Special Guest: The Situational Therapist – Derrick Hoard LMFT
This week we sit down with Derrick “The Situational Therapist” Hoard to discuss his path from a neurodivergent child of a tyrannical mother to a successful therapist and TikTok star. What starts as an interview develops into something bigger as Tim, Travis, and Herman open up about their own parenting and relationship struggles. This is a raw and revealing episode you won’t want to miss.
Derrick Hoard is a licensed marriage and family therapist, avid gamer, and adult survivor of childhood abuse and neglect. He’s also The Situational Therapist, a social media persona he uses to straight talk about complex psychological issues and removes the stigma of experiencing childhood abuse. Derrick’s sometimes challenging but always engaging videos have amassed over 900K followers on TikTok.
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Black in the Middle Podcast episode gems
Special Guest: The Situational Therapist – Derrick Hoard LMFT
From Angry Cop to LMFT:
Tim: Why did you become a therapist?
Derrick: My bachelor’s degree is in criminal justice. I was going to school to be a cop.
Derrick: In my mind, I was going to help people. What I really meant was I wanted to get back at every single one of them people that used to bully me when I was a kid. That’s exactly what it was.
Derrick: I was fitting to hurt some people, in the name of the law. I was fitting to go in.
Derrick: And so when I was in college, I worked at the computing center and the lady who’s computer I was working on, she said, “Have you thought about going to master school?”
Derrick: I loved to run my mouth so I was like, “Absolutely. I am going to get my Master’s in criminal justice. I’ve already gotten my bachelor’s in criminal justice.” Because I wanted to be the most educated cop. You were not going to tell me anything.
Derrick: She was like, “Well, have you heard of the marriage and family therapy program?” I hadn’t heard of that. She’s like, “Well, it’s kind of like a counselor, except they see the whole family.”
Derrick: But I was like, “Number one, why would I want to be a family therapist? Obviously the one person in the family has the problem. Why do I need to see everybody?” Which is the exact opposite of what I learned later.
Derrick: But, yeah, I got in and I fell in love with the program. I fell in love everything. The theories!
Derrick: Like I just learned this term yesterday, epistemological injustice. It is really an injustice the level of knowledge that the privileged population has that they keep away from us.
Derrick: I understand now why we are so prone to fight with each other just on sight. There’s a dynamic that’s at play called pursuing and withdrawing. It’s ridiculous the amount of knowledge that they have and how much they keep it. It’s hidden behind this paywall. I went through so much debt. The student loans!
Derrick: But it’s amazing. I see what I paid for. The knowledge that they had is ridiculous. And so I fell in love with it. I really did.
Becoming the Situational Therapist:
Tim: So you created this persona for TikTok? This character. A little louder, a little exaggerated, but still you right?
Derrick:This Situational Therapist is not a caricature. It’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it is me. I want you to critique me. I want you to feel like he’s too loud. I know all the things people are going to say about that character because part of that is me.
Not Black Enough:
Tim: So do you feel black in the middle being in the Pacific Northwest? Not feeling familiar with one side or the other?
Derrick:The therapy thing we talk about here is Othering. Where you are othered in whatever family you come from or whatever environment or identity you come from. The identity that you should be a part of, or the people group that you should be a part of kind of rejects you.
Derrick:So I’ve always felt like I’m not black enough. I like to term Black in the Middle, but I’ve always felt like I’m just not black enough. I still feel that way.
Derrick: When I talk about things like Chris Rock didn’t do anything wrong. Like there’s universe in which Will Smith was all right for hitting this man in the face. I understand violence is justified at times, but Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have more money than God. There’s no reason for that response.
Derrick: Or like I love me some Paramore. I love me some metal, I really do. And like, I can’t share my Spotify playlist at the cookout.
Derrick: So it’s just been nice to create a community and find other people who felt that way too. If you don’t have that, there’s a very straight pipeline to a very dark place.
Teasing and Bullying in Black Families:
Derrick: I didn’t have to go to the regular public school. I got to go to the white school across the tracks. That school was amazing, bro. I felt like I fit in and they were really nice to me.
Derrick: Whereas at home or in my family, the love language is just teasing all the time. It’s unnecessary. The level of teasing and bullying that occurs as a rite of passage in black families… It’s ridiculous!
Derrick: I remember one specific incident, I was getting an attendance award at the white school and I was wearing some slacks and a nice shirt… One of my family members said when I was walking up that “Your butt is too high on your back.” I don’t even know what that means but I’ll never forget it.
Tim: It means those pants be fitting! I know another individual who was ridiculed for the same thing in childhood.
Tim: And the aggressor is at the table!
Herman: Sorry, T.
Derrick: I went to one of my teachers in tears and told them what my family member said. And she was like, “Baby, I don’t know why they said that. But you’re beautiful.”
Derrick:That’s when I started to be more connected with white culture or white influences than I did with black, because every time I went to people like me they were making fun of me. “Why are you so sweet? Why are you so this? Why are you so that?”
Derrick:But I get it. It’s funny. It’s a joke. I laugh. That’s the trauma response I created to deal with it.
Spanking and the Black Community:
Herman: I watching one of your videos talking about spanking, and that opened up a whole conversation in our household.
Herman:I mean everybody spanks I guess, but like… I feel that there’s some cultural components in that when it comes to discipline and obedience. In Black Culture. Right?
Derrick: Let’s start from our community. Black folks. We really don’t know what it’s like to be children. If you have the history of racism and oppression in America, there is no knowing what it’s like to be kids.
Derrick: Go back to slavery. If you had a kid with ADHD in slavery, what issues would that have caused for everybody there? So what’s one thing that the entire family or entire group of community would do? They would rag that child to make sure that that child gets in line, right?
Derrick: There’s also a lot of religion tied into it, specifically the Kojic church and Pentecostalism and black families specifically. There’s a lot of “it’s okay to hit your kid.”
Derrick: This is why I don’t feel like any connection to the black community. At All.
Herman on Spanking:
Herman: I was a full- time single father and my reaction time raising my daughter by myself… I didn’t have a lot of patience. More stress. That led to spanking. Now that I’m married and have a second child, we’ve never really spanked.
Herman: And I feel really bad but like… Is spanking considered abuse?
Derrick:You’re gonna have to give me a second because I can feel my my blood pressure rising. So I need to take a moment.
Derrick: And the thing that I have to do here is understand that you simply don’t know. Right? And if you knew what I knew… Epistemological injustice… If you understood the damage… If everyone understood.
Derrick: If I could find a way to show everyone the marks that are left. If they came up on your body physically.
Derrick: I can understand why people spank their kids. It’s the fastest, quickest shortcut parenting tool in the world and it works every single time. But the way that it works is the problem.
Derrick: Every time you hit your child, you are severing the relationship between you and them. Every single time. Children intrinsically know and you intrinsically know that it’s not okay to hit people. We all know this. We don’t need to pretend like it’s not true.
Derrick: That’s why we have to call it something different. So we don’t have to deal with the truth of what we’re doing. We say spanking and we say whooping, but we don’t say hitting.
Derrick: So when you say, is it abusive? Is it not abusive? You either understand that it’s abuse, or you don’t.
Derrick:You can do it out of love. You can do it out of whatever you think it is, but you either understand it or you don’t.
Derrick:There are some people who will listen to what I just said, and not have any more questions. They’ll shrug it off. “I don’t think it’s abuse. I don’t think I’m doing anything. I don’t think it’s me.”
Tim on Spanking:
Tim: Let me jump in because I have younger kids and I’ve spanked my kids more recently than you. So my kids are about to be six and four. When they were maybe like three-ish, I rationalized that popping them was okay. Popping them on the booty, right?
Tim: To your point, this is me thinking like, I’m not hitting them. I’m just popping them to get their attention, just to nip it in the bud at this moment.
Tim: What I saw was that when it did not make the situation better. I thought I would feel better letting that out, but it never did.
Herman: It makes you feel worse.
Tim: So much worse. I had to understand that. Yes, this is how I was raised… And I feared it.
Tim: I don’t want to be like that. I want to lead with love. I want to lead with teamwork and family… And so I made that transition a few years ago. No more spanking.
Tim: But because it’s ingrained in me I can still feel, like, “Boy if you don’t stop that shit right now!”
Derrick: So what do you do in those moments instead of hit?
Derrick: You have to focus on building the relationship. You can break a horse by beating it, or you can bring in an apple every single day. It’s as simple as that. How do you want to build a relationship with your children?
Derrick: It is called triangulation. When you’re in a relationship with two people, it’s real difficult to keep that stable. Kind of like having a stool with only two legs, it’s going to be unstable. But you put that third leg in there, now all of a sudden it feels better.
Derrick: Maybe we don’t like each other, but you know what we really don’t like? The fact that this kid has a problem. We’ll just save our relationship stuff for later, because that’s not the problem here. The issue is not our relationship… It’s our child’s ADHD. It’s our child’s BPD. It’s our child’s this and that.
Derrick: That’s why when you send kids to psychiatric units, they get better until the family visits, then they get worse. When they go back home they get worse. The real problem didn’t get treated.
Travis: Or, you know, you have a relationship and then the kid goes out and branches off… Not part of that triangulation on a constant basis… and the relationship falls apart.
Derrick: Preach it. Preach it. Preach it.
Gentle Parenting Pisses Tim Off:
Tim: This whole gentle parenting thing, right? I feel like it’s taken off with social media. I’m a newer parent and I’m gonna be honest…
Tim: It pisses me off a lot of the time. I’m seeing all these white moms on Tik Tok and Instagram Reels or whatever. My wife is sending me all of them… and like, I believe in the approach. But the practicing of it is hard as fuck.
Tim: The toxic in me wants to reject it. It’s like this is how I was raised. I’m good let me just do it the way I know but I don’t know shit.
Derrick: You don’t have to be so upset with yourself about what you did when you didn’t know. You didn’t know! You had no idea and so I bet it is frustrating to have people constantly sending you stuff telling you this.
Derrick: I remember getting so many spankings as a child because I should have known better. How was I supposed to know?
Derrick: I hear it in your voice… And is okay. It’s alright. It’s REALLY alright.
How Abuse Silences Black Women:
Derrick: It breaks my heart the way that some black women have been conditioned in our society, especially by church, to believe they have to be subservient submissive. And “I have to just listen.”
Derrick: You are allowed to have a point of view. You are allowed to speak up for yourself. And so many women just believe that’s how life is supposed to be. It just it really breaks my heart.
Derrick: And the reason they believe it is… Number one: They grew up with a father that put hands on them. So why should they be surprised when their husband or boyfriend does it?
