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In this week’s episode, we talk about mental health. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Rhodena Mesadieu works with women and girls who’ve had trauma, sexual trauma, relationship trauma and family dysfunction. We cover how to find a good therapist, whether your therapist is effective and what it means to be in therapy. 

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April Grant 0:05
Welcome to the other side of 40. My name is April grant, and I’m here to help women make positive changes with their lives after the age of 40. Let the other side of 40 become your community to find inspiration and support to start

the next chapter of your life.

I’m excited to have a guest on today who’s actually a friend of mine. Her name is rodina messaged you. She’s a licensed clinical social worker, and owns restore wellness Counseling Center in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. She specializes in working with girls and women that have a history of trauma. But she’s super passionate about helping women overcome their history of sexual trauma, family dysfunction, and relationship trauma. She takes a different approach, where she tries to integrate insight oriented therapy, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, expressive arts and mindfulness. Man, that’s a mouthful. She does also incorporate faith based spiritual practices, if you so choose. So, without further ado, let’s welcome Miss rodina to the show. So it’s great to see you, Regina. And I wanted to ask, and I’m going to start out with a similar question to what I’ve been asking what what aha moment brings people to you?

Rhodena Mesadieu 1:43
Yeah, that’s a really great question. So I would say an aha moment that typically brings someone to therapy even on the other side of 40. Right? Are, there is an event that happens in their life, that makes them feel miserable. So sometimes it might be, they’re unhappy in their marriage, and maybe they’re either involved in an affair, or they’re aware that their husband isn’t an affair, or that there has been an affair or that they’re married, is having some issues that they’re really trying to work out. Sometimes it might be them wanting to start a new project. And they’re finding that this new project that they want to start, there’s some things that they’re thinking about themselves, whether that’s like self doubt, or whether that’s decision making around the project, whether that’s getting started, whether that’s procrastinating, and they want to figure out, you know, what is it that’s going on, that is leading them to do this, sometimes it’s full blown depression, you know, it’s just, you know, coming in, and they’re noticing, like, over time, I’ve really tried to keep pushing, and try to keep pushing, and I’m at the point where I can’t keep pushing anymore. And I know that there’s things in my childhood that I need to address. And I’m here to really address them so that I can live happier. Sometimes there are transitional periods, whether they move to a new city, and they don’t know anyone, and they’re trying to figure it out, they’re starting something new, maybe they’re changing, maybe they’re going through divorce, or they’re wanting to change careers, and really connect with aspects of what makes them truly happy. On the other side of, you know, being 40, or going towards middle aged. So there’s really this idea that the way that my life has been going, I want this pivotal point to move me forward towards a change so that I can live fulfilled, and I can live more authentically, because that’s the other part that I that I hear is around like, I’ve been doing what I felt like I needed to do, you know, I went to school, and I have my degree, I’m establishing my career, and I still don’t feel this big life fulfillment, and I want to be able to have that.

April Grant 3:54
So what do you think? Are there signs that are leading that lead up to this point? Or do you really think it’s just kind of a sudden change in thought process? Because for me, I think it was pretty sudden, but I’m wondering if other people have more of a gradual change or steps that take them to that point.

Rhodena Mesadieu 4:13
Like, yeah, I think is different for each person. I think for some people, it may be like for people who it’s like a life change. I’ve maybe would not say that it’s gradual. So maybe felt like, like for fers right? You felt like I was happy in my life. And then now I’m in disappear. And I have no idea why that would be. Although we can always look back and say, you know, oh, okay, I can see where my unhappiness started. But hindsight is 2020. So in that moment, it’s like that big moment. And then for some people, they they realize that they have been unhappy for some time. And it’s something that they’ve gradually either they’ve tried to do different things to help them feel better, and it might work temporarily, but they still come back to the same place.

April Grant 5:01
So with the

since you mentioned affairs a couple of times, what do you think? Do a lot of people? Are they able to work through that? And the couple stay together? Do when they come to you? Do they normally tell people? I mean, I guess what is the kind of dynamic of that type of relationship, if their, their unhappiness leads to having an affair in their, in their marriage? Mm hmm.

