On this episode we talk about being honored by the Congressional research for institute for social work policy awarded Black Therapist Podcast Host Nikita Banks, LCSW with the Outstanding social worker in business for her work on Black Therapist Podcast. Also on this episode we broadcast an unpublished interview With Dr Frances Richards where she interviews our host about why you need to invest in your mental wellness.
I am Brooklyn based psychotherapist Nikita Banks and I am your host of The Black therapist podcast the black therapist podcast the podcast where we discuss the unique issues people of color faith when dealing with mental health issues and mental health diagnosis. If you would like to reach out to us for feedback or show suggestions show topics, please feel free to contact us at blackberry podcast at gmail. com you can listen to new or past episodes on SoundCloud, Apple podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, I Heart Radio and Google Play. If you are having trouble listening to us on your preferred platform, or if you want us to be on a platform that we’re not currently on, make sure that you send us a private message on our Instagram page at Black therapists podcast or you can just drop us a message or send us an email at back therapists podcast com. If you want insider tips, resources and access to our free mental health course make sure that you text get happy to 66866 and my new book, finding happy seven steps to relationships that will not steal your joy is available right now on Amazon, go to our website or go to our Instagram pages and click the link and purchase because we want to help you get your relationships together for 2018. And beyond these 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 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, hey, hey,
Oh, my God.
I’m looking at her. But is that a thing? No.
So welcome to another episode of black therapists podcast, I promised you an episode last week. And then like all hell
broke loose. So I’m
last week I was going to be away. But I told you guys that I was going to give you like a mini episode of a previous interview that I did. And
I’m gonna actually
cheat a little bit because I’m going to give you that interview tonight, where I did an interview on.
I’m not really sure which interview I’m going to play. So it’ll be a surprise to us, both of us
when this episode comes out, but I did an interview about my book. And so that’s what we’re going to talk about today. But I have some some news. So last week, I was celebrating with friends and family shout out to Cynthia she had my
friend had a
really big birthday. So last Saturday night I went out. And then on Sunday morning, I had to go down to DC to go to the black girls rock concert, shout out to Beverly bonds, and Jazmine Sullivan. And like Healy
oh my gosh, moo, moo,
how that’s the way to say her name. But I saw her twice. And she’s like, amazing. So everybody get out and, you know, type those names into the Google.
I was watching something where somebody called it the Google.
Oh, a movie on Netflix.
So there’s that. But um,
so yeah, like I
traveled and spent a lot of family time last weekend. And so I was not on podcast. And I wasn’t traveling with like a computer or anything. So I didn’t have anything to like upload or do the show, or whatever. I just chilled. And so
that was fun. Except for all of the traveling. And then when I came back,
I got Right, right, right back to work.
And Saturday, night, Saturday, Friday, before
my weekend jumped off, I got an email that said that I actually use won the
award for the Congressional
Research Institute of Social Work policy, I always screw it up. So if I screwed it up, please pardon me, outstanding social worker in business. So this week, I will be going back down to DC to go to Congress to accept my work. And I just want to shout out everybody who took the time out to vote for me, who took the time out to listen to this show who was on our mailing list all of my clients, my business partners, I know everybody because I could not be in practice. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have the courage to continue to do the show. Without you and I wonderful black therapists podcast, you know, the the work that I do here, and it was very inspiring to be in that space. And I could recall the first time I went to Congress, to advocate for Social Work policies with Chris. And my mother who works across the street from Congress after I was like, marching up and down, I say marching. But going in and out of the hallways of Congress. And going through all of the tunnels is like senators buildings in one part of it. And you go through the tunnels to get to like the Rayburn buildings where the Congress is going to see like all of my representatives, and you may have like Brooklyn here and like Texas here, and then another Brooklyn in a whole nother building. But after doing that, and walking in heels last time, I will not be doing the hills. This time, my mother asked me what was I doing there. And my response to her was that I kept the light I keep the lights on, because these are my tax dollars. And I know I told the story on this podcast before. But previously, when I went there, I’m not sure if it was the last time or the time before the last time I went there because I went to Congress twice, to advocate for social media policies. There was a line down the block and around the corner. I mean, these are hallways, but it was like really, really long, like New York city blocks. And it was a line of black people. And I was like, What is this line. And it was a bunch of people who were from Ethiopia. And they had come there to meet with members of Congress in order to push for a resolution for a genocide that was going on in their country.
And it made me think about
how much of us do not know who our state representatives are, who are not interested in civics lessons who are not voting, who are not participating who are not doing the things that we need to do to make sure that we are counted and that we matter. And so when I went to Congress the first time it was like, really scary to me, because I was like, Damn, why is there so many people here with like, cowboy hats on who like super white and like Nino, mad people with cowboy hats and stuff, and I was like, I feel unsafe. This is like triggering to me. But there weren’t a lot of brown people, there weren’t a lot of black people in there. And so to know that I get to go to Congress this week. And there are so many more African Americans and women of colors and, you know, Hispanics, and, you know, up in the joint, and I get to get an award is like amazing. And so like I said, could not have done those things without you. But
to be honest, as tired
launching the T shirt line,
revamping the well starting the course, because people who have signed up to the finding happy course that has started so doing the coaching calls from the chorus doing the one on ones from the chorus and still having time to do the, you know, the marketing stuff. I’m like, tired. And I don’t that doesn’t even mention like my day job. And like,
my poor love life.
