.

Don’t forget to grab a t-shirt, mug, or the breakup journal at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

If you have questions or would like to discuss podcast sponsorship, email us at podcast@therapyforblackgirls.com.

The hashtag for the podcast is #TBGinSession.

Make sure to follow us on social media:

Twitter: @therapy4bgirls

Instagram: @therapyforblackgirls

Facebook: @therapyforblackgirls

5 tips for navigating the first date

Dating can be a fun and enjoyable experience.  However, for some, it is an anxiety-producing task. Uncommunicated expectations, unrealistic plans, and hidden motives can wreak havoc on first dates.

Even defining what is and is not a date may be difficult.  There is a new term almost every month.  One of the most recent terms brought to my attention is “pre-date.”   A “pre-date” is an activity that is engaged in to determine if one wants to go on a date.  Yet the activities may not differ from activities that another person would consider a date.  The time of day is another factor in defining whether or not something is a date.  Some people do not consider anything done during the day a date.  Are you confused yet?  It is important that you and your potential date know one another’s definitions.

Now that you have defined that this IS the first date, here are some helpful tips to reduce some of the dating anxiety:

  1. Choose an activity with a natural end
    Meals are the classic activity with a natural end in that the interaction may conclude at the end of the meal. Movies also have a natural end but there is not any time to truly communicate.  Tea or coffee is simple and is enough time to get to know one another yet can be over once the beverages are finished.
  2. Be in the moment
    It is hard to get to know a person if you are already thinking about how the date will lead to a relationship or even worse how the relationship will end.  Give yourself some space and grace to enjoy what is happening in the now.  Being elsewhere is going to hinder your ability to perceive the authentic interactions that are happening in the moment. In doing so, it is easy to give the date too much or too little credit.
  3. Turn small talk into an engaging conversation.
    Getting to know someone can feel awkward.  What do you talk about?  There are only so many things to be said about the weather.  Here are a few topics beyond “what do you do for a living” to spur conversation.

    • Last great meal
    • Fictional character with whom they identify
    • Last book that was read
    • Favorite podcast
    • Dream vacation
    • Best and worst first day of school/work
    • Colors that represent various aspects of their personality
  4. Leave the exes in the past
    Although, knowing a person’s dating history can help shed some light into preferences and stressors.  Previous partners do not need to be present at the first date.  This may send the unintentional message that there is still “something there” or that the person is comparing and judging this date against the “ex” standard.
  1. Keep your standards but release your unrealistic expectations.
    A standard is a level of quality while an expectation is a belief that something will happen in the future.  An example of an unrealistic expectation is that your date is responsible for how you feel.  Turn that into a standard of wanting and needing your date to behave in a respectful manner.  It can get confusing but a good rule of thumb is to break down things into wants and needs.  Another one is to ask yourself “how would this person know this.”  If the answer is “they just should” then that may be an unrealistic expectation.

Now that you have a few tips, take some time to develop your own and most importantly go into the real world and practice!


Nicole is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA who specializes in mental health and relational wellness.  Dedicated to infusing mental health into your overall wellness regimen and promoting healthy relationships.  https://nicolemwardlmft.com

Session 87: Entrepreneurship & Mental Health

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.

For today’s episode, we’re digging into some of the common challenges that come up for entrepreneurs that can impact our mental health. For this conversation, I was joined by Samara Stone, LCSW-C. Samara and I chatted about some of the mental health challenges that are common for entrepreneurs, the importance of a healthy support system, and how to get in touch with your real why for wanting to start a business. 

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT

Resources Mentioned

Visit our Amazon Store for all the books mentioned on the podcast!

Grab your copy of Questions That Need Answers: After the Breakup 

Where to Find Samara

https://www.bebrandconfident.com/

Instagram: @iamsamarastone

Facebook Group: The Entrepreneur’s Tribe

If you’re ready to develop valuable skills to help you thrive in your life and relationships, join our community of incredible women in the Yellow Couch Collective.

If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/directory.

To keep digging into today’s topic and other topics discussed on the podcast, join the Facebook group at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/tribe.

The TBG Merch store is open for business! Shop therapyforblackgirls.com/shop to grab a new tee or mug!

Join me for this week’s Three for Thursday chat on FB & IG Live, Thursday at 12 noon ET.

If you have questions or would like to discuss podcast sponsorship, email us at podcast@therapyforblackgirls.com.

