In this episode we discuss answer a few listeners questions- like how to shake your need for approval, and what to do when you are waiting to get into grad school..
Also in the episode we discuss the surgeon general’s directives to black people and if we shouldn’t tell our “business” in mixed company.
Finding happy seven steps to relationships that will not steal your joy is the new book by me. Nikita Banks, a licensed psychotherapist and life strategist leverage the knowledge you’ll receive in this book to help you with the process of obtaining absolute clarity. Through the use of Guided Self exploration. This process is necessary to help you master all your relationships in 2019 and beyond going amazon.com or black therapists podcast calm and grab your copy of the book guaranteed to help you redesign all your relationships based on two basic principle, health and happiness. Get your copy today. Welcome to the black therapist podcast, the black therapist podcasts podcast where we discuss unique issues people of color face when dealing with mental health issues and mental health diagnosis. Now if you are new to our show, I am your host, author, life strategist. psycho therapist Nikita Banks in private practice in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. I am available for both psychotherapy and coaching sessions. And you can find more information about that on my website Nikita Banks calm you can listen to our podcasts everywhere podcasts are found Apple podcasts Google Play YouTube, SoundCloud, PIPA, Stitcher, I Heart Radio and black therapist podcast calm. If you are a mental health advocate or a therapist and you want to buy our podcast merchandise, you can do so by visiting our site. And if you want access to our free mental health tips, free online trainings, discounted selective services and resources do so by joining our mailing list by texting get happy, all one word 266866 if you love the podcast, please like comment and share. We love to hear from you. And if you want to send me some feedback, guest suggestions or simply to say hey, you can contact us at our website black therapists, podcast calm Please be mindful that this episode and all the information that we provide here is just a resource and a tool to help get you started on your mental health journey. If you are feeling any mental health distress or you are having any significant issues, please feel free to reach out to us so that we can find you a mental health provider in your area. Okay, let’s go. Hey, guys. Welcome to another episode of black therapists podcast. Okay, so, um, I hope you guys are being safe in the hope you guys uh, well. I definitely want to send my condolences to any of my listeners who are either positive from the Coronavirus are impacted in a negative way by the virus. This thing has been devastating New York City as you know, and a very proud Brooklynite and
we’ve been going through it here.
And it’s so strange because I have friends who are in other states, particularly states that have Republican governors. And this is not about I don’t want to make this about politics. But it seems like the the county and statewide government instructions that each of us are living under is just, it’s, I don’t really know how we’re going to this thing is going to end. I think I’ve probably said this more than enough times, I know I’ve said it more than enough times in therapy more than enough times with my friends, that the scriptures that I’ve been leaning on these days have been lean not on your own understanding. And it doesn’t matter to me whether or not you are religious, or spiritual, even though I’m recording this show on Easter. Resurrection Sunday, I do find comfort in that scripture for me because I don’t feel like I always have to understand stuff. And it’s so funny because my mother, my mother reminded me of that. The other day, I was getting frustrated about some of the things that I hadn’t seen on the news and some of the things that I had been seeing on social media regarding just conflicting reports and black people have feelings about certain things, and we’ll get into that. And I was like, I just don’t understand why people are so upset about this one particular issue and my mother was like, Well, I don’t need to understand how anybody else feels about anything. I just need to do what I need to do. And I was like, dang, you know, what a way to redirect. Like sometimes you don’t need to undo Stand anybody else’s perspective, I went to bed on Saturday after seeing clients after watching the news app to see my timeline filled with sickness and death.
