Mental health awareness is steadily gaining its much-needed recognition in society today. It goes without say that the state of mind controls the whole well-being of a person. Unfortunately, this is either not obvious to all or is highly undermined as many of us suffer silently with stress, depression, emotional instability etc.
Today we get an insight into this field through Mukimba Rahedi, a registered psychologist, practicing counselor and trained young adults’ coach. She is the founder of Pink Amazon Therapy, based in Nairobi, Kenya. In this interview I was curious to hear from an expert on the state of mental health in society today and what we need to know. This is what Mukimba had to share.
What inspired you to follow your path?
I used to be in fashion design believe it or not. At some point in my life, I felt the best way to impact the world was to do something aligned with my own personal journey. Something that lit up my passion. I was good at fashion, but I was not passionate about it. I found my true purpose in mental health services. Previously, I struggled processing my own trauma, but my faith and psychology have been a big part of my healing. I wish to share that freedom with anyone who needs it.
What is the importance of therapy in today’s world?
As we all know, life has ups and downs and sometimes the downs can be overwhelming. Therapy is a tool to navigate through that. Our trauma, unconscious or conscious, has a direct way of affecting our day to day activities. If one wants to gain freedom, they need professional help to process all their experiences. After a while, therapy can become a tune up. A service just like you would give your machine to ensure everything is in tip top function.
How can someone tell they need to seek therapy?
Firstly, everyone needs therapy. It is effective even with seemingly well-adjusted individuals. I can emphasize on two urgent reasons most people seek therapy.
- Therapy can be a response right after the occurrence of a traumatic event such as loss, terror, rape, physical assault, failed relationships, divorce, accidents etc. This is a practical solution to process the emotions in real time to avoid a future delayed and exaggerated negative response.
- Therapy is also sought after when people realize they are not coping well with life. When they are struggling to navigate through activities that they had no problem handling before. This may indicate symptoms of depression or anxiety thus the need for therapy.
In addition, therapy is a commonly applied approach used in partnership with psychiatric intervention, rehabilitation etc. to address the behavioral part of addiction recovery, complex mental health disorders and personality disorders.
Which are the typical steps you take your clients through?
The first session is a ‘get to know you session’. It ensures that the process, the therapist, and the client are a good fit for each other. After we have established a connection, we go through the basics of ensured confidentiality and a small introduction into what to expect from future sessions. The process is extremely interactive and actionable such that most clients attest to a huge improvement. On average, clients choose 10 to 12 sessions but others choose to continue with more just as a practice of self-care. I love my clients, I am often pretty invested in their success.
What challenges do you encounter in your career line?
Currently things are great. When COVID 19 hit, the concept of mental health and mental health assistance became very accepted even in a country like ours. The model of an online therapy practice is also very convenient for most people. I also do continuous mental health education in institutions like schools, corporations, and churches. I will honestly say people are open to hearing from experts on mental health. We are not where we need to be, but things have improved greatly.
What advice can you give to someone who is considering a career in therapy?
You must be sure that you are an authentic person and that your own healing journey is just as authentic. When you preach water and drink wine it’s super easy for your clients to sense the inauthenticity, and it affects their own healing journey. Take time to fill your own cup as well. I am a huge advocate of peace and enjoyment. If anything costs me peace, then it’s too expensive.
Any parting shot?
Investing in your mental health is one of the best things you can do for yourself. The results are definite. Self-awareness will help you show up best in your life hence mental health should always be a priority. Even in daily practices, it’s important to ensure that you are making decisions that protect your mental health.
The importance of mental health should be emphasized day in day out. Experts like Mukimba Rahedi play a big role in restoring sanity and emotional stability in the world. If you wish to reach out to her or indulge in her content, check out her social media platform on facebook @Pink Amazon Therapy on Instagram @ Pink Amazon Therapy and on Youtube @ Pink Amazon Therapy