Shout out to him because he just, he makes things easier. But just like, you know, my dating life and my like my personal life and my son. He’s graduating from college in like three months, and coordinating, you know, his graduation. So I’m telling you guys right now there will be like a mid season hiatus coming and I’m not sure when I feel
I could probably take a midseason hiatus. I usually do it in the summertime.
But I’m just letting you guys know that one is coming. Another thing is, is that I’m going to
probably in April, things will slow down a little bit
more for me. So if there are any people that you think that I need to have on the podcast therapists, mental health professionals, wellness experts,
a grassroots organizer, social justice warriors, nonprofit or a non profit organize this,
that’s not a thing,
nonprofit owners, and you feel like the black therapist podcasts for place for them
their message, and that they can you know benefit from reaching our audience, please contact me if you have a product and or service that you think that I think will be in alignment with my brand. And you want to advertise on our social media right now we have happy and engaged 20,000 members or 20,000 followers on the my personal Instagram page. There are as of today 17,000. And today I mean, what is stays is March
17 2019. You see I don’t know what day it is it may be the 17th of may not as St. Patrick’s Day shout out to Irish people, even though they don’t give a shit about us.
I’m going to bother you added that out. Maybe. Um, but yeah, you know, at this point, and our podcast is growing, our downloads
are amazing. The numbers speak for themselves, the
I think with
all of my social media is combined, we’re probably at about 40,000 45,000.
So that is, you know, that’s, that’s the that’s a good look. So if you have a
brand that you believe is in alignment with my brand, please contact me at Black therapists podcast at gmail. com.
So you know,
I have a good in a vision for my business for the next
But I definitely have a golden a vision for my business over the next five years of where I want it to be. And so I’m really trying to put those plans in place to do those things. And if you are a therapist, and you hear the sound of my voice and you need some mentoring, you need some guidance, you need more information on how to grow your practice, how to launch a practice, how to grow your social media, how to do all those things, please feel free to contact me, as well as if you are a student, and someone that is interested in in coming into the practice of social work. And any kind of mental health profession, please feel free to contact me. So
each one teach one kind of night.
So today, I was able to go to wow
at Apollo Theater. So I actually went to brunch today went to Harlem. And if you know anybody from Brooklyn going to Harlem is like
It was like hi guy was like, oh my god.
It was it was a big deal.
But the women of color podcasts group and I’m hope I’m saying this right, I’m pretty sure that I’m scoring it up, because that’s just kind of where my mind is right now. But I was invited to meet up with these wonderful women who have podcasts,
women of color podcast groups, and we met at a wonderful little spot in Harlem. And then after that, we were able to go to the Apollo. And it was it was an amazing group of women, it was very nice to be able to, to meet a lot of different people and like, be with other podcasters and people that are really serious about podcasting and serious about their business. And then after that, we went to go to the Apollo and see April white Ryan,
who is she’s such a dope journalist.
And I was like yelling stuff at her
my box. Yeah, like really good seats, like right by the stage. I was like yelling stuff at her. And she was responding because she’s from Baltimore, shout out to Baltimore. And she’s like, be more careful. And I was like, Yes, that’s, that’s what it is. And so I’m at the event, she talks a lot about civic engagement, she talks a lot about, you know, holding your your own and holding your line in spaces, where you may be the only person of color and how, you know, she has to use, she has to have
in order to move around because of the attacks by you know, the white yellow, the white people’s president. And then dream Hampton was supposed to participate in some of the panels and she wasn’t able to come because she felt threatened. And she has to move because of the R Kelly documentary. And it’s just really sad. That we live in a world where truth is not celebrated as much as it should be. It’s really sad that we live in a world that we cannot.
We can’t highlight the truth in a way that it is it can be supported, and we should be.
It should be celebrated for the truth.
The truth used to be a good thing, and it’s not anymore. And I don’t want to get into a whole whole
thing about the truth. But I know that I’m going to meditate
on being able to hold
my truth in the spaces that I’m in
and and and after going to dinner shout out to Goody and target man talk podcast. After after going to the Apollo ended up going to dinner with one of my girlfriends. And we started to talk about like families and family systems and family dynamics and like problems that, you know, she and I both are experiencing with some members of our family who are struggling in their own ways, but are not able to properly articulate what the challenges are that they’re going through and how to resolve them. And what she asked me about, you know, somebody in my family that I had been struggling with,
she asked me if
she thinks if she if she thinks that she asked me if the person will stop what she is doing when she realize it isn’t successful. And what I told her was that hate usually doesn’t have an agenda,
it’s usually not about,
I’m going to hate somebody so that I can be successful, I’m going to hate them so that I feel secure. Even though insecure. When I’m with that person, I’m going to hate them or hate on them. So that I could pump myself up to make them feel like nobody says that out loud. Like it’s not really a thing that we want to think about in our mind. So we rationalize it, and we make it into something else. And what I ended up saying to her is the problem with
truth is that truth is different from facts. And a fact
is something just because it is. And the truth
is only seen through the perspective of the person who sees it as true or not true.
And so we come in, we live in a world where truth is,
can be bias.
truth can be skewed truth can be manipulated.
