Month: March 2019

Session 100: 5 Lessons I’ve Learned From Podcasting

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.

 

It’s a celebration y’all! We’re celebrating 100 episodes of the podcast and I shared 5 lessons I’ve learned from podcasting that just might help you too.

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 sweatshirt, mug, or a copy of our guided affirmation at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

To take the concepts from the podcast to the next level in a community of supportive sisters, join us in The Yellow Couch Collective.

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

Session 99: Taking Care of Yourself After a Breakup

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.

In this week’s episode I share 5 tips to help you take care of yourself after a breakup. 
 
Grab your copy of the Guided Breakup Journal, Questions That Need Answers: After the Breakup
 
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 sweatshirt, mug, or a copy of our guided affirmation at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

To take the concepts from the podcast to the next level in a community of supportive sisters, join us in The Yellow Couch Collective

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

Session 98: Showing Up When You Want to Lay Down

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.

In this week’s episode, Melissa Ifill, LCSW is back with us to share tips on how to show up in your life even when things get tough. Melissa shared the 4 steps she uses with her clients to help them show up during the difficult times we all face, how you know when it’s time to push through vs take a step back, and of course she shared more of her favorite resources.

 

Support Our Sponsor

Naturalicious

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Where to Find Melissa

https://www.melissaifill.com/

Facebook: @melissaifilllcsw

Instagram: @melissaifilllcsw

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

Take the info from the podcast to the next level by joining us in The Yellow Couch Collective, therapyforblackgirls.com/ycc

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

Grab your copy of our guided affirmation and other TBG Merch at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

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

The Realism and Dreams of Black Women

Recently, I watched the episode of This Is Us, titled “The Little Island Girl,” and I found it to be such a mirror into the lives of Black women, into my life as an Afro-Caribbean woman. This episode depicted the Black woman’s journey when facing life transitions. While all paths aren’t the same, there are some common treading among Black women when longing for liberation in our lives. Liberation from utter realism that has kept our survival mode in gear but impedes on our dreams; liberation from the sense of unwavering “obligation” we feel to others when we are given an “opportunity” that capitalizes on our productivity. And liberation from the perceptions of ourselves and the roles that we juggle.

 We’ve previously watched Beth be terminated from a workplace where she invested 12 years of her life. It’s at this juncture that she encounters a cracked door of mystery. Previously, she had been so consumed by being a “strong” pillar for her family, analyzing the needs of her workplace to remain a “top boss” employee, while simultaneously trying to catch her breath through life. She had not given herself permission to slow down or whole-heartedly reflect on her trajectory over the past years — if it was truly aligned with the depths of her dreams.

Our natural instincts are flashes of light, guiding us to dream big. When we deny ourselves permission to turn those dreams into fruition, our natural instincts will continue to follow us like a shadow. In Beth’s case, dance was her shadow and it had been following her for years. It was waiting for the moment where she would “see” what had happened to her. 

“When the time comes, I hope you’ll choose yourself.” The advice given to her by the late William foreshadowed her job loss and the stripping of old perceptions, along with the many roles she felt she had to juggle. It’s safe to say that Beth felt like a wanderer, but we later see that she wasn’t lost.

Beth’s trip to visit her mother further signifies the treaded path Black women experience with life transitions. She returns to her childhood home, while the stripping of old perceptions and roles continue to occur. Similar to Beth, this can cause us to feel at our most vulnerable. Especially, when needing to confront aspects of our past that create present barriers. Beth does this through a truthfully unveiling and mutually vulnerable conversation with her mother. The scales come falling down, and Beth is walking into the shadow that leads to the mystery door.

Treading the shadow path to arrive at the door of mystery, we’re shown the value of facing who we thought we were and how we resigned ourselves to live. Here, we’re also challenged to confront the barrier between our current selves and what we would unknowingly become when entering the door of mystery. It’s hard work, but it’s fresh air to our souls. As Black women, the path of liberation in our personal lives might feel uncomfortable, but we’ve been through difficult and uncomfortable circumstances before and have survived. Beth does the work and so can we.

In the end, we see Beth look at her partner in the eyes. She shares her dreams without ambivalence and she walks into the cracked door of mystery that had been waiting for her all along. Beth dances from depths of her being. When she falls, she smiles. There’s an extended exhale because she’s breathing in fresh air and getting back in the groove of her natural instincts. There we know that she has met liberation and will get back up. And I can’t wait to see how this newly founded liberation of her personhood continues to unfold.

As once the “little island girl” who immigrated to this country at the age of two, and a therapist who has been helping clients face and tread their own life transitions for years, I now find myself at a new juncture in life. I’m in transition personally and professionally. Here’s what I’m learning, as I’m hoping it can help you along life transitions of your own.

1.) Give yourself permission to slow down. I know juggling the balls of life has become an art form for you, but allow yourself to place the balls down one by one. With each ball that you place down (whether it be a carried role or self-imposed expectation), ask yourself if this ball is giving you energy or taking it away. I was asked to reflect on these several weeks ago by a wealth strategist and it’s been helping me channel my focus toward what gives me energy. And guess what? What gives me energy is very much aligned with my natural instincts. What takes away energy is usually self-imposed expectations or responding from a sense of unwavering obligation where it may not be warranted. 