Derrick: Number two, they believe that they deserve it. “I don’t deserve nice things. I am a horrible person. It’s my ADHD. If only I wasn’t…”
Derrick: This is why we have so many people saying “I turned out fine,” and why I am so violent against that message. It reinforces that that type of behavior is okay… And it isn’t.
Derrick: I’m not the kind of person that thinks everybody needs to go to therapy. All I would say is that if you want to go or if you’re curious about it, then you know go because a lot of the times we are just surviving and not thriving. There was a specific time in my life where I was doing okay, I was doing just fine.
Tim: He summed you up, bro!
Derrick: Yeah, I’m talking to you. 100 percent I’m talking to you. One Million Percent I’m talking to you right.
Derrick: Oh my God! I wish I was physically there.
Tim: Maybe we should stop recording and make this a personal session!
Derrick: I just see it because other people think this too.
Derrick: I was living in an apartment and I didn’t have no artwork up, I didn’t have nothing. I was just surviving.
Derrick: This is why when people sometimes think mental health crises or psychotic breaks just happen to folks… It’s not true. You’re going through your entire life, never stopping to ask, “How fast have I been going?”
The Be Spontaneous Paradox:
Derrick: Therapy can help you understand some things and give language to stuff that you don’t currently have. So for example, wives often have a complaint that their husbands are not taking enough initiative.
Derrick: “I have to ask you to do these things. Why aren’t you doing stuff around the house? I have to keep reminding you I shouldn’t have to ask you.”
Derrick: There’s a communication problem here. In that the wife is asking the husband to do something that he can only do if she isn’t asking him she’s saying take initiative. But if I take initiative because you asked me to I’m not taking initiative I’m doing what you say. If I don’t take initiative, you’re still mad at me. That is called a Be Spontaneous paradox. And you are gonna wonder why no matter what I do for my wife, it isn’t enough it’s because of the way she’s asking.
Tim: Travis gonna go home tonight dropping.
Travis: You’re trying to hit me with a be spontaneous paradox!
Travis: Nah. You don’t box me in! I do what does when I does it!
NeuroDivergence and ADHD:
Derrick: To me, ADHD is when you have someone who just doesn’t fit into the mold. They’re not going to be a kid that’s easy to raise.
Derrick: And we shouldn’t call that an illness just because they need more activities. They need more exercise. They need more parental involvement in some cases. The way that you’re trying to raise them, for example corporal punishment, isn’t going to work. It’s just not going to work. You’re making the problem worse. You’re not doing anything but exacerbating it.
Derrick: There’s so many labels and if we’re honest about it, these diagnoses are scientifically meaningless. They don’t have any validity. They don’t have any reliability. We know this. We just know this.
Toggle for full episode transcript »
All right, we are back. These are your host, Tim
and today. We have a very special guest. We found him on tick tock. He’s changing the world. He’s making lives better. Derek, the situational therapist, thank you for joining us.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Yeah. But so. So, we found this, our producer found. So you’re on Tik Tok? We reached out randomly, you replied. And you were cool with coming on the pod?
Here we are. Yeah.
What’s dope is that Derek is a situational therapist on tic tac. But he’s actually a real therapist in real life. And that’s what we’re going to be talking to you today. Right? Right. Absolutely. There we go. So I would love to just kind of start from the beginning. You’re you’re living in Washington State. But you’re from the south. Talk to us about how it was coming up in the South and how you ended up in the Pacific Northwest.
Yeah. So thank you again, for having me. I’m really excited. So I’m from West Monroe, Louisiana, is it is deep off in itself. It really is. And I haven’t really been able to like, compare the experience until I moved somewhere that was so different from the south. I just knew I was tired of it. I knew I was tired of feeling uncomfortable in grocery stores. I was tired of feeling like I can’t say certain things I was tired of saying stuff like my school flag on officially is the Confederate flag, and no one seems to care about that. We drive around, you know, with Confederate flags on Fridays, and no one seems to care about that. In fact, I’ve had several people tell me that if this flag offends you, you need a history lesson. Oh. Throw it up. In that kind of environment, you know, you tend to behave in ways that look like bipolar disorder, because it’s just so frustrating because everyone that believes that people in the south truly believe that there’s not a problem with it. They think it’s a cultural history. And I can forgive them for that because being in the north, they know what not to say, Oh, my goodness, man you are. So the transition from moving from the South to the North. One of the biggest things was just dealing with the differences in racism in the way you perceive everyone who will smile in your face, right? They will smile on your face, they will invite you to parties, they will do all of that and when it comes time to give you that race Well honestly, you know, we were thinking about going in another direction perhaps if we can see more improvement in your performance so that’s kind of the biggest thing there but also have a little ADHD so you don’t have to keep me on track. Oh my God, what’s the next play? Yeah.
know that’s great, because that’s something that I battle with all the time. I’m like, I feel like the Midwest is so much more racist in the South because at least in the south, you can see it it’s there. You know, everybody feels you can avoid it if you knew it or but you go to places like the Midwest like you just don’t have a smile on your face and not give you a raise or promotion. Yeah, the Saudi next to South is Herms preferred way of racism. He like he likes it in your face. He wants it in your face, he wants to flag waving and this life is a lot to manage. And I don’t I mean, we make a lot of decisions. And that’s an easy one. Okay. There’s a confederate flag not going over there. And that’s been more money in that location. I’m going about my business, whatever. Here.
Herms drives down to Louisiana. What? Oh, God, what,
I think six times a year,
six times a year to drop his daughter off. And he has a direct route. He knows which gas stations to stop to which ones to avoid? Yep. Yeah. So I mean,
it’s like a sixth sense, like a superpower. Like I can go to Louisiana now and drive in the south or anywhere. No, that’s not the place we need. Yeah, yes, place we need to keep going. You know, it’s really it’s really interesting when you grow up in that environment.
Yeah, totally. Totally. So all right. So So you grew up in the in the south? And talk to us about kind of how you got out? Where do you go to? Where do you go to college?
So I went to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, I guess I kind of skipped over childhood a little bit didn’t. Like every famous black person, when they write a book about how they made it, they completely skipped none of that. It was great and wonderful. Everyone did fine. I didn’t really talk about childhood, it was a little rough, because I’m as exciting and fun as it is now to have this personality. Some people who look like me, really found it quite annoying and offensive and would would beat me up for quite often for just existing. And so like, I didn’t really discuss that because I want to talk about it. But I was like the first two, three years of my life, which was where I learned to curse and just be real bad. Christian schools
trip. I just put my kids into Yeah, let’s go. Oh, I will unpack that.
What I meant to say was the choice to send your children to school, a deeply personal one. And whether it’s Christian school or poor
Your data is pointed out.
This belongs to the parents.
Great answer this.
This has been a fight public school versus private school. And coincidentally, we all got a kid in the same school district.
Yeah. Okay, so transition from the dirty south to suppose college, right is when you kind of made that conscious decision to get out of the toxic environment.
Yeah, I was married. Me and my wife, we decided, like I just remembered one day I visited the Pacific Northwest. And I’m not gonna lie. Part of the reason is because marijuana is legal here. And it’s really, really beautiful. It’s a really, really beautiful place it so we visited once and I was like, What can we do to move here and that kind of became my like, drive to get out of Louisiana. I’ve worked in some some very interesting places. And so once I got my license, and I was ready to go, I got it transferred over to Washington. And it was just it’s so good. I’ve never looked back. I need to go back. But I’ve never I’ve never looked back. That’s one of the times is one of the best decisions I made in my life. I got divorced one month later, immediately after, oh, no worse periods of my life. However, getting here, and that was wonderful.
Yeah, whatever it takes you there seem happy thriving.
Yeah, yeah. thriving. So I guess, you know, situational therapist is a persona that you’ve used to I mean, really catapult your business? And to build a brand become an influencer? Which I think we’ll unpack later. But, you know, I guess, being black in the middle. And your professional journey is really what we want to kick this off. How? I guess just talk to us, how did you why did you become a therapist? Like why did that call? And so I want
to make a Yeah, I want to make a distinction between a situation or therapist, I kind of like is the situational therapist, a whole title is my name and like the is the name? And I want people to use the whole title. So I can explain some say the fee specifically? Yes. Yes. Specifically, when it comes to when I when I talk to you about diagnosis and how they’re like a relabeling of the problem, instead of actually telling you why, like, we’ll discuss that. But I’m gonna be honest with you, my journey to being a therapist, I love talking about it. My bachelor’s degree is in criminal justice, I was going to school to be a cop. And in my mind, I was going to help people, what I really meant was, I want to get back at every single one. When I was a kid, exactly what it was as an adult now and therapist, if I was doing therapy with my 1920 year old self, right? When I go to school to be a cop, I was gonna hurt some people in the name of the law is gonna go. And so when I was in college, I worked at the computing center for my college, and I was working at on this person’s computer, in what’s called a trio program, I don’t remember exactly what they did, but a lot of it had to do with like, high schoolers and accelerated learning. And so I was working on her program and the lady computer was working. She said, Well, have you thought about going to master school? I’m sure we started talking about something I love to run my mouth. And she said, Have you thought about master’s program was like, absolutely. I am going to get my Master’s in criminal justice. I’ve already gotten my bachelor’s in criminal justice. Because I wanted to be the most educated cop, you were not going to tell me anything. She was like, Well, have you heard of the marriage and family therapy program? I was like, No, I haven’t heard of that. She’s like, What is the marriage and family therapist? She’s like, well, it’s kind of like a counselor, except they see the whole family, which is such a, it’s not even beginning to explain, like the way that we see the world. I love being a family therapist so much. I really do. But and I was like, so Well, number one, why would I want to be a family therapist, obviously, the one person in the family has the problem what I need to see everybody, which is the exact opposite, right? I learned in which was so great. It was so cool. But too, I just I never considered it. And so I turned in my application a day late. And I remember sitting down talking to the person who ran the program, like trying to explain trying to say, Look, I’m sorry, it wasn’t on purpose. It really wasn’t. I’m just sure I got caught up with something as I normally do. And she’s like, well, Derek, you know, we don’t know if we can let you in and I got in. And I fell in love with the program. I fell in love with everything, the theories the way that number one the way that it’s like I just learned this term yesterday epistemological injustice, it is really an injustice, the level of knowledge that the privileged population has that they keep away from us.
