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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Weathering the Storm


The phrase “weather the storm” alludes to one’s ability to deal with a challenging occurrence without being harmed or damaged too much. When thinking about this expression from a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) perspective, I liken it to the process of unconditional acceptance.


In particular, unconditional acceptance of oneself, others, and life acknowledges the fact that in life we have little control and influence over most things. As well, these principles maintain that people and the world are imperfect.


Moreover, REBT promotes tolerance, personal responsibility and accountability, and disputation of irrational beliefs in order to help individuals deal with difficult situations without being harmed or damaged too much. Weathering the storm is possible though controlling it isn’t.


Curiously, I often encounter people who express the irrational assumption that somehow mental, emotional, and behavioral health care is meant to eradicate unpleasant emotions, bodily sensations, and behavior altogether. In essence, they want absolute joy, pleasure, and happiness as an outcome of treatment.


Honestly, I’m unaware of any psychotherapeutic or psychopharmacological intervention which fully eliminates suffering. Rationally compassionate with the misguided objective of such people, I can understand the allure of a utopian existence.


Still, I recognize joy as a naturally occurring emotion that relates to well-being which is often associated with the prospect of possessing what one desires. It’s also as fleeting as other common emotions such as fear, anger, sorrow, disgust, and surprise.


Likewise, I understand that pleasure relates to gratification or amusement that tends to result in conjunction with the experience of joy. Just as weather patterns shift, so too will satisfaction that’s associated with the attainment of desire.


Additionally, happiness has a different meaning, depending on who’s asked. Some people liken it to the state of contentment or satisfaction, while others seem to identify it as a goal to which one can strive and that mirrors a mix of joy and pleasure over time—which is also transient.


Regardless of how one characterizes joy, pleasure, and happiness, I think that making the aim of perpetual bliss associated with any form of healthcare tends to establish a rigid condition. Using an REBT approach, I consider what happens if or when such conditions aren’t met.


For instance, suppose I said, “I’ll be happy only if it doesn’t rain today.” What happens when the world doesn’t obey this inflexible condition? When my happiness is directly tied to the weather, I’m in for a storm of emotions when I look out the window and witness a downpour.


As another example, imagine if I said, “Others mustn’t offend me, because all I want to experience is joy.” Is it practical to use this sort of demandingness and to place my emotional response in the hands of others? I argue that it isn’t.


With REBT, I understand that I have no more control over other people than I do over the weather. True, I may attempt to influence people though I can’t dominate them into submission—nor would I want to if I actually had that power.


Therefore, placing unproductive conditions on my emotional, body sensation, or behavioral reactions to occurrences is unnecessary. As such, I can express helpful preferences which, if unrealized in the end, won’t result in awfulizing beliefs that cause unpleasant consequences.


For instance, I may say, “I hope that I experience more pleasure in life than pain though if I don’t, I can live with that—literally, I can carry on living while tolerating disappointment.” This would be a healthy expression of my preference for life.


If or when I actually endure more hardship than gratification, I would be less likely to disturb myself about the matter. After all, I acknowledged that I could handle a disappointing experience.


This is the essence of weathering the storm. Use of REBT allows one the ability to deal with a challenging occurrence without being harmed or damaged too much.


Rather than assisting people with feeling better (i.e., joy, pleasure, happiness, etc.), I aim to help people get better by weathering the storms inherent in life. Does this sound like something in which you may be interested?


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



References:


Freepik. (n.d.). Weather effects composition [Image]. Freepik. Retrieved from https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/weather-effects-composition_33609915.htm#query=rain&position=12&from_view=search&track=sph

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Blog – Categories: Disputation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/blog/categories/disputation

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 4). Human fallibility. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/human-fallibility

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, October 22). On empathy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-empathy

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/personal-ownership

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, June 27). Rigid terms of service. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-terms-of-service

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, February 25). Unconditional other-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-other-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 1). Unconditional self-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-self-acceptance

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