And that I can even say that truth, in fact, is
not the same thing, when indeed it should be. But
when because we’ve adopted this whole narrative of my truth.
By saying this is my truth, that means that it may be untrue to someone else, it may not be the truth for somebody else watching it.
And that becomes that becomes problematic.
But that also allows us to see other people who are struggling with their truth, and with their choices, and be a little bit more compassionate to them as we see them struggling.
I just want you guys to kind of move through the week thinking about people that you may be in conflict with thinking about people that you may need to forgive thinking about people who,
excuse me may need a little bit more of your compassion,
who may need a little bit more of your support,
who may actually just need some space from you. Who,
who we love, we have to love from a distance. So we have to love in spite of circumstances, and we have
to love anyway.
I just want you to try to think about
if that relationship is worth healing, if you can do the work required to heal that relationship,
or if that’s, you have to say a thank you. And no thank you. I forgive you. I love you anyway, but I’m gonna be over here when you’re ready. Because sometimes we can push too too far in a relationship, we can push somebody away. And they’re just simply not ready. But what a lot of people have to understand is that
just because you are ready to deal with me, when you are ready to deal with me, that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to deal with you
when you’re ready to deal with me.
And that we all have a choice of what we really want engage in. And so I just want you guys to go through your week, and ask yourself, this is what I’m engaging in right now, moving me towards the life that I deserve. Not the life that I say I deserve out loud, not the life that I say that I deserve, when I’m wearing
my you know, Ollie Express red bottoms right now the life
that I say I deserve when I have my Canal Street, Gucci bag, shout out to Canal Street,
and I don’t I don’t know any vendors on Canal Street anymore. But you know, like when you front and I’m not talking about that I’m talking about that
lit that desire, you have deep down inside of yourself that if you really think about it too long, it scares the hell out of you. Because you know that you have to grow
into that person
that you need to be in order to receive that thing. When I got nominated. I’m trying not to get emotional and get off of here. When I got nominated for this award.
It took a lot inside of me me to fight back.
The idea that I don’t believe I don’t, I don’t deserve it. And even
when I told my mother, like Yo, I won an award,
I didn’t ask her to vote for me, I didn’t
do anything like that. And that’s my partner to vote for me. I only told him after I won.
it took a lot in me to actually believe that I just I could compete.
It took a lot in me to say, you know,
I’m doing I’m doing good work in the community for you know, black people and black therapist and people who want to invest in their mental health and that I want other people to know about it. And and I want to accept and be celebrated, like I wasn’t gonna go to the ceremony.
why not, I feel very uncomfortable at times, a lot of my friends were coming up to me when I was out the other weekend.
And I looked fabulous, I’ll
say that I really love my outfit I like bought it like a month in advance and then like took forever to get here. So if you’re on my Instagram, please please show me some live. But um, I people coming up to me like I’m so proud of you. I’m so I’m so glad of the work that you’re doing. And I’m so impressed of who you become. And I’m inside man, I’m still I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that God has given me some of the things that I’ve asked for not even all of the just some of the things, a sliver, like, I’m still struggling to feel like I deserve it. So if you happen to be on my Instagram, or our Facebook page, and I go live on Wednesday, while I’m getting the word, please. I don’t know what I’m going to say. Like, as I’m thinking about it right now, like my knees are getting weak.
It doesn’t feel weird. I mean, doesn’t feel real.
And I feel like it feels weird to everybody. Because
when I talk about the word everybody’s like, so we’re getting the word, I’m like in Congress,
and like, wait a minute, what
I’m like you didn’t read it, like I’m going to the congressional building, like I’m gonna go to,
yeah, like a whole thing. And it’s like,
as I say it, it sounds crazy to me.
But I have to
I do deserve to have the good things that are all coming into my life.
And I have to believe
that somewhere deep down inside of me when I was struggling
honor myself, even when I allowed other people decide to me, and when I was struggling to make ends meet. And I was struggling to keep a roof over my head. And sometimes I didn’t have a roof over my head and I had to do things that I’m not,
I’m not ashamed of but I’m not
particularly proud of in my past,
I have to believe that I was able to endure all of those things for for the harvest that I’m reaping now. And so if you are also in the middle of a struggle, and you are going through something in your life, right now, I just want you guys know
that there is a little person and a little voice inside of you.
And it is telling you that you can make it and you can win. And that’s the thing that keeps you waking up in the morning. And that’s the thing that keeps you going. And that’s the thing that will help you navigate ash struggle every single day to like, go in my office, you know, with the keys and meet my clients and
meet them where they are.
And I see myself in them so much in their struggles. And that’s the the things that they’re going through and and I go to my therapist and be like, this is my week. And we you know, we laugh and we talk about it. And I get some things off my chest. But it’s just it’s
I can’t say I can’t believe it. Because I thought
that my life would
evolve in a different way. But I
am just I’m grateful.
And I’m thankful. I’m thankful. So if you’re listening to this show, right now, just know that I’m thankful
for you. I’m grateful for you for being here. And
I want you guys to live your life as if you deserve all of the good things coming to you.
Because even if you don’t believe you deserve it today, one day you will.
In on that note.
I’m going to get into this interview.
