By Concentric Counselor Jennifer Larson, LCPC, NCC
We believe in the importance of using your voice. We believe in the importance of honoring one’s needs and wants by giving oneself permission to be vocal in a constructive, productive way. We believe in being authentic and congruent -- what you are saying is what you are feeling or thinking.
Sure, there are times and situations where congruency is unwarranted, such as when an acquaintance in passing may ask, “Hi, how are you?” and you give the proverbial “Fine” response when you are really feeling down and out. We are not talking about these shop-talk situations, but situations and relationships that evoke something of more significance or meaning to you.
In the recent months, we have heard many vocalize their needs and wants and subsequently -- Call To Action -- with the shooting of Laquan McDonald. And just a few days ago, Chicago Public School (CPS) high school students used their voice to express their needs in the Are We Equal? – Chicago Public Schools video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tYBf3WA6WI
So, if you have been internalizing, containing your thoughts and feelings of late, we are giving you permission to honor yourself to be congruent and vocal. Whether you are struggling with a family member, your loved one, friend or a larger system, such as your community or school, we encourage you to use your voice to share or advocate. We just have one request: Express yourself in a meaningful way that is mindful and productive. Go ahead and give it a try. We believe in you.