Rhodena Mesadieu 5:29
I have found just in my personal experience, that the affair part is very difficult. Because most of the times when they’re coming in to therapy, and what I have experienced is that they’re still married in. Okay. And so part of it has been that new there hasn’t been aware of what’s happening, and they’re trying to work through ending it and wrestling with that, or that their partner is the one having the affair. And they’re trying to figure out, well, what am I going to do now, because this is going to have a huge life impact, even if I know that I want to be divorced, typically, a couple this one, to work through their marriage, they would go to marriage therapy. To do that. And I have I have seen that that would be a different context is coming into couples therapy for working their affair. So I think it just really depends on the outcome of Darwin in my marriage, or in any way marriage would completely change my life.

April Grant 6:32
Right? Definitely. You have family, you have kids you have, you know, friends? Absolutely. You know, the divorce friends to ask us or do you, you know, rarely? Are you gonna ask them to your friends to separate or, you know, can you guys be in the same room together and still be okay.

Rhodena Mesadieu 6:56
And there’s a financial impact to Yeah, there’s a huge financial impact of the stability that you were able to build in your marriage, versus the instability that you may feel that you’re going to have by ending your marriage and going into divorce?

April Grant 7:13
Yeah, I remember when we started last year, so after my epiphany, part of it was marriage counseling for us as well. And I was telling my husband about a show. I don’t remember the name of it, but it’s about co parenting, and how they kept the house for like a caregiving parent. That guest house for the non caregiving parent for that week. So yeah, apparently the show on Mmm

Rhodena Mesadieu 7:42
hmm. Does that show on own? Because I feel like

April Grant 7:44
oh, it’s on ABC. Oh, one on own too.

Rhodena Mesadieu 7:48
Yeah. It was like these black couples, and one of the couples were going through divorce. And they did that.

April Grant 7:55
Yeah. And I just thought I was talking to my husband. And he’s like, that doesn’t exist. And I said, Yeah, it does. I’m literally watching a television show where that’s kind of the theme is keeping the kids stable, while the parents do all the moving since the parents are the people who kind of caused the upheaval? And do you have you experienced that a lot in your practice, or at all? Your practice? so far?

Rhodena Mesadieu 8:20
I haven’t, I haven’t specifically experienced someone who’s practicing that. But I’ve had a lot of dialogue around that. That being a new phase. And, and the thing was, that’s ideal, I think for the kids, and depending on how old the kids are, when this is happening, when the separation is occurring. However, you have to be financially in a place where you could do that, right. And most of the time, people aren’t financially in place where they could continue to pay for their house that they were living in, and then also manage individual homes for themselves. Right. Um, so I think the other caveat in being able to do that.

April Grant 8:59
Now, what do you what do you think is the I don’t know, the best tips for getting through making the transition, obviously, I think therapy is really important because you have a lot of programming that you’ve grown up with. And it’s hard to see outside of that it’s hard to understand a different way to think about things because you’ve been thinking about everything for the same way. So I think a therapist is always great because they can get in and really show you other sides of the story that you want to tell for yourself. Um, what do you think is the best way to go about it? If you have this like aha moment? Should they dive into books? Do you have recommendations for books? Should they go to therapy initially, immediately? Is that like a first thing? What do you say?

Rhodena Mesadieu 9:49
I obviously I I’m a little biased because I am a therapist. Right, right. And I think that I believe that everyone should have a therapist and every one should have Been to therapy at a certain point now what, at what point in your life that it leaves you to go to therapy, you know, that’s on the person. And so I would say, if you’re having this pivotal moment, for sure, go to therapy, therapy is your first step. And really starting to break down those things. We want to be able to process ourselves was all in our head and do all the work. But we have, you know, trained professionals that can sit down and put those pieces together with you, I always tell my clients that it’s a collaborative process, I’m here to facilitate what you want to see within yourself, you don’t have to do that on your own. I’m here to support you and guide you through that process. And through all of the thoughts and connecting your experiences. And, you know, obviously, the what I know on my end, and I and I bring that up for the clients, because it’s not just helpful for me to have that information, but to help you guide them through that awakening. So I would definitely say go into therapy would be a first step, identifying what and then this is tricky, because sometimes identifying what change looks like maybe that is why you’re going to therapy is to see what change would look like. But then on the other end, some people know what they want, like, for example, some No, I don’t want to be an emerging, or or some people know, I’ve been single for so long, and I have to rethink what I thought I wanted. Now that I’m in an older age, you know, I thought maybe I want it to be or that I wouldn’t be married. And with a child right now, or maybe I never wanted to be married. And then now my 40s after a think what that is going to look like for me in my life. Am I still maintaining? Or am I making a shift to starting towards something else, right. And so some people are going to have that goal in mind where they come in. And I would say it’s, it’s good to at least have one or two things that you would like to get out. We as a trauma therapist, I think that your family of origin, so the family that you are raised in, that makes a huge impact and shapes how you develop as a person and even your beliefs and perceptions. And so being able to work through what has been your traumas in your life? What has been your stressful events in your life? And how have you dealt with that in the past, because that will be a determining factor of how you will naturally want to deal with here. And we have to cipher through what are the strengths that you’ve been able to grab hold on to, and then being able to work on your areas of development with living a fulfilled life moving forward.

