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Reframing Language: Being Essential

It was noticed I have been quiet on social media here I want to say thank you for the messages inquiring if I was alright. The truth is there has been a lot on my mind during my transition and move from Michigan to Texas. Trust me hours of driving during a time of quarantines, shut downs and lack of social interaction in a new environment with you and your dog in the car will do that to anyone. Some upcoming blogs are going to include some of these thoughts and perhaps you are struggling heavier lately with shame, purpose and anxiety. And perhaps my own thoughts may be able to offer insight into those feelings and be able to reframe things in a manner to help your own processing and mental health during this very uncertain time.

So I’m going to be being with a story:

During my move someone messaged me and shared how I probably won’t start working when I get to Texas because I’m not essential. I know this phrase came from a place of conversation but when I broke that phrase down about what it means to be essential it struck a chord. I am a mental health professional that no longer felt mental health and I were no longer essential. Now I know this did not come from a place of harm but rather this is our every day language. I thought my profession is a huge part of my identity and takes up the majority of my life so it helped to re-evaluate how much I am influenced by my professional identity but it also occurred to me as a reminder of why I went into art therapy as a field and the way I was raised. Growing up, I was blest by a family to be taught every person in their job is essential to society to make the world function.

Every profession is to be treated with the same respect.

There is no such thing as a profession being less than another.

It got me thinking about language and art therapy.

While words help with communication this phrase was a reminder to me of why I went into my field. These words paired together I do not believe exemplifies what is actually needing to be communicated to society.