PHOTO: DP William Ruto who is under intense pressure from Statehouse operatives as they vow to block his 2022 presidential bid. Stress management is key for such a high office holder.
By Silas Gisiora Nyanchwani
I cannot underplay the role of therapy. As someone men and women talk to from time to time, I know there is a serious need for such services. In America, California, more so, there is a woman who even sells hugs. You go, hug her and even cuddle with her. And you pay.
That is the bane of modern existence. When I am down, there are people I call, and the call can last up to three hours and when done, I do feel better. I wish I could pay them for their time.
Here are my rules and approach to counseling and therapy:
1. If you are believer like me, talk to God. It is free. He offers no easy or instant solutions. But He listens. In my deepest moment of desperation and pain, He has pulled me out and delivered me. The best thing about God is how creative He is when He you talk to him. Adventist preacher, Randy Skeeter, once likened Him to Matatu driver in a Nairobi traffic. Sometimes matatu drivers perform things don’t make sense, but instinctively you know they can beat traffic in the most creative way. God can drive you out of the storms of your life in a way that you will be grateful.
2. Trusted friends. I have the few who I know can be patient with my myriad of problems, which have been many in recent years. The friends have interesting perspectives, are humorous, and we talk and laugh about the pain(not dismissing it) and we do find solutions or at least novel approaches to the problem.
3. Older, experienced relatives. There is an uncle. An aunt. A cousin that you can depend upon. Their age and experience gives them interesting perspectives that you can take into consideration. If you are a man and you have women problems, say, wife is wielding, a senior aunt will set you straight. If you are a woman, and you have a man problem, there is always a senior uncle somewhere or a senior male colleague who will explain male stuff to you. Granted he doesn’t take advantage of you.
The above three are free and can offer you valuable insights.
4. Qualified counselor/therapist. If you can afford. An hour is like Sh.3,000 upwards. There are many in Nairobi. These are people who have chewed books and have handled many problems marital, financial, suicide and all. As a journalist, who wrote on social issues, I always called them, and they always had interesting things to say about just about everything under the sun.
5. Your pastor. But only if he is spiritual, wise and has depth. Some pastors I have noticed lack depth, academic or spiritual and may not be qualified to handle some more complex things that require more than a prayer.
6. All these people can only try to help you. But the ultimate responsibility rests with you. Know a few things about life.
a) Quit. Quit drugs, alcohol. Any addiction. An abusive relationship. You have the power to walk away from any problem. Anything harmful to your health. For relationships, remember people never change. Human beings are very consistent. If he or she is abusive. Leave.
I know we love our abusers and toxic people can be addictive but find the courage to walk away. There is beauty in freedom such as you have never known.
b)Read and watch intelligent stuff. Books are written by human beings who are limited but the more knowledge you have, the more options you have to negotiate the bad shit of life. Books offer you so many options in every situation. They inform, entertain, educate and liberate you. Whether fiction or nonfiction. Read. There are so many YouTube videos, Ted Talks, and a lot of good literature pale Psychology Today. Reading helps you spot phonies and fake therapists out here. You can spot a con from a mile away.
c. Learn to solve some of your problems. The solutions are always there.
d. Don’t ever think you are alone in the universe.
Above all, God’s grace is sufficient.