How unconscious bias plays a pivotal role in therapy’s effectiveness

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Her office was always draped in heavy, dark curtains. The air was musty, perhaps because the emotional support dog frequently napped in the corner.

Where I come from, animals aren’t kept indoors, so the scent of wet dog clinging to the linens was new. The room, however, felt familiar. Maybe because it was filled with antiques, like British West Indian homes in the ’90s which were outfitted with Syrian rugs and Chinese porcelain figurines. Unfamiliar were the European-esque paintings, reminiscent of my therapist’s upbringing. …


Fear of rejection. The desire for validation and approval is what drives most of our decisions. I don't know where we learned this, but I do know it can be unlearned. Actually, I DO know! We're pitted against our siblings as children. We compete in class and seek rewards and awards all throughout life. For some people the rejection drives them - motivates them. For others it's a brutal and lingering blow. We fear asking because we anticipate rejection. How much simpler would life be if we simply embraced the "no's" as we do all the positive answers.


If the front door of opportunity won’t open, try the window

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The biggest misconception I had as a teenager was that I’d have everything figured out by my mid to late twenties.

I was so, SO wrong!

I imagined I would have a well-paying, fulfilling career. I would be engaged to the love of my life, building my dream home while donning pantsuits all week.

Instead, I constantly second guess my career choices, am currently intentionally single, and live at home with my parents. …


There’s been a change of plans.

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I assumed I’d be halfway to the altar by now. Guess what? I’m not even close. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t manifest my husband. Or pray for one.

As bummed as I should be, quarantine allowed me to toy with the idea of perpetual singleness.

It’s a mindset I thought I’d never have. One my ultra-conservative friends find depressing, but my feminist pals? They’re shelling hi-fives all around.

Oh, dear.

Pining for human connection during self-isolation isn’t uncommon. In fact, it’s understandable. Yet here I am, relishing the quiet that quarantine brings.

A few years ago, I was happily preparing…


For a lifetime he’d been every bit of God as she deemed God to be

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The minister slept with the deaconess on Wednesday nights. On those nights, he anointed her body with his spirit’s oil. His was the broken vessel that left his wife’s dwelling every mid-week. And for over a decade, he ministered to other women in both body and soul. Practicing tongues, laying hands, and being the great physician’s hands-on assistant.

Nothing usually went awry at his baptismal visitations. This evening was different. The horror that etched across his face when Noni caught them in the act was paralyzing.

Noni, 14, was the deaconess’ only daughter whose father died in the Middle East…


Cardi B’s strategy: a case study for starving artists

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People value an authentic story. Or rather, they value an unapologetic storyteller. It doesn’t matter what’s said, or how it’s told. This is why Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in 2016. Why comedians, despite their uncensored jokes, will never be muted. And the reason social media personalities like Cardi B flourish.

I don’t share the same hysterical fondness that other millennials have for Cardi B. But that’s what makes her the best case study.

The definition of success is a relative one. But…we can narrow it down to: monetary wealth and recognition in your field.

I’ll…


These blueberry pancakes are delicious and filling

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During quarantine, I ballooned to well over 200lbs. Typically I weigh in at around 180lbs.

I was so ashamed that I couldn’t fit into my favorite pair of jeans or most of my clothes.

I knew something had to change.

I started out with exercise and asked a friend to be my accountability buddy. The results were slow at first. Then another friend pointed out that in order to lose weight a total lifestyle change had to occur. Weightloss is 20% fitness and 80% diet.

So, he helped me with a nutrition plan. Together, we calculated my goal weight and…


Lifestyle

Play dates, first dates and vacations won’t be the same for generations to come

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Ihave always dreamed of having a family, growing old with my husband and watching our children have children of their own. In my version of events, I imagined sitting in a rocking chair recounting distant memories — good and bad — to my loved ones.

I would describe how hurricanes Irma and Maria rattled my windows and peeled back roofs in 2017. Or watching America’s first black president sworn in on television in 2008, or the agony and aftermath of 9/11 in 2001 and the escalation of technology in the 2010s.

But I never thought I’d relay simple things with…


The impact of mass petition weakens when we cancel in excess

Art: Sylene Joseph

When I was a child, I was taught this song: “Be careful little lips what you say…”, the penultimate line cautioning that God sees everything we do.

But when it comes to social media, we’re more concerned about another all-seeing eye.

Enter Stage Left: Black Twitter.

Black twitter is the parallel universe you do not want to get trapped in, the maker you do not want to meet, and the judge, juror and executioner of our fates. By “our” I mean anyone who has ever published or been published online through video, photo or text. …

Sylene "SylJoe" Joseph

Writer. Mental Health Advocate. Literary Prize Winner. 📧: sylenejoseph@gmail.com

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