As 2015 comes to a close and you reflect on the last 12 months, I’m sure you’ll agree the year was filled with many powerful, moving, positive, frightening, and important events. It’s part of why our work as clinicians is so vital: as human beings we all need and deserve support, guidance, encouragement, and a sense of hope, to help us as navigate and sometimes re-frame the local, national, and world events that can seem overwhelming or senseless. It’s also in our nature to celebrate and connect as a community when wonderful things transpire.
In 2015 we had to process protests that turned into rioting in Baltimore. Bruce Jenner became a woman, and the Supreme Court made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states. We grieved senseless shootings that took place in churches, movie theatres, and Planned Parenthood as well as the deaths of many souls when a plane was deliberately crashed into a mountainside. We were horrified by attacks in Israel, Kenya, Paris, and California. We tried to navigate an Ebola outbreak in Liberia and a Mexican druglord escaping through a tunnel. We debated Deflategate and a controversial deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program. We watched as Greece was bailed out, drones crashed into the White House, the Pope visited the US, Cuba officially re-established diplomatic relations with us after 54 years, and a new climate change agreement was approved in Paris. We cheered as the Zuckerberg’s gave away millions, and lined up for the next Star Wars installment. And ISIS brought terrorism to new heights, challenging our sense of safety abroad and at home.
But as all of this unfolded, in 2015 there were countless human interest stories highlighting people engaging in unsolicited acts of kindness and being the recipients of extraordinary generosity. We are, at heart, human beings who feel great empathy for those in need. We are willing to help others and advocate for the oppressed. We provide comfort, optimism, resources, support, and unconditional love to one another. Even as we acknowledge the painful and difficult events of 2015, we should reflect on the ways in which compassion and kindness prevailed.
I want to wish you a coming year that brings good health, inner peace, physical and emotional safety, personal and professional growth, and joyful and memorable times spent with loved ones. I look forward to seeing you at the end of February when the Institute returns with wonderful new offerings. As per your requests, there will be an emphasis on expressive therapies in the coming semester! Until then, take good care of yourself!