Therapy 101

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Nzinga has mentioned therapy as a possible solution in every single episode. But that’s easier said than done. There are so many potential barriers: time, money, stigma, shame, and confusing insurance jargon. Plus, once you’re there, what do you actually say? This week Nzinga and president-elect of the Georgia Psychological Association, Dr. Kamieka Gabriel, talk through 5 different scenarios of someone trying to go to therapy and offer some tips on where to start.

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[00:02] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Hello, everybody. This is Nzinga, and you are listening to In Recovery. Today we’re going to talk about therapy. What is it? And how do you get it. And do you need it? And I will give you a sneak peek: the answer to do you need it is yes, because we all need it. We’ll be joined by Dr. Kamieka Gabriel, who is the president-elect of the Georgia Psychological Association. And it was an amazing conversation I think that’s going to be so helpful. I’m super excited to have her on to talk to you all. But before we do that, in case this is your first time listening, a little bit about me, and a little bit about the show. I told you, it’s all things addiction and I mean that: drugs, sex, work, exercise, relationships, racism, things you wouldn’t necessarily usually think of as addiction. But we basically define it as anything any of us is doing that is bringing us negative consequences and yet we keep doing it. And so I’m a physician. My specialties are psychiatry and addiction medicine. I’ve been practicing medicine for over the last 15 years, and have had the absolute honor of being on the journey through the highs and lows of addiction with literally thousands of individuals and their affected loved ones. So I try to answer your questions from a place of medical evidence, knowing what works, but also compassion and relationship. This is my life work, so much so that I’m co-founder and chief medical officer of this objectively amazing company called Eleanor Health, where we believe the relationship creates all opportunities. We aim to be compassionate and respectful and affirming of everybody with addiction or anyone who’s been affected by addiction, even if you don’t have it yourself. And so if you’re in North Carolina or New Jersey, look us up. With that quick promo out of the way, let’s jump into the episode. So In Recovery listeners, I am super excited to have a guest on this show today. So if you’ve been listening to all of these episodes, you know, at least 10 times every episode, I say get a therapist, get a therapist, get it therapist. 


[02:52] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: What’s the answer to the question? Individual therapy. That question, couples therapy. That question, family therapy. I’m like all about therapy. And so Claire had this awesome idea. She was like, we are always telling people to get therapy, but that is easier said than done. We have with us today Dr. Kamieka Gabriel, who is a doctorate-level clinical psychologist and rising president-elect of the Georgia Psychological Association, because you knew I wasn’t gonna bring you a fake up in here. Dr. Gabriel is the real deal. We grew up in the profession together, so we know each other well. So we’re gonna go ahead and slip into first names, if that’s OK. So, Kamieka, welcome to the show. 


[03:37] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: Thank you, Nzinga. 


[03:39] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: I’m so excited. So why don’t we start out — help In Recovery listeners get to know you kind of as a professional, and then we’ll probably just do like some general education on therapy and then jump into some cases.


[03:53] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: I am a psychologist in the metro Atlanta area. I provide therapy to all ages, from probably I think the youngest client I’ve ever had was four all the way up to someone in their 70s. And so I also do a range of issues from just sort of life transitions to grief to mood disorders, depression, anxiety, postpartum, even to some more serious things like bipolar and some psychotic disorders and suicide attempts. And so it’s pretty much I’m a general practitioner psychologist. 


[04:34] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Awesome. So tell me, what’s the difference between psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist? We know these things, but I think the general public doesn’t necessarily. 


[04:47] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: OK, so a psychiatrist is someone with a medical degree. And they do get training in psychiatric disorders and therapy, but many a times they provide the medicine that people may need to help manage whatever psychological disorder they’re going through. Therapist can be a range. And so at least in my state, in the state of Georgia, if you’re a licensed psychologist, you have training in therapy and most likely you are providing therapy and you could be considered a therapist. But you can also be a master’s-level therapist and you can be a licensed social worker who does therapy. So those are the distinctions. And a psychologist, what I do also does evaluations. And so in those instances where people need to really understand what’s going on with them, whether it’s psychological or educational or developmental, you would go to a psychologist for that.


