Today’s blog is a guest post by Pamela Smith. Pam is a therapist at Texoma Specialty Counseling that specializes in trauma and substance use. Today she writes about the powerful #TimesUp and #MeToo Movements. Read her thoughts below.
Reading the tweets and articles on the #TimesUp movement is a bittersweet moment for me. I applaud those brave enough to stand up and fight the good fight against sexual harassment and inequality across the working industries of America. Several weeks ago, I read about #MeToo, another sexual harassment movement that went viral after actress, Alyssa Milano tweeted asking women to share their stories of sexual assault.
I believe these are great movements. I believe the intentions are great and hearts are in the right place. What concerns me is once the band aid is ripped off, the memories are re-lived, and scabs caused by the trauma and post traumatic stress are removed – who is there to help these women pick up the pieces of their lives? What is the plan for a healthy recovery? The number of women who are responding to the calls on social media far outnumber the total of licensed mental health clinicians trained to assist them in their recovery. What I am not seeing in my community, on the news, or on social media outlets are those licensed mental health clinicians complaining that they are inundated with calls, overbooked with appointments, and more clients than slots to fill.
This is a major concern for me not only as trained licensed mental health clinician, but also as a survivor of sexual assault and inequality. These calls for justice have identified the problem, but what is the solution? Is there a coalition of licensed mental health clinicians dedicated to provide affordable (which may sometimes mean free) mental health care for those who need it? Where is the beacon of light these women so desperately need? The solution should be three pronged: Identifying the problem, Accountability, which may include but not be limited to legal resolution, and most importantly, Healing. In our zealousness to right the societal wrongs, we often overlook the cartilage left lying in the road. We lose sight of what’s important – the decimation of the human mind.
In our work with others we are hearing clients report feeling triggered and upset over the stories being shared. Although they are glad silence is being broken, hearing of another’s abuse only causes more shame, sadness, confusion, and anger. It is ok if you are feeling overwhelmed and upset over the movements. You have a voice and at Texoma Specialty Counseling we want to hear that voice.
We specialize in treating trauma and sexual abuse. Times Up and you can get help and support. Give us a call today and see how we can help you.