During my childhood, I never went to therapy but had many therapists. Therapy in the Black community is often frowned upon. If you’re Black and reading this, then you may have an idea of what I mean. You may recall hearing phrases like “don’t tell nobody my business” or “what happens in this house stays in this house”. As a trauma therapist, I understand the origin of these phrases and viewpoints. I also understand that they are both about protection, privacy, and trust. For centuries, each other is all we have had. As a holistic and integrative therapist, I also know that some Black folk are taking care of their mind, body, and spirit using mind-body medicine skills.
My first therapist was India Arie. India Arie’s music moves my entire Being. Her voice is soothing and her lyrics are wrapped in truth. As a child, I would listen to the iconic ” I Am Not My Hair” song and would feel immense joy. For me, this song has always said “I see you, I love you, and love yourself unapologetically. To be seen, heard, and understood is cathartic and unbeknownst to me at the time, was a form of therapy.
When most folks think of therapy, they imagine a couch and a therapist scribbling on a notepad. This example references psychotherapy, which is only one form of therapy. According to Oxford Languages, therapy is a treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder. At R.I.S.E, we define therapy as the intentional engagement in practices that provide relief, release, or healing. In viewing therapy in this way, we understand that “therapy” is and has been many things. In using this definition you may begin to understand that many cultures practice therapy in various forms.
3 Mind-Body Practices that feel like therapy for Black folk
Music has true healing power. It can impact your mood, sleep patterns, and energy. Through its ability to evoke emotion through sound, music can make you feel many different feelings. When music makes you feel happy or calm, it can lower stress, slow your heart rate, and lower your blood pressure. It can also make you feel heard through the use of lyrics. Using visual representations, like music videos, can also make you feel seen.
Music can calm you while also reminding you that you are not alone in this vast world. To access the healing components of music, it’s important that you fully immerse yourself in music that makes you feel good.
Like music, dance also has true healing power. First, I would like to clarify what is meant by dance due to stigmas in the Black community. In our community, dance has been weaponized as a metric of your Blackness. For this reason, it is important to note that dance is not referring to your rhythm nor is your proficiency at a dance under question. Here we are referring to your ability to move your body in response to sound. This movement, whether it be ballet, the Baltimore two-step, snapping your fingers, or anything else is healing.
You see, dance and movement provide a physical release of energy while strengthening the connection with the Divine. True dance and movement are not about your rhythm but your surrender, your presence in the Now, and your spiritual connection. Through dance, stress is lowered, immune systems are strengthened, and tension is released.
Much like dance and movement, prayer is healing. But, some clarity is needed. Here we are not referencing your ego’s desire to ask a higher source for material things. We are referring to your ability to use silence, intention, and affirmation to seek and receive guidance from the Divine. In this way, a prayer is a form of meditation. Prayer is surrender and trust in action. For these reasons, prayer lowers stress, increases hope, enhances understanding, and promotes resiliency.
Therapy using Mind-Body skills in Pikesville, MD Can Help
As a mind-body medicine trained, trauma therapist at my Baltimore, MD counseling practice, I have worked with many Black folks who have experienced trauma. As a trauma therapist, I know that before reaching out for help you’ve done other things to reach healing. I am here to remind you that trauma therapy at R.I.S.E. is not about eliminating healthy practices, but rather incorporating them to personalize your therapy journey. Speaking to a stranger can be very difficult. And it can be confusing to consider integrating current and new holistic techniques, like Body Medicine skills. But, I will say that once you do, you’ll be glad you did.
Likely, you, your family, your friends, or your ancestors have been using mind-body skills before the term was created. This I know and understand. I want to acknowledge the healing you’ve been accomplishing. Then, together we’ll work to identify ways to add new holistic skills to your healing journey. Throughout our work together, we will find ways for you to honor yourself, honor those before you, forgive yourself, and forgive others. Make the first step to get started with using mind-body skills in trauma therapy in Pikesville, MD.
- Contact me here with questions about counseling
- No questions and ready to get started with therapy? Schedule a consultation now.
- Start therapy to heal your heart and reconnect with yourself.
Other services at Revitalizing Inner Self Essence in Pikesville, MD
I know that getting started with therapy can be nerve-wracking. But I want to assure you that as a Black queer therapist, I am dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming, and personalized environment for your healing process. Together, we will process trauma and help you reconnect with yourself and your life. At my Baltimore-area practice, I specialize in helping survivors of domestic violence and homicide overcome trauma. I also teach licensed masters social workers how to use holistic skills in trauma therapy. If you have further questions about me or my practice, please contact me.