Hi family, friends and fans, Dr. Francis Richards here podcasts where we shine the light on the most successful black entrepreneurs. And we have an amazing Facebook Live video for today. And so absolutely, we want to bring Nikita on, approved. Hey, we’re waiting for Nikita to come on. Again, in line with our editorial calendar. We are focusing on health everything pertaining to health. Hey, Nikita, how are you?
Hi, how are you? I’m perfect.
Thanks for joining us on Facebook Live. Are you ready to drop some value bombs to our audience? and totally ready? All right. So as I mentioned, I was waiting for Nikita to get on. I’m Dr. Francis Richards with the host of black entrepreneur experience podcasts where we shine the light on the most successful black entrepreneurs. And we have Nikita Banks with us. She’s from Brooklyn, and we are so happy to have her she’s a therapist. She specializes. She’s an expert in love, respect and relationships, as well as mental illness. Hey, Maria, thanks for joining us. So, you know, Nikita, I have actually giving such a brief bio about you. Why don’t you fill in the blanks and share with our audience what you’d like them to know about you and your company.
I mean, I feel like everything that they would like to know about me or probably more than they want to know about me, they can find by listening to my podcast, which is called Black therapist podcast. And that’s on black therapists podcast.com and anywhere podcasts or are played. So we’re on an Apple, Google, etc, Stitcher, wherever you can find podcasts or where people listen to podcast. But I am a mom, I’m a business owner, I’m a black woman who’s faced a lot of mental health challenges in my in the path. thing, got no diagnosis, but just issues surrounding trauma challenges that I’ve had to deal with in life. And once I got help and conquered those, I decided that I was going to go back to school and become a therapist myself. So
and thanks for being so transparent about that and talk about your podcast, black therapists, and what is the chest of it? I know it sounds so easy to say okay, she’s a she’s a therapist, she’s African America. But why don’t you go into more detail? And how did that come about?
Well, I mean, initially, the The goal of the podcast was just to kind of let black people know that there were black therapists out there, and that they could actually get proactive mental health treatment. And when I say proactive, I mean prior to something happening. In in going to school and knowing that I wanted to go into private practice, my challenge was, my audience, and my audience, for me was primarily black women and black families, I felt like if I could change the narrative, around mental health in the way we view getting mental health treatment, then I would be able to actually tap into my ideal audience. And so part of that had to first start with educating the audience that I was looking for, to let them know that there are black therapists out there, you can proactively come to us to get life skills and strategy, we don’t just do diagnosing, and push you to situation where you’re going to get drugs or have to take drugs. This is really truly about having life skills and strategies that will help you overcome your challenges. And that’s what I found in therapy. And I wanted to kind of let people know that that’s something that we be able to utilize to navigate the life’s challenges that we have.
So in 2018, do you find that the the narrative for mental health and the African American community the black diaspora is, do you think it’s, it’s more open for the dialogue in the conversation? Or do you think that it’s still challenging, in reference to getting us help?
Um, yes, and no, I think that for me, I have to kind of educate and combat
perspectives. So a lot of people have like negative or
myth perspectives on what they think mental health is. And so just kind of having those conversations I do a lot of speaking by, you know, do a lot of podcast, you asked me to come in and show and so being service of the community, nine times out of 10, if my schedule is is open, I’ll show up, because the conversation has to happen. And so for a lot of people, and you know, even in my own family, going to school and becoming a therapist, you would think that people would be happy that I’ve invested in myself and invested in my education, but I’ve gotten a lot of pushback ground from family members, some peoples are all just because you read a book, you don’t know, you don’t know everything, or some people feel like, you know, you should you should pray or have faith. I mean, there are so many stereotypes or or ideas, negative ideas, and maladaptive ways that we’ve learned to deal with stress, and deal with our challenges that whenever you get healthier, there’s going to be pushback. So I expected it in a way. But from some of the members of my family who are higher educated, who have done self work, who have invested in themselves, I didn’t expect to get the pushback from them. So it is it is a challenge and just being able to kind of have the conversations to, to challenge the narratives is, is ongoing.
So what would you say is Nikita the biggest myth that you have to dispel in your industry?
industry? No, committee, the biggest myth is this idea that you have to suffer through life. I think that for me when I was depressed, and I was unhappy, and I was dissatisfied in life, and when I use the word depressed, I mean, clinically, like I had clinical depression. But when I was depressed, and I was definitely dissatisfied with life, and there was a longing to do to do things differently. The people that I was speaking to about it, they felt the same way. So it just felt like being dissatisfied with life and not getting what you want was just kind of the norm. And so this kind of having these conversations with other women that know you don’t have to suffer to being with the man for, you know, 810 1520 years, before he decides that he wants to marry you know, you don’t have to be the ride or die girl, and go through all the struggles and challenges in order for, you know, you to end up with the prince or getting the prize. No, you don’t have to jump through all these hoops. In order to get a life that you deserve. You just need to have the strategies, and the vision and the action plan to execute. And being able to overcome the challenges and face them head on. That’s what you have to have. But a lot of us we get caught up in our pain, and we get caught up in the trauma and we get some of us get addicted to the struggle.
And how do you get out of that?
That getting help?
