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Dr. Corey Yeager is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) primarily serving the African American community. His new book, How Am I Doing?: 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself, iterates the importance of checking in on yourself and guides readers through the process.
In this episode of Motivational Mondays, Dr. Yeager discusses the struggles the African American community is up against, especially when it comes to focusing on mental health.
CHECKING IN ON YOURSELF TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Dr. Yeager points out that we are always talking to ourselves about ourselves. You are your biggest influence and when you become aware of the conversations, i.e. “self-talk,” you realize just how negative you may be toward yourself.
One of the goals of Dr. Yeager’s book is to help you change your self-talk from negative to positive. It starts by learning to catch your negative thoughts. If those thoughts don’t help you move forward, replace them with something positive.
THE IMPACT OF UNRESOLVED ANCESTRAL AND GENERATIONAL TRAUMA
When you experience a traumatic event, you often set up coping mechanisms to protect yourself without realizing it. Someone may withdraw and be shy when they weren’t before. How do you return to who you were and stop “protecting” yourself? You have to reengage with those traumatic moments to move forward.
Dr. Yeager says African Americans have to distinguish between culture and the remnants of trauma. 400 years ago, they were beaten as a means of discipline. Now, people say, “the violence is cultural.” But it’s a remnant of the trauma. Dr. Yeager emphasizes that you need to investigate whether or not something is cultural or comes from trauma.
You accept things as an excuse because it was done to you in the past. In general, if something isn’t talked about and addressed, you will continue carrying generational trauma into the next generation.
Listen to this episode to learn about...
- [1:04] Why Dr. Yeager wrote 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself
- [2:37] Silencing the negative voices we generate in our own heads
- [4:48] How African Americans cope with being stereotyped
- [8:44] Combating the difficulties of colorism and racism
- [10:52] The impact of unresolved ancestral trauma
- [17:34] Why we need to honestly confront American history
- [21:05] The stigma attached to African Americans seeking therapy
Listen to the bonus episode to learn the importance of increasing confidence and embracing emotions.