If I could just the concepts the way in which it just it really changed my life, like we don’t even have access to this knowledge. This is why for example, when people have the construct of blackmail the construct of black women understand now why we are so prone to fight with each other just on site like there’s a dynamic that’s at play is called pursuing and withdrawing and it’s Got and it’s just it’s ridiculous the amount of knowledge that they have and how much they keep it, like how it’s hidden behind this paywall of 50. That means so much that went through some of them student loans. And it’s amazing because I see what I paid for it. I see what I paid for the knowledge that they have. It was it was insane. I got to stop using insane as an ableist term, the knowledge that they had is ridiculous. And so I fell in love with it, though. I really did. And I don’t know. You know, even I was the only man in the program. The only male was one, but he switched to another switch to another program. There were 11 women, and it was me. And my goodness, when I tell you I didn’t want that one day. I told him I was like, Man, I didn’t feel like I fit, you know, fit in, in my college cohort. And he’s like, yeah, man, you were the only man black male. And I just didn’t even didn’t even cross my mind. I remember one day they were comparing each other’s boobs sizes. I’m like, What the hell am I supposed?
Yeah, take it as like,
no, no, no, because I knew I knew that. Like, it’s just took me messing up one time. One time for one of them to say I did so and no, to be fair, and none of my cohort was like that. And I just that was a constant fear that I lived under, I have to make sure that I don’t act weird or strange. I have to be perfect. Because I mean, they will kick me out. Real quick story. One time I wrote an article or essay about why we should use marijuana in therapy. And I don’t know if this was related. But the next week they had a program wide drug testing program.
And yes, shut it down. They were like
this happening, right to do this? Yeah. But anyway, that’s kind of that’s kind of my journey.
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I love it.
Yeah, well, one of the things about our show is that it kind of has an intersection between, you know, black culture and white America, we’re stuck in the middle, you know. So with that being said, you talk about working with ADHD and, and how your black experience was different than most now you’ve talked about, you know, some of the things that you you know, fighting with people or people being able to talk a little bit about that experience, and how that led you to deal with your ADHD and your black experience and how I got you where you are today.
Okay, I really, that’s a really good question. Number one, I use the term ADHD because that’s just the one that everyone understands. Like, there’s so many labels, like if we’re honest about it, these diagnoses are scientifically meaningless. They don’t have any validity. They don’t have any reliability. So validity, is it what they say it is? And reliability is, is everybody saying it? Or I might have got those backwards, but the point is either one of them they not? Right, right? No, this, we just know this, we just know this. And so I don’t like to, like label myself with a particular diagnosis. And we need to have a label. So I can explain to people why when you ask me questions, I need you to be very specific. Because if not, and if especially I’m excited about it, I will talk about everything around it, because I’m just enjoying the communication. Yeah. So I use the term neuro divergence. That’s what I’m using right now. And that may be subject to change. But to me, I don’t see you know, something like ADHD as a problem. I made a video about this a couple of days ago. You know, to me, ADHD, in some circumstances, and I’m mincing my words. I don’t really need to, to me ADHD is when you have someone who just doesn’t fit into the mold. They’re just, they’re not going to be a kid that’s easy to raise. And we shouldn’t call that illness just because they need more activities. They need more exercise. They need more parental involvement. In some cases, the way that you were trying to raise them, for example, corporal punishment isn’t going to work. It’s just not going to work. You’re making the problem worse, you’re not doing anything but exacerbating it. So I was one of those kids. I was in the gifted program. I don’t know what they call it now. There’s a ton of strength, gifted whenever I was younger. And so what that meant was, is when I got out of a Christian school, I didn’t have to go to the regular public school. I got to go to the white school. I had to ride. They used to call it the short little bus. But I had to ride the bus for individuals who were in a special education and they bussed me to another school across the tracks. That school was amazing, bro, I ain’t gonna even lie and what was so interesting is there when people call me and I don’t understand the reference, but they they call me Mr. Horn even when I was younger room and like it wasn’t like disrespectful. It was like How was this kid that smart? I was getting in trouble because I was correcting teachers my kindergarten teacher said Ain’t I was like eight isn’t a word. And then she beat me because I was at a Christian school anyway
with the holes in it like yeah,
I don’t know if it had holes in it but I just know it was holy. It really did it really I still remember I’m still mad like about that injustice. Like I want to find her and But, um, what was that whole story I was talking about growing up black being black and white school. So I went to the white school. And you know, I just felt like I fit in and they were really nice to me. Whereas at home or in my family, like everyone, the love language is just grilling people. The love language is just teasing all the time. It’s unnecessary, it is unnecessary. The level of of teasing and bullying that occurs as a rite of passage and black. It’s, it’s, it’s ridiculous. And in my family, it happened. I remember one specific incident, I was getting an award for coming to school, after high school on time, I was getting an award, and I was wearing some slacks and a nice shirt. And I went up and got my award. And one of my family members who I thank you so much for being the standard for my father. I’m not mad at you. But one of my family members said when I was walking up that your butt is too high on your back. I don’t know what that means. But I know that I’ve learned amazing cases.
It means what amazing pants were fit, but I know somebody who also got ridiculed growing up for the same justice. Yeah, man, we talked about it. And the aggressor is at the table. Yeah,
sorry. Sorry about that. T. Yeah, to your point. I think about that it is trauma but I’m like that is kind of the fabric of I don’t know fraternities a life, right. Like put I don’t know if we put each other in these struggles joking around. But insecurity, I know it is insecurity. We’re not
laughing. It’s not No, not this. It’s There’s nothing funny about it. Because again, what I learned in the white school, or I paid all that money, one of the first things they teach you is to start positively keynoting and saying nice things about each other. There’s, you can say those as a joke once you have the under underlying relationship. That’s right. It’s respect. That’s never there. Because you start out hitting your kid. I’m sorry.
Anyway, no, no, that’s true. But that’s kind of like but we don’t know. Like, we didn’t get influenced that told us that that was wrong. And we saw our parents joke with their friends like that. So I joke with T boned like that. And now I’m more conscious of what we all Yeah, you know, and trying not,
not to mention some of our greatest forms of entertainment were based off of that. Because if John session, well, if you look at, you know, our era 90s comedy was, you know, friend groups making fun of each other. That’s exactly how we left. And if you looked at a plaids, black sitcom?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I mean ethic we’ll talk about a little bit more. But I think if I explain what’s happening to you in terms of scapegoating of individuals in your family, so that the whole entire family system can relieve stress, it allows them to be jovial by taking it and then the members, the people. And I’m not trying to say I didn’t participate, but I didn’t in the way that the rest of the family did, which is why I feel separate from black community. It to y’all is that you see of not y’all, but two individuals who are able to describe that incident in the way that you’re describing it, you don’t understand what it’s like to be the butt of that you can’t know, you can’t know my experience, because no one would ever say that about it, if they’ve been through it. And I remember the the moral of the point of that story is when I sit when I talked about my book being too high, I went to one of my teachers in tears. And I was like, Why did my I told them what my family member said she was like, Baby, I don’t know why they said that. But you’re beautiful. And that’s where it started, where I started to be more connected with white culture, or white influences than I did with black because every time I went to people like me, they were making fun of me. Why are you so sweet? Why are you so this? Why are you so that? And then the other message I’m getting is you are so this you are so that you are so this? So I think that when we talk about this, that’s kind of one part of it, that isn’t really discussed? Yeah. But I get it. It’s funny, it’s a joke. Oh, that’s the trauma response I created to deal with it.
connect some dots in my brain. That’s how I mean, that’s, that’s us figuring it out, you know, later on in life, right? Because I’m like, we put one another through that exact same pain. And yeah.
So do you still have that feeling of kind of being black in the middle, or, you know, being in the Pacific Northwest and just, you know, not maybe feeling familiar with one side or the other? Right?
I mean, and I think the I think the therapy thing we talked about here is othering where you are other in, you know, whatever family you come from, or whatever environment or identity you come from that identity that you shouldn’t be a part of, with a people group that you should be a part of kind of rejects you. So I’ve always felt like I’m not black enough. I like to turn black in the middle. But I’ve always felt like I’m just not black enough. I still feel that way. Part of the reason I created the situational therapist was so that I could have some way to come in. I remember when I was getting my, when you’re becoming a therapist, you have to get hours for licensure. And by and large, the way that that happens is through community mental health programs, which is where they have subpar mental health services that they give to black and brown people. And then you go in and you work in those environments. The privileged people that own those things make money and you make pennies. And so I was going to do in home family therapy and a black home And they wouldn’t even open the door. Yeah. Wouldn’t even open it up. No one’s home. I can hear you. So I understand it, I really get it. It’s not their fault isn’t this we live in a racist, white supremacist, like is not their fault. And I still feel it even to this day. Like, I feel like if I would have did my did my platform and came on speaking the $1,000 words, and just again, it’s not a caricature, it is it is it is something that I created so that it would be I want you to to, you know, critique me, I want you to feel like he’s too loud. Like I know all the things people are going to say about that character, because part of that is me. It’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it is me and to this day, I just I still don’t feel connected. And like, you know, it’s just obvious when I talk about things like Chris Rock didn’t do anything wrong. Like there’s no way that no universe where Will Smith was alright for hitting this man in the face. Like I understand it. And violence is justified at times. But Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have more money than God there’s no reason for that response. You know, saying stuff like that gets you in trouble, Paramore. I mean, I love me some Paramore. I love me some metal I really do. And like, I can’t share my Spotify playlist at the cookout we even got to punch me. Yeah, you know. So I still do feel that. And it’s just been nice to kind of create a community and find other people who felt that way too. Because if you don’t have that, then there’s a very straight pipeline to a very dark place that you don’t want to be to whenever you don’t have that community. So it’s getting better. I’m glad to know I’m not alone. And it took me even into this old age. I mean, especially being a therapist, that’s already a strike against me, you’re a therapist, your hair is
like, would you say who are you? Well, and I can’t imagine that there are that many black therapists probably generally throughout the nation. So even a network of peer network, I would imagine it’s pretty limited. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But do you have, like, I guess influences within your
Oh, 100%. My, I’m probably the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapist, and we absolutely have community. The president of our association is a black man. Okay. So like, we it’s a really nice community. I mean, again, everyone has issues, everyone is growing. But I can say this, like with my full chest, I can really tell that my Association is trying to do better and asking questions. And one time, whenever I was doing my tic toc stuff, when I really started talking about parents and hitting their kids and stuff like that, I was getting letters to my licensing board. I even was under investigation because they got so many. And they sent letters and they didn’t tell me what was going on. They just said you need to basically be on notice, as a black man who doesn’t have like generational wealth to fall back on as a black man who was like, Well, this is my profession. This is it. This is what I do it this is taken from me, it’s done like to get those letters. So I talked to someone within my organization who actually went to the legislative board on my behalf and explained what happened and got things changed. And I really think that’s going to open it up for a lot more black folks to feel more comfortable kind of having tick tock followings and things like that. So I’m very thankful for the WA MFT. I’m thankful for the connections, and there are a lot of black folks in there. And we definitely do, but it’s great. I’m really especially other LMFT, that’s really important to me, there’s just a difference in the way that we see things. And I’m really happy to be a part of that community. Good. That’s
awesome. So you did touch on something that I wanted, I guess I had a few questions on watching one of your videos talking about spanking. And so that opened up a whole conversation in our household. And so I guess you know, really I want to know, I guess further. Maybe not why you’re against it. But why spanking is seen as abuse. Maybe in your world, maybe that’s an assumption that I’m making. But I’m like, You’re passionate against spanking. From what I from what I saw, and it is kind of ridiculous the way that we’re just like, Yeah, it’s fine. Hit your kids, you know, so many people were, I saw people raising their hands like yeah, I get I’ll spank Look at me, I’m fine. And it’s like, You’re not fine. So the question is, what do we do about that? How do we, how is it or isn’t it abuse? And then is there certain things that people go through? Right, like, I was a full time single father and my, obviously my reaction time raising my daughter by myself, I didn’t have a lot of patience, more stress. And it led to spanking now that I’m married second child, never really spanked, you know, and like, I feel really bad. But I’m like, Isn’t that like, what are the outcomes that we’re looking for spanking not spanking? And is it something that’s like a? I mean, everybody does it. But like, I feel that there’s some cultural components in that when it comes to discipline and obedience.