You know, we have to I think that depression, or when I like now I’m using it in a euphemism. And I’m going to keep clarifying. Because like when people say, Oh, she has she’s on her period, she has bipolar disorder. There’s a clinical diagnosis to these words that I’m using. But then there’s this the way that we use it in community. And so I think like sadness, or general dissatisfaction that we interpret as depression, they are they have a purpose. And that purpose is to let us know that what we’re doing is not in alignment with our purpose, like this is probably not it. And we have to do something differently or learn something differently in order to get a different kind of life.
And you know, Nikita, I was reading your background, and you’ve done a lot in terms of relationships, and love and respect. And you have you You did a program or around single women. Correct. And then you have a program for men. Out of all the work that you’re doing, where do you find the greatest need, or the greatest passion for you? Where are you putting your heart and soul right now, when it comes to relationships?
Well, I mean, I recently designed the program, which is called finding happy seven steps to relationships that don’t steal your joy. And we’re launching one may 3, which is a next two weeks. And so I’m super excited about about that program, getting the one on ones together, getting the workbook done, we have an extensive workbook, you know, weekly check ins. And it’s it’s it’s a very meaty program, and pricing it in a way that a lot of people would, you know, black people and people of color people who are made have challenging finances would still be able to afford it. And so I think that is necessary that we change the narratives with women. Because you know, black women, we want our communities, you know what I’m saying we are the backbones of our communities. And if you can change the life of a woman, you can change the life of a family. And that’s, that’s really what I want to focus on.
So finding your happy is it primarily for women, or is that the client that you’re going after primarily women for that
is designed with black women in mind, or women of color in mind is very culturally responsive. And there are a lot of programs out there that people can probably go and get, but this one is designed for us by us. And it’s literally a culturally inclusive, so it’s not, we’re not excluding anyone who wants to be in the program, I would love for men to be in the program. But you know, unfortunately, not a lot of men are making these kinds of investments. And, you know, it’s a number dating is a numbers game. So for women, women need specific kind of strategies to be able to kind of, we do our vetting process and making sure that we’re able to figure out which people are the ones that we want to and should have access to our lives. Whereas men, they can kind of just kind of stumbled through relationships and be as successful as they want to be or are not unsuccessful as they want to be just because there are more women out there. Men put themselves out there a lot more.
And you think like with, and I’m talking about 28 teen, you don’t find that one and put themselves out there, I think I’m thinking about back in the day, women were less out there. But to me, they appear to be like more out there. And that could be a misnomer for me, you know, because I’m just thinking about, it just seemed like women are a lot more bolder than back in the day, in my day, it was more like wanting the men to pursue you. So it just seems like that has changed. And so I want you I’ve been totally out of the dating scene for many, many years. So I could be wrong. So I want you to clarify for the audience.
I think women still want men to pursue them. I think that the lack of male role models in the household is kind of RP, the way that relationships work. Back in the days, fathers and brothers would teach their daughters how to engage in certain ways with men and behaviors. Whereas, you know, fathers would also do that for their sons. And so the absence of those conversations, people are just trying to find their own way. What we do know is that, you know, head of a sexual couples, men are attracted to women, women are attracted to men, and they just kind of navigate into the dark, in order to find their ways to one another. But um, I think that women are kind of putting themselves out there a lot more. I don’t think that a lot of women are putting themselves out there with a purpose. And not a lot of women are putting themselves out there where they have a vetting process that allows them to weed out the muck that is available in the community. And so if you’re looking for a man with a passion, particular type, or partner with a particular type of, you know, set of values and qualities and attributes that you think would make for a great life, because you’re looking for forever partner. And that’s usually what I’m talking about, you’re looking for a forever partner, you need to be thinking about their their qualities, and a lot more than just superficial things.
And what would you say, Nikita, that we will talk about this? Set the latter part of our conversation too. But you had mentioned about your program that’s going to launch for women of color in May, if someone is interested in finding out, you know, they want more information about the program? How do they connect with you in reference to that?
Well, they could text get happy. GT Well, you know how to spell good, happy. So always spelling my name, but get happy 266866. Or they can go into my website, Nikita and IKITA, Banks calm and there should be a signup form there.
Give us one value bomb about really getting to your happiness, because one of the definitions back in the day that they would say happiness is about what’s happening. Right? So how do you really get to your that happy, that happy moment where I look at it, if you’re in a happy space, you’re just enjoying life, you know, you’re living life with a purpose. You’re living life with a plan your living life with a passion. And so if you’re a void of that happiness, it’s just like you’re living a life kind of like a default. You know what I’m saying? You don’t have a plan. Talk to us about your specific, how do you define getting to your happy? And what does that look like?
me happiness is a verb, it’s an action word, it’s something that you have to do and plan and make arrangements to have an invite in your space is something that you have to it’s a boundary that you have to create around the people, places and things that you allow to have access to you. And so for me, happiness is a decision that I make every single day when I allow someone to have access to my space. Happiness to me is being able to pick and choose what clients that I work with. Happiness for me is being able to decide whether I want to sleep in late today. Or if I don’t if I want to eat healthy, or if I don’t, you know, happiness is a decision. And I think that a lot of people don’t think of it that way. I think that people think that happiness is something that is afforded to you, or is given to you. Or like you said, it’s what’s happening. If I thought that happiness was what was happening to me, that takes the power away from me, and it gives it to whomever or whatever. It leaves me at someone else’s mercy and will. Whereas happiness is something that I decide that I want to have. And I want to invite into my space. And I it’s a line that I draw. If it’s going to cause me my happiness and my peace that is this way too much of a price.