[05:48] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Exactly. So therapist kind of like is a whole bucket term. Your therapist could have a master’s degree in counseling, could have a master’s degree in social work, could have a doctorate degree in psychology, could have a medical degree and be a psychiatrist, which are physicians that specialize in mental health. A psychologist specifically — am I right about this — Has a PhD in psychology, or a PsyD in psychology? Like, doctorate level prepared if you’re a psychologist. 


[06:25] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: Correct. 


[06:27] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: And then I want to shine on what is a really significant difference in the skill set between psychiatrists, which are physicians, medical doctors, and psychologists which are PhD, doctorate-level in psychology experts, is what you said, this evaluation. So I will often, when I’m doing a psychiatric evaluation, I’m like, you know what? I need more objective information than I can get in this interview format with this person. And that’s where I spend a lot of people to Doctor Kameika Gabriel and say, can I get comprehensive psychological testing? So can you talk to us about what comprehensive psychological testing is? And for the listeners, this is like not a skill-set that we learn as part of our psychiatry training. This is the nuts-and-bolts expertise of a PhD or PsyD-level psychologist. 


[07:25] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: What makes it comprehensive is that we’re looking at the cognitive, the educational, as well as sort of the well-being and psychiatric disorders. We’re kind of looking at everything. So there will be a bunch of objective tests as well as — I don’t want to use the word subjective, but I can’t think of another word for it right now. That really looks at a person and details about how they think, how they view things, how they feel, how they look at the world, how they look at themselves. If they’re kids, how other people view them. Because sometimes you give things to teachers as well as the parents as well as looking at the child. And so it’s much more comprehensive. It takes many hours and a lot of evaluation to kind of get to sort of what may be going on with the person.


[08:19] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Yeah. So that’s like the 360-degree. So my son, for example, Zahir, when he was six years old — super smart, fun loving, well-adjusted, just like the life of the party child. Amazing. And one day his teacher at Montessori school, oh, just to let you know, Zahir body-slammed his best friend. And we were like, “oh.” And we saw for this short period of time who we deemed the Hulk. Zahir would literally like turn green and have these meltdowns. And so when we wanted to figure out what that was about, we took him to a clinical psychologist and she did IQ testing and testing for ADHD. And she did an interview with me and Joel, and she did an interview with Zahir. She came to his school and observed him in the school and she talked to his teachers. And it was this entire 360-degree evaluation, like you said, Kamieka, that had objective testing. So he was like turning pegs and cork boards and reading stories and drawing pictures, all of these objective tests. But also her interview and narrative test. And then she put together like a 20-page report that included here are interventions you could do at home. Here are interventions they could do in a school here, interventions that the teachers can do. And that really changed my and Joel’s ability to be an effective parent for Zahir. Because what it turned out was that he had a learning disorder, dysgraphia, that was making him feel stupid at school. We don’t know this. He’s six years old. That friend said, hurry up on a project they were working together and Zahir is super kind of intuitive from the day he was born. And he said when he said hurry up, that made me feel stupid, and I got so angry, I body-slammed him. 


[10:17] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: And so it’s like what I love about working closely with psychologists is that the depth of that evaluation and the ability — my listeners always hear me talk about biological, psychological, social, cultural, political. That’s what a comprehensive evaluation can help you get to. All right. All right. That’s enough background and all of this business. Let’s jump into we’re doing this different today — I was about to say, guys, but one of my listeners in the past was like, get yourself together, guys, is patriarchal and not inclusive. So I’ve been working on that. So this is what we’re going to do together, y’all, which is different for this episode. We’re actually gonna just do like some fire fictional people and cases towards Dr. Gabriel. And the questions are gonna be the same each time. For this person, just from the high-level sketch that we give you. What type of therapy might you be thinking about? Tell the listeners what that kind of therapy is. And what it was about that thumbnail that made you think about that kind of therapy. And then what are maybe some of the barriers that this person would have to getting that kind of therapy? And how might they find a therapist that has the skill-set to provide that kind of therapy? So the same questions every time. What are you thinking about? Why? What barriers might there be? How could they overcome those barriers? I know. I know. We’re putting you on the spot. Rapid fire. Rapid fire. No pressure. No pressure at all. So, listeners, the way we did this, instead of changing the name of each person in each case, what I want to really emphasize is that this could be any of us in any of these case vignettes. And so we’re going to keep it “Damian” every single time. And we’re just going to change the circumstances around Damian, because we are so vulnerable to our circumstances. 