Yeah, that was that was 70 questions so
I can feel my blood pressure. Because there’s so many assumptions latent in the question that you’re asking, you’re assuming so in this lecture, I’m just saying the questions themselves contain a lot of assumptions right. And the thing that I have to do here is understand that you simply don’t know, right? And if you knew what I knew it was epistemological injustice if you understood the damage, if everyone understood if I could find a way to show everyone, I wish there was a machine that I can hook people up to, and just show the marks that are left on your body physically, like, I wish they came up. So I’m gonna take a second and not respond and calm down. Because it’s just very difficult for me to talk about this, because this is why I don’t feel like any connection to the black community. Right? None. It’s so difficult to talk about this. For me, which is why whenever I have this issue, in my practice, I refer it out. Because I can’t you have to know what you can and cannot work with. Yes, and if so,
go ahead. I was just gonna say it is so like, being black living in Louisiana. I’ve seen mothers like whip on their kids in public. And you know, to me, that was a bridge too far. And then it makes me think about myself and like, I don’t put my hands on my kids, but we do it so often. Like it’s something that consciously as you grow up, I’m like, I don’t want to do that. I want to be a better person, right? You got to be number one, like
better. So I think we start with, we start with the idea that it’s not it’s not your fault. And I heard you say that you feel bad. But like, I want to make that clear. Like it’s not your fault. We live in a racist, white supremacist, capitalistic society, patriarchal society that gives rise to conditions where traumatic things happen. I’m heard Dr. Yu monta Cooper, if you’ve never heard of this man, go look him up. He does amazing things. He spoke, he spoke in my conference, he talked about some of the issues that black men go through some of the anti black misandry that exists, it was amazing. I really enjoyed it. So let’s start there. We do these things because we exist in a society. And that society is unfair. It is oppressive. There are so many in justices. And if you are a single father, where you’ve been dealing with bulls custom here, yeah, absolutely. We’ve been dealing with bullshit all day. And then you got to come home and deal with the child that just wants everything that they want right in the moment, and they don’t have no patience for your impatience. And they know if none of it, I can understand why people spank their kids. It’s the fastest, quickest shortcut parenting tool in the world, and it works every single time. But the way that it works is the problem. Because every time you hit your child, you are severing the relationship between you and them every single time, every single time. And the issue is, is that the child has to make a decision. They have to make a decision, children intrinsically know. And you intrinsically know that it’s not okay to hit people. We all know this. We don’t need to pretend like it’s not true. That’s why we have to call it something different. So we don’t have to deal with the fact of what we’re doing. We say spank and we say what, but you don’t say hitting? Yeah. And that’s what it is. There’s no way to do what you were talking about without hitting. So we already started off by violating people’s physical boundaries. We’re already there. Yeah. Right. And so I want to start with that it is okay. It’s not your fault. We understand why it happens. It is a holdover from slavery. It is a shortcut parenting tool. It is because of the situations that were in it takes a village to raise kids, I feel like I’ve acknowledged that I feel like I’ve said enough about that. I feel like I’ve shown very clearly that I understand that it’s not just black people just want to beat their kids. I think I’ve made it clear that I understand the situations that you get into that cause that I think, really explain that. And I don’t think I have to do that anymore. So now I’m going to move to the next part. The next part is that the situational therapists the reason that I act like that is because there are some people who will listen to what I just said, and not have any more questions and being like, well, I don’t think it’s abuse. I don’t think I’m doing anything. I don’t think it’s me, that you’re not talking to me. And it really is a lot of religion tied into it to specifically the Kojic church and Pentecostalism and black families specifically, that there’s a lot of it’s okay to hit your kids. So when you say, is it abusive? Is it not abusive? You either understand that it’s abuse, or you don’t. I think that you can do it out. You can do it out of love, you can do it out of whatever you think it is, but you either understand it or you don’t. And that’s the way that I have to look at it when I’m in these spaces so that I don’t go from zero to the situational therapists. I can’t be mad at you for something that you don’t know. But it is frustrating when you don’t want to know. Right? It’s really frustrating when people don’t want to know you might have to wrap me back around to the off on this for a minute. No, it’s
great because it’s something that so I haven’t done it in years right like it’s Yeah, but it is something that it forced me to go back and think to why I did in the first place.
I let me let me jump in because I have younger kids and I respect my kids more recently than you you know so my kids are five and now for about to be six and four. And we didn’t know when they were you know maybe like three ish you know, I’ve I rationalized that popping them was okay, popping them on the booty right? This is in to your point this To me, I’m not hitting them, I’m just, I’m just popping them just to get their attention just to nip it in the bud at this moment, because I don’t want to yell or you know, they can’t understand whatever. So this is the only language they understand. So this is, you know, I’m very aware. Right, which I don’t do any longer. And, you know, I had to, I had to understand that. Yes, this is how I was raised. And I feared it, right, it, but it was a fear factor, right. Some people lead by fear. And I think that’s how, you know, part of, you know, part of my upbringing was, I don’t want to be like that, I want to leave, but I don’t want to leave with love. I want to leave with teamwork and working together and family. And so I made that transition years ago, a few years ago. And, you know, I, you can still feel because it’s ingrained in me, I can still feel like, boy, if you don’t like one more time, it looks like alright, what’s the ultimatum, you know, as a parent, like you, you really can’t like, or you can take something from them, but they still don’t go do something else. Or you can you can pop them or whip them. But you it doesn’t work. Like you said it severs the relationship. And it builds it builds fear builds distress. And what I saw was that when I did it in the moment, it did not make the situation better. And I thought I would feel better letting that out. It does not make me feel better. It makes me feel worse. And so, you know, it was just like a habit that I just had to get stopped doing.
You know, that makes me have one more question. And I think that it’s there’s so many people spank, people have spank their children, right? And up until recently was maybe, I don’t know, five years ago, maybe it was oh nine when? What is it? The Parenting tip gentle parenting became a thing. And I think we can see more outcomes of people that were spanked, not that that’s something that we have to ask, then kids that have grown up with gentle parenting. So it’s easy to say. I mean, it’s just the way that society has done not that it’s a good thing. We definitely should be moving away from that. But hopefully more people are moving in a jilted parenting. Do you know anything about the outcomes of children that haven’t gone through spanking? Is it any different? Because one of my questions was a kid that is not spanked with a parent that doesn’t give them enough attention will still come out with a certain level of trauma that might be or is that true?
So there’s, again, so many questions. This is, yeah, and I’m trying to break them down so that I can sorry, answer everything that most effectively is okay. You have no need to apologize. Thank you for bringing me on to talk about this topic. So number one, you said like, do recently gentle parents that came out, we knew in the 90s that we need to stop hitting children like new a very, very long time ago, I think the issue is, is when we let’s start from our community black folks, really, we don’t know what it’s like to be children. If you have the history of racism and oppression in America, there is no knowing what it’s like to because if we go back to slavery, if you had a kid that had ADHD in slavery, right, what issues would that have caused for everybody there? So what’s one thing that the entire family or entire group and community would do? They would rag that child to make sure that that child gets in line, right? That’s what I see with ADHD all the time. When I have people telling me this black kid is acting up and what’s going on in the environment? Yeah, what’s happening? So when I hear people say, like, Well, what do you do next? What happens next? Number one, I don’t have kids. It’s the first thing that people say. And I just want to throw that out there. I don’t have kids. And whenever I’m not in my highest self, I suppose I’m not gonna say that because we’ve all made mistakes. I should have never done that side note. If you are a black man with anxiety, do not do 23andme Because every time I get an email about a new DNA relative, I’m like, Jesus. This Be a man be a 90% match.
I know a lot of black guys that are 23
I got one. I never took the test. I was like
I was gonna make the joke that I don’t have kids. But I do have condoms. But
no, I’m not. You get every single time. But we don’t know what it’s like to be children. We don’t have the opportunity to be children. And every time we are children, we are punished for it because that could get us in trouble. So we have a lot of adults who were triggered by their child’s childlike behavior. 1000 kids do people don’t realize like what kid like they’re supposed to be loud and rambunctious and make noise and be disrespectful and cuss you out of a life because I mean, they didn’t ask to be here number one. And number two, now that they are here, they have to follow these sets of rules that don’t make sense. Like one of the things that really gets me is when parents spank their kids for stealing without explaining have a concept of ownership to them. That doesn’t make sense. If I don’t know what it means to own something, how are you going to spank me from taking it? That doesn’t make any sense. And so So I think that, I mean, I could just go off on it forever. I just think that the idea and what gentle parenting does, it says that, like, it’s not supposed to be easy, it’s gonna be difficult. And we need a village and a community to help. But like, it’s just, it’s a tool, and it’s not a really helpful, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t do anything. And I know I’m not offering you any alternative, I will offer you one, though, you have to fundamentally change in your mind what you think it’s going to mean to raise your kids, it’s, they’re kind of like, they’re going to test me, they’re not testing you. They are testing reality. They are testing the way the world works. You were simply the facilitator of that test, you were the facilitator of that environment. And so when we say, well, people could grow up and be bad, absolutely 100%, you could provide a wonderful tutorial environment for your kids, and they could grow up and choose to do bad things, it is more likely they will choose to do bad things if you hit them. But if you provide them with an environment, so what do you do in those moments, instead of hit, you have to focus on building the relationship, you can break a horse by beating it or you can bring in an apple every single day? Like how do you want to build a relationship with your children. Because the truth of the matter, a lot of the times the behavior these kids are doing is a direct result of the family system they’re in. I’m not trying to talk about nobody marriages and relationships. I’m just saying your kids are a reflection of your environment. And if husband and wife got in the issues, it don’t matter how small, if you’re in denial about it at all, it’s gonna come out here, your kids, and it has the added benefit of you not having to focus on your relationship anymore, you can focus on the problem in your kid. But that’s the conversation though that is learned.
