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What do humans NEED? AND …. What a crazy, crazy 9 months we’ve all had…

October 10, 2020

So it’s world mental health day… SO WHAT DO HUMANS NEED?

Thank you for coming to my blog – and thanks for reading.

To say the last 9 months has been busy, would be a crazy, crazy understatement.

As someone who deeply cares about society, humans and my fellow people, I have been pushed to the edge more times than I care to share in this blog, especially over the past 9 months (or more, even)…. and I been shocked and dismayed by the lack of quality leadership from virtually all people in all positions of large power over the past 9 months.

I’ve been exceedingly busy, just doing the doing – of therapy, coaching and training – out in the field. Assisting people to transition to working online, or transition to working in therapy, or working with clients too.

Leadership, for everyone in leadership positions, is not just a bumper sticker, or a management tool. It requires leading by modelling. It requires leading by doing and sharing, and even by being vulnerable.

Granted we are ‘unprecendented’ times, it has been difficult. For everyone.

And, no, we’re not all mad, or crazy, or mentally ill. THIS HAS TO BE SAID.

You are not crazy for feeling out of your depth, or feeling isolated.

It’s okay to feel different and not feel like you fit in right now.

Everything that I have learned from counselling college and university studies seems to be happening in the opposite ways right now.

It feels like the world has flipped on its head and that we’ve come into a state of control that it will be incredibly difficult to come back from.

It seems that uncertainty in the world, in general, really has brought out the best and worst in people, though, mostly the worst.

We need to consider carefully and clearly though why this is the case. Being an existential therapist means that I consider what people’s existential threats are, very deeply. Our mere existence has been threatened in some very big ways over the past 9 months. Especially in Australia.

Australia has really copped it – with the fires in December and over January, especially, and then that existential threat subsided and then we had the corona virus.

We really didn’t get a break. Any of us, here in Australia. Putting us at the mercy of our fears, and making many react from base fear and regress back to their childlike states of childhood trauma stuck states. Why is nobody speaking about this?

Nowhere is anyone addressing this.

Nobody is suggesting that we need a COMPLETE overhaul of our mental health system. We need to completely stop the bandaid system that we have and individualistic support that’s in the field.

Humans, as we’ve seen through this virus and the fires, need each other. Not only do we need someone to hear us out, we really need connection.

Yalom, one of the pioneers of the modern existential therapy movement, suggests that humans have four existential givens and they are the pendulum continuums of:

  1. Life anxiety and death anxiety
  2. Isolation and connectedness
  3. Freedom and responsibility
  4. Meaningfulness and meaninglessness

What’s missing from our modern knowledge is that humans NEED connection, it’s not just a nice to have. We NEED freedom, it’s not just a want. These existential givens are absolute requirements of all of humanity; from the Sahara, to the Andes, to Papua New Guinea, to Australia.

If we take away freedom and give people too much responsibility, they crack. If we take away people’s ability to connect, they lose themselves to isolation, and in turn may become suicidal, or worse.

We need to care for each other, or we’ll lose care and compassion.

These are not judgements at all. These are well researched, human NEEDS.

We have a NEED for shelter, clothing, love, connection and care (See any of Maslow’s work for more).

This may be quite surprising to come from a counsellor… though more psychology appointments are not what is required right now.

We NEED group sessions. Group connecting, connecting to family, friends, others, or support groups – so we don’t feel so alone.

So that suicide doesn’t go up – in massive ways – we will NEED each other.

My hope for you and anyone else reading this – is you can connect to your family, friends or others.

What I am doing to lead here is I will be providing more group sessions, to help you heal.

We need HEALING, psychic and psyche healing, not more science. We need THE ART and THE HEART of counselling to return.

I hope this finds you peaceful and I’m here to help you and support you compassionately and with heart to wherever you need to go.

Keep remembering, we are all human, so don’t always get this right the first time, though it’s important to keep trying and keep searching till you find the help you need – whether that be medical, physical, mental, emotional, psychic, spiritual.

Find the balance that’s right for you – not anyone else. Have courage and hope and know that the right support is out there waiting for you…. and may not be anything that anyone else tells you it needs to be.

Look after all of you.

Blessings,

Renee


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