And speaking to
friends of mine who are still going outside, still living their lives and still doing whatever they want to do and not taking this as seriously as they, they can and I’m just like, Damn, I’m not even sure what to do anymore. You know, my instinct as a therapist, like I told you guys my ego defense, but my defense mechanisms is that I intellectualize so intellectualizing. I’m like, Well, you know, Nikita, everybody has the right to choose their own decisions, and choose their own destinies and whatever the consequences of those decisions are. Is the them, but this is not that kind of thing, right? This is this is not the kind of thing where selfishness is a one person act, right? Because one person can go outside and be symptomatic or asymptomatic and get 1000 people sick 100 people sick and 10 people sick. And those people can get more people sick. So it’s just it’s just like eight an hour. They have no patience for you Your autonomy right now. But at the same token, it’s just like I have to allow the people to make their own choices in their decisions and then do whatever I need to do to make my household safe. So I’ve been super hyper vigilant about doing what I need to do to keep my my household safe this week. Got groceries delivered from instacart. Shout out to instacart Damn, this is not sponsored, I paid for my
And it’s so weird because whenever I’m shopping at stores like Audi’s and BJs, or wherever else I’m shopping people, and I’m seeing the young people instacart is go out there and shop I’m like, Damn, I really don’t want them picking up my groceries. Like I like to look at the expiration date on my stuff. But I really want to be healthy for these few weeks. I really want to do what I need to do. So I’ma stay my behind in the house and so I got my groceries delivered and it was an interesting experience. I hope to not have to do it again. Unless I’m really truly busy in life. I think I’ll just I know I don’t think I know I like the the going to the different stores for different things and food shopping for me is a routine. I know what to buy from where and how to do it. And I scheduled my work day, according to what what side of what grocery stores, I’m going to like the whole thing from like a ritual. And so I really want to get back to my own rituals, and I’m looking forward. Forward to that. So I want to get into a few things. I got a few VMs and yes, I answer my DMS if you ask me questions, it’s me. And so I want to answer these questions before I get into what I want to talk about today. So this one is from ne ne ne ne but it says hi Nikita, I hope you’re staying safe during this time. I’m a 24 year old in love listening to your podcast. Thank you love your support. I started listening at the beginning of this year, and you’ve helped me more than I could ask for not only with my personal relationships, but also in the work of Oh in the workplace. I’m tired y’all. One of my goals this year is to be more in tuned with myself trying not to seek validation. But I’ve noticed a switch.
First of all, Nikita, why did you screen shoot it? And then only screenshot half of it?
Trying. Let me just read it over. Hi, Nikita. I’ll be here. You’re staying safe during this time. I’m a 24 year old in love. Listen to your podcast. I started listening at the beginning of the year and you’ve helped me more than I could ask for. Not only With my personal relationships, but also in the workplace. One of my goals this year is to be more in tune with myself trying not to seek validation. But I’ve noticed the switch in how my close family, friends treat me. I believe that in their eyes I am not a woman yet because of their expectations of what a woman really is. I work as a lash technician, and hairstylist I’m single with no kids, I think all around is hard for a lot of women to take me seriously. All my close friends have children. All the women in my life are strong, independent single women with full time stable corporate jobs. I’m sending this sending you this message to ask if you could do a podcast dealing with people’s expectations of you versus the path you chose for yourself. Thank you for everything that you do Nikita. Okay, and then I just respond we’ll definitely do.
But don’t let that deter you from your purpose, um
people’s expectations of you versus the path you chose for yourself. See, here’s the thing.
is qualified to walk your walk. Like we all have an assignment given to us by God, Allah, the universe, whoever you believe in, like we all have an assignment that is burnished in our soul, and it’s something that we are supposed to do. And we don’t necessarily know what that assignment is. But we know we have that nagging, holding in our lives that we have to do and we have to be true to and that we have to be authentic to you. And when we live a life that’s not in alignment with that thing, what ends up happening is that we suffer. So you can’t expect anybody else to see your path, the only thing that you can do is keeping one foot in front of the other and keep your eye on the road. Like when we were in school, and we were taking tests, the teacher will tell us keep your eye on your own paper. And that’s that’s not just because you may cheat off of somebody else. But that really is because you may go look into them for the answers that you have within yourself, and you may end up failing the test.
if not having children right now is not part of the vision that you have aligned for your future.