That is an interesting case. Yeah,
it’s a true test. Yeah, it’s triangulation is the name of it is called triangulation, when you’re in a relationship with two people is real difficult to keep that stable, stable, kind of like having a stool with two legs, it’s going to be unstable, but you put that third stool in there. Now all of a sudden, we don’t like each other. But you know what we really don’t like the fact that this kid has a problem. So we’ll just save our relationship stuff too late, because that’s not the problem here. The issue is not our relationship. It’s our child’s ADHD. It’s our child’s BPD. It’s our child’s this. And that’s the one thing that that’s why whenever you have kids, and they send them to psychiatric units, they get better. And then when the family visits, they get worse. And then when they go back home, they get worse, because the problem didn’t go get treated anyway. Or,
or, or there’s, you know, you have the relationship itself and the kid goes off and branches off. And it’s not part of that triangulation on a constant basis, and the relationship falls apart. Preach it. Preach it, man.
I don’t know I love everything about this conversation, because I’m like, it is something that I’m like, it’s just, it’s so much better, right? Like the result, or the the end goal for better child outcomes is really just communicating with your kid, the hard thing to do is figure out how to connect with them. Right? And that happens at all different stages. So I’m like, if you can better connect that you can better be patient with what it is you’re actually mad at, or what you’re trying to get your kid to stop to do. If that’s a conversation instead of just a reaction with no words.
Yeah. And I get it. Right. So this whole gentle parenting thing, right? I just, you know, I’m a newer parent. And so gentle parenting is new. I feel like it’s taken off with social media. And I will be honest, it pisses me off. A lot of the time, I’m seeing all these white moms on Tik Tok, Instagram, real whatever, my wife sending me all of them, and I’m sending them to her and like, I can I believe in the approach, right? But the practicing of it is hard as fuck. Oh, how do you have a conversation with a three year old or it’s impossible it but you got to go through it, you got to go through it, you got to keep doing it, keep doing it and keep doing it until you break through and you find some common ground. Right. And that’s what I had to do. That’s why it took me a while to to evolve as a Father and to you know, kind of shake the toxic toxicity. But when I see all this content, and everybody keeps sending me this and this is how you do this. There’s like, the toxic in me, wants to reject it. It’s like this is how I was raised. I’m good. Let me just do it the way I know but I don’t know shit. It’s
Look, I don’t know shit. And it’s like, that’s not okay. There are so many problems with all everybody all of us right. Like, in
so that’s what I have. I have I have to step out of myself. And, and just realize that, like you said the kids okay. He doesn’t have any reference of anything. And I’m trying I’m trying to make him an adult right now. And I know that’s my problem is
just something like I hear he all man especially Tim right? Because that’d be forgive people. Y’all like you don’t have to be so upset with yourself about what you did when you didn’t know you didn’t know you had no idea and so I bet it is frustrating to have people constantly send to you stuff telling you this because I remember getting so many spankings. It’s like How a child because I should have known better, you know how was not supposed to know. So like to you and anybody else that is listening, y’all you have to because the next lesson you have to teach your children is how to forgive yourself when you make a mistake you don’t feel like you deserve forgiveness for that is your new job. And so that’s where I’m at with my kids. Actually, that is your model. That’s what you’re modeling. Now, when you make a mistake that’s really big, and you feel like you can’t forgive yourself for it. This is how you do it. So please, I just hear it in the way that you’re talking about. And I’m I’m not overthinking it. I hear it in your voice like it is Oh, okay. It’s all right. It’s really all right. And I think one of the things is whenever parents say, Do you have kids, I think what they really mean sometimes is, and I just know, you can’t say this out loud. So let me say this on behalf of someone who might not feel like saying it. Sometimes you really regret having them. I really wish I could just sit around and do what I want today. I really wish that I didn’t have to go in there and show you love. And that’s okay. A lot of people can’t say that. I’ll say it for you. I couldn’t imagine what it was like last night, I woke up at 330 in the morning and put in half a frozen pizza and watch anime. Just because I could I can wake up at two o’clock in the morning and go run to the beach if I want to right now just because I can’t and that’s a privilege when you don’t have kids, you know. And so I just think that there’s a lot of things that go into it. And once you know, you know, and that’s part of the reason I’ve kind of pulled back just a little bit from the way in which I used to be about this because you can’t yell at people about this either. Like whenever I’m sitting down having one on one conversations with individuals about it. I know what it’s like to make a mistake that you feel like you can never come back from. And I don’t want nobody holding that guilt. So step one, please forgive yourself. It is okay. It is okay. It is okay. It’s alright. It’s your fault. Still, we’re
not your fault still working
plus just how time works, right? Like you get that time back as your kids got older to go wake up at three o’clock, you know, so it’s like, Hey, man, you’re gonna be a father for a long time you made mistakes. But if it’s more than that, you get your life back. So
all right. So you know, transitioning. You know, my number one goal is to not is to not fuck up my kids. And, you know, that comes from, you know, protecting them from trauma traumatic events, you know, making sure they have a healthy, healthy mental. You know, obviously, all of the, you know, the bottom of the pyramid, Maslow’s things, right, but talk to us about how, you know, small trauma, large trauma, whatever might affect their mental health and, and kind of how you are dealing with that in your practice?
Yeah, so a lot of parents are concerned about fucking up their children. Kids are very resilient. They can bounce back from a lot of things. If you concern the fucking of your kids, and it depends on how you define fucking up right? Like, one of the movies that has captivated our shows and has captivated white America is Dahmer. I don’t understand why people would be I mean, it’s fine. I understand it. And I’d be mincing my words and stuff. And I’ll need to I’ll understand why people watching.
I have no desire to watch her don’t play in the morning, whatever it is, I was like, no, what,
what? Five times? I wasn’t clear. The first time they told that story I have as a person, since they told that story. I’m scared for a different reason now. Yeah. Anyway, that type of stuff comes from severe abuse and neglect. We have an inventory called the adverse child experience inventory, it were asked some questions about like adverse experiences, but the parent who was worried about fucking up their kid is probably not going to be the parent that’s going to do right, you might helicopter a little bit too much. You know, you might make some little mistakes here and there. But you don’t have to be a perfect parent, you just got to be good enough. That’s it. You don’t gotta be perfect, there is no perfection. You were supposed to make mistakes, they have to know that they live in a world where mistakes will happen. That’s all right. You need to show them that, you know, you have emotions and all those things when I’m discussing. And I think what we’re talking about when it comes to trauma, are these events that are too much too fast and overwhelming for a child’s body to process. Right. So frequent moves, things like that. I put in corporal punishment, abuse, yelling, consistent, sustained, never ending when the child is in a situation where they feel like and again, as children, we’re not able to see things as multi dimensional as we could if we had an environment that allowed it. That’s why there are some people who when they see this interview with me talking to you, especially our community, oh, he’s a narcissist. That’s what it is. That’s what they they won’t be able to see that I am a full multi dimensional, the situational therapist is a character that I play and yeah, you’ve seen it show up here. But I don’t go around talking to like my therapist. Not like that. Like that’s not who I am, you know. And so what happens is as a child, the child sees the parent in those severely abusive situations, they see Give them either as all good or all bad, or they’re either in a good mood and I can approach them or they’re in a bad mood, and I can’t. And they take that, and they go throughout their entire life with it. And on top of that, the trauma comes in and the way that I look at it in my practice, when the child starts believing that they deserve it, well, my mom hit me because I did this, and I deserved it. And when they start thinking that I deserved it and carried that through life, they can get in all sorts of situations with other people because they believe they deserved it. I’ve worked with so many women, black women, specifically man, it breaks my heart, it breaks my heart, the way that black women have. Some black women have been conditioned in our society, especially by church to believe they have to be subservient, submissive. And I have to just listen. And like you are allowed to have a point of view, you are allowed to be able to speak up for yourself. And so many women just believe that that’s how life is supposed to be man. And it just it really breaks my heart. And the reason they believe it is because they grew up in an environment where one they had a father that put their hands on them. So why should they be surprised when their husband or boyfriend does it? And number two, they believe that they deserve it. And so we can take this and apply that to children too. In any of those situations. For me, in my practice, there’s lots of ways to describe trauma. Everybody’s trying to get a piece of the pie and do their back for me. I believe it comes in whenever the person starts traumatizing themselves. I believe I deserved it. I should I don’t deserve nice things. I am a horrible person. It’s my ADHD if only I wasn’t. And that’s why we have so many people saying I turned out fine. And why I am so violent towards that message. Because it just reinforces that that type of behavior is okay. Our black comedians do it. Man, I’m so disappointed in any of the entertainment and black community disappointed in all of them. Because everything I read Alicia Keys is personal diary, not diary, her biography. Yeah. And in memoir, and in there, she talks about how her mom hit her or was gonna hit her for something like that, and how it made her turn out as a better person. I was like, Alicia Keys. Oh, my God, I come home. I’m lovely. She broke my heart whenever I was in high school. It was in middle school, she had the album diary of Alicia Keys, and one of her songs she said call for 8942608. And I’ll be there. So of course I can call them. And when I heard her voice on the other, no way. I still remember how my and then she was like, I’m just kidding. It was a voicemail. I was hurt. But in her book, I read that she got sued for that state and I was like
that is strong.
I’m glad you passed.
If you don’t, I don’t think that parents have to be if you concerned about messing them up, then you are on the right track. You know, I think as long as you are not doing these things, and then going to church on Sunday asking for forgiveness and then doing it again the rest of the week. Yeah, I think you Okay.
So when it comes to therapy, you know, you’re passionate about what you do, you clearly love the impact you make, do you find yourself having to spend a lot of time warming people up to the experience because they’re there, but they’re not invested. They’re there, but they’re not soaking it up. They’re there. But you know, it’s kind of a placeholder, and then you have to go on to work to get a breakthrough.