The hashtag for the podcast is #TBGinSession.

Make sure to follow us on social media:

Twitter: @therapy4bgirls

Instagram: @therapyforblackgirls

Facebook: @therapyforblackgirls

Things you need to know for your first therapy appointment

So you’ve made the choice to seek therapy. After doing your research, (you’ve heard about our directory right?), you’ve zeroed in on a therapist that seems like they might be a good fit for you. Now what? The pending New Year has us all ready to start anew. Maybe you’re seeking therapy as a way of getting your mind and spirit aligned for a new year filled with new obstacles and new life changes. Or, maybe you’re looking to leave some habits back in 2018 and you’re looking toward therapy to help you out with that. Whatever your reason, here are a few things you should know before you first therapy appointment.

  1. There will be lots of questions. You will probably do most of the talking during your first appointment and it may feel like more of an interview. Your first session is what we call an intake and it’s designed to get as much background information as possible to help us figure out what’s been going on with you and how we might be able to help.
  2. You might feel really nervous. It’s totally normal to be really nervous about your first session. It’s not everyday that we talk to a complete stranger about some pretty personal stuff in our lives. If you feel comfortable, share with your therapist what you’re nervous about. It could lead you to a great conversation and might provide some valuable information to your therapist about the kinds of things that might be helpful to you in the therapeutic process.
  3. You probably won’t leave with a diagnosis. Since we’re likely doing a bunch of fact-finding in the first session and there still may be some pieces of the puzzle that don’t quite fit, you probably won’t leave your first session with a diagnosis. We may have a good idea of what we think may be going on, but will likely want to see you a few more times and have you share more about your story to be able to make a diagnosis if there is one to be made. You don’t need a diagnosed mental health condition to see a therapist.
  4. You might be hesitant to come back for the next appointment. It may initially feel better to finally have a place to share what you’re struggling with but afterwards you may have what we call a ‘vulnerability hangover,’ where later that day or the next morning you think “what in the world did I just do?” it feels like you’ve just been naked in front of a lot of people. This is not uncommon and it may make you feel a little embarrassed about going back to the therapist. Try to fight through that feeling. See if you can and go back to the next session and share how difficult it felt to come back and the feelings you’ve been experiencing.
  5. You might not feel “better” right away.  Depending on what’s going on and how long you’ve been dealing with whatever brings you in, it may actually feel worse before it gets better. You know that one closet many of us have in our homes where we shove boxes, out of season clothes, wrapping paper, and various other odds and ends? What has to happen when you finally decide you want to clean that closet. You probably have to take everything out, decide if you’re going to keep it or not, and then make a plan before there’s any sense of organization right? That’s a lot like what it’s like to start therapy.

If you’ve already started therapy, what was your first appointment like? Is there anything else you think others should know about the first appointment? Share it with us in the comments. And if you haven’t already started therapy but think you will soon, grab our Guide to Getting Started With Therapy to help you out in the process.

Session 86: The Gift of Boundaries

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.

For today’s episode, we’re digging a little deeper into the importance of boundaries and how they protect us. For this conversation I was joined by Kim Knight. LMHC. Kim and I chatted about why it’s so important to set boundaries, how to get beyond the idea that boundary setting means hurting someone’s feelings, how to teach boundaries to kids, and how setting boundaries can result in more fulfilling relationships. 

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE

Resources Mentioned

Visit our Amazon Store for all the books mentioned on the podcast!

Twitter Thread About Teaching Kids Boundaries

Where to Find Kim

https://kknightcounseling.com

Facebook: @relationshiprecipespodcast

If you’re ready to develop valuable skills to help you thrive in your life and relationships, join our community of incredible women in the Yellow Couch Collective.

If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/directory.

To keep digging into today’s topic and other topics discussed on the podcast, join the Facebook group at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/tribe.

The TBG Merch store is open for business! Shop therapyforblackgirls.com/shop to grab a new tee or mug!

Join me for this week’s Three for Thursday chat on FB & IG Live, Thursday at 12 noon ET.

If you have questions or would like to discuss podcast sponsorship, email us at podcast@therapyforblackgirls.com.

The hashtag for the podcast is #TBGinSession.

Make sure to follow us on social media:

Twitter: @therapy4bgirls

Instagram: @therapyforblackgirls

Facebook: @therapyforblackgirls