it Being a lash technician and what did you say? I hairstylist shout out to the other cosmetologist out there. I have gotten my cosmetology license when I was 17 years old so I’ve had my and I’m still license to this day I pay for all of my credentials I keep them so I’m not what wasn’t my path per se but it’s the reason that I’m sitting in my house on quarantine and my nails and my my hair on my toes done right now you know what I’m saying like that you have to do the thing that you are doing right now because that thing may be the thing to lead you to your purpose. So you can’t worry about what they what they want for your life because they’re not gonna they’re not walking in your shoes. My only question to you is what is the shift? He said I’ve noticed a switch in how my close friends treat me What do you think sparked that change? Why they are treating you differently now? Is it because they had babies or they made different choices? because let me tell you something that I’ve noticed about people. Sometimes, when you make choices that are in alignment with your vision for your future, some people will see that as a condemnation of them not living their own lives and their purpose. I’m gonna say this again. Hopefully I remember exactly what I said. Sometimes when you are making choices, and living a life within your purpose, people look at it as a condemnation of the choices that they are making. That is not in alignment with the vision that the Lord has for their own lives. And so when they see you doing things that seems radical, or seems crazy or seems like You stepping out on faith? What seems like it is not going to make any sense to them right now, or it’s not the safe choice or it’s not the bet. That’s a short thing. Right? Like working for the city or, um,
I don’t know.
Being municipal worker and I’m shout out to municipal workers like there’s nothing wrong with that. But I remember when my son was going to college people used to send me notices about about city tests. And I used to be like, Okay, well, that’s, that’s fine. If he’s going to be a city worker. That’s something that he chooses, but my son is a creative and that’s not really where he wants to go with his with his life right now. So you know,
there are people who just
just do what
they’ve seen done when I graduated from from school. I wanted to be a secretary because my mother was a secretary. And she’s made a good life and a good living being a secretary, but I will no secretary. That wasn’t that wasn’t for me, but it seemed like a stable, steady career. And now I’m an adult and everybody is typing the own stuff, because, you know, is not the type of career currently that is in high demand. So I would have made the safe choice in choosing the path that my mother chose. And it would have not it would have been one that would have turned out to be obsolete. It’s like people who worked in the Ford Motor Company factory because that’s what their family did and it was a safe job and then you could buy a house and raise a family offer that in 1954 is
Is 2020 so that no longer is a safe bet. So sometimes you have to bet on yourself. Um, I’m gonna be honest with you trying not to seek validation. That’s something that that comes with maturity. We all seek validation in some sort of way. But it’s something that comes with you understanding that the decisions that you are making right now are in alignment with what is the path that you are going to take to be successful in your future. And even if you fail at them, learn the lessons that you need to learn so that you can make the corrections because everything that we do leads into the next thing as long as we keep doing something. Okay, so I hope this answered your question.
And, you know, I just
you find the strength and the courage to continue to do the work that you need to do. And allow your perfect circle to find you, your family ain’t going to get it. Your friends that you have right now we’re going to get it. My family don’t get me my friends didn’t get me. And that’s fine because I chose my friends growing up by proximity, we lived on the same block, we went to the same schools, we we hung around the same circles, that didn’t mean that we had a lot in common outside of proximity, right, just just that we were in the same areas and grew up together. Sometimes you have to grow out of that. So it just may may be that you’re in your your season.
and that these people no longer fit in your life. And what I know for a fact is that God will move people out of your way who no longer
fit in your story.
And your family, God bless them, but they can’t see the vision that you have for yourself and you can’t expect them to and you can’t persecute them because they don’t. I’ve very rarely get my family support, and that’s okay. With me. It’s not okay. Some days Some days I want it some days that Christ days I’m like, Damn, I wish my family supported me. But I have to also understand that they don’t have the vision that I have for my life, and they don’t have the faith that I have about what I’m doing here. And I can’t allow anybody else’s feelings about what I know is right for me to to
to jeopardize my work.
Okay, so I wish you much love and much success. I wish you were here right now so you could do my lashes Lord knows me. But you know keep going,
keep going and maybe your story is not the safe story maybe that’s not that’s not your story. Okay, so, I hope this answered your question and you know a therapist can also help you navigate some some of the issues that you have some of the the lack of clarity that you have on the on these issues.