April Grant 12:25
So would you recommend them still get a therapist, even if they don’t know what they really want to change? If they just know things are going crazy, and life seems to be spiraling? They don’t know how to stop it, they don’t have a clue of what to do, do you recommend them going to get a therapist?

Rhodena Mesadieu 12:45
Absolutely, absolutely. Because therapy can help you start to figure out what that change will be. And I think our life spiraling, our body knows everything that’s going on before we have the conscious idea around it. So our brain is literally like 95% unconscious, and our body talks to us to let us know, hey, something is wrong. So it does that in a medical way, right? We get pain, we get colds, we get illnesses to say, your body is not functioning correctly, our mind and brain does the same thing. And that’s how we experience it through how we make decisions in our life through our behaviors and how we’re handling our emotions. And so even if you don’t have the conscious thinking around, this is where I want to go intuitively, as you start to unpack that you’ll be able to gain more clarity and having a therapist support that can be can be helpful.

April Grant 13:41
Now here’s a question. Because I’ve been to several therapists over my life. I had major depressive disorder in college, and then I lost our we lost our son 13 years ago now. And I spent quite a bit of time in therapy in one hour actually back in therapy. So with I’m in therapy, my husband in therapy, and we’re in marital therapy together. So with all of that, how do you find a good one? And how do you know that it’s being effective? Because sometimes I feel that, like the first couple sessions may be really good. And then it falls off a cliff and it’s like, then there’s doesn’t seem to be any progress. And then I’ve had the other side too, where you’ll start therapy and you’re like, this is really slow. I don’t feel like I’m getting a lot out of it. And then all sudden you turn around and you’re like you’ve done all this work. What are you really looking for? You’re looking for a good therapist. Mm hmm.

Rhodena Mesadieu 14:45
Yeah. So I’d love this question. One, what are you looking for when you’re looking for a good therapist? And then the other part of this is what I’m hearing is how can I continue to assess that the therapy is being beneficial for me? Yes. So that’s the two part That. So one finding a good therapist 100% research shows that 70% of progress is through relationship building. And we are connected beings. And I really believe like God made us to connect with other people to where we don’t feel alone. And that’s a huge part of the therapeutic process. So when you’re looking for a therapist, I think it’s important to look for someone that you know, that you can see that you could build a relationship with, whether that’s in an intro car, I always do intro calls, where it’s worth talking about what’s going on, and you’re getting a little bit of a feel of who I am versus who you are and what you’re looking for. And what that would look like. It’s great to have questions like, if, you know, I know, you mentioned, what if the person doesn’t know what they want to get out of therapy? But see what that dialogue looks like with a therapist. Okay, I don’t know what I want to get out of therapy. What does what, what is therapy going to help me do with that? What would be the approach with that? Right?

April Grant 16:04
So actually ask the therapists that question. Yeah, and you’re especially when you’re unsure?

Rhodena Mesadieu 16:09
Absolutely, absolutely. And then, of course, you know, in the initial call, you don’t have a lot of background information. So they’re not going to be able to give you like a specialized approach, but they can give you an idea. And that way, if you talk to one or two therapists, or three, if you’d like, you get a feel on different people’s responses and what felt more intuitively connected to where you would like to go forward. So that’s, that’s one, two, maybe you know exactly what you want to work on, you mentioned, you know, in your transparency, of dealing with depression, and so you would want to go to a therapist who has experience in dealing with depression, and maybe that’s their specialty, or maybe their specialty is working with women’s issues. Their specialty might be working in trauma, or you know that you’ve experienced sexual abuse in your past. And you’re like, I know that that’s there. And I’ve never dealt with it. And I’m wondering if that’s making an impact here. So maybe I’ll go to someone who might have that specialty as well. So I can work through some of that that has happened in my past. So you want to make even if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to get out. But ask questions on like, what is your therapy style? How do you build relationship in therapy? You know, of course, we all want to establish trust and a safety zone in therapy, but have some questions that you really want. What would make you feel comfortable with that? There is I think that’s one of the big things, because it’s 30% intervention 70% relationship, and that’s really,