So I want to first off acknowledge something that I do in my practice, I work with very high fluent people, my my, it’s very expensive. Now, I do have I love this part, I do have financial scholarships, and I am able to give people of color like free or low cost therapy. And I have to always remind them like you are not getting discounted therapy, my hourly rate is what it is, I’m giving you a scholarship. And so when people come in, like in my practice in the way that I market, the states that I’m at, they are motivated already, they’re as good, they ready to solve this problem, because they don’t want to be here forever. Now, whenever I first used to do it, and I was working, for example, mandated therapy with individuals on probation and parole, and when I used to work in the juvenile prison system, I have to want one, I have to the most important aspect of therapy like we’ve seen, this is called common factors research over and over and over again, up to 70 to 80 to 90 and some studies percent of the effectiveness of therapy has absolutely nothing to do with your approach and everything to do with the relationship between you and the therapist. Is it someone that I feel that can help me? Is it someone that I feel that will listen? Is it someone that I feel like I can trust is that someone where I don’t feel a shame so much therapy doesn’t work? Because clients simply don’t tell their therapist the truth because they’re afraid of being judged? They are. Yeah, they are. I didn’t tell my therapists and stuff because they’re worried about the same again. No,
I was agreeing and it’s a it’s a very vulnerable time. Yeah. And like you said, you’re afraid of being judged. You’re you’re on the you’re there to unpack Some things but you’re not sure how much luggage? How much you take out of your luggage.
Right? Right, right. In my approach, whenever I’m working with trauma, I’m not somebody that believes you have to always go back in the past to deal with it. Because the way that you’ve learned to deal with your trauma in the past is the same way that you’re going to deal with problems in the present. If in the past, you cut people off, because that was safe, when you’re an adult, you’ll find yourself cutting people off. So what I look for is how is the person behaving in their current environment? Like, here’s one way to look at it. I don’t need to know the moves on the chessboard to understand who’s winning, I don’t need to know how they got there to understand the way that the game is right? Now I can look at it and see, ah, the way that you are right now is enough of an explanation. So some people feel like and a lot of this happens in the privilege community, I think white folks that get into this field with their savior complex and want to have the experience of breaking down and person of color in their office so they can feel like they’ve actually done some work when they’ve done nothing at all. But we traumatized that person.
Say, honestly, yeah, they
would, they would be considered like an archaeologist, right, digging up.
That’s how they, a lot of them. That’s how they look at it. Like, you don’t need to make someone cry and scream. I mean, I do stand up comedy on the side. I just don’t tell folks about it. But you don’t have to make someone cry and scream and wail out to help them deal with things. Sometimes dealing with trauma is just acknowledging that yeah, you know, when your mom said that you were the reason why she didn’t have any man, that’s when you learned that, you know, you have to be perfect and right, because it might affect somebody else’s life. And that’s the perfectionism you like, sometimes that insight is enough. Sometimes I can just tell someone, I want you to go to the store and buy yourself something nice. And then No, I do this or oh, I don’t ever Oh, and like that’s. So I think it really depends on the person and the approach. You don’t have to feel like when I go to therapy, okay, how much do I need to tell them? If you feel like you trust the therapist, and you trust the experience, they should guide you through that anyway, you shouldn’t have to worry about that. I tell my client when I worked in probation and parole, I will tell them all the time, the fact that you showed up is enough for me, don’t tell me anything that you feel like I don’t need to know. And if you want to just chill for it until your time is up, your responsibility was to come here to therapy. They say you have to talk and I have some people that just took a nap for hours. That’s fine. This is your time, do what you want. And then one day, so Mr. Derek, you know, I was just I had this one friend. And then there it is, you know? So but I feel like people’s stories, people’s traumas, let me earn the right to hear it. Don’t just give it to me. You’re supposed to be testing the relationship, see if I’m someone that you can trust with that information. And if you feel like you can’t get a new therapist, if you’re in the ability to do so. Does that make sense?
Perfect sense. Yeah. Love that.
So many questions. One, two, all black people need to go to therapy?
Well, yeah. I think you’re the only one in the room that hasn’t been Oh, man.
There have not been a therapy. May
I ask why not? I’m curious.
you don’t like to deal with his problems. I don’t like to deal with what I’d like for us to deal with it for
I have a really strong, we started a podcast.
We impacting critique,
I have a really strong network of close friends. And I’ve always felt that I could be open and honest about everything going on in my world. I’ve always felt at a safe space to Tim knows everything going on Tim knows Good, the Bad, the Ugly. You know, we work in the same space. So I’m like, whatever it is, and I never like I feel like my number one thing, I’m good with my kids. I’m tender with my kids. You know, I’m saying like some good with the kids, good with wife, you know, like normal marital stuff. I’m not against therapy. I just haven’t gone because I’ll load my time up. I can’t do that. Or I don’t have the time or whatever it is which not having the time itself. I’m like, that’s probably something I need to unpack because I’m doing too much.
Right? Hey, you cheap. He was fuck, you got scholarships. I’m like, Oh, here’s the link for scholarship.
Together a pay. He’s got an eight session package on you just
maybe 10 I mean, there’s a lot to unpack one. Um, I feel like I’m one of those people. Like I had a really good upbringing. I had a lot of confidence built in me, I feel good in everything I do. Most of my trauma has been external from I guess not having certain validations when it came to like work, right? Like, I know, I’m smart, capable. I got all these great ideas and shit. So he has corporate Trump, I have corporate trauma. Yeah. And I have like my whole I’m like, I look at my whole, like, the things that matter most and like stability, because I have lost jobs throughout time. And I’m like, so many of those weren’t. I know, they weren’t my funnel, like who loses their job when they’re being successful and growing a business and they’re like, Yeah, but
it wasn’t there just to unpack that. You feel a little calm looking
back. I’m like, I probably should have gone to therapy after that point. Because it drove me a certain but that’s where I’m like, I get fed up with like certain things happen. That drove me in a way where I wasn’t pulling back and doing nefarious bad behavior. It pushed me to do certain things, but that’s not everybody. That’s by not most people, most people you fall and then it’s like, let me get a bottle. You know, in handling that
I think the position today really opens it up for people to go and be more accepting of going to a therapy experience. Because you know, now you call it mental health. And instead of, you know, things that you would have called it in the past, and so, you know, I think you’ll see people, you know, more open to unpacking these things and having discussions, but we all have some sort of trauma. And there’s not the stigma over the experience the way it was, although, you know, it’s not I wouldn’t call it absolute, absolute, you know, like, there’s still, you know, some that goes along with it. But in today’s day and age, focusing on your mental health is a priority to the point where not only there, there’s awareness about it in public spaces, but you’ll even see companies try to focus on it. Do you have any companies who are, you know, especially with some of the giants and powerhouses you got up there in the northwest? Do you have people who kind of kind of funnel and help Believe in your experience enough to continually hope like from an organizational standpoint? I don’t. I’m choking you. No worries.
That’s just my body saying think about the way that you want to answer this question. So you don’t potentially offend any potential Mr. HR? I do. microcin? I do? Yeah, it was the HR person inside of me that was like, Hang on just a second. I’m gonna wrap back around to that question. No, I am an independent practitioner, I purposely just don’t like to be in all like, I have companies that will reach out, there’s a wonderful company called lira health, or I say, wonderful. I believe that they’re a nice company. I’ve worked with them before, where they kind of have access to mental health through like the way that organizations will contract lira health and get them access to therapists. But I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m really not in there like that I’ve been I’m trying to have I got an app I’m focusing on I don’t really kind of my half of my business is really like, I’m trying to bring therapy that experience that community, to individuals out there, instead of like working with the systems that sometimes caused the problem. I saw
a little bit about this app, man, and you just slid that in Tell me a little bit about it.
Yeah, I want to wrap real quick, though back to go into therapy that’s still on my mind. Oh, look, I’m not the kind of person that thinks everybody needs to go to therapy. And there’s definitely a an annoying experience associated with everyone around you telling you that you need therapy, when you feel like you don’t need it. All I would say is that if you want to go or if you’re curious about it, then you know, go because a lot of the times we are just surviving and not thriving, there was a specific time in my life where I was doing okay, I was doing just fine. And I’m talking to you
Oh, my God, be there. I wish I was physically
recorded and make this personal.
Make it personal. I just because other people think this too, you know, I just I was living in an apartment and I have no artwork up, I have nothing. I was just surviving, you know. And so this is why people sometimes have they think that you know, mental health crises or you know, psychotic breaks what people say just happened to folks, it’s not true, it’s on my horizon to your entire life, never stopping to say like how fast I’ve been going, your body might be written, you won’t know. So I’m saying don’t go because people ask you to, you’re not gonna get anything out of it. It’s a waste of your time and everybody else’s time. And one thing I might need to teach you is how to set boundaries with folks, listen, if you need to go to therapy, you can go, but please stop telling me because I’ll make that decision.
If Herm goes to therapy, he’s gonna utilize every cent that he had to pay for. Started, so
I just don’t like waiting to last. But the last thing is that and therapy can help you understand some things and give language to stuff that you don’t currently I have. So for example, in husbands and wives, there’s a dynamic that they get stuck in. And this is just I’m generalizing. But generally speaking, in in heterosexual relationships, wives often have a complaint that their husbands are not taking enough initiative, I have to ask you to do these things. Why aren’t you doing stuff around the house? I have to keep reminding you, I shouldn’t have to ask you. And what happens is, there’s a communication problem here, in that the wife is asking the husband to do something that he can only do if she isn’t asking him. She’s saying take initiative. But if I take initiative because you asked me to, I’m not taking initiative, I’m doing what you say, If I don’t take initiative, you’re still mad at me. That is called a be spontaneous paradox. And unless you’re great and gone to school for this, they’re not gonna be able to explain that to you. And you’re gonna wonder why no matter what I do for my wife, it isn’t enough. It’s because of the way she’s asking. And because of the it’s so that’s not a hard thing. It’s not a huge thing. It’s an education. Oh, yeah, that was that It’s not your you know what I’m saying? So that’s why it might be maybe
you’re trying to hit me with a be spontaneous
I do what I does. That’s perfect. I’m gonna use that. Wow, man, that was some
So our language unless you can’t, unless you can’t, because then that’s the third level of this, which is sometimes you’re in a relationship, where when you try to communicate the problems when you try to talk about them, it’s seen as disrespect. This is one of the reasons why parents hit their kids, because their kids, they’re communicating to them on a level that they feel like they should you’re talking to me about the way I parent you, you don’t have the right to do that. So there is no other way to handle that other than either hitting them or communicating with them on the level. Well, what makes you feel like I’m being unfair in this moment, knowing that they won’t understand Yes, right. But you still have that conversation.
I have those conversations all the time. And then I say, and you’re four, you’re four years old, you have no idea what I’m talking about. So I’m just gonna walk away.
