Therapy Talk with Mental Health Expert: Franchesca Fontus
Let’s get it together
So we’re making strides in the mental health space by normalizing therapy and the conversation regarding self-care. There’s no denying that there is a clear stigma regarding therapy. Therapy calls for the individual to become vulnerable about areas in their life that may be particularly difficult to bring up, specifically with a “stranger.” What’s the benefit of going to therapy? How is someone who knows nothing about me qualified enough to help me with my problems?
Therapy gives you the opportunity to process childhood traumas that may be affecting your current life; depression; anxiety; toxic relationships- the list is endless.
I decided to take the first step to see a therapist while in undergrad at the University of Florida. I was overwhelmed with having moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone, along with the pressures that I placed on myself to follow through with my original plan to go to medical school—even though I knew deep down inside that I had no desire to become a doctor. Couple that with money issues, my attempts at trying out this whole love thing, emotional rollercoasters—the anxiety of becoming a failure if I didn’t go to medical school. And there you have it: a recipe for a complete meltdown.
Is therapy really a thing
Franchesca Fontus specializes in mental health and trauma and sees several different scenarios as a therapist- whether it be individuals, couples, or families. She is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, serving as the owner and CEO of her private practice. What better way to understand something than speaking to someone who deals with it day in and day out? While delving into this topic of mental health, she simplified the concept for me.
What’s the best way to deal with loss? Or how about traumatic experiences in your life that hinder you from maintaining healthy relationships with people? How do you deal with anxiety? Or societal pressures and norms regarding your social class, relationship status, or even the age in which you should bear children? Sometimes it really does take speaking to someone. Think of going to a therapist for mental clarity the same you would go to a medical doctor to address a need with your body.
As of 2018, there are over 2.32 billion monthly active users on Facebook. As of 2019, there are about 1 billion Instagram users, monthly. Fontus discusses the pressures of social media on mental health and suggests regular social media breaks or fasts when necessary. She gives the reminder that “you are right where you’re supposed to be” and reaffirms that understanding “timing” is key in coping with life’s changes. Don’t allow social media highlight reels to make you feel inadequate.
Franchesca wrapped up this conversation with the reminder that “your mind affects your overall well-being and your overall well-being in turn, affects your mind”. You may have considered therapy in the past, but was unsure whether or not it would be beneficial to you. Or maybe you feel like you won’t be able to afford it.
Many employers offer an Employment Assistance Program otherwise known as EAP- free to their employees. EAP is free counseling by a licensed professional. Whether you begin at home with a self-care regimen or you decide to go and speak to someone, remember to make your mental well-being, a priority.
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This segment of Parler: Table Topics was brought to you by contributions from Franchesca Fontus. You can contact her through the following social media platforms:
Facebook: Franchesca Fontus
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