Coping

Post-Election Trends in My Therapy Office

It has been an interesting 2 weeks. That's probably true for most of us. And seeing some of it play out in the therapy room has been fascinating.

Not one single session since #Election2016 has not touched on the impact of this election on people's thoughts, feelings and actions - regardless of political views.

I have to say, the extent surprised me. While I was expecting an impact, I did not expect the relevance of this topic weighing so heavily on people's minds and impacting their lives.... including their relationships.

Some of the interesting trends I saw were:

  1. There was a personal hit to many people's sense of identity
  2. Many people for the first time in their lives starting thinking globally
  3. People were searching for other people who shared their experience and created impromptu support groups
  4. Couples' communication issues came more to light depending on which couples could listen to each other, hold space for each other and support each other
  5. Past trauma was triggered in the present
  6. Intensity of emotion, as a result of the triggers and personal implications, was high including sadness, anger etc
  7. Several people were moving through the grief stages
  8. Everyone was going through their own time line and utilizing their own coping skills to adjust to the changing times

Please note that I am not a relationship therapist. Also, these trends were my experiences and do not represent trends in psychotherapy or life coaching.

Now that 2 weeks have passed I can see that people are moving back to the other issues they want addressed. However, the political changes and the triggers (of hope or hopelessness - of courage or fear) still seep into every conversation I am having. The impact of this election has touched many - some more aware of the impact than others. 

We can all learn a lot about ourselves from what upset us and what made us happy and how we responded to it all. We can all challenge ourselves to continue a journey of self awareness, self regulation, and proactive, relevant action steps rather than ruminating. Celebrate, grieve and integrate. Use your ever awakening knowledge of self. Then move to behaviors that are in line with your values rather than emotions.

Be brave.