Ms Banks And Leomie Anderson Talk The Taboo Of Therapy In New Web Series

So many of us still see therapy as self-indulgent.


by Guy Pewsey |

If there's one thing that the immediately iconic Meghan interview tells us, it's that it's important to acknowledge your feelings, realise when something is wrong, and seek help from others. Naturally, the people you turn to don't always have the tools to help, but speaking out is the first, vital step. A way to ensure that you're getting the right aid? Take things professional. The idea of therapy does not appeal to everyone. It can be pricey: there are free services available on the NHS, but many complain of being asked to jump through hoops, or of long waiting lists. Others consider it self-indulgent, or not for their 'type' of person. But it's clear that, for many, therapy is a real life line through difficult times.

Case in point? Ms Banks, the British rapper, who has discussed how she turned to therapy when lockdown had a negative impact on her mental health. Ms Banks made the revelations to her friend, model Leomie Anderson, who has collected a group of her famous friends for a series of sit down interviews in celebration of female empowerment and solidarity. Called Leomie And Friends, episode one was released in line with International Women's Day, it's part of her work with fashion brand, Flannels, with whom she is launching her luxury sportswear brand, LAPP.

'I think, really being raw with myself, in my mind at first I thought "I'm not stressed, everything's cool"', says Ms Banks when Leomie asks her how she got through lockdown. 'But my body was saying otherwise. My skin was changing, I was like "I'm not getting enough oxygen! I'm indoors 24/7. I feel like I want to pull out all of my hair." But I just started focusing on being at peace. Whether that was just meditating or speaking to someone. I actually started therapy in lockdown, and it's just the best thing I could have ever done. To just speak to someone. Because I'm always on the go. Then all of a sudden, my life's been put at a complete stop. I'm just at home alone with my thoughts, and thinking "there's so much that's gone and I haven't even had time to reflect." So I think meditating, getting a counsellor, speaking to someone: that really helped me, and I think just planning ahead helps.'

'Covid restrictions had people feeling like they couldn't move,' Leomie concedes. 'They felt so isolated.' She also adds that therapy is still a taboo in the Black community, making Ms Banks' honesty with herself all the more impressive.

'I had an issue with a family member and it triggered a lot of feelings that I didn't know I had,' she explains, adding that she didn't want to transfer her pain to her loving family or friends by laying it all out onto them. So she was referred to a therapist. 'It made me really upset. It felt really heavy. It was good to have that conversation. It wasn't all rosy. Sometimes she annoyed me. They don't tell you that about therapy. But she told me what I needed to hear!'

'I am so excited to be partnering with Flannels and launching with such a purposeful campaign on International Women’s Day,' Leomie says. 'LAPP stands for so much more than just sportswear so it’s been so positive to work with a retail partner who believes in the brand’s ethos so much.'

Other guests in the series include Munroe Bergdorf, Jourdan Dunn and Neelam Gill.

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