We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program...

I know, I know… How do we stick it to the Man?!  Don’t fret!  I’ve got a notepad of those titles and they are still coming atcha every other Friday.  But I had some other thoughts and was in the mood to blog. 

Most of my colleagues would tell you I’m a Child Psychologist.  The age range of my clients is typically somewhere between elementary school and a new college degree.  In order to keep up, I have to tube in…tune in…oops, Freudian slip!  You see, YouTube is a topic of daily conversation on my office couch and I felt professionally responsible to gain some sort of insight into the world wide web as kid’s today know it.

Now, most of my friends would tell you that I love YouTube and integrate videos into my daily routine and self-care!  Podcasts about adult things?  Books that are not classified as YA?  Absolutely not. 

If I am not playing Pandora while I go about my day, I am usually watching/listening to a YouTube video. 

Parents may read this and think, Dr. J is brushing her teeth and watching a video of some kid playing video games?  Not exactly.  There is content for everyone and while I do occasionally watch a beau-tuber video (i.e., make-up routines, tips, and tricks) or Jenna Marbles (i.e., the Queen) for a good laugh, I am usually watching a video made by someone who is working to highlight certain universal struggles and be vulnerable in the process of learning about them.  Perhaps they are experiencing them personally, on camera. 

It is entertaining and inspiring, and I am always recommending channels to my clients because they only hang out with me once a week and sometimes talking to friends about what is going on is tough.   Being able to watch someone their age who has gone through or is currently going through something similar either open up about that topic or pursue a passion of theirs while managing those experiences is still a helpful connection and a positive role model.

So, as I was watching a YouTube clip…I thought: Why not share some of these videos with you?

“Pero Like,” one of Buzzfeed’s channels recently posted a 21-minute video called “Latino Men Try Therapy for the First Time.”  It is included in their playlist: “Latinx Struggles.”  I clicked on it right away because A) I am a fan of Pero Like and the content they produce, B) Therapy for the first time?, C) Men?, D) Latinx?  You get the idea.  I sent it to my partner, Moraya, because we both work to advocate for the practice of culturally competent therapy and serve multicultural communities at BFF Therapy.  Just like we share articles, videos, etc. with each other to keep one another current and in-the-know, I’m going to do the same with you.

This video does a great job exploring some of the reasons the males featured have not explored therapy before, but that topic is for another time.  Maybe a good excuse to start our own YouTube channel to keep the discussion going?  I liked how the clinician utilized a combination of English and Spanish depending on the client’s preference, even within session switching.  This is something that occurs in my work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients who may solely prefer American Sign Language or like to alternate with spoken English depending on their mood that day and the topics they are discussing.

The clinician involved also had many great therapy gems that had me nodding my head and saying “Yes!” to my laptop.   But I’m working to keep these blogs a readable length, so I’m going to choose one of my favorites:

In therapy, we can start with something safe.  What is safe for you?

Working with children and adolescents, many of my sessions start with what some might label “superficial conversation.”  But any conversation that I am having with my clients is an opportunity to learn more about them, what is going on in their lives, and how what has previously occurred might be impacting them now. 

I think sometimes parents hear about the “games” we play in session and don’t realize that this is my thing.  I’ve got this.  We aren’t just coloring.  We are drawing their anger.  We are creating labels for their worry.  We are using silly metaphors that bring cognitive restructuring to their level and maybe even bring a little bit of fun and laughter into these sometimes heavier topics.  We learn to tolerate.  We learn to celebrate. 

I hope today you learned a little bit more about me and what it could be like to try therapy for the first time too.

If you want to learn more about the providers featured in the video, check out: www.latinxtherapy.com