WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: REGINALD CUNNINGHAM
As a Doctor of Education and Licensed Professional Counselor, Dr. Cunningham is impacting the lives of adolescents, adults and couples. As someone who has lived with depression and substance abuse issues, he understands the importance of mental health care, especially in our community. Check out how Dr. Cunningham adds Eustress to his life!
HEY REGINALD, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I own a Group Mental Health Practice (Counseling Solutions, LLC), that I initial started out as sole provider. I currently have a staff of 5 and growing.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
I think about my mental health constantly! I have to consistently monitor my own well-being to be and serve the best possible services to my patients. There are times when I'm stressed, frustrated, angry, etc., and have to "check" those feelings at my office front door.....and make an appointment to see my own therapist.
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've had a history of depression which resulted in years of alcohol and substance abuse. I write about it in the Black Therapists Rock anthology in my chapter "If You Could Read My Mind".
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
If there was one thing I learned in my coursework as a graduate and post-graduate student...a therapist should have a therapist.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I have a morning routine of prayer and meditation...which I often times have to stop and do during the day as well. I also take appropriate breaks throughout the day...I'm a cigar smoker, so I get one in on days I can take a break.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP YOU IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
It's simple, if I'm not healthy, I can't help another person..genuinely.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
At work - I'm productive; I get my notes done in a timely manner, I'm able to complete administratively tasks, I smile, and I can sense my effectiveness with my patients
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?
Schedule "me" time....Make sure you schedule a lunch break. Get a routine that balances both work and leisure.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE UP TO?
One of the most important things I've done for myself is "discover my why", which enables me to do what I love, helping another person of color discover their why. This involves an essential process of "defining" who you are - the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?