Here’s another example of the “smart things patients told their therapists” category. Story prompt time:
A patient recovering from body image issues told me: “We spend our whole lives trying to get to a certain place or acquire certain things so that we may be happy. But true happiness is when you realise you are never going to get to that place or that even when you do you will still be dreaming of a new place or new things. So happiness has to start now, with what we have.” Basically sums up the whole message of therapy for me to be honest.
Can you see the story? Take a character through this journey, trying to do “things” to get “feelings”: approval, love, peace of mind, positive self image. He chases after fame, wealth, love, while ignoring the people around him who love him, need him, the lifetime of worthwhile work right around him. He might travel the world or scale the heights of power, only to return home after learning “there’s no `there’ there.” Find love with the girl next door. Take over the family business. Teach at the schoolhouse where he was educated.
The “Secret Formula” of GOALS X FAITH X ACTION X GRATITUDE comes to mind. I leave it as an exercise for the reader how you could use this set-up to explore the concept.