Need for Therapy??

Need for Therapy?

Therapy is rarely the first thought following an event or tragedy. Those responsible react to new negative behaviors, in a child or self, that may be connected to the event with discipline, punishment, prayer, or anger. And often times parents infuse their personal considerations and allow a child’s newly expressed attitudes and behaviors to persist waiting an outgrowing to occur. When the parent is the perpetrator of the event parenting from guilt may develop: rewarding the abhorrent behaviors to sooth the perpetrator and confuse the development of a child.

Considering therapy for yourself or your child appears to be growing in the Black community. Therapy as a response has lagged tremendously in the Black community for many justifiable reasons, although that trend seems to be shifting.

Sadly within the Black community therapy, for the most part, is either:

  • Court ordered
  • A response to poor behavior in school
  • Qualifier for governmental disability assistance in the child’s name.

I don’t believe everyone needs to seek therapy, I do believe anyone can benefit from therapy.

The intent of therapy is to return an individual to a baseline of functioning when day-to-day functioning has fallen below normalized experience over an extended period of time.

There are several subjective words in this statement that must be considered:

  • Intent: specific reasoning for seeking professional intervention
  • Return: desire for change
  • Individual: treatment is always individualized
  • Baseline: harmony between inner and external sense of self
  • Functioning: capacity to manage day to day activities responsibly
  • Below: disharmony, discord, and chaos in functioning. Struggle.
  • Normalized experience: dramatic change in self-care, presentation, attitude, or effort.
  • Extended period of time: different for everyone, One may become drained, overwhelmed, and saddened by the persistence of these feelings

There are levels and sub-levels to a therapeutic approach:

  • Psychiatric: medical Dr. employs a medication intervention altering brain chemistry believed to be the cause of the newly noted thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.
  • Psychological: doctors, masters level therapist and counselors utilize various forms of talk therapy to address the newly noted shifts in thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. Education and training of this level of intervention is very important given in dictates the therapeutic approach: psychoanalysis, behaviorist, humanistic and transpersonal are modalities coming from these very different psychological schools of thought.
  • Ministerial/Pastoral Counseling: often provided as a service element of the church. While the typical ordained minister or pastor is not specifically trained in mental health services their scripture-based interventions may be sufficient in questions of faith or religion.
  • Coaching: goal and process oriented the specifically trained Coach may provide a means to accomplish specific tasks yet are rarely prepared to address any emotionally-based motivating factors that may occur.

*There are good and bad professionals at every level of service. More often than not the “good” professional appears to be in a symbiotic relationship with the patient/client while those professionals deemed as “bad” are out of sync with their patients/clients and can create new issues surrounding an individuals new failure.*

The primary focus of therapy is relationship oriented, relationship with:

  • Self: inner-conflict abridges an individual’s sense of peace robbing one of feelings of safety and security in life. At the lower end of the spectrum an individual often makes poor decisions, self medicates with drugs or alcohol, or exposes oneself to life-threatening dangerous lifestyles or activities. At the most extreme end of the spectrum one may begin to consider the world would be a better place without them: suicide doesn’t always have to be self-inflicted.
  • Spouse: romantic relationships can be the most rewarding and frustrating experience in anyone’s life, young and old. There is disharmony, discord and a loss of trust when harmony, trust, and commitment previously existed.
  • Child: while in the process of growing in their development of a baseline of functioning children are heavily influenced by the many relationships around them. Parents, friends, teachers, and other sources inform the child of their identity. Inner-conflict, instability, and feelings of being unsafe and insecure subject a child to angry outbursts, anti-social influences, self-medication, and poor choices.
  • Family: there is disharmony, ill feelings and chaos in the immediate or extended family effecting the functioning of the family unit or each individual of the family unit differently.
  • World: each of the above listed relationships often leave an individual feeling as if they have no place, no purpose, or lack an understanding of where they fit in the world. In children this is inherent and a developing process. In adults these feelings rob one of joy, happiness and fulfillment.

The decision to seek counsel and participate in one’s own self care is courageous. Looking back at the unpleasant, traumatic, and life-altering episodes of one’s life takes hard work and a commitment to individuated deeper awareness.

Spiritual Family Guidance (Dr Richard) is rooted in a Transpersonal modality. The ideology is a deep, often intense, investigation into an individual’s belief systems. Enlightenment, new awareness, is the driving force behind the Transpersonal approach to treatment. With a new found awareness of the genesis of belief an individual is empowered to acknowledge how belief motivates experience, expressions, attitudes and responses to current stressors, feelings, at the deepest level of one’s being, like the original place of learning.

Dr. Richard Flannigan has limited availability to assist along your journey: 404-246-3467 or email at

Categories: Parenting, psychology, spirituality, therapy, Uncategorized


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