Tell him tell him the fact that he was there. That’s what’s really though, they don’t remember that my parents sat down with me and talk, they’re gonna remember that when I’m in your presence. I don’t understand what you’re talking about. I have no idea what it is. But you can go to another country and listen to someone speak a language and tell if they’re friendly. And we don’t even need to know what they’re saying.
It’s a great analogy. Love it. All right. So Hermana, you got to
set a therapy appointment.
Either you got to set a GoFundMe to put the dollars, Hey, man, we’re
good no matter what it costs. I’ll go get a scholarship. Okay, okay. So this is a question that I have that I thought up while I was on the way to work today. Okay, in the talk, I was thinking about, you know, growing up, like in the middle, the conversation I had with my dad, watching movies, with, you know, racial undertones like Mississippi Burning this, this, the talk that black folks have with our sons to navigate safely in white spaces. I hadn’t thought about it before. But I’m like, to me that that in itself was trauma. And one piece of that, I think it was Emmett Till, right. Like, he whistled, or the white lady said that he whistled at her, he ends up dead. I mean, that whole thing, being wrongly accused of a crime I didn’t come in and prosecuted is like one of my biggest fears. And I’m like, that stemmed from a very early age, from my parents doing what I feel like they should have done, which is, we gotta give them the tools to protect himself when he is the only black person in so many different spaces. And I’m like, are we as black folks or our culture, setting ourselves up for like, just, that is an initial trauma. And I don’t know if it’s like, that’s not my world. But I’m like, to me, I’m like, I feel like that was traumatic. It’s impacted how I behave. Yeah, but then under my entire life. So
I think that that one way of approaching this is maybe because the conversation isn’t itself trauma, the way in which you might respond to a conversation, or how what it means to you may be seen as a traumatic response. But it also could just be a logical response to living in the society that we live in, you know. So I think that again, gets us back to the fact that we live in a racist society that should always be a white supremacist, capitalistic Patriot, we should always go back to that, like, we have to start there. And then we start talking about now how do we talk with folks about that? I don’t have kids. So I’m going to start there. And I would absolutely suggest that someone critique me and tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m looking at it from a communication perspective. I think, number one, this is an ongoing communication. I think there’s some families want to happen one time, get everything in there all at once. And again, when I said trauma was earlier was too much too fast all at once. So maybe you don’t need to explain all of it every single time. Maybe you start off with a conversation about what ownership is. And then when they get older, you can explain so speaking of ownership, remember when I taught you that? Well, our country used to own people that look what, and instead of being afraid and terrified, they’re curious, they want to know more they want to understand. So I think a lot of the times when families like to have these conversations, it’s after something traumatic has happened. It’s after there’s something that’s in the news, or something reminds them I guess it’s time to talk with you about this. Let’s start talking about it from a very young age in age appropriate language, teaching them the building blocks, I’m learning Korean, and I never learned any words or anything like that. My Korean teacher just started with the letters and letters and we moved to syllables. And then she showed me a picture of a banana and I was able to think in Korean and it was so amazing when I saw the picture I was like, Bernard Oh my God. And so we want them to be able to think about these concepts and understand them and not be afraid. But that fear of being wrongfully accused for something that you didn’t do oh my god, that is something to talk about. Because it’s a real fear for black men specifically, I don’t think people understand that black men specifically, this is a very specifically black male fear. And it is reinforced all the time, I had someone going through harassment, taking them to court. And my concern was that I was gonna get in trouble in court for being there when I wouldn’t even know what to do. And I had all the evidence that, Your Honor, I hadn’t said nothing, this is not my discount and be heard. This is just someone who haven’t some issues and look, and I’m still afraid that somehow it’s gonna get turned around and call me. But I think that the conversation needs to be ongoing, I think it needs to start at an early age. And I think that you need to have other friends to have it with you. This should be a village conversation, you should have your black friend and a white person who has done, you know, their work on anti racism that said that you know, that you can trust. You know, you should have individuals from all races and we should bipoc We should all get together as a community, have a community talk about this. We want to explain you maybe you have the privilege person, be there. So the kids can ask them questions, maybe they show what it’s like to be accountable. I just think that a lot of the times parents have these conversations when they’re triggered when something bad has happened. And they just try to tell everything at once. And when you do that is too much. So I think this is Does that make sense?
Oh, yeah, yeah. And that’s so like, that’s how we’ve kind of addressed it like with my son, like, we’ve never had to talk, but like he’s watching TV and sees what’s happening. Oh, my God have after one of the police shootings, he had a lot of questions. And they were answered, you know, I’m like, this is a horrible situation. It’s not a situation that happens. I mean, putting it as gently every day when I like, you know, it happens for specific reasons and specific instances. And it’s not right. And you know, we’ve got on that, so he’s not fearful, right. And like, if whoever were around the police, I always like if it the situation presents itself, I’m like, Hey, introduce yourself in the copper officer, you know, whatever. So it’s like, you know, you can be aware, but also feel comfortable. And that this specific, I think about like, so we did a Father’s Day episode. And Tim had asked me like, What, what’s the number one lesson that your dad wanted to pass down, and it was just be a good person. And so that was my thing with that fear. Like, if my entire life I’ve been tried to be a really good person, try to be honest and open. And then that with that fear, it’s even bigger. It’s it’s extreme anxiety for me the whole being accused thing, right? So I’m like, It’s, there could have been a better way to have that balance. And I hope that we can have these conversations, you know, in our in our spaces just more openly, because I’m like, I feel like, like folks live under 1000 different fears, 1000 different anxieties, and we don’t know what it goes back to. And I’m like, shit, it wasn’t till yesterday, I figured, oh, maybe went back to help Mrs. Mississippi Burning was and how I interpreted that at the time.
And then you go to these white therapists who are not competent in this and you’re diagnosed with BPD, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, I mean, a black man, recognizing systemic injustice is not bipolar disorder, recognizing that and it just, that’s the part of it that really is frustrating and the part of the psychiatric system I don’t like and like I try to tell folks, when you go to therapy, if you cannot use your insurance, I suggest that you don’t, and if you when you talk with your therapist, ask them to explain to you why they are diagnosing you with a particular diagnosis, especially when adjustment disorders work most of the time anyway, but that’s another conversation. Awesome.
Well, I know I for one love that you’re staying independent. So my father, who’s a physician in Kansas City for like 40 years, he finally closed down but was independent never like nobody ever owned his practice. He did his own thing. That’s what you’re doing. But I’m like it man. It allows you to speak in a way that people need to actually get the results that you want in so many places get bought up by these big conglomerates, so I know it’s probably hard and maybe you feel like you’re on an island sometimes because it is you without a huge HCA network or whoever but at least you’re still there because there are so few left. I just appreciate.
Absolutely. So So Derek, what uh, you know, I guess just tell us what’s next for you. What’s new, what are you doing? It’s exciting. Usually Have you slid in that you are stand up comedian, which I kind of figured just by your personality, but like you talked about the app. What’s what’s new, what’s next? What can we look forward
to really what’s next for me is I want to move to a place I love therapy. Love MacLeod que se love I have unconditional positive regard for my clients. I enjoy the work that I do. I really do. I am moving away from like traditional therapy because the problem is not people. I’m so tired of having people come into my office thinking that it’s them. And I have to the first job I if I got to just do therapy, it would be fun. Most of my job is marketing. And I gotta mark I gotta tell you, I got to undo all the more Everything that you see in the media depression is a chemical imbalance. And I have to do undo all of that, and try to get you to see first and it’s not your fault. And then after that I have to help you get to another place, while you still have the conditioned response in you that like tries to stop you from progressing every single step of the way. Like, it’s so difficult. And I see change. I’m not saying that at all, I love watching the change, it’s just, I know that I am working with people who only are privileged to have access to it, I do not have as much access to individuals that need it that should and that’s just the truth. That’s just the truth. Everyone is caught up in those community mental health, they’re doing better help. And I mean, I guess, if you don’t have no other alternatives, better help is better than nothing. But
I don’t know, I mean, those boys like I mean, there’s a lot of them here in Kansas City. And you go there, it’s, you go to the you know, some of the worst ones. And it’s like they right, you can tell they are the worst ones.
And the thing is, they get to stay because they don’t take it. They take insurance, like even just independent therapists like me, I don’t take insurance. If I am a bad therapist, my practice fails, I don’t have an influx of people constantly coming in, I don’t have an insurance company that is advertising, that I’m there, I don’t have people I don’t have that either. I do a good job. And other people tell other people about me or I fail and being black. On top of that I don’t have very much option to make mistakes. If my reputation gets messed up, I’m done. And that’s a lot of pressure. You know, so for me, one, I love video games, more than anything ever. Even though I love video games are the reason that I’m here as an adult, if I did not have video games, when I was a kid, I would not be here with you today. If video games, if I wouldn’t expected the next thing to come out if I wasn’t looking forward to Metal Gear Solid two, if I wasn’t, and I’m just so thankful now, especially for the kids who grew up in situations like I did. And I want to make this absolutely clear, clear. Um, there are some situations when you grow up in single parent environments where the parent does not have access to resources to community to any of those things, and they end up doing things in that relationship that they otherwise wouldn’t do, if they have the support, I want to make sure that’s clear. Because I don’t want nobody to think I’m blaming anybody. And I don’t understand the systemic influences. And my mother was a tyrant. And if I did not have video games to escape to. That’s why I’m so thankful for Microsoft with things like next Xbox Game Pass where you can pay $10 I don’t work for them, they will do nothing about that. I’m just saying like, if I had game past as a kid, where I could just go and just dislike Netflix of games, or anything. Like those sorts of things, it makes the cross play that people have now I remember losing so many friends as a kid, because they would get a PlayStation, and I would have Xbox, but now they’re doing more crossplay. So I can connect and community. And I really feel like video games are more effective at treating symptoms of what we call mental illness than medication and stuff ever will be. Because it’s a direct, like, if you do it in video games, you’ll do it in real life. And there’s one game I’m thinking of specifically, it’s called Mass Effect. It was like a sprawling, sprawling space opera three games, you were a commander of a ship, you had dialogue choices, and they split them into Paragon choices, which are kind of the nice ones. And then renegade choices which are a little bit more, you know, I’m the captain, you have to listen to me. And then you could pick down the middle. And when I got to the third game, I had played three whole games. And I got to the third game. And every time I came to a decision where I had to make a choice I chose right down the middle because I didn’t want to hurt nobody’s feelings. And at the end of that game, I got one of the worst endings possible. And I was like, why did this happen? Well, whenever we asked you about this, you said, Well, no, it’s okay. You didn’t want to pick us up when we asked you about this. And I was just like, my goodness, I can’t go through life like this I can’t like here is a perfect example of why sometimes you have to choose a side, which is why I started talking about spanking being abuse. But what I want to do is transition more to gaming with my community playing video games, teaching people how to use video games to improve their focus. I play fighting games fairly, I don’t want to say professionally but like semi like I’ve been to the tournaments. I went to EVO this year, and I got 97 out of like 500 which is not bad. You know, I’ve won a couple of local tournaments and stuff. But I just really feel like the next step for this especially with the metaverse and the way that VR is happening. Therapists are going to start create Well, once they figure out what I’m doing, I think therapists are going to create therapeutic communities and people are going to come in and you’re not going to have to do that much work because the commute group therapy what y’all I’m sorry, your podcast group there is one of the most effective ways of helping people when you get in an environment full of other people that you don’t feel alone. Like the solutions generate themselves you know it like it creates a wonderful environment. So I will use video games to do that. And I’m I have an app called the situational practice where I’m constantly building it is just my ad. I didn’t develop it personally I didn’t develop the structure but everything on there, it’s me. I’m starting to add more people to it and as this country and used to grow, I’m sure I’ll have more more help with it. But I wanted to have a place for people to come. And if you like my content, if you understand the experiences that I’m talking about, I want you to have a place to come and grow and develop, I have a section that’s called not black enough, where I have people who have been through that experience. And again, I’m not trying to gate key blackness, I’m not sure here’s a test, let me see the show. Like the community itself, if you are not supposed to be there, you you will let yourself you’ll know. And so for me, I’m trying to move away from one on one therapy, which is nice, but you know, I think that at this point, I’m gonna raise my rate a little bit higher at some point. And if you want to see me, you want to see me but you don’t need to, because I have books, I have an app, I have all this stuff out there for you. That’s what’s really next for me, you know, hopefully, somebody will see that I’m a hilarious person with multiple, you know, ways of being
ways of being in an environment. And I hope that someone will see that and maybe want to work with me, but I’m not gonna wait and fight for a seat at the table, especially when honestly, you know, they bring in the table to do I have people bringing me stuff all the time. So I’m not going to fight at the table, I’m not going to ask for it. I’m not going to wait on Netflix, I’m not in a big nobody. I have my own platform where I can release my own stuff. And all I got to do is do it. So that’s really what I’m excited about. I think that therapy is great. I want it to be more accessible. And I think that we don’t need to start creating therapeutic communities and you know, who I am, how I am. And you know what you’re getting when you come here, and just visiting is how you change. Yeah, that makes sense.
