Hello World, and Hello 2018

Hello World!

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.

Hello 2018!

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 six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love”
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes in one single year. So just how exactly do you measure those minutes? Do you measure them in daylights, in cups of coffee, in laughter, in strife, or in love? Just like everything in real life, it’s really quite hard to narrow it down to one simple answer; life doesn’t appear to be about simple answers it seems, despite our many attempts to change that. So then, the question remains, how do we measure a year in the life?
Personally, I believe it really depends on the person, and what exactly they are going through at that time. For some, it may be time spent with family, courage in the face of oppression, determination to complete particular tasks, or the willpower to persist and to fight. Every single person is different, and every person goes through different struggles at different times. What is best for one person at one particular time, is not the best for every single other person at the same time. We all have unique needs, and unique challenges. To measure every single person’s year with the exact same ruler would be simply foolish.
Since each person has their own unique challenges and goals, each person must then be measured accordingly, taking into consideration a plethora of variables….although I still believe that love should always be one of those variables to be measured. A tailored, deliberate, and informed measurement is the best approach, far more effective and helpful than a broad, confirmatory approach. This idea, is also what I believe to be at the very heart of counseling.
All people are widely different, and have vastly unique needs. As a therapist, I would be gravely mistaken to attempt to treat every client the exact same way and push a single treatment plan on all my clients. That would land me in some major trouble, and would be grossly harmful to my clients. Instead, I take some time to get know each individual client and their needs, then I work with the client to develop a treatment plan that is tailored for their specific needs. This ensures that each client is measured accordingly, and gets the very best care.
So, here we are at the mid-point of January, a bright new year ahead of us, and a new opportunity to make some changes that we can look back at and measure accordingly. We now have roughly five hundred and five thousand four hundred minutes left of this new year. Be courageous, be diligent, and be resourceful in your goals this year. May your year be measured accordingly, and in love.

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Location 516 College Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104 Phone (682) 703-0712 E-mail randall@randallstoreycounseling.com Hours Appointments offered: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings at 5:30 and 6:30.
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