• 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


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


Call Us Now!