April Grant 17:45
okay. Yeah, I never thought of it that way. I mean, that makes sense, though. Because I think when you feel closer, you feel like they have your best interests at heart. And that you can not only tell them things, but they’re going to give you guidance back that you’re going to believe in. Because when you don’t have that relationship, which I’ve like I said, I’ve gone to several like I’ve had multiple bouts, but within each bout, I’ve had multiple therapists because I was looking for the right one. Although I didn’t have an outline of what I should be looking for, I was just like, this isn’t working for someone else.

But I would.

Now Now I lost my train of thought. Um, but in the sessions, it was just very the people that I did not have that connection to, I wasn’t willing to listen to, because I’m like, do they even? Are they listening? And I guess really, I felt like, are you really listening to me? Like, are you actually listening to me? Are you just have this predetermined notion of what you’re going to say? And you’re ready to spit it out? When I walk in the door. So that’s good. So 30% intervention 70% relationship? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Rhodena Mesadieu 19:00
Because at the end of the day, you just want someone to hold space with you, and like you mentioned, understand what you’re going through and help walking through that. So there’s that part. When you are participating in therapy, though, it’s therapy is more about the client than it is about the therapist. Okay, the therapist is guiding and leading you and facilitating you, right? But you get out of therapy, what you put in and that is not necessarily mean that the it may be the therapist is not a good fit. If you’re not finding stuff to do that. But then there’s also parts where it’s like, Okay, well what are you doing outside of session, in order to help progress to you, and not just using the therapeutic conversation to only get the time that you’re working through things so that can be some you know, you talk to your therapist about what’s going on that it doesn’t feel like it’s working and that’s a conversation to have with it there is I actually today have a an appointment with a new therapist. I had been working with my previous therapist, almost three years, September would have been three years. And she was really great and getting you started, like, I knew that I had trauma in my life that I hadn’t ever dealt with. I never wanted there. But I was a therapist, I’m like, Okay, I know that I need to go to therapy for this. And I had it and I just realized, like, I just keep on getting in these relationship patterns. And they’re unhealthy. And I can see that it’s unhealthy, and I still do it. So it was like, something is wrong, something is wrong, can be all of them. Right. And so, so I’m going to therapy, and, and that’s when I really started to label my trauma, you know, label the trauma of like, history of sexual abuse, or absent father or distant, emotionally unavailable family system, right. And so at the, at the time, I wouldn’t have had the language to even know that I needed that in my therapy, because I was just like, I don’t know, relationships are just not working now for me, and that’s why I like anyway, so um, so that was very helpful for me. She was very pivotal in my first bout of going to therapy writing in the introduction part. And then I started to feel like, Oh, no, I just don’t feel like this is pushing me any forward, I feel like we’re having it felt more supportive than it felt like leading and guiding. And it felt more like, okay, everything is going to be okay. Rather than like, No, I’m like, year three in, we’re gonna be keep digging in. And me being a therapist probably doesn’t help you. Right, right. Right. not know, like, okay, doctors make the worst patient said yes. And I will say that I probably has been someone that in some session, like, I don’t know where you’re going with this. So. So there’s that. But I had to intuitively know that I know, what I needed. And what I got from that therapist, and those two and a half years was very helpful and beneficial. But at a certain point, I needed something more I needed something else, because I was also in a different place than when I was when I first entered therapy, right? The conversation, we don’t have openly as much, we always want to say how do you find a good therapist, how you find a therapist, but it’s okay to have multiple therapists right now, a lot because you are in a different place, years later, as you continue to grow. And it doesn’t mean anything about that therapist, but maybe you just have different needs that someone else can. And

April Grant 22:28
so imagine you you did the intro work, you feel like there’s a relationship, how many sessions should you give a therapist before you’re like, this isn’t working? Should it be? I mean, I know what it would be a range, because obviously, if the first session sucks, and, you know, but what would you say would be a good amount of time that a therapist and a client work together? Before the client can assess whether or not it’s effective?

