Redefining What Therapy is
Mental health is vital to our overall health. Each of us have been impacted in some way during the last two years from the pandemic and other major world events. This is a reminder to pay attention to your mental, physical and emotional health needs.
Good mental health is defined differently for everyone. Simeon Kulp, who is a Professional Counselor Associate at the Counseling Center here on campus, defines mental health as “being able to meet the experiences life throws at us with fulfillment and satisfaction; if we can do this, we can find meaning in our lives.” Dr. Marianne Weaver is another asset to the Counseling Center. She is a licensed psychologist who focuses on the perspective of development, and helps students mature mentally as adults. Dr. Weaver defines good mental health as being able to “live out who we are in our daily life authentically with integration and connection to our core.” Essentially, these two counselors express the importance of knowing who you are individually, and the benefits that come from that understanding. Kulp claims that, “A lack of integration with the body, mind, and spirit can be because of the demands of reality,” and social expectations can make it difficult to express individuality. Additionally, Dr. Weaver expresses that finding yourself at your core and understanding who you are is the most important part of mental health: “To find what the cause is you have to go to the origin.” An example of this would be feelings of anxiety and depression, that require a much deeper understanding; this is what Dr. Weaver is encouraging people to understand.
During this interview, Dr. Weaver wanted to address the tone about how mental health is talked about in society. She says, “How we talk about mental health is part of the problem. It creates a distance between identity and individuality when we say, ‘I have anxiety, I have depression’. . . it is more helpful to talk about feelings and thoughts and dig deeper into the essence of their core and who they truly are.” Kulp adds on to this by bringing awareness to the recollection of past experiences and environments through a powerful quote: “How can we heal from that, and be at peace?” They also bring awareness and shine a positive light on the idea of therapy. Most often it is categorized by society as a bad thing, when overall Dr. Weaver states: “People want to grow and learn about themselves in order to heal and be at peace.”
According to The Mental Health Foundation, they advise you to get sleep, fresh air, drink plenty of water, take a break, ask for help, and talk about your feelings and thoughts. Asking for help when needed is hard; so is talking about how you are feeling. Dr. Weaver says: “Sometimes we try to do everything we can ourselves to figure out life but it is beneficial to get help from outside.”
Although these suggestions are difficult to do all the time, they are needed in order to feel recharged and motivated. Since we all have gone through this catastrophic event together, we should understand how hard it was – and still is – for some people. Being aware of what we say and how we act towards people is so important. Be kind, be patient, and have compassion towards everyone, especially yourself these days. Take a deep breath, drink some water, and remember everything will work out how it is supposed to. You have gotten through everything you thought you were not strong enough for, you are doing better than you think. Keep going.
The EOU Counseling Center is open at your convenience from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday (closed from noon-1pm). Due to COVID restrictions, they are offering counseling sessions only via Zoom during winter term. The best way to reach them is via email (email@example.com), or call (541) 962-3524 to schedule an appointment.
Center for Human Development Crisis Line: (541) 962-8800
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