You know, Nikita, I’m thinking I’m listening to the conversation, I’m in the audience. And I’m saying, Wow, yeah, I want what Nikita is saying, I want happiness. I’ve had a lot of trauma. I’ve had a lot of hurt in my life, I have a lot of pain. I’m dealing with a lot of emotions, trying to let go of this, this man who was actually I’m thinking he’s mine, but he’s with somebody else. But I’m still claiming that he’s mine. Nikita, can I get to my happiness? Help me get to my happiness? Is it possible?
What you have to make a decision? Do you want that man? Or do you want your man? Do you? Do you want to be in a relationship with the man who’s in a relationship with someone else? Is that temporary? Happiness is that long term happiness? And what are you willing to sacrifice to get to what you want? It’s all sacrifices work. And a lot of people look at a sacrifice sacrifice as a deficit or something I’m giving up. But sacrifice all it is is work. So are you willing to not have a intimate relationship with this temporary man in order to get your forever? Man? That’s a decision you have to make?
And can that person that’s in that space? Can they really be in the state of happiness? If they get that person is not really they’re total person? Does that make sense? If it’s there? If it’s like, if they’re the side chick? Can they really be in a space of happiness? Or is it altering their mind to think they’re in a space of happiness?
To answer the question, yes, they can be in a state of happiness. Because just because you are having a First of all, I mean, we grown, having an intimate relationship with somebody, it it was sponsored, and it pleases our chemical receptors and our brain. So it’s no different than having a taste of chocolate, or having a head of cocaine, you know, depending on what you into, you know, I mean, it feels good. So if you want to just be in the moment, and you want to have those kinds of relationships, this is a judgment free zone. However, if what you say you want it is you want to be in a loving, committed relationship, that you have a partner forever, is that in alignment with where you say you want your life to go. And that’s the decision that you have to make. And I would never tell somebody, I have clients who come to me who make all kinds of life decisions. It’s not up to me to judge, but it is up to me to work with them to decide if this is what you’re doing, what you’re doing is in alignment with what you say you want. And if it’s not, then you may have to make modifications, you may have to stop. But in the moment, if you are the only thinking for right now, and you only think it for whatever I have, and I’m not going to judge you.
Nikita, tell us three truths that you’ve learned since being an entrepreneur.
Wow, that’s a bad question is hard, but it’s hard. It’s hard. The work never ends. There’s always something to learn. And
I’m completely consumed by the by the journey of making my business the best that it can possibly be. So I’m so overwhelmed, and fulfilled unfulfilled in a great way. That I’m, I love my life. So I mean, those are, those are my troops right now. But there’s always something to do.
And if you had to do it all over again, would you go the route of a therapist, in terms of in terms of the business?
Uh, yeah, I’m living in my purpose. I’m living on purpose. I love what I do. I can’t, at this point in my life, see myself doing anything else. If you were to ask me, you know, years ago, if I can go back and change my future, that’s a whole nother conversation. But you know, what I’m doing right now is what I what I feel like I was born to do I feel like was why I had the trauma that I had is why that I had the struggles that I had to be able to kind of be a blessing for my people. So yeah.
Tell us take us on that journey, that aha moment that you knew that crossing the road, where you knew that you had to make a change from, and I want to know, what were you doing prior to going into this great work of becoming a therapist.
Um, I feel like all of my journeys led to each other. So I was a writer. my undergrad is in communications, which thing God because I needed doing what I’m doing now. But my undergrad was in communications. I worked for many years as a public public relations and public relations. And I was a publicist, I worked for a lot of athletes and bunch of people. And they will call them me from all hours of the night Chad, loans, I felt like a therapist anyway. And, you know, then I fell into my depression, had a period of time where my boyfriend was killed. I was facing eviction, and I was hit by a drunk driver. And it’s like, all in the span of 18 months was fighting with my family. And I had fallen into a deep, deep depression. And I kind of got out of that situation, meaning that I was like, stable, and I was in my own home, and I was doing okay. But mentally, I was so exhausted from just surviving all of the trauma, everything that I survived, I could not get my footing. And so I think for like, another few years, I was depressed. And then I kept telling my friends, I’m sad, I’m sad. And when my real life comes, this is going to happen, and I’m gonna make this kind of change, and this is gonna happen, but I didn’t know how to get out of it. And so I had my birthday, I don’t know, if it was my 30th, for something around that time, I had my birthday. And I went to my doctor, and I just asked for a referral to all of these doctors. And, you know, I was like, you know, I need a podiatrist and a dermatologist, a therapist. And, you know, I was like blood put black people don’t go to therapy. And she was like, Well, I’m glad you’re progressive. And so, I went, and I, I tried the, you know, the process of getting a therapist, and it was amazing. You know, I got a lot of life strategies. And after going for a few months, I was like, I think I want to do what you do. At that time, I was a relationship blogger. And I was still working as a writer, I wrote for ESPN and several other publications at the time, but I was like, really going hard with blogging at the time, as I was like, rather than me being a relationship blogger and really not know what I’m talking about, how about I go back to school, and figure out like strategies on how to resolve relationship issues. And so that led me here. So I’m back to designing of relationship programs for women of color. But, you know, I’m still in private practice, I still see clients on a psych ward every day. And so, yeah, I’m glad that I, my life is kind of taking this journey. But I feel like it’s gone, gone. The way it was supposed to go. And it’s all been like a learning process. I started out being a writer. I’m sitting here, copywriting right now and writing for the book. And so I felt like all of my careers were intertwined.
