by Liz Covey, LMHC
Years ago, during a time in my career when I was working with children and families who had encountered abuse and who were involved with the foster care system, I made a new acquaintance who later became a good friend. When my occupation came up, she looked me squarely in the eyes, and asked, “Why on earth would anyone want to do that??”
My friend, no stranger to hardship herself, was asking me in a straightforward manner why I would elect to put myself in the face of abject misery. It’s a reasonable enough query, if the job was in fact full of misery, which it is not. But my friend’s question raises a fallacy about mental health work that I am here to dispel: That the work of mental health is drudgery and despair. That it is raking through the muck of degradation, tragedy, and sorrow.
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: Putting ‘Care’ and ‘Health’ at the Center of Mental Health Care
by Jena Lopez
The Valley of Kings was
Continue reading POETRY: Excavation
Robbed blind until all the accessible tombs
Were as empty as Christ’s tomb on Easter.
The rest were forgotten like an unrisen Christ.
by Angelina Li 李羽茜
I first entered psychotherapy as an undergraduate business student. I didn’t know what was wrong, just that I felt terrible, lonely, lost. I deeply craved connection with other people, yet, despite my ongoing efforts, felt so alienated and like I didn’t fit in. I tried psychotherapy on a whim by enrolling in a research study through my school’s psychology department.
The study aimed to teach the participants acceptance/mindfulness-based techniques to manage anxiety symptoms. It seemed like a good place to start for me, someone who was a beginner to therapy and had limited financial resources. It was the first time I had experienced being with someone whose primary role was to listen, and it taught me techniques I still use today. Once that study concluded, I was referred to my current therapist who I’ve been seeing for five years. She has become a very important person in my life.
Continue reading OPINION: Searching for Kinship in Psychotherapy
by Roy Fisher
Question: How do I cope with an increased degree of irritability these days with people still working remotely and how that manifests in online interactions with work colleagues?
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: How to Cope With Irritability From WFH and How It Manifests With Coworkers
by Liz Covey, LMHC
Question: I’ve been trying to get in to see a therapist for months now, and I can’t even get a call back much less find someone who takes my insurance. What else can I do if I can’t find a therapist with an opening soon? I’m afraid I will get more depressed as time goes on without some help. But I’m also wondering if I should think outside the box for other options right now, since nothing is working out. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.
Continue reading Ask a Therapist: Alternatives to Therapy During Tough Times
by Bri Little
At the end of February, in partnership with WA Therapy Fund Foundation and The Root of Our Youth, KCTS 9 put on an event called “Well Beings: Centering the Mental Health of Black Youth.” The event is part of a virtual Well Beings Initiative “tour” that features young leaders across the U.S. who are working to destigmatize mental illness in their communities.
The night’s event was hosted by Deaunte Damper, vice president of the WA Therapy Fund Foundation. He facilitated a discussion that delved into the topics of daily trauma that Black youth endure due to racism, the stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment, and how young Black people can advocate for the services they deserve.
Continue reading Centering the Mental Health of Black Youth
by Alexa Peters
Before COVID-19, Ballard resident Gracey Cockram lived the busy, fulfilling life of a stay-at-home mom. On a typical day, she’d wake up early, get her 15-year-old daughter up for swim practice, shuttle her to the pool with friends, come home, check the news, take a shower, do the laundry, go to the gym, go to the grocery store, walk the dogs, drive her daughter to a part-time babysitting gig, then begin to prepare dinner.
These days, despite living in a 900-square-foot condo with her fiancé and daughter, Cockram spends a lot of time alone, feeling “defeated” — and it’s no wonder. Her once-active 15-year-old now remains in her room for nearly twelve hours a day studying for her AP classes, and has since become prone to anxiety and worrying emotional outbursts. After holding out for months, Cockram and her fiancé were forced to reschedule their June 2021 wedding due to the pandemic. Cockram’s extended family in Florida has stopped talking to them due to disagreement about how to handle COVID-19. And now, she can’t even get out of the house for a trip to the gym for an important kick of endorphins.
Continue reading As Pandemic Drags On, Parents Cope With Mental Health Challenges
by Suhani Dalal
Since the start of the global pandemic, one Seattle therapist said that roughly 90% of her new clients are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), compared to before, when about 70% were white.
“There are so many people coming into therapy for their first time — first in their family, first in their history,” said Asian American psychotherapist and codependency therapist Ivy Kwong. “I always tell them: ‘I’m so grateful you’re doing this work, it’s not easy, but it’s the most important work I believe you can do in this lifetime. The work you are doing [honors] your entire lineage because it will heal past and future generations.’”
Continue reading How Seattle Therapists Make Space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
by Roy Fisher
I am a cop’s kid. My father was the first African American to retire from the Washington State Patrol. Knowing what my father had to endure to reach that milestone, it is with a sense of pride that I write those words. Twenty-five years, I can only imagine what he went through. My father started a Black Law Enforcement group to support the many African Americans to wear the badge. I grew up with a profound love and respect for officers. My godfather, also a police officer, was shot during what he thought would be a routine traffic stop. The story goes that if the gun had been a larger caliber or he had been a little closer he would have died. While my father was never shot, he did total his patrol car during a chase. I have an intimate understanding of the risks associated with being a police officer.
Continue reading Reflections From a Cop’s Kid
by Ashley McGirt
When I first saw the scars so deeply rooted into the back of an African American slave, I thought I had seen it all. When I viewed a photo of Emmett Till for the first time, I thought I had seen it all. I can still see his mother’s face, the cries that were captured on film, the crevices in the corners of her eyes that would form valleys so deep no one would ever dare travel through. I studied her face, then went back to her son’s face that no longer bore a resemblance to anything human. In that moment I saw how Americans can, and still do, view Black people as less than human. I remember Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Charleena Lyles, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the countless others who we have lost to police violence. You continue to think you have seen it all until the newest tragedy is unveiled.
Continue reading When You Thought You’d Seen It All … Healing From Racial Trauma