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Therapy is Cool

By Bianca Nieves

Solely because you care for your well-being, whether physically or emotionally, you shouldn’t discard therapy as a viable option. Searching for help doesn’t mean you’re on the verge of losing it. Au Contraire! Don’t be biased with the definition society has given “therapy”. Instead turn to: “Therapy is Cool”, the first organization of its kind dedicated to clear therapy’s rightful name/definition and “make self-exploration cool for next generation leaders.

Founded by Christine Gutierrez and co-founded by Gabriella Pagán, this non-profit organization aspires for the well-being of our community, offering empowerment workshops, and other key psychology techniques. Rather than expecting monotone tendencies, with these gals, you can count on: “a fusion between ancient wisdom (yoga and meditation), and traditional therapy, like exchanges of ideas and group dynamics”. When these means are directed towards the community as a whole, especially the youthful: the outcome, with this particular segment, is much more effective and the positive vibe is augmented.

Having a strong support system is a major factor when it comes to increasing the confidence and hope of the community, as well as decreasing crime and violence; not only towards others, but also towards ourselves. By being physically and emotionally healthy, you play a pivotal role in society. No time to sulk in the murky shadows of what’s putting you down. You must yearn to surpass what’s meant to be surpassed, and by assisting therapy and ignoring its stigma, everything will, slowly but surely, fall into place.

That being said, these empowering women are true advocates of this cause, and hope to raise consciousness by stating their mission: the well-being of the world should start from within. Remember, Therapy is Cool  and you should never settle for anything less than what you truly deserve.

What inspired you to reach out and raise consciousness towards this cause?

C: Ever since I can remember, I had the desire to make the world a better place. In specific, helping people to remember their worth and holding a space for them to explore their feelings and thus helping them to become more emotionally healthy and happy people. Every person that becomes happier and healthier creates a ripple effect that impacts the world.

G: Statistics in Puerto Rico are alarming; we feel the need to impact the marginalized communities to create leaders and motivators that finish high school and are ready to face the world head on! Personally, I’ve grown up with powerful and confident women in my family, so I thought that was the norm, yet to my surprise, I’ve found there is an incredible need to reiterate to women their worth and capabilities as leaders and independent human beings.

TIC: It was from the observation that people need support to heal and be motivated that Therapy is Cool was born.

: Why do you guys think that society has altered the definition and perspective of therapy?

TIC: Throughout the years there has been a stigma around therapy. Especially in the Latino culture- to ask for help from someone and share your problems to a "stranger" is a bit scary and perhaps even a bit shameful. With Therapy is Cool we are here to break that stigma making it approachable, hip and practical.

Being the first organization of its kind, did you get the support and results you expected?

TIC: Yes! People are thrilled. The times are changing, and fortunately more and more people are becoming open to the idea of therapy, healing, and wellness and that is an exciting thing for us here at Therapy is Cool. Top experts, celebrities, friends, family, the community and media outlets have been really supportive of our organization and it really shows us that there is a massive need for this type of work. We couldn’t be more grateful!

What type of therapy methods do you find more effective?

C: A fusion of mixing ancient wisdom -Spiritual or mindfulness practices like yoga, meditation, breathing work and traditional talk therapy. And there is massive benefit in building community or group work.

G: I like talks and group dynamics, also team building exercises, especially when I’m working with youth because they feel empowered, motivated and inspired to be the best version of themselves with a social purpose and as a contribution to the well-being of their immediate surroundings, families, communities and society at large. It goes from individual wellness to collective welfare. 

: Do you plan to extend this non-profit organization? If so, what are your future goals?

TIC: This non profit is here to continue to provide workshops, break stigmas around all types of therapy, create a conversation that is approachable - to make the exploration of self not only needed, but sexy. Because, let’s be real, there is nothing sexy or fun about being miserable and feeling unsupported.

Our plans are to continue to spread the work around the world. Making self-exploration and therapy cool once and for all.