Mental health is an aspect of our well-being that we often trivialize, but most times paying attention to it is the key to living a fuller and more intentional life.
With the copious influx of information on Mental Health in this day and age, it is hard to choose what messages are relevant for maintaining your sanity, so instead of going through the process of learning, unlearning, addressing trauma and freely expressing your emotions alone, consulting a therapist to guide you through your journey is a great step towards a less rocky process.
In Nigeria, for a long time now, there has been a stigma attached to seeking help for the betterment of one’s mental health: Therapy. We invited a Consultant Psychologist to help demystify therapy in hopes that you will be more open in giving it a try and if you do, armed with pointers on how to navigate it.
Angel Yinkore is a consultant psychologist who offers therapeutic services to companies and their employees. She has worked with Andela Nigeria, Calmsprings health, Reuel consulting among others. Running a private practice for clients both within and outside Nigeria, Angel also founded the Just Us Girls therapy group program which is aimed at empowering young women by focusing on their mental health and its impact on their daily lives. She specialises in trauma therapy and behavior management and has volunteered in mental health organizations such as Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) and Stand To End Rape (STER).
1. It is normal to feel anxious before your first session. Your therapist will work to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible.
2. Your progress in therapy is a combination of your effort and that of your therapist. Therapy is not magic.
3. There are good therapists in Nigeria. We are not unicorns, we exist.
4. Sometimes, it takes time to find the right therapist. Be patient and don’t stop trying to find a good therapist. In as much as your choices are limited in Nigeria, you can find a good fit for your needs.
5. It is okay to bring uncomfortable feelings you experience in therapy to the attention of your therapist.
6. Therapy can be fun, you can laugh, crack jokes, even use curse words in therapy. It is not all serious like in the movies.
7. Your therapist is a human being. They are not perfect, so in as much as they do their best to be professional, they still have every human factor that you have as well.
8. Don’t lie to your therapist, you can decide not to speak on something yet if you are uncomfortable, but lying to your therapist does not serve you in the long run.
9. You can change therapists, you do not have to stick with someone if progress is not being made.
10. Be willing to hear truths that may make you uncomfortable in the short term but will help you grow long term.
You can reach Angel Yinkore via email: [email protected].