[12:27] Claire Jones: Can we include one extra character that’s a woman?


[12:29] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: For sure. As a matter of fact, I have an idea, maybe we just do each of these vignettes and if it’s a man or woman or person who doesn’t identify as binary, how that might change the recommendation. 


[12:44] Claire Jones: I think that’s perfect. 


[12:46] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: All right. Here we go. So starting with Damian, Dr. Gabriel. Damian is a 40 year old single man with severe alcohol addiction. He recently lost his job as a result of COVID. He was, of course, listening to the In Recovery podcast, and what he heard was that therapy might be the right thing to help him get his stress down and his alcohol use in control. Just with that high-level bullet, is there a certain type of therapy that might be helpful for Damian? 


[13:22] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: As far as a certain type of therapy, I would think, if he’s still struggling with recovery, that he probably wants to be with someone that’s more specific with dealing with substance abuse issues, as opposed to just a general therapist. Only because it definitely seems there’s other things going on. You’ve lost your job, and you’ve lost your insurance. And we’ll get to barriers in a second. But I would think if he’s having some active issues, that he’d probably need someone that specializes in some of the needs that he has. 


[14:01] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Perfect. So what I want to emphasize that you just said is that not all therapists have a skill-set in addiction. And so similarly, when you’re going to a doctor for something else, like if you broke your leg, you’re gonna look for a doctor that has training in the need that you have. And so when you’re looking for a therapist, you want to think about what is it that I feel like I need the most help with right now? Oh, alcohol addiction. You want to search for a therapist that has identified themselves as having expertise in alcohol addiction. And are there resources that help people maybe without insurance or even with insurance that don’t just have extra cash laying around to be able to access therapy? 


[14:47] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: There are some organizations that do offer free and low-cost therapy. There are actual therapists that will do a sliding scale, may do pro bono or free work. And so even though people think that they can’t afford therapy, it doesn’t hurt to ask. 


[15:05] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: This is what I tell my kids all the time and everybody that I’m mentoring, also. A lot of times we have a thought like that might be helpful for me, but I don’t think it’s possible. Don’t tell yourself no. Go on the Internet and Google sliding scale therapy for addiction in my area. So, Dr. Gabriel, talking about this same Damian, with his story, is there any stigma you would expect him to experience in looking for therapy for alcohol addiction or maybe even stigma he has himself against looking for therapy for alcohol addiction? And what kind of advice would you give to people for navigating that stigma?


[15:45] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: Well, I think there probably is a stigma for having alcohol addiction, and so I think that can be a barrier in itself of not feeling worthy of getting help. Being a man sometimes is that stigma, because men think they need to be strong and and be able to handle things and not talk, keep their emotions to themselves. That’s one of the stigmas. It’s gotten better. But I do see so many more women in my practice than men. 


[16:30] Claire Jones: OK, new scenario, this Damian identifies as a trans woman. I know that with our first Damian, you and Dr. Gabriel mentioned finding a therapist with addiction training, but it seems like this person will want to tailor her selection in a different way. So for people who are not sure where to look for a therapist in the first place, how do you start to look for one with specialties like addiction or multiple specialties? So addiction and X, Y, Z?


[16:57] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: The first place I would start for her is like. So she literally could go on there, click LGBTQ, click alcohol, click either her insurance or sliding scale, slim it down by her zip code. And then the next part, which is the critical part, and I think why I’ve had success with Psychology Today is because then it pulls up profiles that that therapist has written. And then again, you go on a first date. People feel like therapy is a big commitment. Like, the first appointment is the first date. Nobody has to get married. There are options. There are other fish in the sea.


[17:40] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: I also want to put out a plug for state psychological associations, because many of them have a referral directory that people can access and put in those same filters and get that information. I don’t know if they’re gonna get a lovely little profile, but they’ll definitely get names. And there’s nothing wrong with calling, sometimes emailing, and just sort of asking and getting a feel for someone before you make that appointment.


[18:11] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Is it like you literally just Google? I live in Georgia, so I just Google Georgia Psychological Association and that’s how I will find the website? 


