Hey Strong Friend!
Happy Black History Month, and welcome to Eye In Me’s February Newsletter! In honor of our history, we want to encourage you to learn more about Black history by talking with your folks and getting your family’s oral history as a way to cope with racism. We also have a few community updates and we’re gonna talk a bit about ‘gaslighting’… have you heard that word?
About Oral Histories Systemic racism is a public health crisis that influences physical and mental health issues in Black communities. Research shows that systemic racial discrimination and microaggressions are primary social stressors for Black folks and families in the USA. Internationally, we see the similar issues manifest as classism and tribalism. The various “isms” are connected to coping challenges, higher alcohol consumption, and self-esteem issues. Traditionally, oral history (getting stories from family members) has been a way for Black families across the world to communicate race and culture to their children. In the USA, oral history has been used by Black communities to combat systemic racism for generations.
Storytelling is an integral part of Black culture across the world. It showcases our resilient nature through regaining control over our own narratives, allowing Black families to come together and celebrate their heritage.
In the sprit of Black History Month and our theme of celebrating oral histories, we have created some oral history prompts to help you connect with your family and cope with racial stress through engaging in the tradition of storytelling. It is important to have intimate and vulnerable conversations with the people you love. Ask these prompts to your family, answer them with your children, and if you feel comfortable, share some of your insights with Eye In Me on Twitter or LinkedIn with the hashtag #EIMOralHistories.
EIM Community Updates
Have you ever considered group therapy? If so, we have the group for you!
Starting on 2/22/21, Eye In Me will be hosting an 8-week long virtual psychotherapy group open to Black people of all genders and sexualities. This group is designed to help you challenge yourself and achieve your unique individual goals in a confidential, collective space. Click the image below to request a FREE virtual consultation. Let’s Break Through Before you Break Down!
Next….. Shatiea Blount now has a Patreon account!
On my Patreon, I am creating content for non-clinical folk and clinicians alike. Most notably, I have created an Anti-Stigma Therapy simulator, as well as a social justice field seminar series, both of which aim to destigmatize therapy through the centering of Black people and their experiences.
Check out our page here!
GASLIGHTING…..In Layman’s Terms
In an attempt to make the space of therapy more accessible, I have decided to dedicate a section of each newsletter to translating the clinical jargon of the therapy world into plain and understandable language. For February, the term I’ve chosen to explain is a word many are familiar with, but few truly understand: Gaslighting.
Gaslighting is when someone makes you question your reality so much that you don’t trust your own judgement. For the strong friend, this could be when you’re called “angry or “controlling”—when you stand up for yourself against someone who is trying to hurt you or lie on you.
The gaslighter will make you believe that you should not be affected by their behavior and that their behavior is actually harmless. Sometimes, they will deny that anything is even happening. Gaslightling happens in romantic relationships, in families, in politics, on social media, and even at work. If someone is making you feel like you’re “crazy,” check in with your therapist or request a free consultation HERE to see if you are being gaslit.
It wouldn’t be right to make this newsletter honoring our Black history without honoring the life of one of Black America’s most loved and most influential icons: Cicely L. Tyson (December 19, 1924 – January 28, 2021).
Cicely Tyson was an award-winning actress, activist, model, and icon with a career that spanned over seventy years. She was known for breaking barriers within the film industry and portraying Black women in a new and powerful light. Today, we honor Tyson’s life and celebrate her legacy, recognizing the influential role she played in opening doors for the many phenominal Black actresses that followed in her footsteps.
To learn more about her life and her legacy, be sure to order Tyson’s memoir, Just As I Am, released January 26th, 2021.
We’ve also launched a social media campain surrounding oral histories, so be sure to check our LinkedIn page to be further involved in the campaign!
Shatiea Blount, LCSW-C, LICSW, CPC