I got another
okay. But another message
and this one is from Queen query I’m sorry Queen q UI. And this is great. They miss banks I ran across your podcast or how you became a therapist and have questions. I’ve applied to graduate school for my MSW shout out to you for doing that. And currently still awaiting a decision. My question is, how did I you know, I’m sorry. How did you know that field was for you while you waited? Or when you didn’t get accepted the first time? Thank you. Okay, so I did not wait. I knew. I knew I wanted to be a therapist. My therapist told me, the quickest way for me to be a therapist was not to go get my PhD or my ID, which is what I thought I needed to get when I say Psy D is a psych a doctorate in psychology. That was a six year process in order for me to work and be practice practicing. According to him, I feel like he’s Old school. I think that that’s the old school mentality. Now, if you are a psychologist and you’re listening to me, you can correct me if I’m wrong, I think now, you could either practice independently or like under somebody with a master’s in psychology. I don’t care enough to look it up on on the Google. But um, I may be I may still be wrong, because I remember being at NYU in a library. And there was a guy, a white gentleman who was a student, and he asked me, What was I studying because we were checking out the same book. And I said, I’m getting my master’s in social work. And he asked me, What could you do with what could you do with that? And I said, Well, I’m going to be a therapist in private practice, and he was very confused. He didn’t understand why I was saying that and I explained to him that as it was explained to me
with my MSW,
which I got my master’s degree in a year and a half. So college, I mean, master’s programs for social work or my master’s program for Social Work is a four semester degree. So usually you go spring, fall, spring, fall, I went,
and then I graduated that next semester, so I went completely straight and I didn’t take the summer off. So I got a two year degree in a year and a half. I didn’t take less classes, I just took them, you know, a lot more condensed together and a lot more classes together because I wanted to get it done. Quick. After my year and a half, I was eligible to take my L SW exam to become a licensed master social worker. And with that in New York State, I was able to work under a social worker or psychologist or psychiatrist in order to gain hours to get my independent study. So technically, right? If I would have gotten my side D, it would have been my psychology degree, it would have been six years before I would have been able to practice independently or with or even with somebody, I think I may be wrong. But I think before I would have been able to practice I would have had to and got getting gotten paid to practice. I would have had to go to school at least for three years. And then done some practicum hours and then got my license and then I can do independent
practice as a psychologist
But the way that I did it, I was able to start working underneath somebody in a year and a half, once I graduated and became licensed. And then because I’m licensed in New York in New Jersey, in three and a half years, right, so the year and a half plus another two years, I was able to go into independent practice. And in New York in foreign four and a half years, because a year and a half of school, and three years of working with somebody, I was eligible for independent practice. So I got my license in I graduated in 2012. Data. I remember when I’m like, I don’t remember when I graduated, My degree is right on the wall.
Still can’t see the year.
I think I graduated in 2013
Um, yeah, in 2013 I got mine lcsw W, which allows me to practice independently in 2016.
here I am. So I didn’t I’m not even sure if I answered your question. I didn’t know that I wanted to get my my MSW I just knew I wanted the quickest way to be a therapist. And this was the option that was presented to me. So that was what I applied for. I applied for two schools in y u and hunter at the same time, so it wasn’t like I was waiting for one to come through. And then the other one I wanted to go to Hunter was my first choice only because it was cheaper, but in why you came to and then they gave me a scholarship and then I went to school, so My suggestion to you is a pot of more schools.