Rhodena Mesadieu 22:56
Yeah. So in regards to just finding a new therapist, I would say you want to give that at least a few sessions, maybe at least three, right, except on seeing if this is someone that I can relate to. Okay. If there’s someone I can see myself building trust with that, I would say get that about three, three to four sessions. Now, if therapy isn’t working for me, I would say once again, that three months, because the initial process, she’s someone that you could share, he is someone that you can relate to, then you are constantly building that relationship. But you’re talking about effectiveness in the beginning, that a lot of that is around getting to know each other getting to write well, opening up all that that you had in your life before you even got to that point. And I think sometimes people can feel like, I feel like I’m just venting or talking. And I’m not really getting through anything. And sometimes that’s part of the process of the initial part of therapy. So for you to start digging those things up and really start to see some change in your life. I want to say you want to give yourself at least two to three months in that therapeutic process to where you’re starting to make those connections. And that’s if you’re going on a weekly basis.

April Grant 24:10
Okay. All right. Yeah. Yeah, that I mean, that’s also another thing because I definitely, I’m a talker. And so I have been to several therapists where I just felt like I just talked the whole session, and it was week after week, and I wouldn’t particularly feel any better when I got done. It was like, Okay, I vented but I kind of ran into myself before I walked in and venting to her. And then there would there was no steps. It wasn’t like well think on that or do something with it. It was just like, great. Time’s up and come back the next week and it felt exactly the same. So I definitely know that there. There are therapists out there that just allow you to do a lot of talking without a lot of referrals or extra homework or expectations or anything like that, should you get homework from your therapist? I

Rhodena Mesadieu 25:04
am a homework therapist, okay?

Because I’m like you, I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna share all these things. But I want to know, how, how is this going to help me when I leave this session? Right? At the end of my conversation, I’m always like, okay, based off of our conversation today, what do you think is gonna be helpful for you to work on this week? Even if you did most of the talking? insight, right, you’re talking, right? And so I give homework. And you usually, I’m a more structured therapist, where I do have like, either curriculums or modalities or books that we’re going through whichever that I have in mind, as we’re building relationship. And as we’re working through your goals. So I’m a homework therapist, everyone isn’t ready to give homework. So it’s important to know what you’re okay with? Like, are you okay with going to a therapist? doesn’t give homework? Or do you want someone to maybe have more structure and say, okay, we always are working on something.

April Grant 26:01
Okay, and what about the relationships that you’re building? So when you’re in therapy? Obviously, you’re the whole purpose is to work on you not work on external people, it’s for you to get mentally? healthier? Yeah. Um, should that have a reflection? I mean, obviously, it should. But how does that affect the people around them? And how is that a struggle when you’re going through therapy, and you’re changing, and you have friends and family around you? Um, and they kind of fight back? And how do you kind of cope with that?

Rhodena Mesadieu 26:41
Yes. So part of starting therapy, and working through therapy is that what was what may have been okay for you, as you were living your life and the people that you had in your circle, or the relationships that you have, when you start to really figure out what your needs are, some of those people may still be people that you find to be valuable. And then the other ones are more like, Wow, now I’m in a different place. And now I see this relationship differently. And so there could be some changes on who you decide to interact with who you decide are your safe people and who you decide to share. So that does that can change your friendships. And what I find even in working through like trauma and family stuff, is that associate change how you view your family, it changes, like, there’s like a grief and the loss there, as well, because it’s, Oh, I thought I was experiencing this in one way. Or there’s a fee for the last one, maybe you’re the only one in your family going through therapy. And so now you’re working on all the things that are coming from being in your family, either generational patterns, or, you know, family stuff that you’re recognizing yourself, and you’re having to hold the weight of all of that generational cabinet a year on we’re working through that. So there’s like a grief of like, I don’t I have to deal with and I was like, it’s so unfair, that these things that are happening, before that I was even alive, that’s been passed down to why it’s part of my life, that now I’m the one having to carry that I’m the one having to like, work through my relationship with my brother, or I’m the one who’s having to like, be a certain way with my mom to improve those interactions, you know, and sometimes it feels, I would try to be doing that with me too. So there can be a grief around that awakening of the loss of what your relationships are. But there can also be like an improvement, right, and you are more fulfilled, and you will you relinquish certain expectations that may not have been realistic to have in the first place. So that you truly engage in a more authentic experience with this person, rather than the idea that you thought you had about it.

