Are you prioritizing your peace these days? As we steadily move forward through this new year, it’s of utmost importance that we focus on protecting our mental health as we continue to fight through year three of COVID-19 and other grim realities that plague the Black existence. One method that may alleviate the collective stress of it all is group therapy. For those who are on the fence, its benefits include having a network of like-minded individuals who can help hold you accountable.
EBONY caught up with Corey Fells, one-third of the trio that founded the community organization Black Space. Whether you’re seriously considering group therapy or just want to learn more, Fells shares his top reasons on why it can be beneficial.
"Black Space is an organization that two other colleagues and I founded because we've all had different experiences with therapy. Mine, in particular, was when my mom passed away. I held it in for ten years plus, until 2020 came, and I was also faced with COVID," shares Fells. "I had a wonderful first-time experience sitting down with a Black woman therapist. It was an eye-opening experience, and I've advocated for therapy like no other since then."
Connecting with others who share a similar struggle or journey can be impactful for one’s healing journey. When it comes to group therapy, Fells is a proponent of the support that ensues from sharing similar experiences.
“The network of Black and Brown people sitting and sharing similar experiences is super beneficial,” says Fells. “It’s beautiful to witness the giving and receiving of support from one another, all the while being facilitated by a therapist.”
Another benefit is the safe space that it provides. Fells feels that it’s a crucial part of the experience that allows people to build confidence while leaning on one another for support.
“Confidence is built in these groups through the means of a safety net. These shared experiences provide confidentiality, unique perspectives, and possible outcomes from one another with detailed healthy, positive coaching. This blanket of love and support gives reassurance that you are not alone and can lean on the group for support,” explains the Black Space co-founder.
According to the Milwaukee native, participants are encouraged to reflect deeply when it comes to self. In these sessions, they’re particularly tasked with seeing situations in a different light than before.
“We all see a little bit of each other in one another,” says Fells. “While in a group session, rather than giving, receiving or being a listening ear, participants are given this proverbial mirror. They are then able to see blind spots that they did not see in certain issues in that moment.”