You could still currently
await your decision but just apply to more schools. I mean, I, I don’t know what your financial situation is or your time constraints are or what it looks like. But if you want to go to school, right, right now, I would apply for as many schools as I can possibly apply to, that I can afford in this moment. See if you could get some to some application fee waivers and apply to as many schools as you can. But if this is your dream, and if this is what you want to do, just don’t take no for an answer. Okay, I hope that I answered your question. Alright, so this weekend, everybody was up in arms about the Surgeon
And I don’t know the Surgeon General’s name. Honestly, when I see him on TV, I don’t even really pay him no attention. But he’s, he’s a black guy. Apparently everybody is,
googling his white wife.
basically what happened was, he was in a press conference with these people. Surgeon General His name is Jerome Adams, MD, MPH. And so what happened was is he sat up in the in the White House briefing and he was like, you know, stay home for your umbrella. Stay home for your big mama stay home for your pot pot. Now, I don’t know any black people that have ever called dad like I never call my grandfather, Papa. But I do know some people call it grand daddy Paul Paul.
That’s real North Carolina stuff.
Shout out to statesville. I thought when I seen it and I did watch the, the comments, I laughed, right. But, you know, he was talking about the health disparities in how we as black people are dying. And I’ma be honest with you, I’m seeing black women die, mostly older women die, who may have underlying health issues, but I’m seeing a lot of young black men dying, you know, I’m saying young black men, I mean, like 40 and up 2030s all across my timeline. And if you’ve listened to my shows last year, where I’ve said numerous times how triggering This is to be in a world as a black woman unprotected without any men. You know, this is triggering for me. So I We literally had to like stop watching some of the things that I’ve been looking at online because, yeah, it’s hurtful to me to continue to see our black men die
because of poor health choices.
So everybody was upset.
Yeah, Michelle sender who I love shout out to her from PBS. She’s a journalist. She, she got in his behind and she was like, Listen, you know, you made a comment about black people using us using drugs and smoking and needing to be healthier. And you know, black people are upset with that and said it was offensive and what about that? But here’s, here’s, here’s, here’s the thing. We have to have a conversation about not telling our business We have already had conversations about not telling our business in mixed company but it’s it’s all they talked about on the news last week as well as black people dying. Why is black people dying? What about people dying? Black people are dying because of many different reasons. Yes, there’s racism. And I’m not glossing over that institutionalized racism. There’s community racism where we get to live at
inner city problems, pollution, where we work, the fact that we’re more essential workers poverty, probably taking the train
we live in in in situations that are unhealthy for us. Some of that we cannot control But as a therapist, right, I often work with my clients from a strength perspective. I sympathized and I still do I sympathize with the Surgeon General because while it was painful to watch him, say the things that he said on TV with the racist president present, right? It felt like he was blaming black people and our behavior for us getting sick with There are numerous reasons why we would be susceptible to getting COVID but my problem with us and myself included is Sometimes we make habitual choices that are not keeping us safe. And when we don’t take the power and we are not empowered to make choices that impact our health negatively when we are not blind to the history of this country in the fact that we normally are not cared for or cared about by this nation.
Why aren’t we trying to do better?
If I was
no as a no no, because I am also say if I was black, ciao, I’m tired. Me being a black woman who knows that my son has asthma. I’ve been in my house now for five weeks. If you know anything about me, like I like being in the house now, but you Anybody who knew me previously would be like, no, I used to go outside and party from Sunday to Sunday, there was not a date or time that I didn’t know where something was popping, and I would be there. So, Wow, I can’t get up and do the things that I like to do like go to the grocery store and run the streets and get pretty go outside like I got my house got number clothes in it.
And so, what I like to do those things,
what really triggered me knowing the Tuskegee experiment, knowing Henrietta Lacks story, knowing the disparity in care when the reports came out of Italy,
they were the doctors were deciding who got to give ventilators based on if they thought They would have a good quality of life or longevity of life. I was like, Oh, now I gotta I gotta not I gotta get this thing. Because if it’s up to to a white Doctor Who is not culturally competent to decide whether or not I get to live, or somebody that looks like them get to live, I don’t I don’t I don’t trust them to make the correct decision. I can’t get sick. Like, I can’t get sick if I gotta leave this up to somebody else who may not look like me to decide on the value of my existence in order to save my life. There’s no way in fuck I was going to allow myself to get sick. Now I’m not saying I’m not gonna get it because we don’t seem to know how you get it or not get it, but I got eight masks. I look like a plump fool Going out there to walk my dog I got hand sanitizer and bleach and everything I’m spraying down everything my friend comes in the house is like, I look like that lady on the news, Lysol, everything I just add, we can’t get sick. Because I just don’t trust that I’m going to I’m going to get a doctor who really truly cares about me and my struggle and my my plight, and they may not know that I have a master’s degree or that I went to good school, a good school or that I serve my community, or that I’m a mental health advocate, or that I’m a good mother or that I want awards, or that whatever, he may just see the color of my skin and just be like, Nah, Imma give this opportunity to somebody else. I can’t allow it.