April Grant 28:49
So that’s interesting you before therapy, you kind of can have this idealistic, of relationship, like framework, you look at it, maybe you see it on TV, maybe you see it in friends and family, something they have, and then you want to replicate that. And that’s just, you have to let kind of let that go. Sometimes, like you have to really assess whether that relationship is going to be able to look anything like that. Do you suggest that they kind of wipe the slate clean and start from scratch? Or where do you where would you go? Yeah,

Rhodena Mesadieu 29:25
I don’t believe in starting from scratch. Okay, because I think that we can’t just erase all of our memories, and things and hurts and joys happen and all of that, right? And so I think everything is a learning experience and you actually begin to build more intimacy when you’re able to walk through some of that stuff and then go on the other side and use them as lessons and even as indicators on how to engage effectively in those relationships. So I don’t think it’s like okay, let’s wipe that whole thing clean because they happen for a reason and you know, I don’t know if he talked a lot about faith. But I do think everything happens for a reason. And that’s part of our testimony and as part of our restoration of who we are, and how we present ourselves in our relationship. Now with moving forward, I think it’s important to acknowledge what those are acknowledge, like, Hey, I’m really going to have to let go of, you know, maybe I really expected my mom to always know what to say to me, every time I’m bringing her. And in order for me to show up authentic in my relationship with my mom, and have insecurities fulfilled, I can’t expect her to be my therapist, because she just does not have the skills to do that. So when I had that expectation of her to always know what to say to me to help me feel better, then it constantly leaves me in this unfulfilled state. Now, I still have a relationship with my mom. But now I expect it to be to be more authentic and what I know she can provide. And if those are my knees, I go in spaces where I know that that could be fulfilled, and not leave all of that on, on her, for example.

April Grant 31:07
Well, what I think you said is what I what I heard was pretty interesting, because I think we do put a lot of expectations on others. on a previous podcast, we talked about how we put our parents whole expectations on our marriages. And you know, bringing that in, because we have an expectation either from having a great upbringing, or having a not so great upbringing, and what, how we want it to look in our marriage, and we kind of shove it down our sport spouses throats. Right. And they don’t typically appreciate that.

Rhodena Mesadieu 31:42
And it’s unfair, it is like, okay, now I have to be responsible for fulfilling all of your wishes and your dreams and your desires. And it and it can’t happen, right? But is it somewhere that is a shared meaning? It’s a shared space, and it’s a realistic expectation, based off of who that person is.

April Grant 32:02
Okay, um, let’s see, do I have any other questions?

Oh, so, when you go through therapy, it’s hard, do you? I mean, I know therapists have have to abide by HIPAA laws, and they keep their stuff quiet. How much? Should the person share what they’re going through to their friends and family?

Rhodena Mesadieu 32:28
Should they be open and just say, Hey, everybody, I’m in therapy? Or should it be a slow rollout? Or should it just be kept to themselves? And then kind of allow the people around them? To change? Yeah, that’s a great, great question. And always something that you’re working through, is Who do I share my story with and Renee Brown, she does a phenomenal job with around vulnerability and shame and, and this aspect of life vulnerability, not telling everyone, you know, your, your information or your life, people have to earn your story, they have to earn the right to be in that space with you. So I would say everyone doesn’t need to know that you’re in therapy. Um, and it’s also based off of you as a person. So now, you know, I obviously in a public platform share, that I’m in therapy. And I give that off, as a general sense of I’m in therapy, right, and I’m okay with that. And that doesn’t create any aspects of negativity for me. So if I can do that, in a place where I feel like that safe, then I’ll share it. Now, the individual intricacies of what I talked through in therapy, I’m going to make sure I do that with someone who is capable, to hold that space with me who’s trustworthy, and who I know that if I share this with this person, they’re not going to share that with anyone else. Right? I’m only sharing what I’m comfortable with, with this person. And you have to think about why you’re sharing this because sometimes people will use therapy to unintentionally manipulate a dialogue and the conversation with someone else, whether that’s something that they want to get out with that person, or maybe it’s like a blame, like, Oh, I’m in therapy because of what you did to me or, you know, more. So they might use it for that. And then they get a negative response. And then now you have this hurt and pain related to your therapy session, right? So you have to be careful who you share that with, because people will assert their opinions about your therapy, when you share it with them. And that can make an impact on how you feel about being in therapy. Because not everyone is as supportive as we would like them to be. And people have their statements as well. They have their ideas online. You know, like, I just had this piece on Wednesday. Someone told him well, you don’t need therapy, you just need to go and pray. You know, you just need to go and talk to God and that’s your therapy. And so that can create you to feel self conscious on like Okay, do I really need this as you are decided that this is something that you’re working through. So I think you have to be mindful as to who you share your specific intricacies with to make sure that that continues to be a therapeutic space, because your therapeutic space is not just in the office. It’s also outside of the office of what you’re working on and who you share that with.