How do you vet for therapists? So someone is saying, I’m hearing her? Some things are resonating with me, and you mentioned at the beginning of the interview get help? How do you go about getting help? And do you find that it’s more, you know, like, if someone is interested in doing work with you, do you do in virtual or are you only doing it face to face. So I have
different ways that you could come and see me specifically, you can work with me in the program, which is finding happy, there is a another course that’s actually free on my website, it’s called get mentally fit. And in that course, we talked about how you find a therapist, I think there’s seven ways that you can find a therapist is one of the videos that is up there. And it will teach you different ways to get a therapist as well as some free options. I think that there’s this myth that therapy is is expensive. And it can be you know, if you come to me for a business coaching or for coaching, Relationship Coaching, it can it can kind of be up there. But, you know, there are other ways that you’ll be able to, like utilize professional advice, whether that’s coming to me or coming to others. And I think the first thing to answer your question, the thing that you really need to think about is your energy. And asking if the person is culturally responsive, what I liked about my therapist who was not black, I think that there is this narrative that black people should only go to black people. And yes, that that is definitely a value. Service, there are not a lot of black therapists are not enough to go around, there are a lot. But there are enough, they’re not enough to go around. If you call your insurance company and say, Hey, I’m looking for a therapist, they’re only going to give you whoever’s in network, they’re not going to give you somebody based on race or color. Obviously, that’s discrimination. But you can go on a site like Psychology Today, you can see your therapists and read them read read their bios and stuff like that. A lot of people say my bio resonates with them off of there, I get a lot of clients from Psychology Today, there are services like therapy for Black Girls, as well, as you know, that black social workers, they have a direct reason a lot of online directories where you be able to kind of find culturally responsive therapist. So for me, it wasn’t, race wasn’t as important to me as strategies. And my first therapy session with my, my therapist, he told me, Look, if I like you, I’m going to keep you if I don’t like you, I’m gonna send you to somebody who I think can help you. And I was like, because I never even thought about it big of a typical relationship. Like he actually has to like reorder work with me. But as a therapist, yes, I have to like you, and want to help you. It’s a very intimate relationship. So if you go to your first session, and you don’t feel any kind of connection, and that’s that’s happened with me, I’ve had clients call me and say, You know what, I’ve come to you, I think you’re wonderful, I think you’re great. But I didn’t feel the connection with you. And I’m like, That’s amazing. That’s great. I’m glad you told me, let me know if I can help you get to somebody else that you connect with. Because it’s extremely intimate. People tell me things that they don’t tell their spouses, they do tell their mothers, they don’t tell the clergy, they don’t tell anybody, you know, I’m invited into the unpleasantness of someone’s mind. And you have to be comfortable with that. And so for me, although my, my, my therapist wasn’t black, he was he so hood, and he kept it real, and he was straight. And he grew up in the projects. And he liked, I like he gets me culturally. And as a white man, he could also his view of life and of the world was completely different than mine. But it was what I want it. And so he’s like, I grew up in poverty, I have a lot of money. Now I can tell you having money is better. And I’m like, I need to learn those kinds of strategies. So now that I’m on the other side of it, I look at it from both perspectives. But there are times you know, I have I have white clients who come to me all the time, but because I know so much about the community. And I know so much about some of the challenges that they go through. Like, they’ll say, Thanks, me, and then I’ll be like, what is that? And they’re like, Oh, I just assumed, you know, because you know, everything. But, you know, you really want to have somebody that’s culturally responsive to you. And you don’t want to have to explain micro aggressions. So you don’t want to have to explain what it’s like, you know, being the angry black woman at work, but you don’t want to have to explain what it’s like, be the only black person in an environment you want somebody who actually understands this, this particular challenges that happens in your community.
You know, Nikita, I was having this conversation with a friend today. And I was saying, you know, as, as parents, we have children. And, you know, I think about this bundle of joy comes into the, into the world, and we all desire to do the best that we can for our children. And I was had a conversation a week ago with a young man who exactly what you’re talking about, just an angry black man. And I was sharing with him. And I know a little bit about his history, and I’m just seeing so much pain. And, and he was just like, I’m not an angry black man. I’m an independent man, yet he’s homeless, and he’s trying to get his funny. And so how do you help somebody like that? And, and so the message is, I’m thinking about parenting. And as parents, we bring so much trauma, and so much baggage, and so much poison to our children. And we are not even aware of the damage that we’re doing. But I do want to do a caveat on that and not make it like everything is gloom or do they are some positive that we bring to the table, there are some parents who are very conscientious, who are trying to do the right thing for their kid, I’m talking about, a lot of times we are walking into this unconsciously parenting our kids, and that trauma doesn’t show up for 510 1520 years later, and that person is under it is in so much pain. And so everyone that that person comes in contact with it, he’s he or she is just lashing out, because and they don’t even know why. They don’t even know why they’re angry, you know, they bring up certain events that have happened in their lives, you know, how do you communicate with somebody like that, and, and then your heart just bleeds, knowing that they’re in so much pain.