Like we we need to be vigilant
about our safety. And we need to do every single thing in our power to make sure that this shit don’t get us don’t Get us don’t get our families that don’t come in our households.
while I understand the outrage of why people were upset that the Surgeon General told all our fitness out in front of the white folk, I also understand that if I was in his position I don’t give a shit what room I was in, I only I would only be speaking to us. If I was in any position of power, and we were the ones on the line, I would be finding a way to speak to us. And I would be trying to find a way to make our issues in the forefront. And black people are so used to having to make something out of nothing and using survival as part of our story, so Sometimes we forget to be proactive. And this is a time that our survival skills needs to kick in but there’s also a time where we need to be premeditated about our health and the things that we can control
with that said I’m still in his house stress eating
my exercise bike has clothes on it, like it’s like it’s it’s a clothesline
I’m probably gonna have to dust that off.
But I’ve been making better food choices with what I’ve been eating since I’ve been in the house and I’ve been doing things that I needed to do to take my vitamins and try to remain as healthy as I possibly can. I just I cannot afford for a culturally competent a culturally incompetent doctor to decide whether or not I get to live ism versus somebody else, because they’re not enough ventilators or there’s not enough albuterol or there’s not enough treatments. Well, for me to go outside and have somebody tell me, oh, go back home I’m going to eight other hospitals I’m not I’m not taking no for an answer if I’m sick. I’ma let them arrest me something like we have to start being proactive about our health in the stories that I’m hearing. Is is scary. But it’s frustrating because some of us have just given up too easily. And I’m not blaming the victim at all. Understand what it’s like to be frustrated and get discouraged and be turned away. But it’s life or death out here. And too many of us are dying and it’s us. The same one of us that joked about this and called it the Rona. Me I was calling it well known Meet as us, but I was also
cleaning my house like I was a nut
in washing my hands eight times a day
and make a mask for my family.
Like I need you guys to be safe it to be proactive out there not just if you have an underlying condition you may be asymptomatic you stay in your home. Stop mixing and mingling with with old people if you don’t have to do what you need to do to keep yourself safe because we got to be in it. To fight this fight. We got to be present in order to really do the things that we need to do to succeed as a people. And we hurt and right now we are really hurting and we all need a healing and so Hope you guys are being safe. I hope that your families are all well. I hope that we learn lessons that we need to learn from this. I hope that we are taking away the takeaways that we need to take away I hope that we are slowing down and being present and being as active as we possibly can, in this moment, and resting whenever we need to.
And I really want us to be kind to ourselves. I’m gonna keep saying it every week because I need you to be kind to yourself. This is a time of transition. This is a time of resurrection. This is a time for us to be investing in harvesting. And so I really hope that we all emerge better stronger wiser and changed for the better by this situation but you know we really truly things are going to be different when when this is over with
you guys be be well
thank you guys for listening to another episode of black therapists podcast once again you could follow us on all our social media sites at Black therapists podcast on Instagram and on Twitter as well as lack in therapy on Facebook or you can follow your host me Miss m s ni k i think on Instagram and Twitter as well as you can find out any information about me at Nikita N ik I ta banks.com and on the show’s website laughs therapists podcast calm and don’t forget if you want to send us any general feedback Show suggestions, show topics for gap ideas, please feel free to drop us an email at Black therapists [email protected] Thank you