• Call Now: 405.341.3554
  • Connect

Edmond Family Counseling Articles

Articles by the Counselors at Edmond Family Counseling

Thoughts While Walking

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

By: John Goetz, LPC

In March I was introduced to a short independent film, The Butterfly Circus, Created by Joshua and Rebekah Weigel in 2009. The setting is the 1930s, America is in the middle of the Great Depression. Many people are jobless and homeless, and the circus is a distraction from daily struggles. Mr. Mendez is the charismatic master of a small circus, the Butterfly Circus. While driving one evening he and two other members of his circus see a sign for a (traveling) carnival and a sideshow and stop to see a funfair with carousels, games, and other entertainment, including a freak show. Here Mr. Mendez meets Will, the main attraction, who has tetra-amelia syndrome, which means he has no limbs, and is on show as a freak of nature. Will is bitter and unhappy, but after meeting Mendez, he decides to leave the carnival and manages to hide on one of the Butterfly Circus trucks to escape. The people in the circus welcome Will and Mr. Mendez tells him that he is welcome to stay with them as long as he likes but that his circus does not have freak show and that Will must do something else than just be a freak to become part of the act. Mr. Mendez pushes Will to do things for himself even though he has no limbs and Will finds this to be somewhat cruel. One day Will accidentally realizes that he can swim, so he decides to perform a difficult act in the circus. He climbs to the top of a tall pole and dives into a small tank full of water. Will finds his identity and a purpose as an act. He earns his place in the show not because of his odd appearance but because of who he is and what he can do.

After watching this movie my thoughts raced trying to grasp the greater themes while keeping sight of the individual lives being portrayed. First I thought about the movie “The Miracle Worker”; the story of a young Helen Keller, who due to a childhood illness lost her sight and hearing, and her teacher Annie Sullivan. I remember thinking as a young child how cruel Annie was with Helen but being told that is was necessary in order for Helen to learn to communicate with the world at large.

Secondly I thought about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed by congress in 1990 and hailed as the first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. On one hand a common sense statement that as a country we will provide access and opportunity to all people regardless of disabilities and on the other hand another unfunded mandate from the federal government.

Thirdly I thought about the TV show “The Amazing Race” and this season’s first episode in which a participant, Remond, who lost part of his leg due to an IED is the first one picked to partner with by the winner of the first task. The young X games athlete, Matt, who picks him to be his partner says, “Remond seems like a guy who believes in himself and when the going gets tough will not give up and will stop at nothing”. I wonder if it is Remond’s handling of his disability that influenced Matt’s decision, they had not met before the first episode as all participants this season are complete strangers.

Is a “disability” a curse from God or just another struggle we will be faced with in life? Are these struggles we face in life road blocks or opportunities? Are these physical road blocks/opportunities or are they spiritual ones, and who are they roadblocks/opportunities for, the one with the disability or the ones they meet in life? When is lending a hand, a help up, and when is it enabling? Can a disability be a crutch, can I say that? I have no answers just questions. Google “The Butterfly Circus”, watch it yourself and see what questions you have.

John Goetz is clinical director at Edmond Family Counseling. To learn more about EFC, check out edmondfamily.org. All donations are tax-deductible.



Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Heroin in the Suburbs ADA Girl Strong World Health Organization Teen Parenting Dr. Rhonda Patrick Parkland Shooter College Age Children Teen Drug Use Apps for Teens Teens and Smartphones Alcohol Positive Reinforcement Oklahoma Statute on Marijuana Michael Jackson Instagram Anxiety Sanjay Gupta Terrorism and children Chad McCoy Great Depression Legalization of Marijuana How to manage anxiety Trauma Drug Use Independent Living Co-Parenting Butane Hask Oil Organization Twenty Somethings Eating Disorder Normalcy Brain Research Emotional Development Character Development Changing Problem Behavior Procrastination Affluenza Speaker Listener Technique Prom The Butterfly Circus Links between unemployment and depression Heroin Crisis Stress Micro-aggression Millenials Waxing Domestic violence resources When Teens Should Get a Cell Phone Edmond Municipal Court Dr. Ben Carson Positive Thinking Supersurvivors Spanking Detox Diet 710 fads Fidget Spinners Amanda Percival high school Scapegoating Nutrition and stress Panic attacks Wax Negative Thinking Why did the system fail responsibility Working Parents Marijuana What is domestic violence Bias and memory The Amazing Race Schedule 1 Drug non-verbal communication James Dobson Child Abuse parenting college age kids Suicide HK pen Oklahoma drug use Gender Roles Bong Holidays personal growth Aggregated News for Teens Social Media National Drug Threat Assessment Summary College Transitions Death Teenage Boys Technology Time Management Mayme White Miller Grandparenting Newsletter Chores for Teens Golden Child Relationships ADHD AARP Underage Drinking Prom guidelines for teens Political Correctness Personality Test self-sabotage Goal Setting HB 2249 Emotions Tetra-Amelia Syndrome Bullying Microagression Suicide Prevention for Teens Retirement Planning History Decision-Making Limitations of counseling Gun violence and mental health Drinking in high school Jay Asher Developmentally appropriate strategies for grief counseling Opiods How to control panic attacks Movies for Teens Al McCormick Drugs How to recognize domestic violence Parenting Teenagers Tumblr Enabling Adult Children Misconceptions of Smoking Marijuana Teenagers Captain of Your Ship Joshua and Rebecca Weigel privilege New year’s resolution Prevention Adult Children How to talk to your kids about terrorism Disciplining Teens Siblings in Conflict Holiday stress John Goetz spring Twitter Risk taking diet The Martian Movie Communication techniques for couples Lee Daniel Kravetz Annie Sullivan Marriage counseling Butane Honey Oil Panic How to detect signs of depression Addiction School Anxiety Help for panic and anxiety Sheila Stinnett goals Choices Teenage perception of drug use Grounded Hope Self Investment Prom safety The Miracle Worker Reading Is therapy forever Panic Disorder Quinton Ellis Depression Learning Divorce Teen Jobs DIY Marriage counseling Confidentiality What Matters Most Program Summer Edmond drug use Summer time parenting list Entitlement Syndrome Prescription Drugs Unemployment Communication Happiness Andy Weir Managing substance abuse Family Roles Oklahoma Department of Human Services Fear Impact of Suicide Culture David Feldman Presidential debate Parenting with purpose Parent peer pressure Disability Setting Boundaries with Adult Children Grandparent Initiative Food Allergies Mental Health Young Adults 5 Love Languages Positive Illusions The Martian Book Exercise treatment for depression Disasters GirlStrong 13 Reasons Why NOT Americans with Disabilities Act MEDITERRANEAN DIET Substance Abuse Feldman and Kravetz Freshman Year Discipline Anger Conflict Childhood depression School Donald Miller Summer Plans for Teens Edmond Character Council Edmond Teens and cell phones Parenting through Divorce Medical Use of Marijuana in Oklahoma What to do when you are laid off Retirement What Really Matters Jackie Shaw Children Facebook Teen Suicide Bias Early Treatment of Depression How do children process trauma Consequences Dating Belinda Crosier Social anxiety Ben Carson Teen Safety Back to School Learning Disabilites Political bias Darcy McConnell Drug Abuse Sexual Abuse Therapy Depression and social media Parenting and Cell Phones How prevalent is domestic violence Family Theory Parenting Divorce School Call of Duty Setting Boundaries for Your Teen Funding 13 Reasons Why Mild-Depression Hanna Baker United States Drug Enforcement Agency Ridley Scott Helen Keller Audrey Woods Self-Esteem Strong Willed Child Boundaries Elizabeth Loftus Role Models College Campus gadgets Edmond Family Counseling Seniors Marriage brain THE KETOGENIC DIET Will counseling work quickly Teens and Time Management Communicating with your teen How long should counseling take Family Systems Theory Support Group Self Image Snapchat Community Suicide Prevention Programs College How common are panic attacks Teens Use of Technology How many sessions do I need Divorce with minor children bucket list The Golden Years Grandparents as parents Teenage Development THE PALEO DIET Co-Parenting Class Isolation in teens Communicating with your child Suicide Prevention Recommendations Unemployment and depression Child Development Cell Phones Codependency Peers


Call Us Now!