2.) Choose yourself. I can hear the resistance all the way from here, and I can also hear the imposed guilt chattering away, “but that’s selfish!” To which, I can happily respond, a world where we personally experience liberation and fulfillment is a safer world than when we are treading around, resigned to being unfulfilled or constricted for fear of being “selfish.” The latter, I call neglect and soul deprivation of fresh air.

3.) Your transition may go contrary to who you thought you were for years.
In the midst of treading unknown territories, don’t worry about being “right”. Give more attention to being wholehearted. Get out of your head, and start to experience life from your body. Decisions can be made much simpler. Just notice, “how is [my] body responding throughout each phase of this transition?”

4.) Transitions are a vulnerable time for anyone (therapists included). How we respond to certain challenges can sometimes fall out of our normal range of response. When you notice this, don’t kick yourself. It doesn’t help you get closer to where you want to be. Instead, reflect on the kind of challenges faced, and be more intentional on responding oppositely. My favorite poem often reminds me that at the face of life challenges, there’s value in being kind, sincere, intentional, and of goodwill. Do it anyway. 

5.) Our path to personal liberation may go contrary to the vision that others held for us and for themselves. If you are met by a challenge from others, understand that it’s normal to care for them and want their support. Yet, even if you don’t receive it, you can’t abandon your dreams. You see, in the final analysis, it’s about you caring for your Soul, not about you and them.

6.) Surrender to the process of transition with your heart, and not your head. It will save you so much time. If you don’t understand what I mean by that now, give it some time. I’m confident you will at a later time. Now, go thrive, because you are so capable.


Carmelle Ellison is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Berkeley, CA who specializes in working with Millennials and the Gen-X  population who suffer from complex trauma; those who are high achieving but have difficulty separating their self-worth from productivity; along with helping individuals manage anxiety, depression, life transitions, and relationship challenges. You can connect with Carmelle at https://carmelleellisonpsychotherapy.com  .

Session 97: Chakras for Beginners

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.

In this week’s episode, Eliza Boquin, MA, LMFT, joins us to give us an introduction to chakras. Eliza and I talked about what chakras are, how you can tell if one of yours is blocked, what this means, how our chakras can impact what our relationships look like, and she shared how she uses this in her clinical work when requested. And of course she shared all of her favorite resources for anyone who wants to learn more. 

 

Support Our Sponsor

Naturalicious

 

Resources Mentioned

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

Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology

Institute for Integrated Healing 

Where to Find Eliza

https://flowandeasehealing.com

Facebook: @flowandeasewithe

Twitter: @elizagboquin

Instagram: @flowandeasewithe

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

Take the info from the podcast to the next level by joining us in The Yellow Couch Collective, therapyforblackgirls.com/ycc

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

Grab your copy of our guided affirmation and other TBG Merch at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

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

Misadventures of a Black woman in Corporate America

‘Black Girl in the Corporate World’ is part of a series we’re hosting throughout the entire month of March. We’ll discuss what tolls being a Black woman in a white-patriarchal society could have on your mental health. All thoughts and testimonies are welcome using the hashtag #BlackGirlCorporateWorld.

You’re Black, you’re a woman and you work with white people. And the ways in which race and gender are so openly discussed in Corporate America nowadays, it’s becoming harder and harder to get these three things jiving. We all know of the Black girl who had to work ‘twice as hard’ to get that job at the firm where, as a consequence of racial/social inequities, has very few coworkers who look like her. She could be you. She has no real Black (or white for that matter) allies to help relieve the pressure of being the ‘only’ anything in a majority white-professional space. She finds herself in corporate settings forced to make decisions which speak on behalf of her entire race and gender at the same time. And sis, quite frankly, is exhausted.

Or, maybe you’re more familiar with her girlfriend who avoids these conversations at all costs. She doesn’t speak on behalf of all Black women, because honestly, we’re not all the same and “Becky needs to know that!” And plus, she’d rather not indulge her white coworkers with anything race/gender-related out of pure self-preservation because let’s be real, ‘ain’t nobody got time for that.’

Nevertheless, there’s a time where we all must face white curiosity — someone earnestly chomping at the bit to ask you about the latest headlines, politics and yep, your hair.

If you’ve worked in Corporate America, you’ve faced the paradox of being Black and being asked to discuss and put aspects of your Blackness on display for white people to ‘understand’ or feel better about, without feeling paranoid that you exposed too much, or without feeling like you had to sanitize your words in order to make make others feel more comfortable. So how did you do it? Bringing our full selves as professional Black women in the workplace can feel risky but it’s the direction we’re headed in a world becoming more and more racialized. How do you navigate? Here are a few notes (not tips because being a Black woman in Corporate America is still in beta) on how to handle work when white folks are getting on your nerves.

  1. Set boundaries: it’s okay to vocalize when you’ve had enough.
  2. Seek out coworkers who ‘get it:’ They’re out there. Find one or two who you feel will listen and hear where you’re coming from. Seek out coworkers who you feel already have foundational knowledge of the racial injustices of the world. Those conversations might not be perfect but they’re a start.
  3. Take breaks: It’s been a week and you feel like racism is all you have talked about. Take a breather. Just because you’re being silent doesn’t mean you can’t circle back and address these issues later.
  4. Talk to your girls: Behind every successful black woman, is a group chat support system filled with girls she can vent to and friends who will big her up.
  5. Talk to your mentor: Chances are, she had to deal with this too.