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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

The Advice That Never Was

In my professional capacity, I generally refrain from giving advice. This is for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which relates to being held responsible and accountable for the recommendations I make.

For example, if I tell a client, “You should leave your job and find another one,” and following my guidance the individual does so though ends up destitute, I could be found partially liable for the prescriptive information I communicated.

Likewise, as a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) practitioner, I tend not to issue should, must, or ought-type proposals to the clients I serve. Expressing what I think should be the case is counterintuitive to REBT practice.

Correspondingly, regarding my personal life, I usually steer clear of advice-giving. I don’t want to create the false impression of being an authoritative source of expertise, knowledge, or wisdom.

Additionally, it isn’t difficult to form an unhealthy bond whereby codependence results from people who learn not to resolve their own issues. This creates an unhelpful experience by which a person’s iss-you (issue) becomes an iss-me (my issue).

Besides, who am I to administer advice to anyone? The older I become, the more I realize how little I actually know.

To advise others in accordance with my professional or personal opinions, beliefs, values, or guidance relating to an array of situations—all while functioning for an ignorance-informed perspective about most matters in life—doesn’t seem like the prudent thing to do.

That stated, I’ll ask questions, dispute unhelpful beliefs, use rational compassion, practice unconditional acceptance, search for purpose and meaning, and relinquish the control I think I have (though never actually possessed) before my finite time comes to an end.

To me, this represents a life well-lived.

Granting all this, it is tempting to impart some last breath of encouragement to those I’ve known, people with whom I currently remain familiar, and others I may one day meet. Rather than prescribing what should be, I could describe what I’ve learned.

None of this information is intended to constitute advice.

Most things in life take longer than you think, even though life is shorter than you may expect. You may plan accordingly and the process of life retains no consideration for your carefully constructed scheme.

One day, the inescapable truth will occur—you, just as is the case for me, will die. Everyone you know, have ever known, and will ever know will one day perish.

Finding something to do (purpose) and deriving meaning (value) from what you do can lead to contentment. I say “contentment,” because pursuit of joy, pleasure, positivity, and the like is a chasing after the passing breeze.

Quite often, I’ve witnessed people who pursue desirable qualities in life end up suffering far more frequently and to a more significant degree than had they opted for a “good enough” standard. There is nothing inherently wrong with settling for a suitable option.

Also, devotion to ideological narratives—the ever-present static typical of social interaction—can seize your quest for objectivity. Those who try to convince you that they possess reality or that you can own truth may not have your best interests in mind.

Speaking of consciousness, I don’t think anyone truly understands it on any consequential level. In our confusion of what we think is understood, we sometimes lose sight of how emotionally-driven we seem to be by default.

Be patient enough as to allow more options than binary-infused false senses of urgency to motivate you to action. When you accept that your beliefs influence your reactions more so than events themselves, there will be no use in worrying about rushing to conclusions.

In parting, none of what I’ve stated herein—as incoherent as it may be—is a static proposition, in part or in whole. Life is dynamic and so, too, is messaging that attempts to clarify it.

For now, this is the advice that never was.

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


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Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, October 5). Description vs. prescription. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

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Hollings, D. (2022, August 31). Iss-me vs. iss-you. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, June 23). Meaningful purpose. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, October 22). On empathy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, March 25). Question everything. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, September 3). You gon’ die: The existential window. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

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