I mean, it depends on if there is a pathology there, it depends on if there was a diagnosis there, too, we so fixated and stuck on certain traumas that happened to your life without being able to move forward. That means that it’s kind of mustache to ties in your brain. And it is, you know, a cancer in your life. And so you kind of have to see if that person wants help if they’ve identified that they need help, and figure out a way to do that. But when you talk about the parenting piece, and the traumas that we put off on our children, you kind of have to think about why we’re not doing our own self work. As I told you, before, my parenting was, was guided by my child, my child actually had to tell me how to parent, but I’m, you know, a little New Agey and progressive, that I even thought to my kid, well, what kind of mommy Would you like to have? You know, but having those questions and being fluid with our children, and being able to take responsibility for the pain that we inflict on our children is something that’s a necessity. You know, My son is a great kid, he’s never given me a day’s worth of problems, gone to the best schools in college right now on scholarship. But when he had challenges, communicating certain things to myself and his dad, I sent him to therapy, not because I think that there’s anything wrong with him. But because I wanted him to have the additional skills and support to be able to communicate what he wanted to communicate with us whether he felt like it was going to hurt our feelings or not. And for us to be able to have the strategies to be able to move forward with him, learning that we need to make modifications in our parenting and in our behaviors in order to have a better relationship with our kids.
Very good. Nikita, we have been on for a minute, I thank you so much for joining us on black entrepreneur experience on the Facebook Live, you have dropped some amazing value bombs. I just feel like I’m sitting in the living room with my best friend. And we’re like coast to coast. And so you have just been wonderful. In closing, why don’t you give our audience a parting piece of advice?
Well, first, I want to thank you for having me, you know, this is the second time we’ve had a chat. And I am going to a gala later on today. So I’m like half dressed and half made up. Um, but I you know, I just want your listeners to know that happiness is your birthright Happiness is your destiny. Happiness is something that you can claim and own. And you can shout from the rooftops that you want. You don’t have to be ashamed to say, you know what, I really want to leave this life and be in this life and navigate this life as a happy woman or as a happy man. Or as you know, I have a happy family and have a loving situation. I think that for whatever reason, or whenever happiness and like love have become dirty words. And I want for us to understand that that these are attainable things if we make the decision to do what we need to do to invest in that process. And so, you know, I wish everyone happiness, I wish everyone peace and prosperity. And I know that it’s not an easy thing to get to, especially when you’re struggling to make ends meet, you know, a lot of us are at the bottom of the rung of the things that we need to do. But once you get above that survival mode, and you start to make better decisions in order to know that you are in control of what you manifest in your life. And for some of us that can be like Lord, I like I bought this on myself. Or you can look at it actively to know You know what, I can change my thinking, change my behavior and change my life.
And you know, it’s so funny that when you were talking about that the first thing I thought about was our green love and happiness.
Yeah, I love that song.
Yeah, I’m like really dating myself right like love and happiness, and Al Green. So you know what tell our audience again how they can reach out to you and if they’re interested in taking advantage of your program that’s going to launch next month, the best way for them to do that and I want to before you do that, thank our listeners for joining. And if you this is on the replay, send some shout out in love to Nikita she’s done an amazing job and we just love love love her. So why don’t you tell them how they can take advantage of your amazing program that is about to launch
whether you can text and get happy to 66866 or you can just drop me an email at in Banks at Nikita and IKITA Banks BANKF. com or you can reach out on the website Nikita Banks com I am on Instagram Miss and IKI Banks and last therapist podcast on Instagram as well. So the podcast is everywhere I talk about a lot I think this week’s show I talk about thinking of black woman and why we have to create safe spaces for women of color to be able to think each other and the firm one another without it being a threat to others or it’s a loafers and so you know I talked about the I talk about the challenges and mental health issues people of color face and people who have mental health diagnosis on there. And so as I stated my goal on the podcast outside of giving you you know a glimpse of me and my mental health challenges and the things that I’ve haven’t had to overcome challenge I had to overcome and navigate the things I’m still overcoming and navigating because just because you learn a skill that doesn’t mean that lifelong throw you challenges you just have to know how to whether those storms and so I talked about that on the podcast as well as provide resources and tips for people of color. Get happy is our new program. I mean finding happy is our new program launching may 3 and get mentally fit is a free program that’s up right now and you can go on there and I talked about in that program ways that you’ll be able to find a therapist ways that you can deal with a new new diagnosis and ways you can support family members who are dealing with mental health issues and challenges as well.
Nikita Banks have an amazing time at the gala tonight and thank you so much for joining us and we will chat later let us know if you have any other launches or anything else happening and you know we will support you have an amazing day.
Thank you so much for having me
here. Bye bye.
Hey guys, I want to thank you for listening to another episode of black the
podcast and be well thank you guys for listening to another episode of The Black therapist podcast once again you can follow us on all our social media sites at Black therapist podcast on Instagram and on Twitter as well as black in therapy on Facebook or you can follow your host me Miss MSNIK I think on Instagram and Twitter as well as you can find out any information about me at Nikita and IKITA Banks calm 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 topic for guest ideas please feel free to drop us an email at Black therapist podcast at gmail. com Thank you be well