On November 5, 12, and 19, from 7-8 pm, VAVP will be hosting a three-part special livestream miniseries on the disparities of mental health within the QPOC community “My Therapist Told Me: A Healing Conversation”
Moderators CasSandra Calin and Chevelle Moss-Savage will cover three unique topics each session, from the effects COVID-19 has had on QPOC community building and co-resiliency, to the abuse QPOC face in healthcare within and without of a pandemic, and finally to the state of hypervigilance QPOC live in due to the combined pressures of both a global crisis and state-sanctioned institutional violence. VAVP spoke with the moderators to get their input on the importance of this upcoming event.
VAVP: Why is this called “My Therapist Told Me”?
CasSandra: We want to honor that more and more people are seeing therapy as a valid option for their emotional wellness and healing and seeking out therapists that are representative of their identities and experiences and can offer them the healing they need. It is way more often now seen as valid for someone to say, “My therapist told me . . .” when speaking about their support system and their growth process and for that to be validated. We want to celebrate this!
Chevelle: We wanted something catchy that would attract the attention of folx scrolling through social media timelines. There are so many memes that start with “My therapist told me…” We also wanted something that would provide some context of what we would be discussing during the sessions. As well as make the viewer smile when they read the tagline.
VAVP: How are each of the sessions different?
Chevelle: Each session focuses on a particular subject that is affecting the black and brown queer community during the pandemic and national unrest.
VAVP: What does healing look like to you?
CasSandra: Healing looks like people realizing they are not alone, exercising self-reflection to figure out what they need and what they want to offer to the world, and moving toward things which help them to be whole and at peace.
Chevelle: Healing looks so differently for so many people, it is complex and complicated….but when the process starts and you notice a change in behavior or attitude that is when the magic begins. Healing looks like internal magic one navigates during their wellness journey.
VAVP: Why is this necessary right now?
CasSandra: A lot of people are feeling isolated right now and having trouble remembering that they are not alone. What is happening to each of us is happening on a community wide level and so we want to name it in order to let people know that what they’re feeling makes sense, that lots of us are feeling it, and that we can work towards feeling the things we want to feel as well.
Chevelle: We as a people, we as a community, we as a nation are in a state in influx…there is not another option but to dig deep and try to heal from the effects of vicarious and secondary and personal trauma. We can not move forward until we heal from all the things that work to oppress us both personally or communally.
VAVP: What do you hope participants will get out of the sessions?
CasSandra: I hope that people will feel validated and a sense of community. I hope that people will take tools from the conversation to apply to their day-to-day life.
Chevelle: A place to be seen, even if we can’t see them (smile). A place where their feelings or emotions will be validated and normalized, as well as tools, tips and techniques they can refer to after the sessions end.
VAVP: What are the benefits of a streamed webinar vs an in-person event?
CasSandra: A streamed webinar will hopefully be more accessible to a larger group of people because there will be no transportation restrictions.
Chevelle: Folx are able to attend from the comfort of their home, car, etc. Which will allow them the opportunity to still feel engaged and continue to be safe while socially distancing.
VAVP: What are you most looking forward to?
CasSandra: I’m most looking forward to talking with another Black therapist about what we and other queer and trans people of color are going through and how we can take care of ourselves.
Chevelle: GROWING AND SHARING with the viewers, whenever I enter into a healing space, I never know what to expect, and that is the MAGIC of Healing, right?