[18:20] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: Correct. 


[18:21] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: OK, listeners, you heard it straight from the mouth of the Georgia Psychological Association president-elect. OK, so let’s move to the next Damian. This time, everything is the same. Damian still has her job, but her insurance doesn’t cover the therapy. There is an EAP at work, but she’s not quite sure how she feels about EAP. So, Dr. Gabriel, the questions are number one: what is EAP? Number two, does she have to tell her employer what’s going on with her in order to access the EAP? And number three, if she sees a therapist through the EAP, is what she says still confidential and safe between only her and the therapist? Or does the therapist tell her employer what she’s saying? 


[19:13] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program. They’re a little different depending on where you work. But primarily it’s this nice benefit that companies will have where if there is sort of a crisis or something going on, people can get a free set amount of therapy. And so it’s a nice benefit to have. Unfortunately, sometimes it may only be three, but sometimes it’s all the way up to 10. 


[19:47] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: OK, I am shining a light on FREE. Even if it is only three appointments, let me tell you, my first three appointments with my therapist are the gift that keeps on giving. That EAP comes with many insurance. If you have insurance through your job, many have EAP, and if you have insurance through work, before you go out and pay for therapies, maybe just check and see if you can get that EAP for free. That’s all I’m saying.


[20:25] Claire Jones: Something you just mentioned that most insurance companies will have EAP?


[20:31] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: I’m sorry. Many insurance plans that are given to you by your job, many times your job’s benefits include EAP. It’s usually separate from insurance. 


[20:44] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: It is separate from insurance because there are times where I was covered under the employee assistance program, but I wasn’t covered under their insurance. 


[20:53] Claire Jones: Oh, interesting. So you talk to your employer about what your options are with EAP. Is that how it works? 


[21:02] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Yep. And you when you say talk to your employer, I want to make sure that people understand you don’t have to tell your employer anything about what’s going on with you. You just have to look at your benefits. Your benefits will say you have health insurance, you have dental insurance, you have a 401K, you get three weeks of vacation. You have EAP benefits available to you. And it tells you how to access all of those things.


[21:33] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: All right, let’s talk about another Damian. This time, Damian has a 13 year old daughter and a wife who have both witnessed and been injured by alcoholism. She and her wife have almost divorced, but are still together. How does Damian talk to her family about therapy? What type of therapy would you be thinking about for Damian? Stigma and barriers.


[22:04] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: So it could be multifaceted, because part of me thinks there should be some family going on. But I’m thinking Damian’s spouse may need some individual work as well as Damian’s child may need some individual work. But I can see sort of couples, family and individual work happening for all of them. The stigma around that is, I think, acceptance, because if I’m not mistaken, Damian is a trans woman. And so I think there’s a fear of being accepted for who you are, and just so your family dynamics. And finding a therapist that’s trans friendly, which is very important. Because unfortunately, just like society, not all therapists are going to be friendly. As well as Damian may want actually a therapist that’s trans, who’s going to understand her experience. Being able to find all of that where you live may not be easy. And so that’s a barrier. As far as the stigma, I just think it’s more of just feeling supported and accepted for who you are. 


[23:32] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: But let’s say Damian and her wife don’t have time or money for everybody to be in therapy. Where do you start? 


[23:45] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: It really would become a discussion about the needs of the family unit. And so if they went as couples, maybe they could learn skills to help their child. Or maybe even if they went individually, that they could find ways to have better communication skills with their partner. 


[24:05] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Just to bolster what you said: therapy is a long game. And even if our recommendation is like, you know, best-case scenario, we would have the time and money for individual couples and family. If we can’t get all of those, then you look where the need is most right now. Like, even if Damian is in individual family, she’s going to be learning skills that help her marriage, that help her parenting. And so even if you can’t do all of it all at once, some of it right now is better than none of it never.


[24:46] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: So now Damian is 18 cis-gendered heterosexual male. His reputation with his friends is the most important thing to him. He’s a freshman in college. He realizes that his drinking doesn’t feel in control. What kind of stigma or barriers might he face and how can he get to therapy being a college kid?


