Life is hard. At any stage of life, in any racial group, gender identity, socio-economic status, life can be hard. Yes, you put on brave faces, push long standing problems, issues, and unresolved feeling to the back of your mind so that you can function. However, in those quiet times, all of that stuff that makes you uncomfortable, sad, anxious, and frustrated always seem to come back to you. Why, because you’re human and you have life experiences the evoke emotions. You feel things, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Those feelings don’t just go away because you don’t address them. You try to stay busy, occupied, distracted because who wants to deal with emotions that don’t feel good?

Most people do not want to deal with those emotions, so know that you are not alone in that response. It is a normal response to avoid what doesn’t feel good. But those emotions that haven’t been addressed they weigh on you right? Why? Because you’re human, because emotions and feelings are part of how you process the world. Emotions are how our body informs us that something is wrong or off. Pushing them away, or not addressing them doesn’t mean they are gone, they are burdening us and putting us out of balance.

I know you must deal with obligations, expectations, work, school, family, and friends. All of these can bring both joy and sadness, energy and exhaustion, happiness and frustration. You have the capacity to feel more than one emotion at a time and that can be hard to acknowledge, understand, and accept. But learning to do that can also be the key to contentment and happiness.

Life is about balance, being able to maintain mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically when life is easy and hard, good and bad, happy and sad. So how do you stay balanced?

You have to start by listening to your body and mind learning the language of what it has to say. We call this Emotional Literacy. It is hard to address an emotion we can’t identify, accept a feeling we can’t name, or tackle an issue that isn’t defined. So you learn to name them, process them, and accept what you experience. That way, you can find the best way to take care of yourself. That is how you can move towards balance.

I would love to help you find that balance in your life.

Therapy with Me

Therapy for me is about relationship. Forming a connection together so that you feel safe and comfortable to express yourself and share what you are dealing with. To take the burdens and stressors of life that weigh you down off your shoulders and give it me. So that we can look at it, process it, and work through it together. It is a collaborative space where you are the expert on your life, and I am a guide with a skillset that can help you navigate your experiences and feelings.

I am a licensed clinical social worker. I obtained my degree from Cal State University Northridge. I have a strong background and belief in social justice, human rights, and pushing for a more open and accepting society. I’ve honed my craft by working with many different communities, including: domestic violence survivors, elders living in assisted living and medical facilities, the department of mental health, foster youth, and college mental health counseling.

I have had the great opportunity to work closely with men, and more specifically Black men and men of color around issues concerning depression, anxiety, anger management, family and relationships issues, adjustment and transitional difficulties, identity and intersectionality, as well as grief and loss.

As a Black man myself, my work with other men has been very rewarding. Growing up, I like others, was brought up in a very traditional sense, and I was given the message that there were “acceptable emotions” and “unacceptable” emotions. Growing and learning, I discovered that all emotions are acceptable, and we can be fuller, more realized, more content people when we allow our body to use all the tools it has available to it. It is my joy to help adolescents, young men, and older men, understand that it’s okay to feel, it’s okay to accept feelings, and it’s normal and reasonable to have our feelings respected and acknowledged.

Grief and Loss

The one constant in life is change. Life has a way of always bringing something new that we must adjust to into our lives. Loss is one of those changes, it is a disruption to our lives that fundamentally change what has become normal to us. Grief is the way most people react mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically to a loss we suffer. Emotionally we can experience feelings like, sadness, pain, confusion, anger, guilt, anxiety. These can impact us in all areas of our lives.

Grief and loss are also something that we as humans were never really taught how to deal with. How do we manage loss? How do we cope with having to rearrange our lives and adjust to a new normal without our loved ones, relationships, careers, parents, children, pets? How do we adjust when being diagnosed with a physical disability or mental illness that changes the way we move through the world? When our kids leave home, or we have to retire. All these changes we must learn how to navigate the world and adjust to a new state of being. We have to navigate all of these changes to come to a new normal and continue to thrive in life.

Working on loss is about acknowledging loss and addressing the grief or emotional responses we have. We also process how to cope in positive ways, and the ability to continue to live productive and positive lives while still honoring what we have lost. That is the work I love to do with client’s and would love to work with you on your grieving journey.

Marlon James Briggs, LCSW

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