Category Archives: Mary Overstreet

The New Year Experience

The New Year Experience

There’s something invigorating about the New Year. Many of us have this sense of a “clean slate,” the turning of a page, a new opportunity, fresh air. Whether you set a New Year’s resolution (like 45% of Americans) or not, I think most of us would agree many times there is some sort of a relief when one year comes to a close and a new year begins. We made mistakes last year. Maybe we didn’t excel as much in work as we hoped we would, neglected important relationships, gained five pounds when we meant to lose ten. Or some of us might have experienced significant losses this year: received a life-changing diagnosis, went through a terrible break-up, lost a loved one.

What ever “it” was for you this past year, for most of us this New Year embodies at least a degree of hope. We barely thought we were going to make it (at least in one arena of our lives), and now there’s a chance to experience something different. We start to assess where we have been and start thinking forward to where we want to go or what we want to experience.

I believe this “New Year’s experience” reflects these three intrinsic human needs.

1. Closure (at the appropriate time) is essential.

As therapists we notice that many of our clients, once they have experienced some relief and progress from stressors, will realize that their painful experiences have been some of their greatest teachers. However, until this time has come to pass, it is apparent to us that people have limits. Many times, people do not seek therapy until they have dried up all their resources and feel helpless and on their “last limb.” It’s as if they are saying, “I can’t endure this any longer,” “It’s gone on too long,” or “This has to stop.” We reach junctures in our lives where change and closure is paramount.

2. Renewed hope is vital.

It’s hard to find our way out of the dark until we see a glimpse of light. We need a reason to believe that closure and change is possible. As therapists, an important quality that is integrated throughout our work is journeying with people as they crawl to find this light. Just as the New Year gives us a glimmer of hope for change, so is there an intrinsic need we see in our clients to strengthen hope in order for closure or progress to occur.

3. Vision is needed.

With this sense of closure and hope, we are able to look forward to what our lives can look like. This isn’t to say that we can’t look back at our history. In fact, just as it is with New Year’s resolutions, you need to assess the past and present in order to appropriately set goals for the future. However, I find that if we only look at the past and the present moment and don’t visualize what can be ahead, then we are much more likely to fall back.

Mary Overstreet Reading, LAMFT, LAPC
moverstreet @ GROWcounseling.com

How To Talk to Your Child About Counseling

How To Talk to Your Child About Counseling

You’re worried about your child and think they might benefit from counseling. But how to do bring this up with them? What do you do if they are upset with you and don’t want to go? Find some crucial tips for how to walk through this here.Read More »

Building a Better Brain: Start with Exercise

Building a Better Brain: Start with Exercise

On Friday, I introduced you to a new concept: research is finding that we can not only “cope” with mental illness but that we can actually do things to build a better brain! Let’s start exploring what exactly we can do to make that happen. It turns out that exercise is not only good for your body but also great for your brain!Read More »

Building a Better Brain

Building a Better Brain

Therapy is a critical element in experiencing change. But we also believe that what our clients do with their time outside of therapy will either assist with or distract from their goals. In fact, studies are showing us that certain things we do and specific changes we make can literally change the “wiring” and composition of the brain. Read More »

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