[25:10] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: Most college campuses have counseling centers. So he should, if they do have one, be able to access those services. And usually they’re short-term. Sometimes they’re allowed to take longer-term people. I do know of some college programs that also have substance abuse programs in those counseling centers. So there can be multiple things attended to. 


[25:50] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: All right, last one. Damian is a 40 year old single black man that lives in a predominantly black community. He knows his drinking is out of control. He’s lost relationships over it. He’s tried to cut back. He hasn’t been able to. His primary care doctor just told him his liver is in trouble. You need to get a therapist. What might be some stigma barriers and how to navigate those? 


[26:17] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: OK, the first one that kind of sticks out is a black man in the black community, which there is a lot of stigma around addiction and mental illness in the black community. The other I mean, still the continuing of being a black man who is not supposed to talk about their feelings, being in the black community where you’re not really supposed to talk about your business at all. And then the barriers, I would say not so much in metro Atlanta, but in other parts of the country where there just aren’t a lot of black therapists. And so when you’re not feeling heard or safe or comfortable, sometimes you really want someone that looks like you or represents your community. And if you don’t see that, you’re probably not going to reach out and get help. 


[27:08] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Guess what? For my white people, I know it might be uncomfortable and somebody might call you racist if they say you want a white therapist because you’re white. That does not make you racist. Therapy is a vulnerable situation and it is easier to be vulnerable when you feel comfortable. And so there are a lot of different factors that we identify ourselves. The point is, as humans, those parts of our identity that are most important to us, when you’re around people that share those parts of your identity, it’s where it’s most easy to be vulnerable. So do not judge yourself if you’re like, I want a black male therapist. I want a black female therapist. I want a white trans therapist. I want a whatever you want. Now, it might be hard to find. I’m not saying the world is just full of every single everybody. It might be hard to find. But it is worth finding a person that you can most quickly feel comfortable with. Everybody hear me: think about who do I feel most comfortable with that I could enter into a vulnerable relationship with. And go to your state psychological association or go to Psychology Today and put your little filters on there. Now, I will say there’s probably no race filter. If Nzinga Harrison was making the rules. And if anybody running the search engines want to listen to In Recovery with Dr. Nzinga Harrison, put the filter on there, put the filter on there. It is as important for people to be able to see themselves in a way that makes them comfortable with their therapist as it is to prevent the risk of discrimination.


[29:03] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: I agree with that. There is also because of everything that’s been going on, there have been a lot of organizations that have been much more vocal, and some that have just popped up, that you could probably Google and say, I want trans therapist, and it will bring up a directory for trans therapists in certain parts of the country. And I think that’s most important of getting people where they want to be. And so if we can take down the barriers and give more access to that, I think the better.


[29:43] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: OK, Claire, let’s drop this other resource: it’s called black emotional and mental health collective, BEAM. I recently came across the black emotional and mental health collective and I’ve been telling everybody about it. They have tool kits and education. And it’s just an affirming space. I’m trying to start finding these types of affirming spaces for communities that have been marginalized. So I would love to find a men’s mental health collective and a women’s mental health collective and an LGBTQ mental health collective so that we can be creating safe spaces.

[30:20] Claire Jones: So before we go to the next part, let me just make sure. I just want to do a recap and make sure I understood all the different situations we went through. So options for people who maybe can’t afford therapy, or their insurance doesn’t cover it. They can either look to their employer and see if they have an employee assistance program or they can as part of their Google search, see what therapies have a sliding scale. Then if you are trying to find somebody that either resembles your background or in some way just will have a better understanding of how you identify, that’s also something that you can put into your Google search. Or when you go to Psychology Today, you can also add that as part of your search. And then you want to make sure that they’re specializing in what you’re working with. So in the case of Damian, it was alcoholism. And then if you do have insurance, something that you can do, I just went and Googled sort of as an example, black LGBTQ therapist, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the insurance I have. So I use that. And alcoholism. And the first thing that came up that was the most helpful was Psychology Today. Another thing that’s helpful is you can call your insurance, which I know that’s like everyone’s nightmare, but you can call your insurance and say, this is a person I found for therapy. Is this going to be covered? And usually they’ll give you an answer. Did I cover everything? Is that sort of a good summation? 