April Grant 35:19
Okay, well, I do know, I met you through church. So I definitely know you are a God fearing woman. So I do want to touch a little bit more on what you just said about prayer. Because a lot of Christian women just saying just pray to God. And that sounds great. Except for how effective is it on its own? To just pray about issues? Right.

Rhodena Mesadieu 35:51
So, um, I would not say that it’s ineffective to pray on on your own, right, because I do believe in the sovereignty of God. And I do believe that God alone can change anything, right. However, I don’t agree with the notion that you cannot also have other things along with the sovereignty of God, that will help you in your healing property. So we’re okay with going to doctors, and some people. And this goes with medical doctors too. Like I’m in it. I grew up in a Caribbean family and they think they could just go and pray. I literally no lie. My mom. I don’t want to put her out but she was literally like, Christians can’t get to Coronavirus and I from like a scripture of like diseases and all of this stuff. And she was like, I just need to pray in Coronavirus. And that is not biblical. But there is aspects where it’s like God is sovereign enough. There’s a belief that God is sovereign enough that he could do until anything. However, I do believe that he’s he brought doctors into the world. He brought science into the world. He brought knowledge, intellect to people to connect us with each other. He uses so many different things to show his presence. And it’s not only through prayer, and prayer can even be used in therapy. I have prayed with mine in therapy before. And you know, and even working for me I prayer is an area of my spiritual walk that I want to continue to grow on. And I talked to my therapist about that, like, hey, when I pray sometimes I don’t always feel emotionally connected. And I realized that that came from my fatherlessness. Right. And so because I’m working through fatherlessness, and I’m having to see God as a father building that intimate connection, I had to work through that in therapy. So those are how those things can go on and together to being able to connect, like, how is my earthly life impacting my spiritual life? And so I think that they coincide, and he uses all things to bring you back to him.

April Grant 38:03
Well, I definitely think that’s important. I hear unfortunately, too many people who don’t want to take that step. Because in my, my, my non spiritual, I don’t know if I want to say non spiritual, but the way I look at it is, even when you’re praying, it’s still your own understanding of the world. Yes, and you can manipulate God’s word, however your programming is. And that’s not always effective, to try to manipulate the world. And sometimes getting that other person involved. And that’s one of the things I really appreciate about our church is, you know, we did the God’s design for therapy, God’s design for marriage. And they said at the end, if you’re struggling with these things, come talk to us. We have counselors, we have guide, guidance counselors to really help you through because you’re only leaning on your understanding of whatever you do, whether it’s therapy, whether it’s reading the Bible, whether it’s reading other books, and you are interpreting it through the lens of your programming and not the lens that someone else has seen. And maybe it will open up more doors and understanding.

Rhodena Mesadieu 39:27
And it’s actually difficult to go to a counselor. Okay, if God talks a lot about having wise counsel. And sometimes we can use that in a context of like having a spiritual mentor, I have an older person or having pastoral care. But a wise counsel can also be a therapist, it can be a counselor, that’s one of God’s identity is he is our counselor, right? And then there’s a lot of scriptures around people being part of what builds up believer and builds you up in your spiritual walk. And so I think there’s enough principles to say if I’m bringing this person in, to build me up, and the things that I’m struggling with and the things that are impacting me and my burdens, right? That God cares with me. But he also tells me that people can help bring up to that. I think the principles of the Bible also shares that it would be appropriate accounting as part of that. Oh, okay, awesome.

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