Beauty and the Beast Our Mental Health: Surviving or Thriving!

“Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast”
(Disney, 2017)

Recently, I went to see the Disney film Beauty and the Beast, (2017). A beautiful love story, in true Disney style with music and colour. A tale that has a euphoric happy ending. I often use metaphor in my therapy sessions with clients as I am interested in the story the client is creating or telling themselves. This is sometimes not known to clients (the unconscious), as this is often what brings them into therapy, and usually is something that they are wanting to change in their life outside the therapy room. This could be a repeating pattern occurring in their relationships at work, with their partner(s), and with their friendships or family.

I noticed two themes running through Beauty and the Beast. One about Belle being happy all the time, her family being slightly different in culture and shape. Belle losing her mother when she was still a baby, and how their community where they lived were suspicious of their differences. The second theme being the Beast, who is under a spell that turned him into a beast and his friends into furniture. Where he has ostracised himself in his castle, and when he has difficulty managing his spell, he gets angry and frustrated.

When looking at the film it is easy to see who is surviving and who is thriving. The underlying theme is of the Beast finally accepting and allowing the compassion from Belle and his friends. Initially the Beast sinks lower in mood and self-esteem. The Beasts friends, the talking & singing furniture rally around and don’t give up on the Beast, even when the Beast is at his lowest. When the Beast is pushing them away, his friends let him know they are there.

These are often the signs that those we care about have depression, and in our busy lives, we do not take the time to notice when our friend or family member is not coping. I’m often asked what can we do to help when someone close to us is spiralling into depression. If we really care, we will continually let them know we are here, either through a simple phone call, an email or a text. This can provide those we care about hope on dark days, and that those close to them are thinking of them.

This year’s theme of Mental Health Awareness Week was Surviving or Thriving. Counselling provides you with the support to build your resilience, your self-esteem and I support people just like you to thrive in their everyday reality.

Supporting you to deal with your inner beasts and support to build confidence to deal with your every day.

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