[31:48] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: We didn’t really talk to what if you have insurance and what that means. Because there are certainly times where — and this has been more for my younger clients than my older clients who really don’t understand their insurance plans. And people don’t understand their deductibles or their co-insurances or co-pays. And so when they may think, oh, I only have to pay $20 for this therapy visit, not realizing that they’ve got like a $2,000 deductible and they have to know to pay out of pocket for this whole entire therapy visit. And so it’s, it’s just sort of making sure that you know and have that conversation with the therapist if that’s going to be a barrier. 


[32:36] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: That was an amazing summation. What can Damian expect? What should Damian share with his therapist or her or their. And how does Damian know it’s a good fit?


[32:53] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: For the sake of just thinking about pre-COVID-19, that there’s probably going to be paperwork to be filled out. That Damian will have to just tell his life story on paper, which sometimes can be triggering for people. I’ve had a few people that had never really talked about or wrote about or been outside of their head with what’s been going on with them. Sometimes it starts with the phone call of saying, hi, I’d like to schedule an appointment. And people are already sort of emotional because they’re taking that step. For me, I’m really wanting to get to know Damian. And so I kind of let it be a free flow of information about what brought you here, because my point is to get to know you and help you feel comfortable. Because you’re going to feel anxious going to a stranger’s office and telling them about your life and being comfortable about stuff that’s very personal and sometimes shameful. And so all I want to do is make you feel comfortable enough to do that. And if you can’t even share all of that in the first session, that is OK. And I tell people that.


[34:07] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: The first therapy visit is not about coming out of there with some kind of solution. It’s about coming out of there with the beginnings of a relationship. 


[34:17] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: Yes. And there are times where I get the well, what should I do? I said, well, you’ve started. And so this is going to be a long game. You’ve been dealing with these issues for a really long time. You’re not going to get a solution in an hour.


[34:35] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: Say I don’t feel like it’s a fit. How do I know that it’s not just me being scared of therapy, or me having a hard time opening up, as opposed to maybe I need to try a different therapist for my second visit. 


[34:52] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: So I think it starts with did I feel heard? Because it’s not always about feeling comfortable, because you’re not going to feel comfortable. If you do, that’s great. But sometimes you’re not going to feel comfortable during that first visit because vulnerability isn’t comfortable. So did you feel heard? Did you feel safe? As far as how you identify yourself, did you feel like that person understood you in that way? I think if those things are going on, then you can kind of question the other things of like, is it just me not being comfortable because, you know, I talked about things that I’m not comfortable talking about. And if that’s it, then you could say, OK, why don’t I try this again and see. So it’s just sort of those little things of like, OK, this is the time and space that I have, can you give this to me? And sometimes you can find someone that works, but scheduling is off or some other thing that’s off. And unfortunately, you may have to find somebody else.


[36:04] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: All right. So I think we are rolling to the end. Kamieka, this was so much fun. Absolutely amazing. Thank you for coming on. 


[36:16] Dr. Kamieka Gabriel: Well, thank you for having me. 


[36:21] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: So I want to say a couple of things that Dr. Gabriel really shined a light on. Number one, therapy is a long game. You don’t come into your first therapy visit and think you’re walking out with a solution. We really want you to think of that first visit as the start to a relationship where you can trust someone to help you look at the most vulnerable parts of yourself. It is your right and it makes sense to interview a therapist. Yon’t just go on blind dates, right? You talk to people and decide if you want to go on that first date, same kind of thing. And then I really, really, really want to bolster what Dr. Gabriel said about how you feel when you leave that first visit. Did you feel heard? Did you feel safe? Did you feel like that person understood who you are and affirmed who you are? And did you feel respected? If the answer to those four questions is yes, even if you felt uncomfortable, even if you felt scared, even if you felt anxious, that is a therapist you can go back to for a second date. So with that, I think my words of wisdom were actually Dr. Gabriel’s words of wisdom. Thank you so much. 


[37:43] Dr. Nzinga Harrison: In Recovery is a Lemonada Media original. The show is produced by Claire Jones and edited by Ivan Kuraev. Music is by Dan Molad. Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs are our executive producers. Rate and review us and say nice things. And follow us @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms, or find me on Twitter @naharrisonmd. If you’ve learned from us, share the show with your others. Let’s help destigmatize addiction together. 


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