By Cynthia V. Catchings | Psychotherapist, LCSW, MSSW, CFTP, CLYL
Deciding to see a therapist for the first time can be daunting. Speaking from my own experience during college, when I realized I couldn’t keep up the facade of mental health any longer, I decided I had to do something about it—but I found myself struggling even then, even after I had cemented my decision to pick up the phone and get help. For who could help me when my depression was swallowing me whole? Who could I even approach with such a huge ask? It had been a heavy, heavy secret I had kept from my family, and I did not think they – or anyone – would understand. I felt alone.
However, that is never the case. There is always help out there and you are less alone than you think! I looked up a private practice in McAllen and made an appointment for that day. Even once I arrived, I sat in the car and had a long cry, wrestling my feelings before going in to meet David Lester, LCSW. “Is this really necessary?” begged one side. “Do we really have to reveal ourselves to a stranger?”
But the other side was crying, “Yes. I can’t do this alone. I need a professional.”
So I braced myself—and finally had my first life-changing experience with a therapist.
“This is nothing to be afraid of,” both sides conceded after the first session.
Our talks were completely confidential and brought clarity to my thought patterns. Discussing why I felt certain ways helped me build my emotional tool box, as I learned to react in different ways to stressful situations. I saw such an improvement in my mood and life overall that I decided I also wanted to help others in this way. I completed the necessary requirements, and have proudly been offering my services in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas since 2009.
My main goal with the Women’s Emotional Wellness Center is to provide these vital services to the individuals whom I can best serve. I have found great success in helping women, especially women of color; I am a Latina and understand how the background of our region affects the psyche. Women are often the ones looking for mental health help for their family or themselves, and I want to be a resource for them.
WEWC sets itself apart by offering services in the evening, so that individuals who can’t take time off from work to see their therapist can get the support they need after hours. We also offer a sliding scale for payment to work with our clients who don’t have insurance.
You may have seen on our website that we offer counseling and psychotherapy for issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD, PTSD, substance abuse, and low self-esteem. However, this is not an exhaustive list. It’s also good to know that some people live with more than one mental health issue, and with the right help, can find ways to manage them and lead a happy, healthy life. Do not be discouraged by the cards you were dealt— learn the rules of playing with them, instead.
Additionally, we provide marital counseling and family counseling to build strong parenting skills and help change patterns of abuse such as domestic violence. If you are in a relationship that could use some improvement, or you feel it going down a negative path and want to make changes, contact WEWC at (956) 438-2805 to make an appointment or send us a message through facebook. Convincing your partner to go with you to therapy can be a difficult conversation. However, they do not have to come with you to the first session, and I can help you through that process.
If you feel that your partner is threatening to the mental and physical well being of yourself or your family, I urge you to seek help. If you are in immediate danger, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline – the vital link to safety for women, men, children and families affected by domestic violence. Trained advocates are available to take your calls through the toll free, 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). All calls and chats are completely confidential. http://www.thehotline.org/