WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: PAUL BASHEA WILLIAMS
It is always great to connect with like minds, especially as a Black Male Therapist. Bashea is definitely making an impact and changing lives as he uses his skills to change the face of mental health treatment. It was dope to sit down with him to discuss how he adds Eustress to his life. Check it out!
HEY BASHEA, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am a mental health therapist in private practice. I provide individual, family, couples and group therapy for those in need of clinical services and support. I also speak across the country on motivation, relationships and mental health. I have been in the mental health field since 2003 performing various roles as a case manager, social worker, therapist and life coach. I have been in private practice off and on since 2010.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
I am constantly considering my mental health in my profession for myself and my clients. I have to be in good mental shape and I make it a priority.
I gotta make sure that my energy is super focused to be mentally prepared to help others.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
I am managing some anxiety of my own so being an entrepreneur and therapist, I have to watch out for my own triggers. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the idea that I have to help so many others in a day. I sometimes have to sit and take some deep breaths before clients and in the morning. Balancing self care and responsibilities is sometimes a challenge for me.
When did you realize that you should also consider your mental health when taking on day-to-day activities?
I realized this when I had a panic attack two years ago. Usually, I could dismiss feelings of being overwhelmed or thoughts of I am taking on too much. One day I was taking my licensing exam on a day I was supposed to see clients and I had some personal challenges with a possible custody issue with my son's mother. While taking the test, questions that reminded me of all those challenges were coming up. By the time I finished the test, I was having trouble breathing. Then the result was "fail". I walked out in a daze. I got to my car, turned my phone on and about 35 text messages were coming through. At that point, I couldn't breathe and I was looking around for help but didn't know what type of help I needed. It lasted for about 15 min and from that point on, I took my mental health seriously.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I prioritize. I pray. I take a step back. I decline things more often. I put my phone on do not disturb. I log off of social media. I drink water. I exercise. I check in with good friends.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
I must be mentally healthy to mentally present for my clients and myself. If I am not mentally health, I am productive.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Good stress is the excitement of new opportunities to grow my brand or practice. Good stress is before I play basketball because I am hyped to play again.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
I would tell them to take their time. Don't try to save the world on your first day. Find a niche and become specialized in that. Know your limits. Prioritize. Don't get behind on billing, notes or treatment plans. Self-care is essential. Don't let your business shame you into never taking a break. Prepare before you jump out there. That's mentally, emotionally, physically and financially.
Any other information you want people to know about you and what you're up to?
I have written a book entitled Dear Future Wife: A Man's Guide and Woman's Reference to Healthy Relationships. It can be purchased today at my website www.BasheaWilliams.com.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?