No matter where you stand politically, I know you are sick of hearing about the election. I usually try to stay out of politics, especially since my last blog post was on how to survive the recent election. And, I will stay away from endorsing any one side even in this blog. However, since the election results have been posted, I feel that, as a therapist and as a human, it is my moral and ethical duty to respond to the current emotional climate.
Too many emotions are high. Too many of those I talk with are distressed about what the new presidential administration means for their life and their emotional, financial, spiritual, and physical safety. So, here is an open letter to current clients and potential clients specifically, but also to all others in between who interact with me in some capacity. May it help you remind yourself that there is a safe place among the chaos.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, there is something different about this election. Many are feeling like even the vocabulary used during this election reflects racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, and xenophobic views, to name a few. Beyond the vocabulary used, others are feeling that the election of a president they feel normalizes such views is, in essence, a condoning of the actions that can result from such prejudice. And, fear has been the result.
I do not remember a time in history when the news of who will be the next President of the United States of America has caused riots in the streets. Even the campaigns and rallies for this election were plagued with violence, both verbal and physical. There is an intensity to this election that cannot be denied.
But, I want to reflect on the hope that we have. As I explain on my About Me page, “therapy is no place to experience prejudice or discrimination”. Now more than ever it seems that we all need to be able to find a place where we can feel truly safe and truly heard, regardless of your political orientation, ethnicity, spiritual/religious beliefs, identified gender, economic status, education level, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities, culture, or any other characteristic.
As a therapist, I have a unique view into the experience of humanity. And, I want to publicly share with all those listening or searching for answers that I am here to support you. I don’t care what identified gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic status, or physical or mental abilities you possess. I care about you as a person. Your humanity is your most important quality. And, I will always be willing to provide you with the respect and honor that you deserve.
All of this may go without saying. But, in this time of confusion and grief, I want to remind others that there are people out there who provide unconditional love and support. I am one of those. Before you enter my office, I love you. While you are in my office, I love you. And, after you leave my office, I love you. Even if you are not a client I see, I love you. This love is neither romantic nor exaggerated. It is a reflection of the pride I take it being a compassionate human being. I just also happen to be a therapist who talks to people for a living and who has a platform like a blog to spread my message.
So, for all those feeling isolated, keep your safe places close. Keep your trusted loved ones close. Know your allies. Allow yourself to grieve. Find others who don’t make you feel so crazy. Reach out to others who are hurting. Advocate for yourself or find someone who can help you do that for yourself if you feel too overwhelmed by your own fear. And, if you feel that the fear becomes anger, remember that perpetuating fear does not solve our issue.
As the great Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Be the light. Be the love. May you forever be shown the value that you bring to this global community.
With deepest regards and love,
~Ashley Carter Youngblood, LMSW, LMFT, CADC, ADS
Ashley Carter Youngblood is both a fully-licensed Clinical Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist who has been in the field since 2007. She offers counseling in Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan, Battle Creek, Paw Paw, and the surrounding areas of Southwest Michigan. She is passionate about her work with clients, whether it’s providing individual counseling, couples counseling, family therapy, or life coaching. Her specialties include holistic healing/mindfulness, counseling for women, anxiety, couples counseling, and addictions/substance abuse.
I welcome you to contact me or leave any questions or feedback you have about this post. Please keep in mind that the above information is the opinion of an individual, should not be considered medical advice, and is for entertainment/educational purposes only. I write these blogs as an expression of my passion for wellness and with the hope to be able to help as many people as possible. Therefore, I would encourage anyone seeking mental health advice to contact a therapist in your area who can better evaluate your situation and provide you with case-specific information for treatment. Also remember, if you are experiencing an emergency, contact 911 or present yourself to your nearest emergency room.
Thanks for reading.