Shariya Pryor: Reading, watching, listening on mental health

Shariya Pryor is in the business of healing families. The 26-year-old Troy, Ala. native is a marriage and family therapist at Kaleidoscope Family Therapy in Atlanta, who specializes in self-confidence, attachment, depression, anxiety and life-transitions.

Pryor was inspired join the mental health workforce as a preschool teacher. She found herself wondering about the family dynamics of her students’ households and how those dynamics affected their behaviors in preschool. Over the past three years, she has been helping people process their traumas so they can enjoy health relationships.

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Reckon asked Pryor to share some resources that can help you navigate your own mental health.

What Pryor is listening to

  • Kinda Adulting This podcast is great for millennials trying to navigate life transitions and for the young adult trying to balance it all while maintaining their sanity. It also has some great laughs.
  • The Courtney Sanders Courtney speaks about balancing it all. She talks about entrepreneurship, motherhood, money and so much more.
  • Therapy for Black Girls podcast . This podcast is well known for its amazing creator Dr. Joy Harden Bradford. As a licensed psychologist, Dr. Joy opens up so many topics that Black girls and women face every day. The platform has extended from podcasts, to virtual events and endless resources on her website.

What Pryor is watching

  • “Peace of Mind with Taraji P. Henson.” This Facebook Watch mini-series was created by actress Taraji P. Henson and her best friend, Tracie Jade. It has become an outlet for people to gather and discuss different mental health taboo topics. Taraji welcomes tough conversations that encourages openness about anything mental health. It is refreshing to see celebrities not only voice their own mental health views, but also support the movement for better health for everyone.
  • “In Our Mothers’ Garden” on Netflix. This documentary was produced about the black motherhood journey. It was able to display different types of black mother-daughter relationships that are not always easy. It was eye-opening and incredible to see especially around Mother’s Day because people cope with that day differently.

What Pryor is reading

  • “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk. This book was recommended to me by so many professionally and personally. It has been so impactful on the journey to heal from trauma. Unpacking trauma can be traumatic in itself, but this book has helped me as a clinician and personally be able to see trauma in a different outlook. This is a recommended read 10/10 every year!
  • “Letters to a Young Therapist” by Mary Pipher. I’m currently reading this to help get insight of being a young therapist. This book helps ground my thoughts that come with not only being newer to the profession, but also helps build the confidence that I know is instilled inside of myself.
  • “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. This book shows people how to achieve happiness by taking smaller steps. Everyone’s goal is to become happier, but a lot of people do not know what that really means. It’s helpful in putting things into a better perspective on how to achieve “your own view of happiness.”
  • “It Didn’t Start with You” by Mark Wolynn. This book is special because it talks about family trauma and how it shapes who we are as people. It shows people that they have a choice in ending the cycle of generational trauma.

Bonus: What Pryor is doing

  • Journaling at least once a day helps me stay grounded in the here and now. Being able to write down my thoughts, dreams and worries helps me make them more real. I can use my journaling as a reflection piece or I can write something so I never have to look at it again. It just depends.
  • Exercising your mind and body work interchangeably. We have to make sure we feed both!
  • Spending time with my support system is one of the most important things I can do to maintain my self-care. As you see, I said “support system” and not family because your support system can be inclusive of any person that makes you feel your very best.

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