So Everything Sucks & You Need Help
Some tips on how to (maybe) find a good therapist in the U.S.
Have you felt sluggish, unmotivated, and inclined to cry more easily or go into a fiery fit of rage since last week’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade? If so, I can relate! Today I was pondering why I’ve felt so down, despite all the good things in my life. Then I remembered the very, very obvious reason why: fascism is, among many other things, quite depressing. And you get used to it quickly. And that’s dangerous.
Mental healthcare can help us stay alert, awake, and resilient. I know it’s a hell of a task to find a therapist during the ongoing pandemic, when so many excellent professionals (and the mediocre ones, too) simply cannot take on any more clients. (If you don’t wish to read this entire article, I’ve listed resources for mental healthcare at the end.)
I’ve been in therapy on and off since I was about 14 years old. I had the privilege of access to good care — first with a social worker in my small town, and later with professionals in different parts of the country. I’m alive because of it, and I try to pay it forward when possible by sharing resources.
This is one of those times in the American experiment when people who may ordinarily pride themselves on being unflappable are, to put it mildly, losing their shit. Given what has served as the trigger for many folks currently in pain, I want to share some thoughts on finding a therapist whose values align with your own when it comes to reproductive rights and LGBTQIA+ rights (these areas are of course inextricably intertwined).
Here’s the disclaimer
I’m not an expert, and I’m not a licensed mental health provider. I’ve never even played one on TV (yet!)
That said, I have benefited greatly from therapy since I first saw a social worker, way back in the ninth grade. Along the way, I’ve spoken a lot about mental health advocacy from my perspective as a patient. I’ve spoken to university students, corporate audiences, and mental health and social work professional conventions. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m sharing some of it here. Take it all with a grain of salt — again, I’m no expert.