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Therapist speaks on process of unity and where to start when moving past division

America has been divided for years. Peace and understanding won't happen overnight, and will likely take time. A therapist says it starts by focusing on ourselves.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It's clear millions of people, on whatever side, often feel unheard and it's turning into violence. Now, the question is how do we move forward and where do we even start?

"It's trauma," said Charlotte therapist Katie Overcash. 

Division and frustration are turning into violence due to different groups of people not feeling heard, Overcash said. 

"They feel like they have something to say, or they have a point of view that nobody else is hearing or understanding. Maybe people are hearing it, but they're not understanding them," she explained. 

Overcash believes the path forward starts with healing and focusing on your own mental health. 

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"Move your body. I would say to connect with people, find someone who you feel comfortable and safe talking to and connecting with and reach out to them. It doesn't mean you have to talk about what happened necessarily. It means you just have to have a connection with someone who feels safe, because we need to calm the nervous system down," she said. 

Then, in order to unite and move forward together, we must first show ourselves empathy, Overcash said. 

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"The definition my yoga teacher uses is, empathy is understanding independent of agreement," she explained. "When you've given yourself enough empathy first, and taking care of yourself, you have more of an ability to start to become curious as to what the other person is experiencing," she added. 

She encourages people to recognize their feelings, write them down, tell them to someone, and focus on bettering themselves before beginning to hear ideas on the other side.

"Utilize healthy coping skills," she said. 

Prevention and self-work, that will hopefully guide to a better tomorrow. 

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