Touching Grass in Downtown Austin
My friend, “Jammies,” visited central Texas over the past week. Joining her and associated family members in Round Top, Texas for the first half of her stay, I finished the visit with her and a different set of family members in downtown Austin, Texas for the second half.
As part of the “Touch Grass” blog series, I find it useful to spend time in the real world and reflect upon my experience, because I appreciate balancing my online practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) with in-person outings alongside people to whom I’m close.
For the latter half of the visit, I found it insightful to discuss with Jammies’ mom the condition of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and its various forms. Walking through the Texas State Capitol building, she informed me of what a two-decade experience was like for someone with ALS.
It isn’t difficult to take for granted the ability to tie my shoes or brush my teeth. Hearing about the challenges of ALS and how a form of unconditional acceptance could be practiced in order not to self-disturb about the condition was an invaluable lesson in hope.
As we wrapped up the unguided tour at the Capitol, Jammies, her family, and I went to eat at a whimsical downtown spot in which the pink décor was rivaled only by the color of Jammies’ hair. It was as more of a touching flowers experience than that relating to grass.
As I had a couple ingrown hair outbreaks on my face, an outdoor photo opportunity presented a moment for me to practice the REBT technique of shame attacking. During our meal, everyone shared personal anecdotes, laughed, and enjoyed the atmosphere and food of the restaurant.
Although there were two major regional wars taking place in different parts of the world, my mind wasn’t focused on the suffering that took place along the shared timeline. Rather, I appreciated getting to know more about Jammies and her family who were lovely company for the day.
Experiences like touching grass in downtown Austin are worthwhile for a mental health care practitioner. They afford me an opportunity to keep things in perspective.
Undoubtedly, in the days to come, I’ll refocus my attention to helping people sort through irrational beliefs and unpleasant consequences associated with such assumptions. Still, it was helpful to practice self-care with Jammies and her family, as I look forward to the next opportunity for touching grass with valued company.
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—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, 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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