I love your you’re speaking you’re removing the barriers to entry. Right? And you’re making it you know, it’s like a self. You know, you’re just you’re you’re right, Dan, you’re stepping in the door, and you can make your own choices. And I love that. And you know where we are Metaverse curious. Travis over here is Metaverse getting there. But there’s the that opportunity that that presents like, like the other day I you know, I was at an event and I ran into a lady who created an A company called helium. And it’s, you know, it’s VR, you put it on, and it is a way to, to improve your mental wellness, right, and, you know, work with kids work with people you’re in. And so the way that technology is being leveraged to help mental wellness, and you know, and the way you’re gonna leverage it, that’s exciting. That’s really exciting. Is the app available for download? Now?
It is, yes, you can get it on iOS and Android. You know, I say that we’re still in, we’re always in beta, but I just make a few updates to it. I started adding comics, because I feel like it’s much easier to get across some of this information, it’s just so hard to understand. Like, I can say it with a full straight face, I went to my professional association conference a couple of weeks ago, and it was with other professionals. And we were able to sit down and just talk about a lot of things in very straight language that like if you are not able to, you just can’t hear it, like you’re gonna instantly pick aside and there has to be some kind of objectivity there. You know, even though objectivity truly isn’t possible, you do need to be able to just say it as it is. And so I kind of make these comments. So I can talk about having a parent that was overly emotionally involved with you at a young age. And that’s why you allow, you know, other people to do that to you in your life. Because you don’t know any better. It’s a lot easier to say in a comic than it is to say,
Can I exaggerate the personas and make it? Right? Yeah,
100%. And some people need just somebody that hey, I didn’t have a chance to talk about skate, go. But I know somebody really enjoys everyday waking up, cussing out the situation that they have, because I see them I mentioned all the time, and I just wish they would contribute to my labor. Like give me a couple of dollars if you’re gonna really use me to be safe like that for you. I’m glad I’m glad I could do that.
How How hard is it to manage all that? I’m sure you get everything all the time constantly. Non Stop. Good, bad, ugly, the worst? What is that? What’s your
So I want to talk about one specific incident. And I hadn’t talked about it into anybody, like on like in a public forum or space yet. And I just appreciate you letting me on your platform. It’s just been nice to be in the presence of black man, man. It’s just It’s dope. It’s amazing. It feels really good. Even though I’m not physically there with you. It feels really good. But I do want to talk about this. A year ago, October, I think it was in October. I made a tic toc. And it really upset quite a few people. It was a great. I want to talk about I’m not gonna go through the whole thing, because I’m still gonna finish up the book. But I do want to talk about one the response to it. And like you’re asking, how do you deal with that? I was well aware that I was going to upset quite a few people with the Tiktok got me I really did. I don’t remember everything. I said word for word, but I know the parts that people remember. The only line that people remember from that tic toc is y’all wonder why Black Men hate black women. That’s the only They already knew.
They don’t. They don’t talk about the first part where I was discussing the types of environments that those young men grow up in. They didn’t say because I didn’t say some. And because people don’t know me, they automatically assume that here I am piling on black women and nothing could be further from the truth. That’s not what I was talking about. And I will further explain that later on. But again, it’s just the truth. What happened, though, is that I the situation, no therapist was scapegoated by the entirety of the community. And when I tell you, those people came after me in a way that as as a human being, it was like listening to 10,000 of my mom and all of her friends. Are you sure you were real therapist? You know, where did you get your licensure from? I would never trust a therapist with gray eyes, there was one person on Tik Tok that I’m gonna leave that be. But there was one person though Tiktok that I followed for the very first time when I got on there because I was like she is so this is the most beautiful black woman I’ve ever seen in my life. And you are out here doing shit professional. And I have never seen that I’m so separate from black. This ain’t never seen a black woman out here like this with a whole lot of kill just percent like I saw, like, man like, that reminds me of like how I am sometimes it was so exciting. And when that happened, they made a Tik Tok talking about me. And I was like, Oh, my God, this person doesn’t understand where I was coming from, no one will. And since I grew up in an environment where, again, one of the biggest fears I have isn’t necessarily being wrongfully accused, my biggest fear is being misunderstood and not given an opportunity to explain what I was trying to say. And no matter how I tried to explain it, you’re still going to be upset with me. But during that time, I really you’re I’m so thankful for the people that I did have in my life, because being cancelled by that part of the internet is just it’s the worst thing. And then I was worried about my reputation. I was worried about my business, I lost a bunch of people off my app, and I just did not have the ability to respond to everything I needed to respond to, and maintain my private practice and maintain my personal life. And I mean, every day I woke up, it was something new. And it was just like, This is my life. This is what happened to I remember why I felt so separate from blackness and honestly, a part of me at that point. I was like fucking, y’all can suffer. You can stay where you are. I’m gonna sing and dance for these white people and get this money and keep going like that was a thing that crossed my mind. And I understand I understand the people who were hit unnecessarily by because the similar thing happened with another therapist on Tik Tok Bri who was telling black men to go to therapy. Whenever I saw that video where she was telling black The first thing I felt really upset because she said y’all wouldn’t be so so lonely, if you would go to therapy. And like, from my perspective, I’m like, well the reason that I’m lonely is because I feel rejected from our community not because she was not talking to me but because I just saw it I immediately took it in and that’s the same thing that happened when I made my when I made my video some people really want to know why do Blackbeard keep passing me up for these mediocre folks in my life? I don’t understand that. Why am I not good enough? Why do they hate me? That’s not what I was talking about. So it’s very difficult at times. Thankfully, I have me a new social media manager. And she uses a linear and she is on point about like, Mr. What we got this, don’t you worry about, like you go ahead and take care of it. But in terms of dealing with stuff like that, I think that incident was one of the worst kind of experiences I had on Tik Tok. And after that, it did open up where I was like, oh, okay, so the people that did need to hear this heard it, and they were able to find me and they were able to realize, okay, so if I tell you about what happened when my mom was a kid, the first thing you’re not going to say to me is that’s the only mom you have, or she did the best she could. Like, those are the types of things and those are the types of people who are that separate from blackness to where even I had an experience with the person that we venerate in our community. That wasn’t great. Like being that separate man. I just yeah, it was it was it was an interesting experience. But now I expect the criticism, I know what’s going to happen. And if I’m not getting criticism, then that means I’m doing something wrong. But yeah, it’s it’s tough, especially trying to run a business because it only takes one person who has the right letters behind their name to craft the right message. And then all of this that I built by myself is gone. Yeah. So I appreciate the people that helped me but I’m saying financially speaking on a nobody had no financial input on this whatsoever. I either pass or fail.
Yeah. Well, that’s fantastic. Yeah, you know, you’re, I’m an entrepreneur myself, and the road is hard, especially when you’re picking yourself up by your bootstraps. So you know, congratulations on the success brother Derek, the situational therapist, the situational therapy under these digital wet these situational therapists.com, you
want me to say you say it these situations because
you the new, a new client.
I gotta get myself together,
you got to get a coupon in your email from me. First ones, I will meet you
there at the gift card. Session, I’ll give you the 11th one.
There you go, Derek, this has been awesome, man. I would love, love to maybe have you back on. Because a lot of you, you you teed up a lot of topics that we have identified as things that we want to talk about and unpack later, in season four next year. This is what our 116 Episode fellows cheese. And it really has been our therapy. You know, we launched this pod during COVID. We didn’t expect for it to go the way it did. But you know, based on the situation that presented itself with, you know, everything that’s going on in the world. It’s been very successful. And you guys are my, my my therapists, and this has been awesome. So thank you. We know everything we’re not doing. Right, right. It’s like alright, now I need a realtor.
I know, right? Oh
yeah. All right, this community that shall have y’all can y’all y’all the one that you’ve built, you have three people here. So it’s always to be to, you know, if we need to triangulate into it, but we could have talked about but yeah, y’all are doing great. I’m just glad to be here. I’m glad to see that y’all are doing it. And it’s just beautiful to be a part of and I would love to come back again at various stages. Check in. I appreciate the accountability. Now when I’m doing stuff I have some people to think about. And I’m just I’m really excited. Thank you for having me so much.
Thank you, man. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule. Thank you.
You’re very welcome.
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