Welcome to Couch Talk, a series of discussions about mental and emotional wellness in today’s age. In Couch Talk, you’ll have the chance to read some short, and some not-so-short articles ranging in topics, but all focused on mental and emotional wellness, particularly as it relates to current events and the Zeitgeist, otherwise known as “The spirit of the times”. As a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas, I talk with clients about many different issues and topics, depending on what is currently having the greatest affect on clients at that time.
One of the most interesting, but not entirely surprising, things I have learned from these discussions is just how much various current events, themes, times of the year, community situations, political scandals, and large-scale tragedies affect people in different ways. Like I said, it’s certainly not surprising, but it’s not something that everyone is likely to talk about in the open and bring actual attention to. Many people though, greatly appreciate the opportunity to sit down and discuss the latest event, and share how it has personally affected them and/or their loved ones. People can be affected by current events in vastly different ways; exploring some of the ways that that current events and such affect our mental and emotional wellness, and discussing what we can do to address said issues both individually and collectively, is going to be the purpose of this ongoing series.
In Couch Talk, we will take a closer look at current going-on’s and shine a light on how these events affect people’s psyche, emotions, and behavior. My background in counseling is from a trauma-informed perspective, meaning that I tend to see trauma as being at the root of most symptoms that people experience in the present. Whether that trauma be from the distant or recent past, or from the very present, it can have some pretty insidious and hidden affects on a person in various different ways. This will be a continuing theme you will see in my coming articles, as we discuss mental and emotional wellness in today’s age.
Welcome to the new year! 2017 has left the building, and 2018 has taken it’s place. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that 2017 was not exactly a great year for every single person. Last year we saw a lot of death, a lot of hate, and a lot of fear and negativity. We also did see some pretty great stuff, such as Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Now that 2017 has come to pass, and the new year has started, so very many people have begun to make changes in themselves to make this new year a little bit better for themselves.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again…the beginning of the year, where everyone has made their New Years resolutions and have made most likely made the beginning attempts at starting those resolutions. Gym memberships have skyrocketed, grocery stores are selling more healthful food, budgeting apps have been downloaded, and a whole host of other resolutions have been started. This is the time for new beginnings.
About a week ago I heard a dear friend of mine reference a very popular Broadway musical song in relation to the new year. This song happens to be one of my (many) favorites, and it happens to have some of the most powerful lyrics as it relates to peoples’ lives. That song is “Seasons of Love”, from the ever-so popular musical “Rent”. I won’t type the whole lyrics, but the first verses and chorus go as follows:
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
How do you measure a year in the life
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love”