The season 2 finale of 'This is Us' wrapped up so much unfinished business. I’m sure the Big Three and Rebecca will still have some sad moments remembering Jack, but it seems like they all made a huge step forward via Kate’s wedding. We also saw some other stories start to open up, like Randall and Beth’s struggle with raising Deja.
At this point I’m convinced that the writers of This is Us have either gone through counseling themselves, know someone personally who has, or have close connections to a counselor. The way they dealt with anxiety and grief this episode blew me away.
Again, I’m going to brag on Randall and Beth. Their game of Worst Case Scenario was perfect. While this might seem counterintuitive and even working isn't he opposite direction this is a game I recommend to clients on the regular. I call is the “What If” game because, here’s the deal, we ask ourselves these questions all the time without realizing it. The problem is, we don’t answer ourselves. So I like to take it one step further than Randall and Beth. I think this was implied between Randall and Beth we just didn’t see it happen. Some of the worst case scenarios they came up with were Deja killing them both in their sleep or Deja and Tess becoming strippers because of the bad influence that Deja would eventually have on Tess. What makes this “game” beneficial instead of harmful is the realization that even if these terrible things happened they would still be okay. It’s never a very fun game, but it is a very realistic game. Between the lines Randall and Beth are saying, “I guess if Deja kills us in our sleep we won’t be here anymore to worry about it anymore, and if Deja and Tess both become strippers we will be here for each other to figure life out.”
When we ask the question “What If” over and over again we quickly escalate our anxiety. When we play out the worst case scenario and realize either the probability of the “What If” is very low, or we would be okay on the other end, our anxiety decreases.
I also love that Randall and Beth are able to share these thoughts with each other. There is something about saying these fears out loud that takes away the power they hold. Letting someone else into the thoughts circling around in your head and hearing that they too have their own Worst Case Scenario thoughts helps us realize we aren’t alone.
Some things to Consider:
1. Do you ask yourself “What If” questions when you’re anxious? How could you start to answer the question to prove to yourself you would make it even in the worst case scenario?
2. Who is someone that you could share you worst case scenario thoughts with?