“I just was seeing a therapist. Maybe I could live without? Didn’t I learn a lot? Do I have to go back to therapy?”

These are all questions that run through my head as I traverse the no-fun path of finding a new therapist. My beloved therapist took a new academic position that will keep her from seeing clients anymore. Yet, I KNOW, I am better with a therapist to process. As a minister I hold a lot of folk’s stories of trauma and having that person to process with is infinitely helpful. I also KNOW, I come from a family lineage full of trauma and grief. I KNOW that pain travels in bloodlines and repeats in generations. I KNOW that my physical body holds sad, melancholy, unfair, and violent acts I have been witness to, endured, and experienced cellularly. Like the book I highly recommend by Bessel van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score, I KNOW my body holds these experiences cellularly.

Thus, I carry on, trying to find out who I can see for therapy. Do they take my insurance? Can I afford them? Do they have openings? Are they a good match for the next things I want to address and learn?

I know it is hard to find a therapist, doctor, or spiritual director. I know it is vulnerable and irritating. I also know, I am better for it and you will be too when you and your loved ones find the right match to help you navigate life. I keep telling folks you need a team. We all need a team. Rev. Suzelle and I can be members of your team, as can this church and your chalice circles and so many others, but it really helps to have a full team on board to help us navigate the changing ways of life.

Nothing much feels easy these days in a pandemic. Everything seems to take longer. Hours change, products run out of stock, places close, service is slow. Our world is changing. While it always has been changing, WE KNOW the pace of change, the isolation, the fear that is in the world is different. That on top of those of us with a family lineage that holds trauma or mental illness, getting help is more imperative than ever. We all need a team.

My answers to myself are, “You learned a lot, and yes you benefit from therapy.” So I continue on, working to find a new person to be my helper in processing these things. If you too are wondering if you need a therapist, I am happy to help you discern that as well as other big questions. Our faith can help guide us. Make an appointment by emailing me. I am happy to help accompany you as you discern tough questions in life. I can be on the team. If you think you might need a therapist to process your trauma or family history or to be on your wellness team, UUCW has a list of resources that have been recommended to us. We do not legally endorse or vouch for them. They have come to us from people whom we respect, and it is up to you to interview the best professionals for your situation, financial abilities, and insurance. You are your best advocate. Contact Reverend Denise for referrals from our list.

Caring for your mental health is part of you attending to the interdependent web of life. Our faith calls us to address and honor how interdependent we are. To that end, our mental health is part of the health of our bodies. It is interdependent with how we breathe, how our blood pumps, and our heartbeats. I encourage you to invite a mental health provider onto your team in life. We all need it. We ALL benefit from you caring for you.

In this month of suicide awareness, please reach out. If you or your loved ones need resources, or just want to talk, please reach out. We love you and want to help you be connected and well.

Warmly with Love,

Rev. Denise